Affordable Travel Guide to Airport Car Rentals Can Drive Up Your Costs

Airport car rentals can drive up your costs

Airport Car Rentals Can Drive Up Your Costs

It’s easy and it’s right there… The car rental kiosk a few dozen feet from the baggage carousel on the arrivals level. Grab a car and head for your hotel. It just takes a few minutes… And can consume a lot of your travel budget.

Unless you have booked a car rental in advance and it happens that the rental agency offers airport pick-up at the same price as any of their other in-town locations, you may be hit with problems by renting a car from an airport kiosk.

First is availability. At busy airport locations, car rental agencies may simply have nothing available. Because their lots are usually a significant distance from the kiosk or office in the airport, you have no way of knowing what is or is not on the lot, so when you ask for the compact, less costly vehicle, and you are told the only cars left are more expensive luxury ones, you must accept this as fact.

Some car rental companies charge a premium for airport pick-up of their vehicles. Airport authorities charge hefty fees for space rentals such as kiosks and parking lots, and the car rental companies pass those fees on in the form of the rental amounts they charge to travelers. Not all car rental companies follow this policy, so you’ll need to do your homework in advance and preferably book your rental car on-line or through a centralized toll-free number that gives you the same rates as any location outside the airport premises.

When an aircraft empties, there can be 300 to 400 people waiting for baggage, and then a portion of those heading for the car rental kiosks, and the queues can be as long as an hour. By the time you get your rental car, your patience may have worn out; that’s no way to start a vacation or business trip.

So, how can you avoid potentially higher car rental costs and the long lines? Odds are the hotel you are staying at offers a free shuttle service; if not, grab a taxi (local cabs tend to be cheaper than airport limousines) and head to where you are staying. Once you get to your room, look in the local phone directory for the nearest car rental agency, book a vehicle and walk over to pick it up. You’ll have avoided a possible long wait, got relaxed in your hotel, avoided an excess fees, and had a bit of exercise!

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