Car rental for long trip

I remember an old thread on the best car rentals, but I couldn’t find the one that I wanted. Any tips for renting a car for a long road trip? We will have 6-7 people. We starting looking at Costco, but I’m open for any suggestions. This is the first time that we’ve needed to rent one.

I got a deeply discounted rental through undercover tourist with the purchase of park tickets. Was a Chevy Suburban, 9 days unlimited miles through Enterprise for $636. One of the best prices I saw during my search. Also check your credit card for benefits, mine included car rental insurance coverage if I paid with my Visa signature card. This way you can decline any rental insurance fee.

I believe many people like Autoslash. It will compare multiple companies and offers.

I always stick with Costco. Although I know it is one of the companies Autoslash checks, I always seem to do better on my own, especially a few days before my trip.

Thanks! So the prices can go down the closer to your trip that you get?

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Autoslash is amazing! They keep finding lower and lower prices (and will have you book vehicles with free cancellation so you can keep rebooking at the lower rate).

Before our spring break trip was cancelled due to COVID, Autoslash had gotten the rate down from $482 to $363 (minivan for a week out of TPA).

I always book months in advance through Costco and then rebook it every time it goes down. I just love the direct to car feature with Alamo and the 2nd driver for free with Costco.


I’ve never paid for a second driver…is that a thing?

Yes, a lot of companies charge you for a second driver.

I added info:

I just found the exact same article! Apparently we’ve always either used companies or been in states without a second driver fee.

And I’ve only ever rented with my spouse or through work (every corporate agreement I’ve been on has allowed other employees to drive).

That extra free driver is fabulous. Another family did a cheap rental on the Big Island that didn’t include an extra driver and they didn’t pay for one. The driver Got food poisoning for a couple of days. The rest of the family had to stay in the condo because they didn’t want to pay.

We tend to use Costco, too, because of the free extra driver. I watch for dropping prices.

We’ve only used Autoslash once, last year in WDW. It automatically watched for dropping prices. That was nice. However, the pick up place was offsite and inconvenient to get to without Lyft. It was still cheap but not sure it was worth the hassle.

Sometimes, if you are flying, you can get a great rental car price with your airline that includes a free extra driver.

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Costco remains the best deal I’ve ever seen. The bonus is a free added driver.

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Thanks. We were looking at Costco. I just wanted to make sure we weren’t missing anything. Checking out Autoslash too!

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I rent from a Toyota dealer in a town near me. Last September, we had their mini-van (no idea of the name) for 12 days, unlimited mileage, for $600 something. I want to say $640.

Before they sold to another dealer, I rented from a Dodge dealer in a smaller town.

They’re quite laid back about paperwork. I don’t think I ever filled any out for the Dodge dealer and usually had to insist they take a copy of my DL.

The Toyota dealer doesn’t seem to charge for extra driver.

But these are small towns. Where my sister lives, 100,000 population, I don’t think any dealer rents vehicles any more.

My sister rents from a local dealer BUT my nephew works there. So not sure if it’s just a family thing or not.

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How many miles is your road trip?

I remembered this morning that we needed a 12 passenger van at least for a karate team to go to a tournament. We did NOT want to deal with Avis again. Somebody knew somebody with one of those rent a wreck kind of places that had a 15 passenger van. That van wasn’t going to win beautiful awards but we got there and back again no problem. Way nicer folk. But if we’d been going a bit further (685 miles was our trip) they wouldn’t have rented to us. I don’t know why.

It is about an 18 hour drive!

That is a long drive!

I generally use to get an initial rental, and then use that rental as the basis for tracking in Autoslash. However, I keep checking carrentalsavers, as I can often find better deal there than Autoslash finds for me.

Also, check this thread for lots of good info:

Thanks everyone!

Yes. Our prices kept going down. Watch the supplier, however.