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Rental Car Smarts -- When Size Matters Get the Most for Your Money

Aug 17, 2007
When you're heading across country with a few more than a crowd, it helps to have an auto you don't have to shoehorn your friends into. Or maybe you need to haul more than a toothbrush and a change of underwear. That's when you want a van, SUV or pickup truck instead of a Geo Metro.

Rental cars come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, class and quality. You can get car rentals as sub-compacts, compacts, standard sizes, luxury, trucks and SUV. The variety available makes renting an option for individuals and families of any size.

Minivans, a favorite rental of families with children, generally have enough legroom to seat seven adults and assorted luggage. SUVs generally accommodate five adults and their assorted belongings.

When it comes to car rentals, more and more people are looking for a truck or SUV. Most companies offer their consumers a wide range of vehicles to choose from, but there is often a dramatic difference in the quality of the car rental size classes. And often there are significant differences in cost from one company to the next.

An analysis of rental car prices in the Denver area indicated that from company to company in alike locations prices on a SUV could vary up to 30% a day. These prices were from similar name-branded car rental locations.

So it will save you money to shop around and compare prices.

But don't be fooled by looking at pictures of the vehicles online. While some online sites have pictures of their vehicles, that method of determining overall quality may be misleading. While you can determine the make and model of the car rental, there is, after all, no way to verify that the car pictured is the car you will receive.

Most vehicles are available at all times in the larger cities and airports depending on the time of day. Smaller city locations should be called twenty-four hours to forty-eight hours in advance to secure a rental car, SUV or van.

Most car rental companies these days have more than just cars to rent out. But not all will have trucks, SUVs, vans, recreational vehicles and exotic sports cars.

Choosing the car, truck, minivan or SUV perfectly suited to you, your family or group can require some diligence. When searching to find exactly the make, model and condition for your rental car, comparison shopping can save you a bundle. Checking out the car rental company for quality and maintenance can make your trip run smooth.

It's always best to call the reservation line or the customer service center for information on a specific vehicle.
About the Author
Karen Kirby has 25 years in the computer industry and an MS in Computer Science. Learn about SUV and minivan car rental . Free Internet Guide to Traffic .
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