With rental cars, the least expensive cars typically cost the least. The more expensive the car, the higher the rate. Makes sense, right?
This common-sense process, however, is not always true.
Car rental companies always have special deals. The special deals could be one free day, car class upgrades, dollars off the overall rate, free GPS/car seats, etc. Often, the special deal will be in certain car classes, because the car rental company has excess inventory (too many cars). A great example is car rental companies offering great daily and weekly rates on SUVs during the winter months in snowy destinations, such as Denver, Burlington VT, and Manchester NH. By the way, there are often too many convertibles in Florida during the winter months, so look for lower rates there and then.
To find these lower rates on higher class vehicles, intentionally show the rates for all vehicles (instead of just looking for the lowest rates). When the results are displayed for all car classes, I am often pleasantly surprised. A full sized car may be less than the economy class. A premium class may be less than the mid sized car. Another strategy is to look for these deals on information websites, like SmarterTravel.com. I have even rented from a company I usually would not because of a great deal. Two examples include a great daily rate on a jeep and a great weekly rate of a small pickup. Again, it all depends on the car company's inventory. If they predict that they will have too many cars in a certain class, then they will lower those rates.
© 2008, Charles McCool