For our family trip last summer, I booked our outgoing flight from Baltimore (BWI). After three weeks, we were to return to Dulles. If we were to return to BWI, I would have looked into one of those stay and park deals at a hotel near BWI or just used long-term parking. Instead, I needed to find someone to give us a ride (75 minutes each way) or pay $100+ for a shuttle. On a whim, because that's the way I roll, I checked the car rental companies. Hertz and Avis were too much. National, though, charged $30 total for the one-way rental. Sweet!
I have used rental cars to move between residences, when my car was too small (or broken) or I did not have a car at the time. Of course, those were the days when I did not have much stuff. I have used rental cars to move across the country. I would rent a car (or van) for three weeks, giving me enough time to drive each way between California and Florida with some time to visit. I did this three times in a row (nine weeks total). At about $100 a week, it was less expensive and more luxurious than a moving truck. On the other hand, I have seen U-Haul dealers offering trucks for $100 or less, because they needed to get them to another location. Sort of similar to the Florida exodus car deals in the spring.
Of course, people rent cars for many purposes--to haul junk to the dump, to haul people around town, car is in the shop, whatever. If you need a car only for a short time, Zipcar is a cool concept. They rent cars by the hour.
What are your experiences with rental cars? Anything creative? Let me know.
© 2008, Charles McCool