Cheapest way to rent a car in Kansas City?
August 3, 2010 7:18 PM   Subscribe

Long shot, but... what's the dirt-cheapest way to rent a car in Kansas City?

My mom and I are flying to Kansas City for the Irish Fest to see the extended family. The plan was for us to fly in, use Grandma's car (she can't drive anymore) I'd fly home, and my mom would spend another week there before she drove home. We've both bought our tickets.

Now Grandma's decided to sell the car. Perfect timing. Too late for either my mom or me to drive to KC instead.

The cheapest I've found for a rental is $40 a day. This is still a lot of money for 2 weeks. I don't suppose any MeFi's know any secret rental services or discounts? It's a long shot, I know, but I figure if anyone knows, it's the MeFis
posted by Caravantea to Travel & Transportation around Kansas City, MO (14 answers total)
Ever used Priceline? I do "name your own price" and offer 14 bucks per day. I've never not been accepted. I have never tried this in the Kansas City market, but it's worth a shot.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:21 PM on August 3, 2010

Are you an AAA member? I've gotten a nice discount at Hertz in the past. Sounds like you've already booked your flight, but you can also find good discounts through sites like Orbitz if you book your flight and car at the same time.
posted by puritycontrol at 7:43 PM on August 3, 2010

I used to get great deals on Hotwire -- sometimes $30 a day or less.
posted by slogger at 7:54 PM on August 3, 2010 [1 favorite]

I get turned down at Priceline a fair amount, but usually you can jigger your car type and date until you get something decently good. If not, you may have better luck with rental places that are not at the airport, and getting a cab into town. Much lower taxes. The rentals I found for Kansas City KS were also a lot lower than the ones for MO, so it might be worth looking at options on the other side of the border [making sure you can still cross the border, etc]. Or ask Grandma nicely if she'd take a few hundred bucks to sell the car a few weeks later. You'll still come out ahead. In Summertime it seems that there are no magic tricks for super cheapie rentals.
posted by jessamyn at 7:55 PM on August 3, 2010

I would also search the web for online coupons for whichever rental places you're looking at. Hertz, for example.

Also, definitely look for rental places that aren't at the airport, if you're not already. Airport prices tend be jacked up.
posted by inigo2 at 7:56 PM on August 3, 2010 could try calling a few local auto body/repair shops and see if they do rentals. I did this in Maine and ended up renting a car that was about 8 years old but still ran fine for around $25/day. Like you said, though - it's a long shot. Good luck.
posted by pecanpies at 7:59 PM on August 3, 2010

2nd the possibility that you maybe able to rent cheaper in KS than in MO, as I've had luck with that. And definitely don't rent at the airport unless you find some amazing deal, last I checked the airpor had some really high taxes car rental.
posted by snowymorninblues at 8:14 PM on August 3, 2010

Tons of rental codes. You may have to spend alot of time here. But as they say, it takes time to make money. Or something like that.
posted by sandmanwv at 8:30 PM on August 3, 2010

I just got $16/day on hotwire for Philadelphia PA in September!
posted by tristeza at 8:39 PM on August 3, 2010

Rent from an off airport location. Use discount codes, stack CDP/AWD numbers with coupons. If you're paying more than $350 for two weeks, you can certainly do better.

Check the FlyerTalk car rental program section. There are threads there with codes for most companies. Whenever possible, I rent with Avis or Hertz because I find them to be completely uninterested in the condition of the car as long as it has gas, doesn't have a bunch of trash in it, and it hasn't been wrecked. Other companies with names that one might associate with "cheap" have attempted to screw me before.

Avis will rent you an "intermediate" car in Overland Park from the 4th to the 18th for $350 after tax with no discount codes at all. They also currently have a coupon for $25 off any weekly rental. With a discount code that comes with a fine magazine and the $35 off coupon from their website, Hertz wants $322.

Both of those numbers could probably be improved upon..
posted by wierdo at 2:30 AM on August 4, 2010

Try out Rent a Wreck or a similar outfit. A friend of mine rented with them a few years ago for dirt cheap. She loved it.
posted by backwards compatible at 4:38 AM on August 4, 2010

What's happening in Philadelphia is completely irrelevant to what's happening at MCI. Prices of rental cars are specific to the locale, even with Priceline.

Kansas City is WEIRDLY expensive for some reason. The last time I had to go there, it took me about six weeks to find an affordable rental, and I can work discount codes & priceline like nobody's business.

It depends when you're flying in. If this trip is months out, the discounts may not be up yet. I'd reserve the cheapest you can find (because you can always cancel it) and then keep doggedly looking.

I am a AAA member but I have never ever been asked for my AAA card. Just sayin.
posted by micawber at 7:28 AM on August 4, 2010

What's happening in Philadelphia is completely irrelevant to what's happening at MCI.

Of course. My point was, hotwire gives amazing deals sometimes. I'd recommend you keep checking them.

I just found a rate for 9/2-9/6 from MCI of $9.95/day on Hotwire.
posted by tristeza at 7:20 PM on August 4, 2010

As others have said, you're better off to rent in Kansas. Not only are the rates cheaper, there is an additional $4/day car rental tax to help pay for the Sprint Center if you rent in KCMO.
posted by whatideserve at 6:28 PM on August 15, 2010

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