Options for a 1-month Car Rental
November 24, 2015 11:50 AM   Subscribe

I live in California but will be spending all of December in a small city in Tennessee. I need a car to get around the city and perhaps do one longer drive to Atlanta and back. I won't have a car available to borrow there. What kind of options would I have for transportation?

What are common monthly car-rental rates ( I took a quick peek at Sixt.com rental cars and they had options for $700-1K depending on the type of car.

Not sure I want to spend that much for a month. Anyone have any advice?
posted by jason9009 to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total)
Make sure between your personal insurance and credit cards you do not need to take the insurance wavers. Then hit the web, priceline seems to have sub $10/day rates for the cities I've looked at. Might need pick up the car from a major city.
posted by sammyo at 12:03 PM on November 24, 2015

Be sure that when you're finding a rental place, you're not picking up from one that's at an airport. Those always incur extra surcharges.
posted by BlahLaLa at 12:06 PM on November 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

You're probably better finding some non-airport rental locations and calling and speaking to someone. Search engines aren't optimized for those kinds of deals.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:11 PM on November 24, 2015

Enterprise has monthly rates and they have locations all over the place

I tried LaVergne, TN and you can get a Kia Rio for $641 for a month. That doesn't include insurance, so you might check to see if your credit card will cover it (some only cover the deductible so double check.)

You can also haggle with them to see if they can offer you the shop-rate, which is the rate they give people who have a vehicle in the body shop.

Calling a specific location and speaking to a human, you can find a better deal.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:15 PM on November 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

Keep in mind that credit card rental insurance usually has a rule about the maximum rental term they'll cover for. I'd check that out before you rely on it.
posted by zachlipton at 1:42 PM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

Investigate sources for discounts...

do you belong to AAA? AARP? a credit union? a professional association?
do any of your credit cards send coupons to you for car rental discounts?
are you a government employee?
I wonder whether any travel magazines might have discount coupons?
posted by calgirl at 2:15 PM on November 24, 2015 [1 favorite]

I've seen friends of mine get some killer rental car deals on Priceline. Like $6/day. You have to enter a bid price and, if it's accepted, you are committed so maybe do some research beforehand. It might not work for a month-long rental, but you could always break it into multiple single-week rentals.
posted by JoeZydeco at 6:17 PM on November 24, 2015

Costco also provides car rental discounts to a couple of the big companies - can't remember which.
posted by leslies at 5:36 AM on November 25, 2015

Like JoeZydeco says, use priceline and name your (lowball) price. I've gotten cars for $12/day.

Also, like Lyn Never says, avoid airport rental locations.
posted by bricksNmortar at 7:19 AM on November 25, 2015

One other thing to consider, even after cash-for-clunkers cleared out a lot of cheap cars, is that it's still possible to buy a good used car for $1-2k. If you have any support on the TN end of things (if you're visiting family, f'rinstance), it may be worth thinking about buying a beater and then re-selling it when you leave.

With only a month of use, a used car can sell for nearly what you paid for it. Yes, it's more complicated than renting, but if you have local help, it may save you enough to be worth the complication.
posted by DaveP at 3:08 AM on November 26, 2015

Best answer: $600-$1000 a month is what you should expect if you aren't doing Priceline. You will stay at the lower end if you take advantage of coupons and discount codes you can find online. If there is a rental location locally, you will be better off renting weekly and using a $25 or $35 off coupon. Monthly coupons typically don't go over $50-$75 and the discount isn't usually much if anything over weekly.

The thing to be careful about is insurance. If you have full coverage on your personal car at home, it will likely cover the rental. Otherwise, you'll be relying on whatever your credit card provides, which usually maxes out at 14 or 21 days, depending on whether it is a Visa or MasterCard. I believe MC is the one that goes up to 21.

The Amex premium car rental coverage maxes out at 42 days, so that is probably your best bet if you will be relying on credit card coverage and you have an Amex. Be aware that you do have to enroll in advance and there is a per-rental fee associated with it.
posted by wierdo at 11:20 AM on November 27, 2015

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