“These extra steps are annoying,” but essential, he said, especially in Hawaii, where the state’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs told a local television station that it is launching an investigation into the high cost of rentals that have been listed for as much as $600 a day.
In lieu of hunting yourself, you can use AutoSlash, which uses rental car company coupons and discount codes to sort through search results that it says would take consumers considerable time. The free service also uses things like wholesale store and airline frequent flier program memberships and affiliations with organizations like the American Automobile Association and AARP to find deals.
The service then tracks the rental to ensure it remains the best value, emailing travelers to rebook in the event of a price drop.
Alternatives to traditional rental cars
There are, of course, transit alternatives to renting a car, including ride share services, bike share systems and public transportation.
For those seeking the privacy and control of an auto, Turo acts like Airbnb for cars, allowing individuals to list their vehicles for rent on the platform, where choices range from $20-a-day older subcompacts to luxury cars like a Lamborghini in Miami for more than $1,000 a day. Vehicle owners set the terms for things like daily mileage limits.
“In summer, when we started seeing people getting anxious to get out of their homes, we saw a boom in local travel and local destinations,” said Andre Haddad, the chief executive of Turo. “The local travel boom was advantageous to our hosts because people needed cars to get to these destinations and less so planes.”
For Justin Villa and Meagan Malcolm-Peck, Turo is a side gig through which they rent five Jeeps in the Denver area, which cost between $73 and $98 a day (they also have a heavy-duty pick-up truck for $184). After an initial three-month crash at the start of the pandemic, business has been steady with drivers and rental periods have extended beyond weekends. They encourage guests to rent about a month in advance.