6 ways to save money on rental cars
Choose the right car
Your car rental bill will be largely determined by the type and size of the vehicle you choose. Friday recommends avoiding the economy car or the cheapest car available.
If the economy car doesn't have all of the features you expect, it can "cost a fortune" to upgrade, Friday says. Instead, he always requests the compact car, which is the second-least expensive. Frequently, the compact cars are all taken, and in that case, a rental company may give you an upgrade to a bigger car at no charge. "I've reserved compact cars and driven out in midsize (and) full-size (cars) and minivans many times, all at no extra charge," he says.
Additionally, avoid paying for an upgrade. Consumer advocate Christopher Elliott says if you need to upgrade to a larger vehicle, understand that upgrade fees are completely at the discretion of the rental sales agent, and so they vary widely. It may be worth trying to negotiate with the rental agent because he has the power to lower it.