I’m happy to say that this week, by pure chance I found the best way ever book Car Rentals, with lower prices that I could have thought possible. Car rental prices annoy the heck out of me, living in NYC the prices are incredibly high, as they are in other major hubs like San Francisco. On top of that I often want to do one way rentals, and they charge a ridiculously large amount of money for that too.
Our next trip is Big Sur, with three nights at the Hyatt Carmel Highlands, for flights I decided that the best way to do this was to fly nonstop JFK-SFO on the oldest, most decrepit plane I could find, drive down to the hotel in Carmel, and then fly out from MRY airport via the most convoluted route possible, the flights will be a bit rougher than ideal, but I’m not mad at you American Airlines!
From a car rental perspective this is killer – I need a premium pick up location (SFO airport) and a one way rental, so we drop it off in MRY before flying home, and even when using some of the cheapest amalgamation sites out there like Priceline the rates were really disgusting, and I don’t think that is too strong a word, check these out:
As I lie in bed figuring out how the heck I can make this work, I run through the options, with prices up to $1143 (budget…) for car rental I debated taking a cab from SFO-MRY, or actually purchasing a race horse as it seemed the better financial option. This is when the ‘Eureka’ moment struck.
Kayak App for iPhone
I just decided to check the prices again from my phone, and for some strange reason, I got a slightly different quote….
All the details are the same, the Ford Focus card from Budget, same pickup, same drop off, but on the Kayak App I am getting a daily rate of $19, which is rather more palatable.
Booking by App loses bonuses
I didn’t pull the trigger immediately, because I knew that by booking via an App on my phone I couldn’t get the shopping portal bonus that comes with booking from the main website, so I thought the next morning I would open up a browser to evreward.com and type in Kayak.com to see what was on offer, ironically, they aren’t participating on anything at this time, so there was nothing to lose booking through the App.
However, since I am sitting in front of the PC now I thought it easier to make the booking online with a real keyboard, and got cracking, entered the dates, a Ford Focus 1 way from SFO-MRY for 3 days, and the result was stupidly high again!
That car from Budget actually came in at a whopping $382 per day! Avis was a little cheaper, but still not ideal.
I thought for a moment that this must be due to supply/demand and that I had missed the chance to book the cheap car by not pulling the trigger immediately, but thought to check out the App price again, and it was showing $19 per day, with $99 total including taxes and fees. I booked the rental from the app, and received the confirmation email below.
So, next time you are struggling to find a good price, don’t forget that there might be an App for that!