Car Rentals in Seattle:
Tips to keep it on the cheap
Car rentals in Seattle are similar to renting a car in any other big city, if you're not careful the prices can get out of control real fast.
Whenever we've gone on vacation to Seattle, we've always had to pay special attention to renting a car because it can easily be one of the most expensive costs of the whole trip!
So, in order to help you keep more money in your wallet or give you more money to spend on buying things a lot more fun than a car rental, here are some tips to keep in mind when thinking about renting a car in Seattle.
Car Rental Tips
The most important thing to keep in mind in keeping your car rental expense on the cheaper end of the scale is to make some decisions before you ever land in the Northwest.
What are your rental car needs?
First of all, do you even need to rent a car? If you're going to be staying in downtown and don't have any plans to go exploring outside that area, you migh not even have to rent a car. The bus system in Seattle is fairly easy to take advantage (especially if you're staying in the same general area) and having a rental car might even be more of a hassle with trying to find and pay for parking.
If you are going to rent a car, remember that rental car sizes can vary quite a bit in the cost. My wife used to think that we needed to rent a bigger car in order to fit the five of us comfortably, but when I mentioned the price difference between the intermediate and the standard or full size, she was fine with the smaller size. As long as there are enough seat belts in the car for everyone you're traveling with, go with the smaller car.
Check out partner deals
Got a Costco membership? Well, did you know that you can get car rentals in Seattle for cheaper if you go through the Costco website? Other partnerships exist between car rental agencies and other businesses, such as credit cards. Make sure you check out any partnership deals you might be eligible for because these can usually save you at least some money. I've found that using these kinds of deals has saved us at least thirty or so dollars each time. Not bad for making an extra click on a website.
Avoid the airport trap
Renting a car at the airport can sometimes cost significantly more than renting a car at a car rental location away from the airport. During off-peak seasons like the winter and early spring, non-airport rental locations often offer lower deals to customers because there aren't a lot of tourists during this time. This last time we were in Seattle visiting, we rented a car from Enterprise and in talking to the guy at the counter, he said that during the slow season, their clients usually consist of car dealerships and local renters so they lower the price ten to fifteen dollars.
Of course, renting a car at the airport can be super convenient, and if you look hard enough, you can find some good deals on Seattle airport car rentals.
Watch out for the "You have to have Insurance" speech
Everytime I've rented a car, the salesperson behind the counter is always trying to guilt me into buying car rental insurance. At a price of 10-25 dollars a day, that's just as much as the rental car itself. Make sure that before you leave for your Seattle vacation that you check with your car insurance company on whether or not they cover any mishaps that might happen while your renting your car. Then you won't feel guilted into buying the car rental company's overpriced insurance.
Use a good search engine
There are a ton of sites on the web that try to lure you into using their services to find car rentals. The best site I've found, though, for getting the best car rentals in Seattle is Kayak.com. Check it out for cheap rental cars and save some time.
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