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any tips for a cheap rental car in Charleston, SC?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: January 21, 2019 12:22PM
My family is taking a trip to Charleston, SC in late Feb and I've had some sticker shock regarding rental car prices. Just rented a car in San Francisco and it cost about $150 for the week. Charleston is looking to be double that which doesn't make a lot of sense but I'm probably going to have to live with it.



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Re: any tips for a cheap rental car in Charleston, SC?
Posted by: Buzz
Date: January 21, 2019 12:45PM
Maybe check semi-nearby cities for better rates.
==
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Re: any tips for a cheap rental car in Charleston, SC?
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: January 21, 2019 12:49PM
What size car? I rent a car twice a year in Charleston. I currently have a reservation for Feb 17-23 for a full-size with Thrifty and it's $230 inc. tax. Could go down to $190 for a smaller car. Get there via free shuttle from the airport. The companies that are at the airport (Hertz, Enterprise, etc) are more expensive, typically $300 plus for a week.


I rent a car because I stay at an island 25 miles from the city. If you're staying in downtown Charleston you may not need a car. Parking is a big hassle and time suck and your hotel may charge for parking; for the same cost Uber might work better. Worth comparing. There are tour buses and shuttles that will take you to places like the Middleton Place.
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Re: any tips for a cheap rental car in Charleston, SC?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: January 21, 2019 01:13PM
>>What size car?

Looks like compact cars cost about $250. That might be a little small with two car seats in the back.

We'll be staying near the beach.



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Re: any tips for a cheap rental car in Charleston, SC?
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: January 21, 2019 01:14PM
Quote
mattkime
>>What size car?

Looks like compact cars cost about $250. That might be a little small with two car seats in the back.

We'll be staying near the beach.

I've rented a bigger car (5 passenger) for less than that. What sites are you using?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/21/2019 01:14PM by Lemon Drop.
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Re: any tips for a cheap rental car in Charleston, SC?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: January 21, 2019 01:20PM
kayak and its multisite search



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Re: any tips for a cheap rental car in Charleston, SC?
Posted by: Joseph C.
Date: January 21, 2019 01:21PM
If you are a member, try:
[www.costcotravel.com]
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Re: any tips for a cheap rental car in Charleston, SC?
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: January 21, 2019 01:33PM
Quote
mattkime
kayak and its multisite search

try going directly to the company's site, I use thrifty.com a lot. Might save some pennies. I usually find better deals there and can apply other discounts like AAA, being an Old smiling smiley , etc.

Anyway, hope your family has a wonderful trip and enjoys the southern hospitality and great food and lovely architecture and art and complicated history in Charleston.
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Re: any tips for a cheap rental car in Charleston, SC?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: January 21, 2019 01:42PM
$150 for a week? I've never heard of any that cheap, where was this? Was this after tax and associated costs, or just the weekly rate (which is usually just a bait rate)?
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Re: any tips for a cheap rental car in Charleston, SC?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: January 21, 2019 01:43PM
Quote
Joseph C.
If you are a member, try:
[www.costcotravel.com]

I am - I've looked in the past and been unhappy with the results but at your prompting I checked. Total price isn't lower but you get a slightly larger car and a second driver included. Might actually go for it.



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Re: any tips for a cheap rental car in Charleston, SC?
Posted by: Joseph C.
Date: January 21, 2019 02:22PM
I agree- Costco is not the cheapest option.
What I like about them is the backing they offer if you have difficulty during the rental.
A rental company attempted to overcharge on the return of my rental. I called Costco- they intervened and the rental company honored the original Costco contract.

HTH
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Re: any tips for a cheap rental car in Charleston, SC?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: January 21, 2019 03:10PM
I used to get great promotions from Enterprise ($29 from Friday and return at opening on Monday) but it takes a couple of weeks for the really great deals to show up. No special deal gets an intermediate or standard right around $260 using one of the in-town rental locations.

Most rental companies will only give you one discount (AAA or AARP/senior). If you are a 'member' they will sometimes give you a sale price and then let you use a discount on top of that.



In tha 360. MRF User Map
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Re: any tips for a cheap rental car in Charleston, SC?
Posted by: neophyte
Date: January 21, 2019 03:10PM
Try Budget. Thrifty may be closed at the end of February according to their rental widget.
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Re: any tips for a cheap rental car in Charleston, SC?
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: January 21, 2019 03:20PM
Did you check any of your credit cards to see what they offer? In addition to discounts, they may provide insurance coverage. At least, you wouldn't need to add that to the rental cost.
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Re: any tips for a cheap rental car in Charleston, SC?
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: January 21, 2019 03:38PM
Quote
neophyte
Try Budget. Thrifty may be closed at the end of February according to their rental widget.

I just called this location, they are not closing. They would like to know where you saw that, do you mind sharing so I can let them know?

CHARLESTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
3826 W Montague Ave

Charleston, SC 29418
(843) 552-7533
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Re: any tips for a cheap rental car in Charleston, SC?
Posted by: neophyte
Date: January 21, 2019 03:55PM
Quote
Lemon Drop
Quote
neophyte
Try Budget. Thrifty may be closed at the end of February according to their rental widget.

I just called this location, they are not closing. They would like to know where you saw that, do you mind sharing so I can let them know?

CHARLESTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
3826 W Montague Ave

Charleston, SC 29418
(843) 552-7533

I just went back to the URL I used and now it shows rates whereas earlier it said something to the effect that "This location is closed during the dates entered". I had put in Feb 22-Feb 28. I don't have an explanation for the earlier widget response. Electron errors, I guess.
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Re: any tips for a cheap rental car in Charleston, SC?
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: January 21, 2019 04:03PM
Quote
neophyte
Quote
Lemon Drop
Quote
neophyte
Try Budget. Thrifty may be closed at the end of February according to their rental widget.

I just called this location, they are not closing. They would like to know where you saw that, do you mind sharing so I can let them know?

CHARLESTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
3826 W Montague Ave

Charleston, SC 29418
(843) 552-7533

I just went back to the URL I used and now it shows rates whereas earlier it said something to the effect that "This location is closed during the dates entered". I had put in Feb 22-Feb 28. I don't have an explanation for the earlier widget response. Electron errors, I guess.

Thanks for the follow-up. You get that message if you don't change the pick-up/drop times, which pre-populate to midnight. When they are in fact closed. smiling smiley

The nice lady (I love calling people in Charleston) at the Thrifty office was obviously concerned when I said somebody said online they were closing...
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Re: any tips for a cheap rental car in Charleston, SC?
Posted by: neophyte
Date: January 21, 2019 05:33PM
Quote
Lemon Drop
You get that message if you don't change the pick-up/drop times, which pre-populate to midnight. When they are in fact closed. smiling smiley

Oops... Mea Culpa.
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Re: any tips for a cheap rental car in Charleston, SC?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: January 21, 2019 07:55PM
Costco allowed me to reserve a full size sedan through alamo for $245. I could cancel if I find another deal. I did check budget but they said $209....plus $80 in taxes.



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Re: any tips for a cheap rental car in Charleston, SC?
Posted by: MrNoBody
Date: January 21, 2019 08:19PM
Car rental companies are like casinos, the house always win!
to wit...
Thrifty & Hertz = same company
Budget & Avis = same company
Enterprise owns Alamo & National

I believe anyone else would be a local/regional market player.



39°36'17"N 75°44'43"W

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Re: any tips for a cheap rental car in Charleston, SC?
Posted by: Michael
Date: January 21, 2019 08:28PM
Something I just discovered a couple of months ago was that some (free) membership categories with rental agencies allow you to skip the lines to pick up a car and just go to the cars, pick one out and drive it out. You check out at the gate. I discovered this when I rented from Hertz in San Jose because they were open later than the other car rental places. When I rented it online they offered the Gold Plus Reward membership for free. When I signed up for it they notified me of the no-line option. It was great; particularly to be able to pick out a pristine car so I didn't have to worry about pre-existing damage when I returned it. I know other companies have the option, as well. Since you've got 2 car seats, and presumably 2 little kids to fill them, it might be worth renting from an agency that will let you do this and not have to stand in line.
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