Rental Car Smarts – When Size Matters Get the Most For Your Money

When you're heading across the country with a few more than a crowd, it helps to have a car you do not have to shoehorn your friends into. Or maybe you need to haul more than a toothbrush and a change of underwear. That's when you want a van, SUV or pickup truck instead of a Geo Metro.

Rental cars come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, class and quality. You can get car rentals as sub-compacts, compacts, standard sizes, luxury, trucks and SUVs. The variety available makes renting an option for individuals and families of any size.

Minivans, the preferred rental of families with children, generally have enough legroom to seat seven adults and assorted luggage. SUVs generally accommodate five adults and their assorted belongings.

When it comes to car rentals, more and more people are looking for a SUV or truck. Most companies offer their customers a wide range of vehicles to choose from, but there is often a dramatic difference in the quality of the car rental size classes.

An analysis of rental cars in the Denver area indicated that from a company to a company at similar locations prices on a SUV could vary up to 30% a day. These prices were from similar name-branded car rental locations.

So you will save money to shop around and compare prices.

But do not be fooled by looking at pictures of the vehicles online. While some online sites have pictures of their vehicles, that method of determining overall quality may be misleading. While you can determine the make and model of the car rental, there is, after all, no way to verify that the car pictured is the car you will receive.

Most vehicles are available at all times in the larger cities and airports depending on the time of day. Smaller city locations should be called twenty-four hours to forty-eight hours in advance to secure a rental car, SUV or van.

Most car rental companies these days have more than just cars to rent out. But not all will have trucks, SUVs, vans, recreational vehicles and exotic sports cars.

Choosing the car, truck, minivan or SUV that is perfectly suited to you, your family or group can require some diligence. When looking to find exactly the make, model and condition for your rental car, comparison shopping can save you a bundle.

It is always best to call the reservation line or the customer service center for information on a specific vehicle.

Check out the car rental company for quality and maintenance.