Car rental negotiating

How do you rent a car? Do you go online, scope out the best price and book it? Or do you then check back and pick up better deals along the way (not forgetting to cancel the previous bookings, of course)? Some people I know just wing it and hope there's a car to rent when you get there.

I am a planner - we always have a car lined up way in advance. When I get to the counter, I just say no, no and no to all the up-sells, get my car and go. I never realized you can negotiate an upgrade with the car-lot guys in the parking lot. Who knew? On a recent trip my hubby randomly asked the car lot guy if we could have one of the suburbans (instead of our full-size car). The guy said 'sure'. Oh really? I was not interested in a gas-guzzling suburban, but Sig kept talking, how much more? Well, normally an extra $30/day, but we could do $20/day... a little more talking and the deal got sweeter as it went. What? According to the car lot guy, they have leeway to negotiate... who knew? Did we go for it? No. I was tired and grumpy and really just wanted to get out of there and get to our destination.

But it was food for thought... I'd be curious to hear how you rent cars... write me a comment!

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