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Choosing a car and rental company on Route 66

Route 66 can, of course, be crossed in a comfortable car. The choice of rental companies is huge and if you want to find the most advantageous offer, it will take a while. At a time when we were looking for a rental car, we noticed an anomaly - car prices were sometimes higher on rental aggregators than on the websites of rental companies. Be careful.


When choosing a car, check several parameters. Consider, in particular, the appropriate car size for your needs – American cars have very high consumption compared to European standards. That’s why a simple rule usually applies – the bigger the car, the higher the consumption. If you are lucky, you will find a discount and the rental company will remove the charge for transporting the vehicle back from your destination. And it can reduce your total cost by hundreds of dollars.

Another parameter that significantly influences the price is insurance. Rental companies will try to sell different types of insurance for different charges – compare them well, price differences can be quite large and you can save a lot with the right choice.

Also, consider that many times the rental company will not provide you with exactly the same model you have chosen, even though it is available in the parking lot. For various internal reasons, it will offer you a similar model with the same parameters in the same class for your chosen destination. We traveled like this with a Ford Flex instead of SUV Ford Explorer. And I have to admit that despite the switched model, we were satisfied in the end.

The rental price consists of a base rate, service charges, insurance, and other fees and taxes. Remember that what rental companies always advertise is the basic price and you almost certainly won’t be able to rent a super cheap car in the US 🙂

The base rate is often only a third of the price, with two-thirds for fees and taxes. A special charge is for more than one driver – if you want to take turns with a partner, you pay approximately $130 for this option. But this charge is sometimes removed with a discounted offer.

Beware of rentals that don’t have a transparent pricing policy and won’t give you a clear final rental price even while swiping your credit card. It’s safer to choose one that communicates with you openly and fairly.

All major rentals have their parking lots near the airport, with a free shuttle bus from the terminal to the office. If you decide to pick up the car the next day after your arrival, choose a hotel with a shuttle bus to the airport and when you combine both services, you can get to the rental company quickly and for free. When you pick up your car, just fill out the form and get the papers for the car, which will be waiting at the parking lot with the keys inside. Returning a car is also smooth – the rental employee checks the car’s condition, writes down the odometer’s status and you can leave without a lengthy process.

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