Cheap Rental Minivan in California

Gina asks:

Hi there, I am looking for a cheap rental minivan, in California, or similar to do a cross country month-long roadtrip from San Fran or LA to Florida, or the other way around if it makes any difference price-wise. What tips can you give to find a really cheap deal? Thanks!







My Response:


The words "cheap" and "rental minivan" rarely go together; but I'll give you my best ideas for some money saving tips! You didn't mention anything about a one-way drop off, so I'm going to assume that you're returning the minivan back to the renting location - Los Angeles or San Francisco. You state that you want to rent from San Francisco or Los Angeles, if that makes a difference in the price... it usually does! Prices can vary tbased on the location of pickup. Just as an example, a month long minivan rental rate for the month of May with Budget.com (as an example) was over $80 cheaper at SFO vs LAX. One of the biggest factors that will affect trying to find a cheap rental minivan, in California or anywhere else, will be the probability of mileage charges. It's rare to find minivan rentals these days with unlimited mileage (in the examples that I checked above, both rates included only 3000 free miles with a 27 cent charge for every mile driven over that).

The best thing you can do is to compare as many companies from as many different rental companies (and locations - airport and off airport) as possible, for both of your possible pickup cities, to find out which will be the least expensive.

Make sure to check total prices (including all taxes) and pay special attention to any mileage restrictions and calculate that into your pricing comparisons.

If you're not able to find any rates with unlimited mileage, don't be afraid to call a car rental company's toll free number, once you've narrowed down your preferences to a few companies/locations and ask if they can provide you an unlimited mileage rate quote... it's not always possible, but it doesn't hurt to check!

Last tip to possibly finding a cheap rental minivan is to book as far in advance as you can, and continue to check rates up until your pickup date, to see if you can take advantage of possible (but rare) last minute deals. Hope this helps!

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