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Lax Car Rentals - Getting the Best Deal for LAX Car Rentals

prices airport renters companies

The main pitfall in renting a car from Los Angeles international airport is the difference between advertised prices and the actual cost of LAX car rental. While initial advertisements at websites like Priceline may offer $11 per day, the actual cost is often much higher. Understanding where the additional prices come from and how to avoid them are key to getting the most from LAX Car Rental.

First, it is important to understand that prices fluctuate. During off seasons when rentals are fewer, prices are reduced accordingly to try to win more business from consumers. When cars are in high demand, prices will creep upwards to help keep a few on the lot and to maximize the amount of money made by the rental company. To confront this “yield management” approach, it is best to reserve the rental as early as possible and then check one week before the trip to see if the prices have changed.

As of July 2007, any car rental based at LAX has been assessed with a $10 “customer facility charge.” This fee is not the responsibility of car rental companies; rather, it is the airport itself charging this money. Even free rentals provided in packages or as promotions are not immune to this charge. Those renters wanting to avoid this and other airport access fees can do so by being picked up in town rather than at the airport. In LAX’s lower levels, a free shuttle provides transport to Aviation Station, where $1.25 can connect a traveler to Los Angeles, providing substantial savings with little inconvenience.

Smokers should keep cigarettes out of the rental cars. In 2009, Avis and Budget set a precedent by banning all smoking within their vehicles. Though their competitors do not enforce universal non-smoking, California car rental companies are particularly strict on this matter. Renters can be charged up to $250 in “cleaning fees” after returning the vehicle to treat smoke odors, to say nothing of cigarette burns or other wear.

Lastly, car rental companies round their daily charges to the nearest twenty-four hours. This means that if a car is rented at 8:00 a.m. on Thursday and returned at 10 a.m. on Friday, the renter will be charged for two days rather than one. Thus, when planning a trip, renters should attempt to organize their travel schedules to maximize the amount of time for which the car is rented.

LAX car rental may be expensive, but avoiding the airport and booking in advance are effective ways to bring prices down to more manageable levels.

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