I rent cars pretty often and I usually rent the smallest size possible. They are the cheapest, I tend to pack light, and hey–small cars are easier to parallel park. Of course, when the rental car companies want to upgrade me to a muscle car, who am I to say no?
But I think it’s a little dirty when the rental car companies know they are going to upgrade you but pressure you into buying an upgrade so they don’t have to give it to you for free.
I never take the upgrades. Usually, it’s an off-hand “oh, would you like to upgrade for X dollars?” But when they continue arguing the benefits of having an upgrade, I realize something–they are out of economy cars.
Sure enough, after putting the high-pressure tactics on, the agent will inform me that they are out of my car type and I’ve been upgraded to a standard size car.
Unless you have a lot of people and lots of bags, you probably don’t need a large car for anything other than comfort. So if you are a solo traveler with a roller board, the economy car will be just fine.
I’ve become a little snarky (in a friendly way) in response to the high pressure tactics lately.
For example, last weekend, the conversation went like this:
- Ma’am, I notice you have an economy car, would you like to upgrade to a larger vehicle for more room?
- No, thanks. I’m happy with the car I selected.
- Ma’am, let me show you a photo of the typical vehicle in that class. As you can see, there isn’t that much more room. You’d probably be more comfortable in a standard size car. Here’s a photo of that.
- Nope, I like the tiny cars. Plus, they are easier to park.
- I don’t think that’s actually true. Standard cars are easy to park as well. Look, I’m just saying, I think you’d fit better in a larger vehicle.
- *gestures at self* Are you saying I’m too big for an economy car?
After he froze for a second, he said, okay… economy car.
Then started explaining how they are out of economy cars and that all they could give me is a standard–free of charge, of course, since the car I booked isn’t available.
So if you are at the car rental place and the salesman is being a bit pushy, ask yourself why and what his incentives would be. He probably doesn’t actually care about how comfortable you are in an economy car.