Seasonal Surcharges for US Car Hire

Here in the UK we have had the most exciting Olympic summer and even occasional glimpses of the sun!  But now, as summer slips to autumn and the days shorten attention turns to the next ‘main event’.  USA Car hire companies are well ahead of this curve and have already put seasonal surcharges for car hire in place for the peak Christmas period.

Christmas surcharges are added to all US car rentals collected between 15th and 31st December and apply for the duration of the rental.  The surcharges can add a significant sum to your rental price.

As winter approaches, so does Ski season, and surcharges can also be applied to rentals that are under heavy demand during this time. Currently we know of just one such surcharge – on the 7 seat SUV with Alamo as follows:

  • £66* per week / £14 per day for rentals commencing 20 – 31 December 2012 and 16 January – 31 March 2013 for the following locations: Albuquerque, Aspen, Billings, Boise, Bozeman, Colorado Springs, Denver, Eagle County, Glacier Park, Grand Junction, Great Falls, Helena, Idaho Falls, Jackson Hole, Missoula, Montrose, Reno, Telluride, Twin Falls.

It is important to remember that not all suppliers have a presence at all locations, so your choices may well be limited.  You may also need to be strategic – if you are planning a longer break through January that commences during the surcharge period – you could save a significant sum by taking a one or two week rental through the surcharge period and then having a second rental period commencing in January at the cheaper rate.  As an example, if you wanted a five week hire of a compact 2 door from Tampa commencing on December 18th, the cheapest rental available is with Budget at £730*.  By splitting your rental into a 2 week and then 3 week segment with an exchange on 01/01/13 the rate could be reduced to £655*, saving you £75.    Of course, you may think that £75 is well spent to avoid having to do that, but the opportunity for saving  is there with the application of a little strategy!

*All prices correct at time of publication