If you’re renting a car, understand that rental car prices can vary dramatically depending on the rental company, whether you’re renting from an airport location versus downtown, and how far in advance you book.
Speaking of renting a car, this might be the year you rent an electric vehicle. The EV may have a more expensive rental price, but it could be cheaper than renting a gas-powered car and filling its tank. AAA has a helpful gas calculator tool that factors in the type of car and where you’re driving to help you see the trade-offs.
Hotel and vacation rental companies also are making it easier to search for accommodations that offer electric vehicle charging. More hotels are promoting electric vehicle charging as a hotel perk, right alongside traditional amenities like pools and breakfast buffets. Many hotels even allow you to charge your car at no cost.
If rental car prices are brutally high, consider booking with alternative rental car companies like Turo or Getaround, which can be cheaper than a major car rental company. Many of these companies are relatively new and allow you to book cars directly from the owners, functioning as an “Airbnb for cars.”
For example, the cost of a weeklong car rental from San Francisco International Airport during the first week of July for a standard, gas-powered car like a Volkswagen Jetta would average about $640 . Head to peer-to-peer car-sharing site Turo, and there are more than a dozen Teslas available to book in San Francisco on the same dates for less than $800.
If you filled the Jetta’s roughly 13-gallon gas tank twice at $6 a gallon (which isn’t unheard of in some states like California), you’d pay more than $150 in gas. That cost plus the rental would have you paying roughly the same amount as booking the Tesla.
With so many variables, it pays to shop around before you make reservations.