Thrifty Thursday: Renting Wheels While You Are at Disney World

Since I wrote last time about saving money taking our own vehicle on the road trip to Disney World, I thought it would help balance the scales a bit if we talked about car rentals while you are at Disney if you fly and need more transportation than Disney transportation system, which remember is free but limited to Disney parks, resorts and Downtown Disney.  I know there are always taxi cabs but gosh, that isn’t very thrifty, is it?

Sometimes, believe it or not, we might need to go offsite when visiting Disney World, for such things as snacks, groceries, a meal at an offsite restaurant – this might mean transportation other than Disney’s buses, boats, or monorail.  Sooo we look to car rentals…

One way car rentals are not always the best idea, depending on the pickup and drop off locations; the standard rental could be as much as twice the price.  Be sure to check out a one-day rental cost if you are only going to use the rental for one or two days during your vacation time.  If you need a car the first day or two of your vacation; then maybe you need a rental again at the end of your vacation for seeing some offsite location while you are in Orlando, but you are not planning to use it in between, you can save hundreds of dollars by using the car one day, turning it in then spending an hour going to the rental office and renting it again when you need it.  Some car rental companies will even deliver to your resort.  You might have to drop them back off at the office but hey, that’s just a few minutes out of the day!

Size matters.  Why rent more than you need?  Do you really need to rent the sports car or luxury vehicle to ride across town to Sea World from your Disney Resort?  Don’t pay extra rental fees or gas for that sports or luxury model if all you need is basic transportation.  Rent the smallest car you can get!

Got Children – need car seats.  If you are flying to your Disney vacation, remember airlines are charging for extra luggage these days.  Car rental companies also rent car seats.  Be sure to check with your car rental company for the appropriate child safety seat when you rent your car.  Bringing your own car seat might not be the thriftiest decision. 

Self-service gas.  Fill that gas tank up before you turn the car back into the rental company.  Having them fill up the tank costs you more in the long run. If you fill up the half-empty tank, you pay for half a tank; however, if they fill the half empty tank, you pay for the whole tank!  Decline those special fill ‘er up services they have… they cost you more money! 

Car Rental Insurance Coverage.   Check your own insurance and your credit card options for car rental coverage.  If either offer this option, you can decline the coverage from the rental company. 

Coupons.  By now, you know I’m an avid coupon user.  Here Google search is your friend.  Many times car rental companies have coupon codes on the net but don’t advertise them.  Seek and find.  For instance, I did a Google search for car rental coupon codes which gave me 1.72 million results.  All of these codes might not be valid; some will have expired; however, if you check out even the first page, you are likely to find a coupon code that will save you money!  This makes you a Thrifty Thursday Mouseketeer! 

Make your Disney memories magical, not expensive!

Till Next Time,

Leigh Anne


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Leigh Anne, originally from Mississippi, lives in North Alabama with her husband and a menagerie of furry kids (FIDS), including dogs, cats, exotic birds, fish and a lionhead rabbit. Figment, her African Grey parrot, is named after Disney’s small purple dragon, Figment. She works as a motivational speaker and pastoral counselor. In 1974, Leigh Anne marched with the Enka High Marching Band in the Magic Kingdom daytime parade. Leigh Anne fell in love with Disney while on her Disney honeymoon with her husband in 2002. They have made an annual trip back to Disney to celebrate their anniversary every year since. Since they own a piece of the mouse with their Disney Vacation Club (DVC), some years they go twice! She also plans to be the grandmother that introduces all her grandchildren to Disney World first. She has a great start ~ 2 out of 3 so far! As a DVC member married to the best Disney shopper in the world, Leigh Anne has lots of experience in finding the most frugal way to have the most fun in the parks and resorts! Leigh Anne admits to being spoiled as a DVC member but is always on the lookout to keep their WDW vacations fun and frugal! She blogs at Queen of Hysteria and tweets @la_haygood

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