Consumers are attracted to SUVs premium comfort and safety, but these rentals also can come at a premium price.  -

Consumers are attracted to SUVs premium comfort and safety, but these rentals also can come at a premium price.

An SUV’s larger cargo and passenger areas and higher ground clearance make it an attractive auto rental option for families and vacationers. But with premium comfort comes premium prices. During peak times of the year in more populated cities, customers could end up paying up to $100 per day for an SUV rental, according to Advantage

The many safety features of SUV rentals are why they come at a premium price. SUVs with all-wheel or four-wheel drive are in high demand and garner higher rental fees. As a rule of thumb, the larger the SUV the more expensive the rental.

An advantage blog post cites eight ways consumers can get a break on rental fees.

  1. Choose a less popular model. Renting a Mazda CX-9 can rack up lower costs than a Honda CR-V or Kia Telluride. The Mazda offers slightly less cargo area but has an adult-friendly second row.
  2. Opt for one driver. Multiple drivers can drive up rental fees. Drivers without auto coverage will need to purchase rental car insurance to drive the car.
  3. Choose CDWs. Rental companies may offer collision damage waivers (CDWs). Renters put down a deposit to rent the car and the rental company refunds the deposit if they return the vehicle in its original condition. If damages occur, the rental company keeps the deposit and consumers pay any extra repair costs.
  4. Select SUVs with lower safety ratings. Individuals will be charged more for SUVs with a higher safety ranking from the IIHS or NHTSA.
  5. Watch fuel consumption. SUVs can consume more fuel, so it’s also better to avoid gas guzzlers or SUVs that use premium fuel.
  6. Maximize membership discounts. AAA, Costco or BJ’s memberships can include discounted rental car fees and free coverage of one extra driver.
  7. Narrow booking windows. NerdWallet says booking a rental near the desired dates can get SUV renters a discount of up to 15%.  
  8. Rent a car instead. Compact cars may be cheaper to rent than SUVs. Renting a smaller vehicle may make sense for small groups or business travelers with less luggage.

Shopping around for the best rates is the best option for families and those with a lot of luggage. Many rental companies also offer coupon codes on their websites that can help lower the bill.