"Be a traveler, don't be a tourist." Anthony Bourdain
Rental Car Deals - In the past, we've found that the best deals come about 60 to 75 days away from our arrival date. So, start searching the rental car sites 75 to 90 days out so you get a feel for where the prices are, so when you see a sharp decline in the price for the type of car you're looking for you can reserve one. If you're a member of AARP, go through AARP's travel benefits webpage and usually you can get a coupon for $20 or $30 off (depending on the length of your rental) or an upgrade in car type. Dollar rental has a "city special" tab that you can click on and get their special rate. These "city special" rates usually show up around 30-45 days before the actual rental period-not far in advance. Dollar used to be the rental car concession for MGM hotels, now it's Avis. You can set up your rental to pick up and drop off at your MGM branded hotel and save yourself a little on the rental bill as there are no airport concession fees when you use the hotel's rental car desk.
Don't be afraid to lock down a good rate when you see one (you just give them your e-mail address), if a better one comes along, just re-book and cancel the original reservation.
On a recent trip we began looking for a rental car for a week-long rental period. We started about 90 days out to get a feel for the spread of rental car rates. Then, at about 60 days out the rates bottomed out and we got a rate of $128 for a midsize. Then, 4 days later we got a rate of $108 for a compact, and finally, three days later we got a rate of $108 for a standard size car. (All these are plus taxes and fees). We just had to decide which vehicle we wanted. We took the standard car, and then cancelled the other reservations.
If you choose to pick up your rental car at the airport, you'll travel to the McCarran Rental Car Center. After picking up your luggage, locate exit door 10 or 11, as that is where the FREE shuttle bus is located that you will take for the 5 minute +/- ride. They also offer a FREE shuttle back to the airport from the rental center when you return your vehicle. You can find a link to the McCarran Rent-A-Car Center HERE, and a (printable!) brochure of the Rent-A-Car Center (complete with layout, rental car company "800" numbers, return directions, etc) can be found on that page, just under the address.
HERE is an interesting forum discussion on Vegas Jonesing. They're discussing the difference in what you'll pay on your rental reservation based on when you return the vehicle back to the rental company, it DOES make a difference.
Do Not Think You Have To Prepay! You do not have to give any credit card information to reserve your car.
A word of warning: Nevada's law banning cell phone use while driving a vehicle went into effect on October 1,2011. In the first year on the books, Las Vegas Metro Police Department alone wrote just under 10,000 citations! They don't forgive this if you're a visitor, so you've been warned.
Quick Page Link
Specialty Luxury Rentals:
Enterprise Rent-A-Car has a luxury vehicle rental division with an office in our favorite city of Las Vegas (and a few others). If you'd like to rent an Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Maserati, or Porsche, this is the place. Click HERE to go to their site and peruse the inventory they have on hand or to make a reservation. They are located at 5080 Paradise Road (NOT at the McCarran rental center click HERE for a map). They are open 8:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. Monday - Friday and 9:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M. Saturday and Sunday.
SixT, a newcomer to the McCarran car rental center, also offers luxury vehicle rentals. They offer Mercedes CLA, C-Class, E-Class, GLK SUV, ML SUV, and SLK Roadster Convertibles. Also available are BMW X1 & X6 SUVs, 1, 3 & 6 Series Cars, Z4 Convertibles,