Renting a cheaper car is one of the basic options you have at a car rental agency. It is not the way the car is described, though. Most rental agencies have several classes of vehicle for rent. The cheapest or least expensive cars to rent fall into the economy class. While it is true that when renting a car in that class you will get better gas mileage and pay less per day, the cars are cheaper in terms of quality. That is the comparative disadvantage of renting a cheaper car. What you gain in savings you lose in quality, comfort and power.
The reason for renting a car in the economy class is almost always cost based. You could be faced with a situation where the rental agency has nothing else available, but by and large it is because you are looking to save money. Economy cars are lighter and get more miles per gallon. Thus, the advantage is entirely a matter of savings, both in terms of rental price and energy expenditure.
While you may ultimately save money by renting a cheaper car, there are a number of disadvantages to be aware of. The first is aesthetic. A cheaper car in the economy class costs less for a reason. The seats, windows and other components are not made from quality materials, and you can feel it. Economy cars are usually quite small and can cause you to feel cramped while inside. If you are planning a long road trip, they do not offer a lot of room for luggage, and passengers, too, will be forced to deal with the uncomfortable ride.
Cheaper rental cars are not known for their powerful engines and pep. On the contrary, they are usually slow and plodding. If your trip takes you through a mountain range, a cheaper car’s poor handling and two wheel drive is annoying at best and dangerous at worst. Indeed, a cheaper economy car should not be relied upon to drive tough stretches of road. The tires on economy cars are among the smallest found on gas-powered American vehicles. This brings up issues of safety.
The poor handling, lack of power and budget tires found on cheaper rental cars combine to make them less safe than bigger or full-size models. Fuel efficiency is certainly a benefit, but if you sacrifice safety to gain it, it might not be worth it. To say nothing of comfort, a rental car should make you feel safe. You should have confidence in the car’s ability to handle the road in all weather conditions and to respond well to your reaction in the event of a sudden stop or unforeseen obstacle. Cheaper rental cars do not inspire that kind of confidence.
When you rent a car, style may be the least of your concerns. However, handling, safety and comfort should all factor into your decision. Renting a cheaper car, you may end up sacrificing all of these variables just to save a few dollars a day. Especially if you will be driving for a long time in a rental car or are passing through tough stretches of road, it is well worth it to upgrade and rent something more comfortable and reliable.