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Atlanta Bargain Hunter

Posted: 4:45 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013

Clark Howard: New service rents cars for $10 a day 



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By Clark Howard

Thanks to a new discount brand from Hertz, you may be able to score a car rental for as little as $10 a day.

I rent cars up to 40 or 50 times a year, so I’m interested in a new Hertz sub-brand that I read about in The Orlando Sentinel.

FireflyCarRental.com is a discount Hertz company doing a trial run in Orlando — the world’s largest leisure car rental market. The introductory prices I’m seeing are $10 (small car), $12 (mid-sized), and $13 (full-sized). Those are phenomenal prices. SUVs, meanwhile, will run you around $30 a day, which is big bucks to me.

Hertz is hoping Firefly will let it get back into the leisure car rental game by reversing its perception as a brand solely for business travelers. Look for Firefly in Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Chicago, Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Francisco and Los Angeles by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, there’s a startup taking on Hertz, Avis and Enterprise — the three giants of the car rental industry — with a new business model that should delight travelers.

When people go to the airport to fly out of town, they pay big bucks to park a car that sits unused while the owner is traveling. Why not offer other inbound travelers the opportunity to rent the car and make money on it when the owner is away — instead of having to pay to park the thing?

Enter FlightCar.com, which launched at San Francisco International Airport. Airports and rental companies are furious. So is the city of San Francisco, because cities get a cut of exorbitant rental rates from the incumbent players at airports.

FlightCar also is at Boston’s Logan International Airport, and it’s looking at a third off-site airport location elsewhere soon.

Consumer expert Clark Howard’s column appears here each Thursday in conjunction with Deal Spotter, a weekly print section in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Find more answers to your consumer questions at Clark's website.

-- Clark Howard -- Save More, Spend Less, Avoid Rip-offs -- for the Atlanta Bargain Hunter blog

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