Jane and I spend quite a bit of time helping our guests plan their trip to Alaska. Not only do we want to manage expectations, especially when it comes to fishing, but we want the unexpected to be expected.
There is no bigger sticker shock when talking all things Alaska than the cost of rental vehicles.
How about that price quote? It is the current cost of renting a SUV at Alaska 4×4’s Rentals in Anchorage. It looks more like a down payment than a rental price. But don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be that expensive to rent a vehicle in Alaska.
Here are a few tips and tricks on getting the best price and experience.
- Google search rental vehicles in Anchorage, not just the airport. Often, the best price will be found off site of the airport (no airport fees).
- Take a commuter flight from Anchorage to Kenai. Vehicle rentals in Kenai, at the airport or off site, are sometimes cheaper and are taxed less than Anchorage.
- If you participate in a vehicle rental reward program, by all means use it.
- Lower 48 corporate rates will be honored in Alaska with proper documentation. This can save hundreds on a weekly rental.
- Travel to Alaska in the spring or fall. You’ll often find off season rates.
- Travel with a group of friends. Splitting the cost of a rental makes it more economical.
- Make sure to use discount coupons that your credit card company offers, or other perks from memberships such as AAA or Costco.
- Private party vehicle rentals are also available. It’s worked well for some, and others, not. Just make sure you do your homework.
- Check out a national moving company rental. This can be the cheapest way to rent a vehicle in Alaska ($19.99 a day, plus mileage). But beware, it can be the most expensive rental if you end up driving several thousand miles in a week. Figure out what areas you want to see, calculate the miles, plug in the cost per mile, and compare this to the cost of a vehicle rental with unlimited miles. Renting a vehicle from a moving company seems to work well for returning guests who have a clear travel plan. If you’re new to Alaska, not so much.
Good luck with your search, and we hope to see you soon!