It's no secret that car rental prices have skyrocketed over the last few months. The fact is that road tripping, in general, has increased in popularity so much from 2020 to now that we could have seen this coming - that doesn't make it any less frustrating, though. At one point, we would have spent hours agonizing over finding the most affordable plane tickets, the best hotels, and all that goes with it. Now, we find ourselves spending the same amount of time just trying to find a car rental that won't take up the last three months' paychecks.

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Transportation is not an easy thing to navigate especially when it comes to finding a car rental to fit one's budget nowadays. However, there are some ways to cut costs for those who don't mind amending their vacations just a little bit in order to get a cheaper deal. If you're willing to be flexible then these car rental hacks are for you.

Rent A Truck From A Home Improvement Or Moving Company

This brilliant hack, brought to us by Insider, is so genius that we're not sure why no one has ever thought of it before. Right now, you're probably thinking of driving a monster moving truck down the highway with only one corner of it taking up your vacation essentials, but that's not what we mean.

Companies such as U-Haul, Home Depot, and Lowe's often rent out pickup trucks for small jobs such as landscaping and smaller construction projects. These trucks can usually be rented for $20 a day or a little more, not including fees - which is still much cheaper than a car rental in today's rental climate. The cheapest rentals will probably be found at U-Haul, with Lowe's coming in second at $89 per day for a Chevy Silverado. It might not be the rental car you've always dreamed of taking on a vacation but it gets you from point A to point B for cheap, and that's really all that matters.

Take Advantage Of The Amtrak

If you don't require the use of your own car - or any car- on your trip, then the Amtrak is a fantastic option to explore. Not only will a round-trip ticket cost you far less than a car rental, but you also won't even need to worry about driving, period. Amtrack seats range in price depending on the car one chooses to sit in but, in all likelihood, first-class is probably still cheaper than a car rental.

The only drawback of taking the Amtrak is having to rely on public transportation or a car service once you get to your destination but if you're within walking distance of most things, this is not a huge issue. Additionally, renting a car when you get to your destination might actually prove to be a cheaper option than renting one to drive across state lines.

Get A Rental Through A Car Dealership

The problem is that many people think that a car rental company is the only place to actually rent a car. This is far from accurate, as there are certain car dealerships that will also allow people to rent their cars. Nissan and Toyota, in particular, do allow car rentals at some of their dealerships. Surprisingly, the cost of renting these is incredibly low compared to going through a rental company - for a much nicer and more reliable car, in most cases.

Costs can range anywhere from $20 to $50 per day, depending on which dealership you live closest to. With that being said, not every dealership will offer special rentals such as this but it definitely doesn't hurt to check anyway. When in doubt, take advantage of their 'try before you buy' deals.

Utilize Sites Such As Outdoorsy And Turo

If all else fails, there's one more way to bypass the car rental companies altogether: go through a different type of rental company. Turo is relatively new on the scene and allows people to rent out their personal vehicles for others to use at a cost. While unusual, it's really not much different than Airbnb or VRBO allowing homeowners to rent out their houses to other people... and it's usually much cheaper.

Sites such as Outdoorsy allow people to find RV rentals among other unique forms of transportation, all at a price that is (obviously) much lower than a rental company or buying your own personal RV. If accommodations are flexible, then this is a fantastic way to save some money without the headaches that come with owning a recreational vehicle.

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