RapidRequest:$500+ for a Denver airport car rental?!?! Barely off-airport rentals

Reader Henry M. wrote:

I need to rent a car at the Denver airport for Mon 8/11-Sat 8/15, pickup and return at 11am. I am seeing prices of $500 and up, please help!

Summer peak travel is pushing daily rates at DEN up above $60 and with all the extra airport taxes and fees, the total is shocking. Readers may know that alternate locations, such as downtown or suburbs, can often be cheaper than renting from the airport, but then there is the cost and hassle of transport to the rental car. Barely off-airport locations to the rescue.

Various searches showed Enterprise with the best on-airport rates, starting at $450. Enterprise conveniently often has the most barely off-airport locations, so taking note of the airport’s zip code, re-ran the search and got the following locations:

EnterpriseDENLocationsEnterprise6900Hours

6900 Tower Road, only 3.2 miles away came back with rates as low as $218.

Barely off-airport key points:
  1. Operating hours. This location is M-F 8:00-18:00, Sa 9:00-12:00, and closed Sun. Return it Sat at 12:15 and get charged until Monday or pay a stiff one-way fee to return at the 24-hour airport location.EnterpriseDENOffAirportMap
  2. No pick-ups. Off-airport locations are expressly forbidden by the rental companies from offering airport pick-ups to avoid this kind of poaching. But upon return there is some flexibility and they may be able to do a hush-hush airport drop-off.
  3. Getting to/from: a taxi may hate a passenger for such a short fare, but that is the most straightforward method. Another possibility, depending on personal ethical considerations, is to hop on an airport shuttle when hotels are nearby, either pretending to have a reservation or looking for a room. Those doing this should at least give the driver a nice tip. In this case there are numerous hotels within walking distance.

 

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