Pros / This affordable car rental service lets you bid on deals for an inexpensive rental.

Cons / There are only locations in about 30 states.

 Verdict / While its fleet and locations are limited, Payless lives up to its name by offering good daily deals on good cars, but beware, upgrades can result in substantial cost increases.

Payless Car Rental is a growing car rental service in the U.S. and other countries. If you have a Payless near your home or where you're vacationing and need a cheap car rental, it's not a bad way to go. However, there are only branches in about 30 states, so if you are taking a trip cross-country, you will want to make sure there are branches where you need to pick up and drop off your car. There is also a limited fleet of cars.

The service's website is well organized and fairly easy to use. You can go to the deals prompt on the main menu and get deals on economy and midsize cars starting at about $10 a day. You can also bid on last-minute deals if there are any available. The deals can change by the minute and vary quite a bit from location to location. While the $10 deals are not the norm, getting deals for under $20 is not uncommon. You can also sign up for deal email alerts, allowing you to hold out for better deals.

Insurance is covered by your credit card, so you will need to check your credit card agreement, combined with your personal auto insurance policy, to know what kind of coverage it provides. You will want to be careful because upgrading can dramatically increase your daily costs. Payless also offers roadside assistance services for a few extra dollars a day and then an additional charge with each individual incident when you use the service.

This service doesn't offer a lot of extras compared to some other car rental companies. For example, it's missing online check-in, which is an especially convenient option if you are in a hurry to catch a flight at the end of your trip. It also lacks eco-friendly features like the carbon offset program.

On the plus side, many of the cars at Payless are equipped with GPS. This comes in handy, especially if you are in an unfamiliar city. There are also some convenience options, like the ability to rent baby seats if you have a little one and don't want to lug a car seat on the plane. Options for disabled people are also available, and you can request hand controls ahead of time.

Customer service is easily accessible from the website's homepage. There is a tab right by the service information from which you can access the company's Twitter page. The site also has a helpful FAQs section. You can click on any topic you have a question about and get quick information about roadside assistance or any other service. You can also email or fax your questions or concerns. There is a toll-free number at the top of the screen, separate from the other contact information, but no live chat to receive real-time answers online.

  • Number of States with Locations
  1. Total number of states with car rental branches
    More is Better.
  2. 10  Payless
    29.0 Number of
  3. 50.0 Number of
  4. 2  Hertz
    50.0 Number of
  5. 50.0 Number of
  6. Category Average
    45.3 Number of

Summary

Payless Car Rental is an affordable service with enough extras to get you where you're going safely and easily, such as child seats and GPS. If you need special instrumentation because of a disability, you can request it ahead of time and get a specially equipped car. Aside from these, though, there are not a lot of extras available with this rental service. The customer service options for this company are pared down to the basics: FAQs, email and fax.

Specifications and Benchmarks

Price Comparisons

Daily Compact Car Price (Vegas)
$55
Daily Full-Size Car Price (Vegas)
$53
Daily Compact Car Price (NY)
$47
Daily Full-Size Car Price (NY)
$53
Weekly Compact Car Price (Vegas)
$224
Weekly Compact Car Price (NY)
$304

Services

Number of States with Locations
29
GPS or Navigation Rentals
Business Rental Program
Child Seat Rental
Options for Physically Disabled
Roadside Assistance
Multiple Country Pick-Up/Drop-Off

Types of Rentals

Compacts
Mid-Size Cars
Luxury
SUVs
Convertibles
Vans

Ease of Use

Easy-to-Use Reservation Tool
Simple Locator Finder
Well-Organized Website
Keyword Search Tool

Help & Support

Email
Airport Shuttle and Pickup Information