Rental Car Rally

The Lookout team finds the best ways to save money on car rentals.
6:06 | 09/05/13

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Transcript for Rental Car Rally
We're putting rental car deals to the test. Vroom. Reporter: Okay, let's talk about rental cars. Somehow a simple task turns freakishly complicated. Two bucks more for me. Reporter: Expensive with each OF THE ADD ONs, THE OPTIONS, These extra charges can reach into the hundreds of dollars if you are not careful. So three lookout teams spent three days traveling over 500 miles, renting nine cars in between to find the best ways to save cash when burning rememberer. Our adventure begins in the big easy. David eastes compares rental car prices. Are you ready for this adventure? I am. I can't wait. Reporter: We split into teams and hit the road to find the answers to some of those burning rental car questions. Ready, break! Reporter: And with our hidden cameras strapped on. Guys, good luck. Reporter: Our first question, is it more cost effective to rent at the airport or rent in town? I stayed here and head straight for avis counter. While I'm here david heads to a location downtown. So just to make it interesting, we send the producers downtown also, but make them take public transit for $2 a person. So which of us got the best deal? In the end the taxi downtown was worth it. The base price for my rental was $40 higher from the get go and on top of that I had to pay 40 additional dollars in airport fees. David is keeping on eagle eye on the bottom line. How much extra is that? 30. I think I might be fine with the exact. Reporter: Our producers, meanwhile -- I think it's about a half mile away. Reporter: Stragle in after spending half-an-hour on the bus. Okay, let me see what I might have available. Reporter: They are forced to upgrade to a larger car because it was the only one left. Reporter: There is a ford edge that I can put you . Reporter: But they still paid less than me, $80 less. Take away number one, it's usually cheaper to rent outside the airport. With a couple of lessons learned, we head to our next stop. Jackson, mississippi, the city wi with sole. Doesn't matter if you benefit in advance. We want to test if it's cheaper or beneficial to book ahead of time. One of our teams booked ahead of time and I booked ten minutes ago. And I haven't booked at all. We'll see if it's going to be cheaper. Here we are. I'd like to know if you have a car available. I have a toyota. You work for disney? Yes. I have a car booked. Then the three teams got together in the garage. I got $220. I got $201. 179. I think it's the charm. Does any of this make sense? It's possible? Reporter: Putting my unbelievable luck aside david says you'll save the most money by booking as far in advance as possible. Another day, another rental car scenar scenario. This time our cars head out to memphis, tennessee. We're there to answer our next question. What happens if you return a car very, very early or just a couple of hours late. I guarantee if you return your car even two or three hours late, you'll get charged the whole day. If you bring it back early? If you book it for a woke and return it in two days I don't know what's going to happen. I'm interested to see what will happen there. Reporter: So were we. All three teams head to the counter to rent identical cars. I will return mine early, the producers will show up late and david will be on time. Just four hours later when i return my week long rental, i was slapped with a $20 fee for being early. When my producers dropped off their car two hours late, they were charged a late fee plus a second day's worth of insurance and taxes, $60. David returns his on time. Dropping off early is usually better than dropping off late, but returning it when you say you will is the only sure fire way to avoid fees. After all that barbecue, all those miles and the lessons learned, it's time to do a little math. We were charged 18 different fees at the three companies we visited, but if we fold david's advice, we would have only been charged 7 fees. In fact, if we used david's tips every step of the way including pumping our own gas and taking out the basic insurance option, we would have saved $100 per rental. We survived the drive, the road trip, four different cities in two days. Now we're going to let someone else drive for us. Taxi!

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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