Everyone knows that the prepaid gasoline option offered by the car rental agencies is way more expensive than gas you can get on your own...right? Not always, says Robert Sinclair Jr., who handles media relations for AAA New York. Since the economy has slumped, rental car agencies have been more willing to make deals, and their rates tend to be only a few cents more than you'll find at the local gas stations. Sinclair says that a good way to check gas prices near the rental agency is with AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report
or the Fuel Price Finder (only available in select areas). Make a note of that price (which is updated every morning at 3 a.m.) before leaving home, and if the rate the rental agency offers is around the same, take the deal—without guilt.