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As I’ve mentioned a few times in this space, my son and I are planning a trip to West Texas and New Mexico in a few weeks.

[READ MORE: Visiting the highest point in Texas and Carlsbad Caverns]

When we were planning the trip, I knew that we eventually wanted to get to El Paso, which is the closest major city to both Guadalupe Peak (the high point of Texas) and Carlsbad Caverns.  But airfares were expensive, and award space was not lining up.  So in the end, I booked a 7500 Avios flight from CVG-DFW.

[What county is DFW airport in?]

Plus since all know that

the shortest distance between 2 points is no fun

this would give me a chance to get in some counties on my quest to visit all 3,143 counties in the US

mobrule-county-regoarrarr-20170128

My projected new counties are in grey – looking at 47 total, which will bring my total up to 1822 (58.0%)

Renting a car at DFW

I signed up for a car rental for my trip there, which will be about 4 days total (slightly less than 4 full days but I’m being charged for the whole 4 days).  My initial quote was for $179.46 with National in a Compact Car.

[Why you’re foolish to rent a “standard” car]

Of course I signed up my reservation with Autoslash, which is my go-to tool for saving money on renting cars, and was named my #2 travel tool when I ranked them back last March.  My best Autoslash success story comes from our trip to Denver a few years ago when a week’s rental came out to a little over $100 and when I returned the car the agent said “You got a great deal on these – I’ve been renting them for $100 / DAY!

I was actually a little surprised because it felt like my initial total was a little higher than expected, so I was expecting Autoslash to come back quickly with a much lower rate.  But a few weeks went by with nothing

An updated rental car quote

But within the past week or so, I’ve gotten 2 emails from Autoslash.  The first one gave me $155.67 at Dollar Rent a car, but I ended up not taking it.  Now I just got ANOTHER email saying:

You’re currently booked at the rate of $179.46 USD with National in a Compact Car. AutoSlash is able to offer you the following lower rates on your rental:

autoslash-updated-booking-car-rental

 

So now it’s time to decide if $43 is worth it?  I’ve had some sketchy experiences with Dollar but I’ve had a few good ones too, and I know it’s very location dependent.  While I’d rank Dollar in the mid-tier ahead of places like Payless or some of the true budget rental car places, I definitely consider them a step below National.  Currently I’m at National, and with my Amex Platinum card I should have National Executive status, which would definitely save me some time picking up the car.

What would you do?  Would $43 be enough to get you to switch from National to Dollar?

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