If you are looking to cut your rental car costs, this article discusses how you can find cheap rental car deals to help you save on your rental budget.
Let’s dive in.
Track rental agency websites
Tracking rental agency websites could potentially land you some of the best deals.
Look around their homepage for the featured promotions and other deals related to vehicle categories, price, and luggage capacity.
A good example of such a rental agency website is Herts.
The good thing is, once you have made your rental car reservation, you can use a reservation tracker to help you track your reservations for the best price.
A perfect example of such a reservation tracker is Autoslash.
Autoslash tracks your current reservations for a price drop and finds you the lowest price by using coupons and membership-related discounts. The cool thing is, Autoslash can track your bookings from any rental agency.
You need to provide them with the time, dater confirmation number, full-price, and memberships. That’s all you need to do.
I bet this will undoubtedly save you money, time, and the effort of having to find the cheapest deals all over the web.
Join membership programs for discounts
For just $52 per year, an AAA membership can save you a ton of money renting a car through various rental companies.
Additionally, you can further increase your savings by applying both the features coupon codes and the affiliated membership rates.
Below are some of the benefits accorded to members of various programs.
AAA members are offered up to 30% off the base rates weekly and weekends and 50% off the monthly rate when using Hertz.
Visit the AAA website for more details and to know when to expect other offers.
BJs membership comes with some fantastic benefits to members at certain times of the year when they use some specific rental companies.
Let’s look at a few examples:
- Members save up to 25% off base rate at Hertz and 5% off each day for 3 days. This will be up to a minimum of 2 days. They also have access to more exclusive deals with Dollar and Payless, depending on their location and the type of car.
- Their members who use Enterprise and Alamo stand to benefit from a free class upgrade. However, that apply to standard sizes only.
- Their members also benefit from various discounts when they book their cars at Avis, National, and Budget.
USAA has various discounts to members when they use Budget, Enterprise, Avis, and Hertz to make their car bookings.
Be sure to check each of the company websites for more information and know when to expect other similar offers.
Related: 10 Cheapest Ways to Rent a Car in 2021.
This is a free chrome extension tool.
You need to download and activate the Honey chrome extension, then watch the tool do the rest.
It automatically searches for available rental car discounts and coupons.
Trust me. It’ll be worth giving a try.
Ignore extras and upsells
GPS and class upgrades are some of the extras and upsell that you can skip when booking.
And another thing, the rental company staff may likely pressure you into taking car insurance to cover you in the event of an accident.
One thing’s for sure; no one wants to be caught up in any road mishap when using a rental car.
We fear falling into huge bills should an accident occur. The truth is, it is super important to have car insurance.
But – you always don’t need to pay for it.
The good news is your motor insurance and most travel cards, such as Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Freedom, and Amex card, cover the rentals cars.
So, check your card provider’s policies and benefits when renting cars.
But more importantly, ensure that you contact them ahead of time for details of what they will cover.
Know how to get around the age requirement
You are probably aware that there are extra fees for drivers under 25 years who need to rent a car.
This is due to the liabilities that they could likely pose to the rental companies.
If you are a driver under the age of 25 years, you don’t have to let the age limit get in the way of landing yourself a rental car deal for your trip.
A good place to start will be joining an AAA membership if you are booking with Hertz.
This will undoubtedly be cheaper when you are below the age requirement (20-24 years) and don’t want to pay the extra fee.
Additionally, members affiliated with USAA and between 18-24 years can get away with the age requirement. This is when they use Enterprise for their rental car bookings.
And if you are traveling in a group, then consider booking under someone above the age requirement.
This will undoubtedly save you the extra cost in age limit fees.
Avoid airport rentals
However convenient the airport rental may be, you should avoid them. Why?
Because you will likely incur hefty airport surcharges on your total cost when using rental companies located at the airport.
However, you can save a whole lot more if you rent at an offsite location away from the airport.
Quite honestly, saving more than $25 per day is definitely worth the hassle.
So, you will only need to take a bus ride to another rental, away from the airport.
Avoid the prepaid rentals
Sometimes, a prepaid rental car might seem better than making a reservation.
But, this may not always be the case.
Here is why:
With a prepaid rental, you pay upfront and may not be able to cancel in case of any change of plan.
But on the other hand, with a car reservation, you can cancel at any time should you get a better deal or change of plans.
This will also come with a guaranteed full refund and no penalty.
And in addition to that, I personally considered reservations as a great saving opportunity. All you have to do is research rental car deals, then rebook them at lower prices.
It’s no surprise that you will end up getting lower reservations than the prepaid rates.
Lastly, remember to use Autoslash to track your rental car reservations.
Beware of the extra hidden charges
Most of the time, you rarely get a full rental quotation when using rental booking sites. This is because you are not booking through the rental company website.
And additionally, the quoted price doesn’t include other additional fees such as young drivers or additional driver fees.
The extra hidden fees could potentially raise the total cost of your rental.