9 Smartish Tips To Save on Car Rental Big Bucks

Save on Car Rental

Renting a car can be expensive, especially if you’re driving long distances and for multiple days. However, you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to rent a car. By following these simple tips, you can save hundreds of dollars on your next car rental without sacrificing quality or comfort. Plus, by following these tips, you can also get discounts on your insurance and skip the wait at the rental office! Don’t rent from Hertz – use these tips instead!

#1 Know When to Book

What’s better than booking a cheap rental car? Booking a cheap rental car at just the right time. The best time to book is when demand is low—i.e., when everyone else isn’t looking to book cars.

#2 Research Special Offers To Save On Car Rental

You’re probably familiar with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and even state-wide sales events. We’re not going to tell you that these events don’t work—but they can be very competitive. While you don’t want to miss out on huge savings during these events, it might be a better idea to take advantage of other special offers throughout the year. Take a look at seasonal discounts offered by major car rental companies—you might just find that saving $50 per day for six days is more appealing than saving $20 per day for four days.

#3 Use Coupons

If you’re looking to save money on car rentals, you can use coupon codes to get deals. For example, companies like Alamo and Hertz offer coupons to rent a vehicle. The catch is that they often change frequently; just check in weekly or monthly to see if there are any new discounts available.

#4 Compare Sites

When you’re ready to book a rental car, head over to Google and search for car rental companies [city] or visit your favorite travel comparison site. Sites like Kayak and SideStep allow you to quickly compare prices from a number of different sites (like Expedia and Hotwire) at once. Of course, if you have access to corporate discounts or hotel rewards programs that offer car rentals, use those! It’s worth checking out. If nothing else, go ahead and do a little shopping around—you might find that last-minute booking can save you some serious cash. According to an analysis by AutoSlash , booking between three days before your trip and two days after is often times cheaper than booking right away.


#5 Off-airport rental locations

Rental car companies often operate out of off-airport locations and airports are large. You can cut travel time by picking up a rental car at an off-airport location when you land—just look for signs in baggage claim that say Rental Cars. You may save a few dollars by renting from one of these options, especially if you’re not in a hurry to hit your hotel or start exploring. (Bear in mind, though, that most major airports have a plethora of taxis available.)

#6 Book now, cancel later

Rental car companies offer discounts for prepaying, but it usually comes at a significant premium. To save, take advantage of sites like Expedia or Travelocity that let you prepay for your rental and then cancel without penalty if you don’t go through with it. You can also consider using Priceline to look for low-cost rental deals; make sure to check cancellation policies before you book anything so you won’t lose money if your plans change. When in doubt, always ask about cancellation policies and penalties before booking a vehicle. The last thing you want is to find out that because of a fine print in your contract, you have no choice but to pay for something you no longer need—or can’t use due to scheduling conflicts or lack of availability.


#7 Car rentals at dealerships

Hiring a car from a dealership is generally your cheapest option, but it isn’t always simple. First of all, you need to add in the cost of transportation to and from the dealership. Second, there’s often an issue around getting hold of a key for a specific car, which might involve additional charges for multiple keys if you want to rent more than one vehicle. Finally, most dealerships don’t have offices at every airport—meaning that sometimes you have to take an inconvenient detour through another town or even another country. All things considered, renting from a car rental company can be less stressful and easier in many cases.

#8 Lookout for last minute deals

If you’re hoping to save money on your rental car, look for deals that pop up less than two weeks before your trip. It’s a good idea to book as early as possible, but these special offers are often only around for a few days. This is especially true during busier seasons—i.e., holiday weekends and summer months—when fewer cars will be available if you wait too long.

#9 Rental car insurance

When you rent a car, you often have to agree to insurance, which usually costs around $10–20 per day. However, all rental car companies offer liability coverage that covers damages to their vehicle, regardless of who is at fault for an accident (liability coverage is mandatory in most states). If you need additional insurance protection, it’s generally cheaper to add it onto your credit card than pay for it through your rental agency. That’s because many credit cards provide primary insurance through designated vendors such as Allianz and Travel Guard (as part of annual fees), whereas car-rental agencies have to negotiate rates directly with carriers.