The following is a guest post from Paula, a former car rental reservation agent who has created the website Best Car Rental Tips. Her goal is for visitors to obtain tips and tricks for saving money on their car rentals, as well as to provide them with information and guidelines for various car rental policies.
The prices of car rentals have risen steadily over time. It’s more important than ever to save money, and a little effort and research can get help you save money. There are several ways to try and get a discount on your car rental.
Discount Car Rental Coupons
You can find car rental coupons online through coupon sites, in magazines, sometimes your yellow pages, and in the Entertainment book. The most common types of coupons are free upgrades, money off (usually either for weekly or weekend rentals) and free days (again, usually only applicable to weekly or weekend rentals). Go for a money off or free day coupon, if possible. Generally when using a free upgrade coupon, you’ll find that when you read the fine print, the upgrade isn’t guaranteed – usually they’re subject to availability of the larger car at the time of pickup.
Make sure that the terms and conditions of the coupon fit the parameters of your rental.
Discount Car Rental Codes
There are hundreds of membership programs (think auto clubs, travel clubs, frequent flyer programs) and professional organizations (example United Teachers Federation, American Bar Association, etc.) that offer car rental discount codes to their members. Check with any memberships that you have to see if there is a car rental discount code that you are entitled to use.
If you have several memberships, compare rates using your different discount codes to see which one is better. You can often combine a coupon and a discount code (many coupons have a discount code associated with them), use both for maximum savings.
Discount Car Rental Deals
All car rental companies offer various deals to attract customers. These deals can be for different lengths of rental, for different sizes or types of rental vehicles or for a specific rental car location. Visit various car rental company websites, as well as car rental booking sites (like Travelocity, Kayak, Priceline) to see and compare various car rental deals. There are also websites (rentalcarmomma, for example) that are dedicated to showcasing various discount car rental deals for multiple companies.
Frequent Renter Offers
Car rental companies often offer savings and reward benefits to those who Sign up for their frequent renter programs. Benefits often include discounts, faster and easier check in and check out of your rental car, unlimited mileage and sometimes even the opportunity to earn free car rental day coupons after a certain number of rentals. Sign up with programs for several car rental companies; they will often send you email updates of new car rental offers and specials as they become available. They may even have offers that are only available to their frequent renter members.
The bottom line is that you do have options for discount car rentals; you just need to check them out. Finally, book as far in advance as you can while continuing to check regularly for last minute car rental specials that you can take advantage of, and always compare multiple companies for your intended rental in order to get the best possible car rental rate!