• Travelocity
  • Expedia
  • Orbitz
  • Southwest Vacations
  • Hotwire
  • CheapOair
  • Cheap Tickets
  • Delta
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Holiday Inn
  • jetBlue
  • KLM
  • Sheraton
  • Swiss International Air Lines
  • Westin hotels and resorts
  • Hotels.com

How to Find Cheap Car Rentals

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Planning on taking a vacation in the near future? Then you may need a reliable, and, naturally, cheap car rental. If you would like to find out how to find the best care rental deal, look into and make use of the following tips on how to search for, and get the best car rental deal.

1. Book extra early

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No matter what car rental agency you are going to turn to, if you make your car reservation as far ahead in advance as possible, your chances of getting the best deal available will increase tenfold. Typically car rental rates tend to increase dramatically over the holidays and even during the summer months, so if you plan to travel during any of those periods, try to make your reservation well ahead of time in order to save your money!

2. Do some comparison shopping via Internet

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Search the Internet for the cheapest car rental available! As a rule, online rates tend to be a little cheaper than the normal walk-in or telephone rates. Also, most car rental websites offer additional coupons and discounts that can only be accessed and used when reserving online. For example, Avis offers 15% off on weekly rentals; Dollar Rent A Car offers 10% off on any vehicle when you pay with any American Express® Card at participating locations. You can also get 10% off any rental at Enterprise Rent-a-Car or receive 15% off daily/weekly rates for midsize, fullsize and minivans with Alamo.

3. Research travel sites

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First you should do some research, and check out the prices for a rental car on sites such as Travelocity, Expedia, Cheap Tickets or Orbitz, as well as check the major rental car company web sites for special offers. These online travel companies often offer good deals on car rental rates. For instance, you can have $30 off weekly rentals with Hertz at Travelocity or $50 off monthly rentals with Hertz at Cheap Tickets. NetFlights.com offers 10% off on all USA cars, and you can get $7 off on weekly rental at Fox Rent A Car. In addition, you can get both discounted airline tickets and hotel rooms, if you buy a vacation package. You should simply log into each website and type in your relevant car rental information. But keep in mind that most of these travel sites add a small fee to the rental car reservation fee, so be careful to calculate whether your final car rental reservation is still cheaper than it would be without using the site. It is worth shopping around, even if you are using only these specialty online sites.

4. Bid your price on the Internet

If you are still unsatisfied with the rates the major travel sites offer, you may bid the price you want on the Internet. To do that log on to Priceline.com, and choose the location of your rental, and your dates and times. Check for mistakes in the data you put as you will not be able to make any changes once your offer has been accepted. Speaking about price, you are unlikely to be able to get a significantly cheaper price on a small compact, or economy car. But you do may have some considerable saving when renting a bigger car. So, why not try and choose a full-size, premium or even luxury car, and make an offer at or a little less than the standard going rate for an economy car. Often if your offer is not accepted, Priceline.com will often make a counter offer, stating that you can guarantee your selection by upping your offer by a dollar or two. And finally, after playing around a little, you may get your great deal and then your rental will be charged to your credit card, including the rental cost, and taxes, however it will not include any extra insurance.

5. Add insurance to your rental

The money you saved on the rental will more than cover the cost of the insurance. The best option is the full coverage insurance, but you may want to ask for the option that excludes 3rd party liability. Check with your car insurance company. Many offer discounts on car rentals and even vacation packages. Some companies offer percentages off, while others will give free upgrades to a larger rental car. You can save even more by using a coupon code from your car insurance company to get the cheapest car rental deal.

6. Rent from big car rental companies

Typically, although it is not always so, the cheapest rates and deals are to be found at the high volume car rental agencies. For example, if you rent from Budget Rent a Car with your Discover Card, you can get 25% off plus free upgrade. As a rule, those agencies are located at or near large airports and metropolitan centers. Normally these types of locations charge cheaper prices than do the smaller, street-side rental locations.

7. Do repeat business

Like airlines and hotels, major car rental companies keep track of the rental histories of their customers and offer frequent renter programs so that the loyal customer could earn upgrades and free rental days. By participating in these frequent renter programs you will be getting additional discounts on a regular basis.

8. Become a preferred renter

Most major car rental companies also offer preferred renter programs or club, like the Hertz #1 Club. If you are a member of this club you are entitled to preferential treatment like bypassing the rental counter and proceeding directly to the car of your choice without waiting in line. In addition, members of preferred renter programs or clubs also enjoy special offers, travel discounts and exclusive reservation and member services.

9. Sign up for e-mail notices

Many car rental companies offer the option of signing up so that their customers could receive periodic e-mails that contain the most recent information on special rates and deals on car rental reservations. Many of these e-mail notifications will also include special coupons to use towards your next car rental and offer things like free car rental upgrades and free additional car rental days. For example, sign up for the Gold Partner Program and get free vacation rental listing at Rent Expert.

10. Get a GPS unit

If you are unfamiliar with the area you will be driving in, it is worth thinking of picking up a GPS unit. These usually run about $10 a day, but will save you a lot of time in the long run so you won’t have to deal with maps, and will never get lost. GPS units are rather easy to use, and they will successfully guide you through voice prompts to your destination.