The tips below and our recommended search website will help you find your best deal so you can hit the road and start exploring.
Book in advance
When you book online in advance you will almost always get a better deal than at the counter. And it’s easier and quicker. The last thing you want to do after a long flight is deal with rental car companies at the airport and negotiate a deal. Be sure to take all your documents with you as proof of hire and your rates to avoid any hassles (scan and save in your email account).
Check prices frequently
Just like when you search for flights it pays to check prices frequently as they do change – different days can have different rates. If you use an aggregator site that searches all the major rental car companies at once it’s fairly quick and painless. And compared to flights, the great thing about renting a car is that reservations often times can be cancelled and re-booked.
Adjust Pick-Up and Drop-Off Times
When searching for cheap rental cars online, the pick-up and drop-off times are typically in half hour increments. Try tweaking these times and see if it affects your rates. Sometimes tacking on an extra day to that weekly rental, or even adding a couple of hours to extend it over a weekend, can actually lower your rate.
Book the smallest vehicle you’ll need
Think carefully about what type of vehicle you need. Sure it might be tempting to go for the big SUV or the fancy sports car, but always think fuel consumption and the practicalities of your car. Being comfortable is important so you enjoy your road trip. Don’t go small and cheap if you are crammed in like sardines.
Avoid the airport
Off-airport locations are typically cheaper than airport locations (they tack on fees). Look in nearby neighborhood locations to save money. Just make sure the downtown branch is not on the outskirts of the city limits meaning a long and costly taxi ride. This strategy is best applied in cities that have efficient and affordable public transport to get you to the dealer without hassle.
Save on a days rental
Off-airport locations are typically cheaper than airport locations (they tack on fees). Look in nearby neighborhood locations to save money. Just make sure the downtown branch is not on the outskirts of the city limits meaning a long and costly taxi ride.