Finding cheap car rentals is easier than you think


Finding a cheap car rental can be a bit of a challenge, but with the right strategies, you can save a significant amount of money. Here are some strategies to help you find the best deals:

  1. Book in Advance: Prices for car rentals often increase as the rental date gets closer, particularly during peak travel seasons. Booking well in advance can help you lock in lower rates.
  2. Use Comparison Websites: Websites that compare car rental prices from multiple companies can help you find the best deals. Some popular options include Kayak, Expedia, and Skyscanner. These sites can provide a broad view of the available options and prices.
  3. Look for Coupons and Discount Codes: Before booking, search for discount codes, coupons, and special offers. Check the rental company's website, as well as coupon websites. Some memberships (like AAA, Costco, or airline frequent flyer programs) offer discounted rates with certain rental companies.
  4. Avoid Airport Rentals: Renting a car from an airport location often includes additional fees and taxes. If possible, consider renting from a location that's a bit further from the airport. Public transport or a short taxi ride to a nearby rental location can lead to significant savings.
  5. Decline Unnecessary Insurance: Rental companies often try to upsell additional insurance coverage. If you have personal auto insurance or coverage through a credit card, you may already be covered and can decline the rental company's insurance to save money.
  6. Check for Membership Discounts: Memberships in certain organizations or clubs can offer rental car discounts. This includes auto clubs, wholesale clubs like Costco, and even some professional associations.
  7. Opt for Economy Cars: Economy class cars are generally cheaper to rent and also more fuel-efficient. Unless you need a larger vehicle for space or comfort reasons, choosing a smaller car can save you money.
  8. Consider Long-Term Rentals: If you need a rental car for a longer period, look into weekly or monthly rates, which can be cheaper than daily rates.
  9. Use Your Own Extras: Rental companies charge extra for GPS units, car seats, and other accessories. If possible, bring your own to avoid these additional fees.
  10. Check for Loyalty Programs: If you travel frequently, joining a rental company's loyalty program can offer perks like discounted rates, free upgrades, or other benefits over time.
  11. Negotiate at the Counter: Especially during off-peak times, rental agents may have the discretion to offer upgrades or discounts. It doesn't hurt to ask politely if there are any available promotions or upgrades.
  12. Fuel Policy: Make sure you understand the rental's fuel policy. The most economical option is usually to return the car with the same amount of fuel it had when you picked it up, avoiding the rental company's refueling fees.

Using a combination of these strategies can help you find the best deal on your next car rental.