A lot of people look to the road as a fine way to spend their summer vacations, or a week long holiday. A cross country road trip with your friends is just the thing to relax you. The best things about road trips is that you can set your own pace and it does not cost that much especially if a several people go. The main price is fuel and the rent of the car. Here are a few tips on how to save on car rentals.
Avoid large national chains like Avis and Hertz and go for independent rental agencies like Fox Rent a Car and Payless. The latter have lower operating costs and hence their rental prices cost 15-30% less than the mainstream car rental agencies. Another agency which is overlooked by many (unfortunately) is Sixt. It is a German company which is rapidly growing in the US. So look to rent cars from these companies as you’ll save a lot on a daily basis.
You can search for various coupons and discounts on the web. Car rental companies offer different discounts to members of frequent flyer programs, and members of organizations they partner with such as AAA, Costco and BJ’s.
This site continually checks for lower rates and coupons until your trip date. It can be used in a couple of ways: you can either track the cost of rental booked elsewhere or you can book the car directly through this site (i.e. Autoslash) as it works with several car rental companies. However the inventory can be limited. The major companies are not too fond of the idea that Autoslash takes advantage of the fact that customers can cancel or change their reservations without a penalty, at any time. As a result some companies do not allow Autoslash to list their cars.
The car rental company’s branch located at the airport usually has higher rates than an off airport one. The former tend to tack on fees which raises the price by 30% or more. When you land at any airport, the better way, therefore, is to take a cab to the nearest local branch of a car rental and get it rented from there.
Why? Because typically the rents for longer durations (by a day or even a couple of hours can lower the rate).For example say you only need the car for a day on Saturday, what you do is book it for the entire weekend and return it early. This way you’re tricking the system into thinking that you’re booking a two day weekend rental which has a lower base rate. Even extending the time by a couple hours till the weekend rates ‘officially’ kick in, can save you half the price. You just have to book for that time and return it early.