When it comes to booking car hire, there are quite a number of websites to choose from. If you don’t want to book direct with one of the major national chains like Enterprise, Avis, Budget, Hertz or the Alamo, you might be able to save even more money by using one of the options below.
Whether or not you have elite status at a car rental company, there are several ways to compare car rental companies and find the best price on your next rental.
We always recommend pricing a rental directly on a national chain’s website so you can get an idea of the current price before jumping to the aggregator sites that compare multiple deals.
For Costco members, this is a given. Costco negotiates prices for its members on everything from vacation packages and cruises to car rentals. The site allows you to compare prices from participating Alamo, Avis, Budget and Enterprise locations and view an overview of available vehicle types and prices from these companies so you can make the best decision.
One airport has been selected for pricing below. However, once you’ve entered the city you want, you can select different locations within that city on a map and compare prices.
There are a few rules when renting from Costco: the primary renter must be a Costco member, additional drivers must not, and drivers must be at least 25 years old.
Once you’ve selected your car and are ready to make a reservation, you’ll need to provide your Costco membership number. One of the advantages of Costco Travel is that you can make a reservation without worrying about paying until you pick up your rental car.
AutoSlash is a car rental aggregator, which means it pulls information from many different rental sites to allow you to compare prices. One of its interesting features is that it allows you to enter any membership, credit card or frequent flyer program that you belong to and it will look for any applicable discounts.
TPG’s Katie Genter has written a comprehensive guide to using AutoSlash for renting a car.
Once you have entered all relevant information, AutoSlash will email you a link to view your listings. You can then choose to book now and pay now or pay later.
One of the interesting features that AutoSlash offers is the ability to track rental car prices. Once you’ve made a reservation with free cancellation, go back to the AutoSlash website and fill out the form to track price drops on your rental. You will need your current reservation information to fill out the form.
You can then tick the boxes for any rental companies you want to track and also choose to only receive an email alert when the price falls below the currently reserved price. This can potentially save you money and rebook at a cheaper rate.
Often referred to as “the Airbnb of rental car sites,” Turo has definitely caught on in cities across the US and even some Canadian provinces and the UK. In short, Turo is a peer-to-peer car rental site that can also be accessed and managed through an app.
Many TPG employees have used Turo and report positive experiences in the TPG Guide to Renting from Turo. Some of the advantages of using this service include the lower fee for drivers under the age of 25, the fact that a delivery service is sometimes available, and that renting from a local may be more convenient than looking for a rental car location.
Related: Rent a car in Hawaii with Turo
The only downside would be that you usually have to return the car at the same place you picked it up. So if you’re looking for a one-way rental, a traditional car rental site might be a better fit for you in this situation.
A few quick test searches revealed that the rental prices were the same or cheaper than traditional car rental companies. The handy map shows you the locations of all available rental properties in your area for the dates you are looking for.
Although Turo doesn’t have partner airlines like the major rental companies, there are still ways to earn points and miles on your rental. Because Turo codes are in the travel category, make sure you use a credit card that earns you the most travel points.
Related: Are Turo car rentals covered by credit card insurance?
You may only have searched Expedia for hotels or flights, but Expedia also offers car rentals and the ability to book all travel components together if needed. When searching for hotels, you can check the box to add a flight and a car.
Expedia’s car rental interface is pretty simple and convenient. You can use filters to look for options like refundable rentals and the ability to pay at the counter. It’s also a transparent booking site, meaning you see the company you’re renting from before you decide to book.
In 2022, Expedia Group announced a new rewards program called One Key that would unify rewards across its family of brands: Expedia, Hotels.com, Orbitz, and vacation rental site Vrbo. There is still no official launch date for this new program in 2023.
If you are an AAA member, check the AAA website for your area to see if there are car rental deals. The AAA website searches multiple car rental sites to find you the best deals. If you are not already an AAA member, you can read the TPG Guide to AAA Membership to learn more about the benefits and determine if membership is worth it for you.
Exclusive member benefits when renting cars include up to 20% off base rate in the US and Canada, up to 10% off base rate on international rentals, free use of one child seat and no charge for up to four other drivers who are AAA members.
AAA’s partnership with Hertz brings additional exclusive benefits such as: B. 10% discount on a tank of fuel when buying petrol at local prices and you can return the vehicle with any amount of fuel. For members aged 20-24, the young renter fee is also waived.
To start the search process, I had to enter my Hertz membership number. I was then asked to verify my full name and zip code to verify that I was an AAA member. The search function offers instant and cash payment options as well as AAA member rates and standard rates. You can even filter by car manufacturer and at the top of the search screen you can see what discounts are available from each company.
Related: The Complete Guide to Elite Status Matches at Car Rentals
There are numerous search options available on the Internet to find car rental discounts. Every website has its pros and cons. So we recommend finding a site that works best for you and takes advantage of your elite status or membership you may already have.
And no matter what, make sure you have car insurance through your credit card or insurance bureau, or get it through the rental company.