Car Rental Deals

Car Rental Deals

Check out these tips for saving money on your next car rental.

Choose the Right Time

Although it might seem counterintuitive, renting a car is usually cheaper on weekends than on weekdays. So if you're flexible with your travel dates, aim to rent a car on a nonholiday weekend. Also, try to choose a time when there aren't any festivals or other major events going on in your destination city. Rates are usually higher during holiday periods, including the weeks before and after Thanksgiving and Christmas. Generally, when car rental lots are full, consumers have the advantage.

Don't Rent at the Airport

Sure, renting a car at the airport is the most convenient choice, but it is also more expensive, because that is where most people prefer to pick up their vehicles. Make your reservation at a neighborhood rental location a few miles from the airport. You might have to pay for a taxi or bus to get you to your rental, but the extra savings will be worth it.

Search for Coupons and Online Deals

Many travel websites, such as Expedia and Kayak, post specials on rental cars in specific locations. Before you book, check out these deals. Sometimes, you can get a car for an entire week at a rock-bottom price.

Also be sure to check for coupons. You may be able to score a low daily rate on a nice vehicle, or you could get a percentage off your entire rental purchase, which could save you $8–$10 per day off the average rental price of $20 per day for a compact or economy car or $35 per day for a full-size car or mid-size SUV.

Try Not to Be Picky

Unless you really need a particular type of vehicle, reserve the lowest-priced vehicle available. Often these affordable subcompact models are the most popular rentals. Because of this, the rental service could very well be out of that model by the time you get to the counter. As a result, you're likely to get a free upgrade — but even if you don't, you'll still get a good price on a small car that is easy to pull into cramped big-city parking spaces.

Book a Package

Some travel companies will offer you a discounted car rental if you also book your flight and hotel through them. This is a particularly good option if you are flexible with your travel dates and your destination.

Read the Fine Print

A deal might look good on the surface, but there might be fees hidden in the fine print. Be sure to ask about things like insurance costs. Also, if you are a young person, find out if there is an extra charge for drivers who are younger than 25.