How to Get A Cheap Rental Car & Other Rental Saving Tips!

Learn when, where and how to Get A Cheap Rental Car under 25 dollars, and how to avoid paying a big portion of the Rental Insurance. Renting a car can be expensive if you don't search for the Cheap Rental Cars and Rates, and know some of the tips that can save you a boatload. That's where I come in. Car rentals can be a drain on your wallet if you pay full price. There are times when you'll want or need to rent a vehicle and you don't want to shell out an arm and a leg, so let's try to minimize this expense for you by finding the cheapest rental car rates and knowing the tips to minimize your expenses. 

Check out the deals below and my tips before you rent your next vehicle! Also, be certain to check out our Auto Savings Center (below, in the tan box) for even more savings, such as Free Car Repairs and the Cheapest Gas near you; as additional ways to save money on your vehicle or on a rental car. 




HOW TO GET A CHEAP RENTAL CAR

Don't Pay all of the Rental Insurance

How to get a Cheap Rental Car

Once you find that deal, you can easily squash any savings by having to pay for your own insurance. The cost of Full Coverage Insurance on a Rental Vehicle per day often costs more than the rental vehicle itself! This is why you must avoid this at all costs!

Here are the 2 ways to do that:

  1. If you have Full Coverage Insurance on your own vehicle, then your policy should provide insurance on a rental vehicle. To be absolutely certain of this, it is imperative that you call your Insurance Agent prior to renting a vehicle. If you are renting a vehicle because your vehicle has been in an accident, you may well be paying insurance that will cover a rental vehicles cost 100% (the rental and the insurance). In those cases, you may see an "R" (for Rental) on your Insurance Card that you carry in your wallet. This is yet another reason to check with your Insurance Agent. If you only carry Liability Insurance on your vehicle, then your Insurance will not cover a Rental Vehicle at all (but all hope is not lost - see #2).

  2. You may have a Credit Card (not a Debit Card) that will cover all or a portion of your Rental Vehicle's Insurance. Most basic Credit Cards will not cover a Rental Vehicle's Insurance; but many Platinum, Silver and Gold cards absolutely will! Be certain to call the number on the back of your card and ask the credit card company if they will cover the Rental Vehicle and the Other Vehicle if you're in an accident, or if they'll only cover the Rental Vehicle? It's VERY IMPORTANT that you call the credit card company BEFORE reserving your vehicle to see if they will or won't cover your rental vehicle, because you MUST reserve the vehicle with the credit card that covers you for insurance, and you MUST pay with that card. Call every credit card company that you or your loved one's (who will be the primary driver) carry - except Store Cards, of course. Because, even the Economy/Compact sizes can run around $45.00/day for Full Coverage Insurance. If you kept the vehicle for 1 week, that's $315 in Insurance alone! That's more than the cost of the rental. Money down the drain. And pure profit for the Rental Company! But, with the right credit card, the insurance is FREE! Trust me when I tell you - this will save you mega bucks! It's worth 5 minutes on the phone (per card) for hundreds in savings!

Hint: If you know in advance that you're going to need a rental car, but your credit card that will cover the car's insurance is maxed out; find out the cost of the rental and make an IMMEDIATE payment to that credit card company for that amount, plus $200. Car Rental Companies always hold an additional $200 on your credit or debit card. Once you confirm that the credit card company has received the payment, you can book your rental with that card and avoid paying for insurance.



HOW TO GET A CHEAP RENTAL CAR
Get Discounts

There are other ways to lessen the bite of Rental Car costs. Most of us are members of an organization that provide discounts or discount codes for Rental Vehicles, but we forget to use these benefits when renting a car. Even if you're not a member of an organization, there are places to get discount coupons and coupon codes for car rentals. Mention the organization, or bring your coupon! And if you reserve your rental online, either go to the organization's website first and get a coupon code or discount code off of a printed coupon. Here's just some of the places that provide discounts and coupons on Rental Vehicles:

AAA

AARP

Costco

Frequent Flyer Programs

Corporate Discount Rate/Code: If you work for a large company or Corporation, they may have a deal for preferred rental rates or Corporate Rental Rates. You can ask your Human Resources Dept. 

Entertainment Coupon Book

The great thing about them is that you can get your coupons from the book, or you can get online access. They offer discount coupons/codes for places like Enterprise, Budget, Hertz, Thrifty, National, Alamo and Avis.  With these discounts you can get around 30-35% off, free day(s), or coupons for free upgrades. You can save a ton of money with this book on more than just Car Rentals!

Here is another lesser known way to get a discount on a rental car:

Auto Repairs: Many Rental companies will give you a 5 to 10% discount if you're renting a vehicle because your car is in the shop for repairs. Be prepared to tell them which shop your car is in.  

HOW TO GET A CHEAP RENTAL CAR
Select the Correct Size Auto

Generally, a Compact-sized vehicle will be your least expensive to rent. Occasionally, you may have a coupon that will up-size you for free, or they will not have held the size that you reserved, so they'll offer to upgrade you to a larger size for no additional cost. Unless you're carrying a lot people, a compact is really the way to go for cost. You save on the rental and you save on gas!


HOW TO GET A CHEAP RENTAL CAR
Know Where to Rent

Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Their fabulous weekend rental deal comes and goes, so you have to keep checking! This deal runs from around the first to second week in September through around the third week of May each year. They cut it off through the summer, then usually bring it back in the fall. You can rent an Economy/Compact Vehicle for only $9.99/day with 100 miles per day included. You can't beat this rate for cheap rental cars!  

This is one of the best deals going if you need a vehicle from Friday to Monday. This offer is not valid at Airport locations and availability is limited, so call your location to book, or book online in advance. You will be charged for any miles over and above the 100 per day included. Holiday and black-out dates may apply. If you follow my suggestion of having your credit card cover the Insurance, this makes this an oh-so-sweet deal! This is the cheapest rental car rate going right now that I could locate, and even if you have a car, but it's a hoopty or bag-of-bolts, you may want to treat yourself one weekend to a new vehicle for less than $40 (if you have a credit card that covers the Insurance)! This is great for a weekend excursion, a trip to the beach, or simply pampering yourself for once.

During the summer, they may offer a second option, which is an Economy/Compact Vehicle for only $19.99/day with unlimited mileage in your State.



Hotwire (Rental Cars)
Hotwire US

They have partnered with several named rental car companies (Enterprise, Hertz, Alamo, etc.) in an effort to offer consumers deep discounted rental car rates. It's absolutely worth checking their rates, because they offer Economy Cars from $11.95 per day in certain areas! Wowsa! They do not reveal the rental car company until after you have paid for the reservation, but if you can get these kinds of rates on a weekday rental, most people won't care! ☺



CarRentals.com
$16.95 A Day Rental Cars from CarRentals.com

They offer car rentals starting at $16.95/day, so they are absolutely included in my list of cheap car rentals. 


Hertz
Hertz has various specials throughout the year. For instance, usually at the beginning of the year through the end of March, they may offer a rate of $14.99/day for a Weekend Rental at Airport and Neighborhood locations. This deal includes unlimited mileage! Check the link for Featured Offers that are currently available.



AutoSlash.com

You book your Car Rental through them, then they search for the cheapest rental car rates and coupon codes online. As rates change and lower, they automatically re-book you at the lower rate for free. Your rate could be slashed multiple times before your trip. Their service is free and you pay for your car rental at the counter when you pickup your car. You will need a credit card to book in most cases.

Note: Dollar, Thrifty and Hertz have chosen not to participate with AutoSlash' business model, so you will not receive any rental quotes from these companies. Should you choose to rent from them, you will need to solicit quotes and rentals from them separately.



Priceline.com
Find your lowest price for a Rental Vehicle elsewhere, then go to Priceline, and under the "Name Your Own Price" section, enter your information and place a bid for lower than your lowest price. For instance, if you received a price of $35/day from Hertz and you found a coupon or coupon code that will give you an additional $2/off per day, which equals $33/day - then you should try entering $3 to $5 dollars less per day on Priceline. Be certain that you want the rental when you bid on Priceline, because if they accept your bid, you are locked in.


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