Cheap Rental Cars
Reducing Car Rental Costs
Rental Cars for Less
10 Ways to Save on Rental Cars
Cheap Rental Cars
We are going to Phoenix. The best price we received for car rental was $300 for the week. This is for a mid-size car. We are only paying $288 for two for the flight. Does anyone know how we can get a cheap rental car? We have checked with four different companies and this is the best price.
Several Ways to Save
There are several ways to get a cheap rental car. First, check into any associations you may belong to, such as a union, AAA, or a wholesale buyer's club. Take note of the discounts offered through these associations.
Also, sign up for memberships with the various auto rental companies. There are often 'member-only' upgrades and discounts. And membership is free.
Check online for a map of the city that you will be visiting. Check to verify the distance that the car rental office is from the airport. Often, the rates drop because there is less demand away from the airport.
Finally, call the rental places in the city. Tell them what the best rate you've gotten is and ask if they can match it.
Using these tips, I saved $126 (I had to pay a $23 cab fee, and I deducted that) when I flew into Florida
Hotwire a Deal
Regarding the couple in Phoenix who is looking to find a cheap rental car, I live on the outskirts of Phoenix and recently had to rent a car due to our car being unavailable. If you are familiar with computers, you can try an Internet site that I used www.hotwire.com. I was able to rent a mid-size car for 12 days for $450 and that price included taxes and fees.
Try the Local Guy
I live in Phoenix and have no affiliation with any rental car company, but my sister and her family are here now visiting from CT. After several phone calls and some Internet surfing prior to their arrival, I was able to find a local company who rents vehicles for $129 per week with 1000 free miles per week included. These are not brand new vehicles, but they are mechanically sound. The company is called Saban's Rent-a-Car. Their local phone number is 602-269-9316. My sister and her husband are very pleased with the people they've dealt with there and I was pleased with those I spoke to on the phone while gathering information.
Sandy in Phoenix
Check on Priceline.com
Have you checked Priceline.com? I always use them to find cheap rental cars for my trips. They have never turned my offer down, even though I've offered at least $15 a day less than the lowest price the "companies" offered.
Have you tried Orbitz and/or Travelocity? Often, their rates are cheaper than calling on the phone.
Also, try the Entertainment book. Check out entertainment.com to see if they have coupons for the agency that you're calling.
Rent-a-wreck might also have some deals on cheap rental cars.
You've Got to Go Online
Unless there's a huge convention in town that week, $300 seems pretty outrageous for a mid-size car. To get the best rates, you've got to go online.
- Start with the individual rental car companies' web sites. On their home pages, they all have a button marked "Hot Deals," "Special Offers," or "Promotions." Check out those rates.
- Then, go to bnm.com. This gives you links to all kinds of specials with all the major and quite a few minor rental car companies. I've gotten some amazing deals through them.
- Next, check smarterliving.com;. This is one of the best of the overall how-do-I-get-a-discount sites.
- If you've done all of the above, you should by now have determined the lowest available rate so far. At this point, make a backup reservation at that rate (know their cancellation policy). Then, go to hotwire.com and check their rates. If Hotwire's rate is lower than the best rate you found from steps 1, 2, and 3 above, you need to act fast, because that hotwire rate will expire in two hours. But don't commit to it yet, since committing on Hotwire is non-refundable and payable in advance.
- Now go to priceline.com, and bid on the rental car you want, starting with a bid that is somewhat lower than Hotwire's price. Again, when you bid on Priceline, you are paying and committing, so be sure of all the details.
Find all of your vacations needs at Priceline.com
Here's a Thrifty Solution
Whenever we travel my husband and I always use Thrifty car rental. They have always provided the lowest rates no matter what city we are traveling to, not to mention great service. Many car rental companies also have "Internet specials." If you reserve your car in advance over the Internet, you receive up to 20% off the weekly rate. B.J. should also check with her own insurance company to see if they cover rental car damage, purchasing insurance through the rental company will add a lot to the final bill.
Great Rates at Fox
Check out Fox Rent-A-Car foxrentacar.com. They have great rates, such as $159.90 for a standard car like a Dodge Stratus.
Take the Next Step
- Could spending 5 minutes reading a newsletter twice a week save you time and money every day? Dollar Stretcher Tips readers think so. Subscribe and find out how many ideas stretch your day and your dollar! Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE.
- Stretch your travel dollar with these ideas on our Frugal Travel Tips Pinterest board.
Share your thoughts about this article with the editor
More Tips & Tools to Help You
Live Better...For Less
- Is your family normal? See how other households spend their money
- 5 big bills you can cut fast
- 5 frugal ways to expand your living space
- Where to find the best deals in February
- 4 steps to a simpler (and more frugal) life
- $10 for peace of mind for your family
- How not to fight about money
- When you just don't have money to feed your family
- What every stay-at-home mom should know about her financial future
- What is the cost of raising a child?
- Spouse income calculator
- Should my spouse work, too?
- College savings calculator
- Home budget calculator