How to find the cheapest rental car deal

Finding the cheapest rental car deal does not mean you’ll end up with a lemon. Competition between rental car companies is so hot these days that they have to discount their prices to stay in the game. This means you’ll save big dollars on a quality rental vehicle. Question is – how do you find the biggest discount? Read on!

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1) Do a deal online

Before you book your rental car, compare company websites, and their prices. After entering the words ‘rental car companies’ into Google or Yahoo, you should be left with a long list of websites to visit and compare. Time spent is money saved, so be as exhaustive in your research as possible. Many of the quoted prices will be for pick up from an airport. Prices might be even lower if you can arrange to pick up at a location away from the airport. The best websites will also allow you to compare fuel economy, luggage space and safety ratings throughout the fleet.

2) Use your travel agent

If your rental car is part of a larger holiday package including flights and accommodation, ask your travel agent to find a good deal for you. This is a time saver for you and a potential money saver as well. The agent might have a special arrangement with a travel wholesaler or rental car company, and they could uncover a hidden deal.

3) Fly and drive

If you are flying into a destination and picking up a rental car at the airport, check to see if the airline is a partner with a rental car company. In such a relationship, airline passengers might be eligible for special deals when it’s time to rent a car. If you are part of an airline rewards programme which offers discounts on such things as hotels, you might also be able to save money on your rental car. The rewards website will have full details.

4) Size isn’t everything

You might want to look like king of the road in your luxury sedan, but if there is just one or two of you then surely a compact car will do? Smaller cars are still the cheapest to rent, and the cheapest to run.

5) Be flexible

If you’re not worried about things like size, looks or features, then your flexibility will be rewarded with the lowest possible price. The cheapest rental cars are the ones with the fewest features. Going back to basics really gets you more bang for your buck.

6) Relocate and save

Rental car companies often need to have a car relocated from one place to another, especially after a one way journey. Do some ringing around and see if there’s a car in your vicinity that needs to be relocated to your destination. Rental might even be free, with you only having to pay for fuel. Well worth a call, or check out the growing number of websites devoted to rental car relocations.

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