These days, it couldn’t be easier to secure a short-term ride. Getting the most bang for your buck, however, is a different story. Fortunately, the web also makes it way easy to find the perfect car — and a great deal — for your next getaway. Consider the following suggestions to make sure you’re doing all you can to ensure a steal on your rented wheels.
It might be tempting to jump on the first option you find in the interest of time, but even a quick look around the internet can save you a bunch. Better yet, an aggregator like Kayak can also save you time by gathering all of your choices and presenting them in one place.
While big travel deal sites may seem to have some serious bargains (and some do), you’ll usually find the best prices directly from the rental car companies themselves. Even if you scope a killer rate from a big travel site like Priceline or Expedia, take a minute and go straight to the source to confirm that you’re indeed getting the lowest price and avoid buyer’s remorse!
Location, Location, Location.
You might not think it matters, but the specific branch that you rent from can make a pretty big difference in your rate. For example, locations near the airport are typically more expensive than ones in areas with less demand; you’re better off avoiding them if possible.
Don’t Forget Discount Codes and Coupons.
A quick Google search can yield more options, including sites dedicated completely to travel deals, but check out Groupon and LivingSocial first. These sites usually have at least a couple discounts from popular companies that allow you to save a little bit on a vehicle.
Consider the Underdogs.
Contrary to popular belief, there at least a couple of other rental services besides the name-brands like Avis, Hertz, and Enterprise that can offer a more competitive price. Try small independent companies such as Fox and Payless to expand your search.
Be Flexible with Rental Dates.
If you can, consider adding an extra day to your rental period. We know — it seems counter-intuitive. However, depending on the time of the week, you may be able to finagle a lower rate. The best part? You can always return the car earlier if you need to, while still taking advantage of a lower price!