How Can I Find Car Rental Deals on the Internet?

As with most other areas of travel, the Internet has made renting a car much simpler and more convenient. Convenience is not the only advantage in renting a car online, the cost savings may also be considerable; however, finding the best car rental deal may take just a little time and effort.

When searching for a car to rent online, start with a very general search, being specific can eliminate sites that might have savings packages outside the limits of your search. While a small car is generally less expensive to rent than a large car this is not always the case. Entering specific sizes, makes and models as part of your initial search may keep you from finding a larger yet less expensive rental. Once a search has pulled up a large number of sites, you can begin to weed out those that don’t meet your cost needs.

Odd though it may read, sometimes renting a vehicle for a longer period of time may be less expensive. Many car rental companies offer weekly specials or weekend specials that can be less than a daily rental for a shorter period of time. This is especially true if the rental is going to be for a significant length. For instance, if you are going to rent a car for six days, look at the weekly rate or if you are going to rent a vehicle for twenty-one days, check the monthly rate.

If there is a free frequent renters club join it even if you think you may never rent again. Many times frequent renters have access to better rates. Also, check for discounts given to members of other associations particularly AARP and AAA. Often there are discounted rates for members of credit unions or organizational unions. Check with your employer to see if the business you work for receives car rental discounts. Many employees and/or alumni of educational institutions are also eligible for discounts. Generally a membership number for these organizations will be required when renting online and the membership card will have to be presented when picking the rental up.

Many online travel services also give rental car discounts when the auto is part of a travel package including air travel and/or accommodations. Price the pieces of your trip separately and then price them as a package. Banks and credit card companies may also provide car rental discounts which can be used online.

Finally, be selective about the options you choose when renting a car online. Choosing to get your car on Thursday afternoon rather than Thursday morning can save you money with some car rental companies. Returning the car to the same rental office where you picked it up can be a source of major savings as can returning it with a full tank rather than an empty one. And while you should always be sure that you are fully insured be careful not to be “double insured”. Many times your personal car insurance will cover a rental car. The credit card you use to rent a car may also carry insurance coverage. Be sure, however, to read all the insurance fine print concerning deductibles and theft protection.

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