updated: Aug. 20, 2012 @ 11:55a
posted: Dec. 11, 2007 @ 2:48a
Update: August 20, 2012
A short note before we begin
We are all volunteers, helping others out with absolutely no recompense. Please be polite.
PLEASE PLEASE read the following information and ESPECIALLY the FAQ. PLEASE.
The whole point of this forum is for SHARING of info; therefore, what you post MAY help someone else.
How to ask for help!!!!
1. Location: From-to, Airport or city. Renting a car in the city will be MUCH cheaper than getting it at the airport. If youíre arriving at the airport, consider using TAXI FARE FINDER to figure out the cost of a taxi to the rental agency in the city + cost of car rental there. This will usually be cheaper than renting it at the airport.
NOTE OF CAUTION: City offices often close sooner than the airport ones. If you're going to rent in the city,Make SURE that they're going to be open!
2. Type of Car: Mention if youíd work with any size, or if you HAVE to have a certain type. You can find a good table of various car sizes HERE, and the types of cars they usually include, along with how many people and bags you could fit in it.
3. Date & Time: When doing your research, play around with the timings. For Example : If you rented the car at 11am on Monday and are returning it on Wednesday, see if returning the car a few hours earlier will reduce the price.
Remember that if youíre late in returning the vehicle, there is a VERY SMALL grace period allowed. Some donít give you a grace period at all. Also keep in mind, that the rental agency could charge you extra if you decide to return the car to a different place.
IMPORTANT NOTE- Timing is important, so if you can be flexible here, that can work to your advantage. Usually weekly deals are available for a rental of 4 days + 1 or 2 hours. It may be worth it to play with your p/u and drop times to snag a weekly deal and use a weekly coupon on top of that. HOWEVER-- don't try to beat the system by dropping off early on a weekly deal. You could wind up paying the walk-up rate at $$$$$.
that is , 4 days plus change may be cheaper than 4....by using a coupon with a weekly deal
4. 3 Attempts MINIMUM: you MUST post rates from a bare minimum of 3 different companies and AT LEAST 3 different combinations of codes and coupons. Post the prices you've returned.
Don't forget to include tax. Go to the LAST PAGE to see the complete price with discounts, taxes and coupons applied
Donít just use 3 random codes and ask us to help you. Try using as many codes as you can (that you are ELIGIBLE for). And then post the 3 BEST rates that you found.
Also review the last 4-5 pages for codes that others have used. This way, we don't re-create your work; your post may help someone else; and perhaps you will have learned something valuable doing your homework.
Remember that this is all volunteer and it's just as much work for the old-timers to plug in the numbers as it is for the newbies. You must make an investment of time if you want to save money.-- pretty much like with everything else.
A good example of how to post can be found HERE.
1. No one here has a magic way of finding the best rate. Please do some research yourself. And post with AS MUCH information as you can.
2. Always try LEGIT codes FIRST. If you donít belong to a certain government organization or university or corporation, DONíT use that code. Expect to be asked for proof of membership for the code youíve used, and if you canít supply it, you will end up having to get a car at the walk-in rates, which would be WAY WAY more expensive.
Yes, you could be thinking that youíve never been asked for proof before but there have been many instances where people have been asked for ID and proof.
FOREWARNED IS FOREARMED.
3. BEWARE of using codes that you donít qualify for, that include insurance. If youíre in an accident, the corporation that supplied the code will check to see if youíre eligible and if youíre not, you will have to pay up!
4. Flexibility. The more you have with your dates, times, and type of car you will accept, the better your deal power.
Need a car from Tues to Thurs?
Insisting on an SUV for that mountainous Florida excursion?
Must have a convertible?
You limit your options for a cheap rental. Short-term midweek rentals make you a business-class renter, the RAC's meat and potatoes. There is little incentive to offer you a deal. It will cost them more to turn the car over than they will make renting to you.
Unless you have saved up some reward points or days, your best bet for these cases may very well be Priceline or Hotwire. Refer to bidding educations sites like betterbidding, biddingfortravel, and tripducky to see what kinds of bids are being accepted for your approximate dates
5. Additional drivers: Most corporate accounts allow free additional drivers IF it is a business rental. If the additional driver does get into an accident there most probably will be an investigation before your insurance is willing to pay out. They will probably determine that the driver was unauthorized, and void your insurance, so be careful. It is usually safer to pay the fee to have the additional driver listed in the contract.
6. Prices VARY like crazy. Let me repeat that PRICES VARY LIKE CRAZY. If you find a rate that looks somewhat better than what youíve seen so far, reserve it. Reserving is free and you can always cancel if you find a better rate later. Donít hold out in search of a better rate. Book that rate first and then keep looking.
Again- IF YOU FIND A GOOD RATE, BOOK IT IMMEDIATELY.
7. Insurance is a whole separate topic. Check your coverage thru your own insurance company and your credit cards, and consider investigating AMEX's policy, which is much cheaper than buying thru the rental agency. Most insurance companies will provide you with Primary coverage. As long as you pay for your rental in FULL with a credit card, that credit card provider will provide you with secondary coverage. Please research LDW and CDW and whether youíre insurance coverage provides you with these. Also note that some states such as NY have a clause where car insurance policies HAVE to include car rental insurance. So if youíre NOT a resident of NY, you will be forced by the rental agency to buy insurance through them, or else they wonít rent you the car.
8. Additional Driver: Consider whether you will be needing an additional driver. You may have to pay a daily fee of up to $10 or more for the privilege OR you may be able to get that for free. Policy will vary by company, state, and code. CA and NV don't charge for spouses driving. Budget doesn't charge for spouses; National won't if you are an Emerald Club member; and Hertz won't if you are both AAA holders. Alamo's WalMart code will include almost anyone for free. These are just some of the variations.
9. Loyalty Clubs: More reasons to join the loyalty clubs- advance emails of deals and coupons; better likelihood of an upgrade; opportunity to earn free days (this can be valuable on pricy one-ways!); quicker escape with your car.
10. Rent Smart! If you have a larger group to transport and multiple drivers, consider renting two smaller cars. When minivans and SUV's are at a premium, it can save you more than half the price and give you more freedom besides.
11. One-way rentals can cost BIG $$$$. Join promotions for free days (like National's 1-2-Free) and save them up. Consider seasonal relocational deals, especially into Florida in late fall and out of FL in mid-spring. "Drive out specials" can be had dirt cheap post- spring break into late spring/early summer.
A car is not always the most economical means of transportation for one-ways. Consider other options.
** Thank you riaesq and j129 for putting this together for the community! **