Saving Money on Car Rentals

Category Renting a Car
Renting a car is sometimes necessary when you are away from home or your car is being repaired. Finding ways to save on the this expense can be very handy. This is a page about saving money on car rental.


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We recently needed a rental car while our car was in the shop. I checked the online deals and they were all very high, perhaps because it is summer or perhaps our locale. I remembered that U-Haul advertises $29.95/day rentals. This does not include mileage, so be sure you will not be driving many miles.

Your best choices are a large van or a large pickup truck. They are not the easiest to drive, but our total was way less than the bargain car rentals. Also you do not need a large credit card deposit, only the estimate of the actual cost.

By Katherine C. from Reno, NV

Comment Was this helpful? 5

When you rent a car, figure out how to work everything before you leave the lot. This includes the headlights, heater, air conditioner, windshield wipers, windows, and trunk. If you have questions, you can get answers from the rental agent.


Source: Heloise

By Monica from Cortez, CO

Comment Was this helpful? 3

August 11, 2011

Renting a car allows you to drive yourself places when you are on a trip and don't have your own car. However, renting a car can be quite expensive. Here are a few tips to save money on renting a car:

Comment Was this helpful? 1

Shel Horowitz
October 30, 2004
  • You can usually get a much better price by renting well in advance of your trip, especially if you reserve in a low season and travel in a high season

  • Airfare sites often have very good deals on rental cars--also places like PriceLine and Hotwire (without the kinds of risks involved in using them for airfare or hotel)
  • Rent the smallest car you can fit into; sometimes you'll get a free upgrade, and you'll always save on the price
  • A full week is often cheaper than five days
  • Be careful to coordinate pick-up and return times so as not to be charged for an extra day
  • Often, the Collision Damage Waiver is redundant with your regular car insurance. Check before you rent, and save up to $10 per day if you don't need it
  • Price several companies; the rates often vary quite a bit
  • Ask about AAA, AARP, student, or other discounts
Comment Was this helpful? Yes


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

September 10, 2006

How do I minimize car rental charges and fees?

Johnp from Naples, Florida


By JS (Guest Post)
September 10, 20060 found this helpful

Make sure to check your credit cards. Be sure to use a card that has free rental car insurance so you don't have to pay for their expensive coverage.


Always book ahead of time. Stopping at the counter at the airport, and they will gouge you. I just came back from a two week trip. Our car was about $300, someone next to me paid $1,200 asking for a similar car at the airport. YIKES!

Also, use a comparison tool like kayak to compare all of the different rental agencies. Do online searches for coupon codes.

Sign up for the rental car clubs before you rent, sometimes you get added bonuses. :)

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
September 13, 20060 found this helpful

I have worked for a car rental agency for 7 years and we are always
willing to help customers, especially this time of year when traveling slows
down drastically. Be sure you ask how much their taxes are, what mileage
is included, if it's okay to travel out of state(if applicable) and if they offer
discounts ie: AAA, AARP, weekly, weekend, etc. Shop around, look for smaller


independent places, take a smaller car if you can and don't be afraid to
ask questions. If you will be a regular customer of a company let them know
that also. Good Luc

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
May 2, 20110 found this helpful

Sign up with your favorite car rental company and join their loyalty schemes. Nearly all car rental companies have them and you get really good savings.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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