But just be aware that you should probably read this post if you plan on using them. Unsurprisingly, prepaid car rentals are usually much cheaper than a normal car reservation.
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But they also require payment upfront and are totally inflexible in case plans change. Most car rental reservations are fully refundable by default so a great tactic for saving some money is just re-searching for a better deal and rebooking at lower rates if it changes at another point in time. There is no need to cancel the first one before booking the second reservation most of the time.
Even if the prepaid rate is the cheapest rate I see, sometimes I opt for the normal reservation and then see if Autoslash can beat it, which it usually does. In some instances, it can even beat the prepaid rate. It takes a really, really good travel service for me to change my booking habits. On the surface, Autoslash is another car rental search engine.
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Because most agencies let you cancel without penalty, that means it's possible tosearch again later for a better deal and rebook. It also takes work and time.
This is where Autoslash steps in and will automatically track a booked car rental from any agency. To track it, they need several key pieces of information: date, time, confirmation number and total price. About 8 out of 10 times, Autoslash has managed to beat my price. Insurance is not a thing most renters should pay for.
I think this is common knowledge these days but most travel credit cards offer car rental insurance if you don't have car insurance that covers it. The most important thing to keep in mind when putting a car rental on a credit card is that most credit cards require the renter to decline all possible forms of insurance — including what gets offered at the counter — in order for it to kick in as primary car rental insurance and have the reservation must be booked on that specific card. The cards that offer it typically include well-known travel cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Chase Freedom and specific Amex cards.
The Points Guy offers up a good list of credit cards though certainly not exhaustive that offer it but always double check the policy with the card issuer. The potential savings are substantial when it actually works. Sometimes, the cost of adding on insurance can easily double the price of the rental. This post originally appeared on Map Happy , which features the best travel hacks, gear and tech to be the best traveler that you can be. We're using cookies to improve your experience. Click Here to find out more. Entertainment Like Follow. Besides, if I can't hack it, then I really shouldn't be in this line of work.
SEE ALSO : Mastermind car rental corporate codes without getting caught There was definitely a time and place, though, where I could have been hailed as a car noob, but it's much simpler to get a great deal than most people realize. Searching for the best deal There seems to be a lot of disagreement about the cheapest place to book car rentals. Scott Mackenzie from Travel Codex points out the importance of weekend rates and makes some interesting observations: Tourist destinations will charge you more for weekend rates than on weekdays and business destinations are the reverse … How do you get or avoid a weekend rate?
How to Save Money With Car Rental Deals
Avoid renting from the airport The airport has a captive audience, and when you have a captive audience, you can always charge more for it. Head to the car rental company site Generally, I can get an even lower price than Kayak quote or whatever search engine I just used. Skip the prepaid car rental for now Unsurprisingly, prepaid car rentals are usually much cheaper than a normal car reservation. The search process starts the same on most car rental sites — entering in dates, times, and pickup and dropoff locations — and the modifiers are the same — selecting your car type, preferred car rental agency, and your preferences on features.
As a result, we were less forgiving on websites that were even slightly harder to use than their competitors.
Car Rentals: Compare Cheap Car Rentals & Find Deals | Skyscanner
We cut an additional four sites for not being able to find or load results for car rental searches. As much as we loved Booking. Cheapair similarly told us no cars were available, while FareBuzz and OneTravel failed to load a results page at all — no matter how long we kept our browser running. We cut several websites for having an immediately off-putting design. We also wanted the best car rental sites to give us a map of possible locations, and we wanted the map to be useful. We liked having a map when we looked for rental agencies within a city and could visually see whether a company was on the north or south side of Seattle and when we looked specifically at rental agencies near the airport.
This left us with seven travel websites, including four websites from the Expedia Group: CheapTickets, Expedia, Orbitz, and Travelocity; two sister websites, Priceline and Kayak; and one lone wolf, Skyscanner. For these remaining sites, we wanted to find not just any car, but the right car. All seven websites had passed the initial hurdle of finding any available cars to rent. To make sure that they were tracking down prices from the right websites, we took it a step further and verified that all the top rental car companies with high customer satisfaction ratings were represented.
While we wanted to see low rates, we also wanted to be getting them from reputable agencies. All seven passed with flying colors. We were thoroughly impressed with Priceline. Again, we liked how Priceline. We were also impressed with how easy Priceline. The less work you have to do finding a deal, the quicker you can get to where you need to go. These details are only later revealed when you choose the car and prepare to reserve.
We were particularly impressed with CheapTickets, which is part of the Expedia family, for giving us the most options when it came to choosing a rental car. If you know exactly the type of car you want, CheapTickets is your guiding beacon in finding it.
In addition to choosing where and when you pick up and drop off your rental car, you can choose to only search for cars rented by a specific company, and request special equipment — right off the bat, without having to sort through results first. A big part of our decision making process came down to how intuitive and easy to use the sites were, and CheapTickets more than satisfies. We were easily able to see all of the searches we conducted clearly listed on the home site — and the page, not surprisingly, tailored its ads to the destinations we searched.
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This might help someone find deals they might have otherwise skimmed over. To make changes to the map, CheapTickets required us to leave the map view, add a filter, and then go back and look at the map to see how our preferences affected our options. Unlimited mileage is pretty much how it sounds: You can drive as far as you want in exchange for paying a little more money.
Yes — all of our websites let us request a navigation system, toddler seat, or ski rack to be included with our rental. We found collision protection policies to be better through these travel sites than actual car rental agencies. Expedia websites and Priceline guaranteed us a free cancellation — something not included when we went through Kayak directly to the Fox Rent a Car page.