Save Money on Car Rentals

Save Money on Car Rentals

Meieli Sawyer

Meieli SawyerSep 22, 20173 min read

Renting a car can seem so cheap… until you take a closer look! Charges and upgrades add up fast, and that’s why we’re here to help whittle the bill.

1. Avoid, at all costs, the "different drop off" fee 

That's how they get you: you decide that it's much easier to drop your rental off at another location, and your quote jumps by 25% or more. Even taking a Lyft from the location to your final destination will be cheaper.

2. Check your bill

These companies have a lot of business coming in and out, and I've noticed that changes aren’t always reflected. To avoid this, know what signed up for… and watch your bill like a hawk.

3. Unless there's a big reason, do not select the charged-per-mile trip option

You know how life is -- unexpected! And when you mix in the insane per-mile charges, it's not usually in your favor.

4. Shop around

Shop Around to know what deals are out there, but keep your previous rentals in mind. You are often rewarded for loyalty when renting a car.

5. Check your credit card offers

Many credit cards offer discounts and cash back when you use certain companies, and you don't have to stress about losing out on deals from Use the discount code you've discovered online, pair it with a credit card that gives cash back, and you're golden.

6. Consider asking for an upgrade when you arrive at the rental desk

Dreaming of an SUV, or a premium car? You may do better if you chance it when you pick up your car. Consider getting your car on an off-peak time to maximize your opportunities (not Friday afternoon!). The only time you shouldn't try this technique is when you need the extra space when you're traveling (like if you have a kennel for your dog, a ton of luggage, or six people).

7. Look for extras instead of cash savings

Maybe you're looking at $10 off your rental, but, with another company, you can score special forgiveness for a late drop-off. It’s not all about the final cost.

8. Consider your options

Consider the carthat your co-pilot likes instead of the car you want. Will you take turns driving? If you will, be sure to get something they are comfortable with, too, or you could face an awkward situation. If your driving partner likes small cars, for example, stick with the economy version.

9. Don't think twice about color or fancy features

You run the risk of making decisions based on things that may hurt your wallet in the long run (“Oh, we have a white convertible… but it’s an upgraded model!”).

10. Review the deals

Think you've finally found the best price? Go to and find out if that’s true. There are lots of options online:

  • Hertz: Get 10% off your next monthly deal
  • Budget: Score 20% to 40% off
  • Sixt: Get 35% off a weeklong rental
  • Dollar: Get 10% off a weekend rental
  • Avis: Claim $10 off $100

Happy Driving!