19 Clever Rental Car Hacks to Slash Your Costs and Save Money


Are you planning to rent a car for an upcoming trip without breaking the bank? You’re in luck! 

Here are 15 practical tips to ensure you get the most value for your money, from discovering discounts, making the most of loyalty programs, and mastering the intricacies of car renting.

From comparing prices and vehicle options to maximizing savings through promotions and flexible terms, we’ll help you make informed decisions and find the best deals.

Let’s explore strategies to save money while enjoying the convenience and freedom of renting a car.

Buckle up for a rewarding car rental experience that saves you money!

1. Choose Economy

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Economy cars are known for being affordable, making them the best choice if you want to save on rental fees.

Many companies even offer great discounts on economy rentals, so it’s perfect for budget-conscious travelers who want to manage expenses.

Choosing an economy car means saving money without sacrificing quality and enjoying a comfortable and efficient travel experience.

2. Seek Out Promo Deals

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Car rental promotions are an excellent opportunity to save money.

Many companies offer enticing deals, including discounted rates and additional discounts, especially for multiple-day bookings.

By seizing these offers, you can unlock even greater savings and enjoy a budget-friendly car rental experience.

3. Discounts for Members

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Lots of car rental companies give discounts to loyalty program members.

You can save even more if you’re part of AAA or AARP. Plus, credit cards and airline programs often offer rental discounts, too.

By taking advantage of these sweet deals and flexible terms, you can enjoy the freedom and convenience of renting a car without breaking the bank.

4. Avoid the Airport

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Forget about airport car rentals! They may seem convenient initially, but beware of the hefty fees that can drain your wallet.

Instead, check out rental agencies near your destination or hop on a ride-sharing service.

By going off-airport, you could save up to 20% on rental costs. Plus, say goodbye to those long airport lines!

5. Book Early

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By booking well ahead of time, you can compare prices from various car rental companies and guarantee yourself the best deal.

Being an early bird also allows you to take advantage of exclusive early-booking offers, helping you save even more.

6. Use Coupons and Codes

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When making online bookings, it’s important to consider the potential savings you can unlock using coupon codes and discounts.

You can save a ton of money by simply searching for and applying these codes with just a few clicks.

7. Choose One Driver

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When booking a rental car, it’s important to remember that adding another driver usually means extra daily charges, adding to the overall cost.

While some rental companies might let you add a spouse or family member without fees, those under 25 may still face an additional charge.

If you can manage with just one driver, it’s a good idea to do so and save some cash.

8. Consider Longer Stays

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If you’re planning a longer stay, like a week or two, it’s always a smart idea to check out the rates for renting a car.

You can save a lot compared to the regular daily rate. Most big rental companies offer these discounts, and they can help you stick to your budget for the long haul.

9. Choose Your Day

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When you rent a car, it’s good to know that some days of the week have better rates.

Being flexible with your schedule can save more and make the most of your trip.

Keep an eye on prices and adjust your plans to take advantage of these opportunities, which can help you save money.

10. Consider Leasing

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Leasing a car is more cost-effective than renting, especially for longer periods.

With leasing, you can enjoy a higher quality vehicle for a set time at lower rates, which beats short-term rentals any day.

Plus, leasing plans usually have more flexible policies than traditional car rentals.

11. Use a Discount Website

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Websites like Kayak and AutoSlash can help you compare prices from different companies and snag the best deals in your area.

Say goodbye to the hassle of endless searching because AutoSlash ensures you get the lowest price for your rental car by finding exclusive coupons and discounts.

With these invaluable tips, you can save cash and have a stress-free, enjoyable car rental experience.

12. Use Car-Sharing Services

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Car-sharing services are a fantastic alternative to traditional car rentals.

With platforms like Turo and Getaround, you can rent vehicles directly from private owners at a much lower rate and without many of the fees.

Plus, you can find cars that better suit your needs than what regular rental companies offer.

13. Skip the Upgrades

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When renting a car, rental companies often try to convince you to buy upgrades.

These upgrades hardly give you any real benefits and usually cost more than the basic package.

So, unless you really need an upgrade, it’s better to stick with what you’ve got.

14. Prepay

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Paying for your car rental beforehand is usually a better deal than waiting until you get to the rental office.

It can save you money in the long run since some companies charge an extra fee for not prepaying.

Plus, paying upfront ensures you get the reserved rate and car model.

15. Do Your Research

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Before renting a car, conducting thorough research is crucial. Compare rates from various companies to secure the best possible deal.

While Costco and Budget are well-known, independent companies often offer competitive prices.

Additionally, certain locations may provide enticing perks, such as free upgrades or discounts for loyal customers.

16. Earn Cash Back

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Before renting a car, check out sites like Rakuten and Swagbucks. They partner with many websites to offer you cash back on your purchases, including rental car companies.

While most times you are only looking at 1-3% cash back on a rental of a couple hundred dollars, this adds up.

17. Be Loyal

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Consider signing up for loyalty programs and sticking to a certain rental car company. Doing this will accomplish two things. First, you will be more likely to get discounts as they will share promos with you first.

Second, you can earn reward points that you can use to lower your costs.

18. Skip Insurance

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Spend a little time reviewing your insurance coverage to see if you need to buy rental coverage or if your policy already covers you.

Also, see what coverages your credit card offers. You will often have sufficient coverage from one or both of these, allowing you to skip the pricey coverage offered by the rental company.

19. Do Some Research

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One way rental companies get you to pay more is for refilling the gas tank. If you don’t refill, a hefty penalty is charged. To make it easier on you, many now offer you to prepay, which is much cheaper. But this price per gallon is often more than what you can find nearby.

So, spend a few minutes researching gas prices for the area you will be in to see the most cost-effective option.

Best Frugal Living Tips

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There is a misconception that living frugally means living a miserable life.

But the reality is, most frugal people are happier and wealthier.

Here are some simple steps to start living frugally and be happier as a result.


Fun Money Saving Challenges

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Do you find it boring to save money?

If you are motivation by turning things into a game, check out these money saving challenges.

There is a game for you that will make saving fun and exciting so that you make it a priority to save money.


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