Finding the best Car Rental Deal in States

By: Adrian Khoo

Finding the best deal on a can be a frustrating experience with all of the different options online. Sometimes you can click around the web for hours chasing the best deal and find a never ending set of offers. Here are some short cuts that can help you cut through all of the clutter online and get you to the rental desk quicker.

  1. Start your search at the online or like Orbitz, Travelocity or Expedia. These agencies negotiate with the car rental companies to offer competitive rates and are always competing for your business. Meta-search engines like Kayak and Mobissimo may help you to figure out which agent or company has the best deal but this is just one step in the process.

  2. Your membership programs and companies work hard for you to keep you loyal and they always have a steady stream of new offers, discounts and rewards to save you money. Often times they make a small percentage on the deals you take through them so they are always incentivized to negotiate good deals for you. Did you know that the average US consumer has nine credit cards, belongs to four rewards programs and at least one association like AAA or AARP? And, tens of millions are members of the major wholesale clubs like BJ’s or Costco across the country.

    Most of these organizations provide offer deals to help you save more on car rentals. You can search all of these websites to find the right deal for you or go to area to find all of these deals in one easy to search site. Once you find a good car rental discount or miles, points or other rewards deal, try your search again on Orbitz which allows you to enter discount codes. You should find that you will save considerably this way.

  3. You can also consider joining a frequent traveler program with one of the car rental companies directly. National Car Rental’s Emerald Club allows you to earn free days or, if you prefer, earn points or miles in your favorite rewards program. The Emerald Club costs $50 to join but may save you much more in the long run. Alamo’s Quicksilver program is free to join and will also provide special offers for members. The car rental's programs sometimes give preferred deals that are not available in other channels.

Keep in mind that rental outlets at the airports generally have higher rates than in town. If you can take public transportation downtown, you could save a great deal of money by picking up your car there. Of course, the exception to this rule is New York City where the airports are often times much cheaper than renting in town. This is largely because of the shortage of space in Manhattan and the fact that most residents in the city do not have cars. For Manhattan residents, consider heading to the airports to pick up your car or take NJ Transit, Long Island Rail Road or Metro North part of the way to your destination and pick up your car along the way for the balance of your trip.

Lastly, know what your existing car insurance policy or credit card benefits provide when it comes to rental car insurance. You probably do not need to take most of what is offered. For example, American Express cardholders should never buy the collision damage waiver from rental car companies. If you pay with the Amex card, you are covered. You should only take liability coverage. Other credit cards may have similar coverage and you should check your agreements or call customer service to confirm before counting on it. If you have car insurance for your regular car, you may be covered and not need any of the provided by the .

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