How to Save Money on Car Rentals for Your Summer Vacation

Posted on 05/23/2011

Pretty much everything about your summer vacation will cost more this year compared to 2010. You can point the finger at record-breaking gas prices which is having a widespread reach well-beyond the pump. Instead of focusing on what you can’t change, we’ve got some tips to help you focus on what you can change—including what you pay for car rental during your summer vacation.

Use Your Office Depot Rewards Card - Getting your hands on a free Worklife Rewards card from Office Depot simply requires filling out a form. Once you’ve got one it can save you money on way more than office supplies. Office Depot teamed up with Worklife Rewards partners including Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, and National Car Rental. You can receive free upgrades and up to 25% off when you flash your Office Depot rewards card.

Bid for a Better Deal - Not only does Priceline help people find great deals on hotels, airfare and cruises, but the site can also help you score a primo price on a rental car. It works the same way—just plug in the details and the price you’re willing to pay. Priceline will pitch your proposal to various car companies with the hopes of finding one willing to bite.

Avoid Airport Rentals - According to a Travelocity study, travelers pay more than 25 percent in taxes and fees when they rent a car at an airport location. Offsite they only pay about 14 percent in taxes and fees. So if you’re renting, avoid airports.

Try Auto Slash - Auto Slash searches multiple companies at once to find you the best deal. Better yet, they’ll keep searching for deals even after you book your rental car. That way if a cheaper price becomes available, they’ll cancel your reservation and re-book when rates drop.

Take a Gamble - You may want a comfortable, mid-size sedan but compact cars typically cost quite a bit less. Extra leg room often equates to extra cost. Rent a smaller car at a cheaper price and you may get upgraded for free. If the car you reserved isn’t available, you’ll get a bigger (and more expensive) rental at no additional cost. It’s a bit of a gamble, but it could pay off and save you some extra cash during your summer trip.

By Alison Storm coupon - Stay at a fun lil' B&B on your road trip! Save an extra $25 on reservations of 2 or more nights with coupon code 25GETAWAY through 05/31/2011.

Expedia - In addition to rental car savings, don't forget to save tons on your hotel room! Through 07/04/2011, shop the My Summer's Better Than Your Summer Sale for up to 30% off hotels + tons of great freebies.

* Hot deals expire quickly. This deal may no longer be valid.

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