Getting There

 

There are a lot of Internet search engines to help you find deep discounts on a car rental at your specific destination.  You should compare any Internet rates with any corporate discounts you might have through your employer.  We have also found that it is usually cheaper to rent a car separately than in a “bundle” or package deal. You should also NOT assume that your rental car will include unlimited mileage, so confirm this prior to booking.

 

If you are renting a car abroad, understand that the car “class” or size can vary in your destination – cars tend to be smaller in Europe, for example. In addition, some car manufacturers make different versions of the same car for different markets. This can affect the size of the car. Be sure to research the type of car and the number of passengers and suitcases it will hold prior to booking.

You should expect to pay more for an automatic transmission car in Europe and other countries. If you can’t drive a manual transmission car, book your car rental early.

If you are renting a car overseas, beware of SERIOUS extra taxes and surcharges. Also, call your credit card company to see if they provide extra coverage on rental cars at your destination, as many do. You should try to avoid signing up for the extra coverage rental car companies try to sell you if you are already covered (as these charges add up quickly).

I would also call your car insurance company to see if you actually have full auto coverage in your destination city – if not, you will be forced to buy the “extras” from the rental car company. Some car insurance companies will not fully cover drivers in Mexico, for example.

After booking your car reservations, you should receive an email confirmation from your booking agent. Be sure to save these confirmations in a new document on this page. Simply open your email confirmation, copy it and paste it into a new document here by clicking on the “Create New Document” button. Remember to name your new documents intuitively (ex: CarRentalJakarta).



The list of links we provide is by no means comprehensive – they represent a few of the “bigger” travel websites that provide car rental options. The websites that we list are in alphabetical order. We have not listed the major car rental companies individually, as these are usually compared and included in the third-party travel agency searches. This is not to say that you shouldn’t check for online coupons available with the major rental car agencies or compare prices against the third-party search engines.

Priceline.com "Name Your Own Price"

We love using the Priceline.com “Name Your Own Price” tool where users bid on a rental car in a specified destination city, pick-up location in that city and class/size of vehicle. We have used this option several times and always rented from a major rental car company. When we were trying to book a rental car during Spring Break in Florida, all the other rental car booking sites wanted to charge $40/day. We “bid” on a car through “Name Your Own Price” and booked a rental car for $18/day. When bidding on Priceline.com “Name Your Own Price” be sure to read the fine print about cancellation and extra fees. Without purchasing cancellation insurance you are stuck paying for the contracted amount regardless of picking up the car. This booking tool has it’s downfalls in that you must pay up front when you “win” the rental car bid. You cannot cancel your reservation without buying the cancellation insurance prior to bidding. In addition, the cancellation insurance doesn’t cover every scenario and “reason” for cancelling -- so definitely read the fine print or call Priceline.com prior to bidding if you think there is a chance that you might need to cancel.

Vroomvroomvroom.com:

We have successfully used vroomvroomvroom.com to rent a car on several occasions. They search all the major rental car companies for you and guarantee the cheapest price on the best vehicle in countries all over the world. In addition, no payment is required until you pick up your car and you can cancel your reservation at any time for FREE. They generally do not have any hidden fees, as well (but always check the fine print).

When using this website, continue checking to see if rental car prices have gone down as you get closer to your pick-up date – you might get lucky and find a better deal. For example, we booked a rental car in Hawaii one month in advance of departure and received a confirmation email locking in our rate. Then one week prior to leaving, we repeated the same rental car search and found a larger car for $350 LESS over our two-week stay on the islands.

Airgorilla.com:  Search for low car rentals from “continuously updated” databases from this travel industry “consolidator.”

Atlaschoice.com:  Book inclusive low-cost car rentals with over 12,000 locations worldwide.

Carrentals.com:  Search and compare car rental prices from one of the best car rental aggregators on the web.

CheapAir.com:  Research car rental prices throughout the world.

Economybookings.com:  Find car rentals from over 400 car rental companies in 127 countries and more than 7,350 car rental locations.

Expedia.com:  Search for car rentals with “the world’s largest full-service online travel agency, with localized sites in 31 countries.”

Hotwire.com:  Find discounted airfare and travel bundles. This is owned by Expedia, Inc.

Kayak.com:  This is a very robust travel metasite engine that compares airline, hotel, car rental, cruise, and other vacation packages from other travel sites. It is now owned by Priceline.com.

OneTravel.com:  Compare car rental prices offered on the Internet.

Orbitz.com:  Search for cheap Internet airfares or bundles.

Priceline.com:  Search competitive car rental prices through “negotiations” facilitated by Priceline.com.

Rentalcars.com:  Search cheap car rentals at over 6,000 locations worldwide.

Smartertravel.com:  Read and learn about travel news and the best travel deals worldwide to find the right vacation at the right price.  Search for car rental deals, as well.

Travelocity.com:  Find discounted car rentals from major car rental companies.

Yapta.com:  Search for great car rental prices (powered by Kayak.com).

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