Last Updated on January 2, 2023 by Elizabeth
Looking for a car rental near your home, hotel or vacation rental? The only rule about landing a cheap local car rental is that there is no hard and fast rule about where to look.
Some people automatically think they’ll land a great rate at a nearby airport. It’s true that airports tend to have multiple car rental companies under one roof, which can lead to competition. But airport rates are typically higher than off-airport rates, thanks to airport surcharges and taxes.
At some airports, these extra charges can be many times the cost of the rental itself. In the example below, the rock-bottom rate of $3.58 per week at a Hawaii airport is obliterated by $400 in taxes and surcharges.
In this case, the renter should definitely compare rates at local, off-airport locations nearby. Even better, let AutoSlash do the legwork for you. Here are three tips to landing a cheap local car rental:
When you ask AutoSlash for a quote, there’s nothing stopping you from making multiple requests for different pickup locations, both airport and off-airport. We use a system called Coupon ID to automatically scan thousands of discounts and then crunch the numbers to find the very best deals.
Leverage your memberships.
Take time to give us a complete picture all of your club and organization memberships, since the discount codes for these organizations regularly offer excellent discounts. It can be worth paying their annual fees just for access to cheap rental cars. Airline frequent flyer programs and even the rental companies’ own loyalty programs, which are all free to join, can also score deep discounts on rental cars.
The earlier you book your rental car, the more you are likely to save. Unlike airline tickets, “pay later” rental car reservations can usually be canceled without a penalty. So if prices drop—as they often do—there’s no reason you can’t cancel and rebook at a cheaper rate. The best strategy is to book as early as possible, and then keep checking to see if prices go down.
AutoSlash can track this for you at no extra cost. After you book your car, ask AutoSlash to track your reservation. We’ll let you know if there’s a price drop.