Last Updated on January 16, 2021 by Michael
Are you in your golden years? You can snag great senior discounts on rental cars. Not only do rental car companies frequently offer discounts, but if you’re over 50, AARP membership can deliver sweet savings.
If you’ve got a valid license, there’s no age limit for renting a car in the U.S. and Canada. (Overseas can be a different story, unfortunately.)
Rental Car Savings for Seniors
For drivers over the age of 50, AARP members consistently delivers savings. Still, you can sometimes do even better. Every day, AutoSlash finds great discounts for renters age over 50—so ask us for a quote.
AARP Travel Benefits for Seniors
AARP membership gives you access to low rates on car rentals as well as other benefits that can save you money. For example, membership means you get a free additional driver and a cap on the financial responsibility if there’s damage to the rental car. Membership also gets you discounts with companies in the AvisBudget Group (Avis, Budget, Payless, and ZipCar).
But here’s a secret: Even if you’re under the age of 50, AARP membership provides the same discounts and benefits. That’s right. You don’t need to be 50 to join the AARP.
Not a member? Download the AARP app and you can join on the spot. AARP can issue a membership card instantly. If the lowest rate happens to be with AARP, you can pay the nominal membership fee to join before reaching the rental car counter.
Car Rental Senior Discounts That Fall Flat
When booking a “special” senior rate, be aware that it requires removing another discount. Since the best publicly available discount often the senior discount, it is important to get a quote to make sure you’re getting the very best deal.
There’s a cautionary tale here. Companies frequently offer disingenuous “senior discounts” while providing better discounts to the general public. Our guidance is to generally avoid senior rates other than the AARP discount.
Here’s a look at some senior discounts that come up short:
Alamo Senior Discount
Senior Circle for renters 50 and over, but the company doesn’t even list a hypothetical discount on a rental and here’s a pretty good reason why. Not only does booking “Senior Circle” require booking directly through Alamo’s website, but the best rates available to the general public are typically more than 12 percent lower.
Hertz Senior Discount
Hertz similarly offers a 50 Plus Program, but it is unlikely to provide a renter with the lowest possible rate at Hertz. While the program promises a savings of “up to 20 percent” and the ability to use coupons, a renter has to remove the best available public discount to add the 50 Plus Program code. Again, we usually find that the best available rate is 12 percent lower than the “senior discount”.
Sixt Senior Discount
Sixt manages to be even worse than E-Z, offering a 5 percent discount for those over 50 but requires prepayment, locking renters into rates that don’t even start to approach the discounts we find every day for renters.
Best Rates for Seniors Through AutoSlash
When you request a quote from AutoSlash, note that we don’t have a way for a renter to flag an age over 50. And there’s a good reason. After running millions of price requests, we know that traditional, non-AARP discounts for senior renters are not likely to deliver the best rates.
Still want a senior rate? Book a “Pay Later / Free Cancellation” senior rate elsewhere and then let us track your price. We’ll tell you if a lower rate is available with any rental car company, not just the company where you booked your senior rate. Our goal is to always find the lowest rate for which you are eligible, which will invariably be lower than what rental car companies offer to targeted age groups.