Recently a member of our team here at RealFamilyTrips.com had occasion to reserve a car rental. By browsing several sites, he was able to find a wide range of prices for similar cars despite looking in the same city and for the same weekend. After making an initial booking, he revisited a few weeks later on a whim to find still more (and quite drastic) variations in price; including some much cheaper than his initial reservation.
It’s times like this that we like to emphasize the word “Real” in our name. We are real travelers ourselves. Active ones who strive to provide the kind of information we wish we could find more easily when booking our own vacations and trips. With real families to consider, we understand that price and convenience are both major considerations and that in an ideal world, we should be able to have both.
Search Deeper to Find Best Car Rental Deal
So here are three quick, simple tips to help ensure you get the best possible price when renting a car (whether it is for a vacation or not!)
Get Multiple Quotes (Not Too Many, or Too Few)
It may seem like a no brainer, but you’re unlikely to get the best price by just going with your first quote. We all know it pays to shop around, however we also recognize that time is a commodity…especially as a parent. You want to hit that sweet spot between looking at one price and rolling the dice with your money, and spending every free moment trying to scrape dollars off a quote. You may also find it interesting to know that while there are a seemingly endless number of options out there, not all of them will ultimately be all that different. You may find it interesting to refer back to our recent travel tip about the state of online booking. Many of these companies are owned by or have deals with one another, making their offers redundant. We find the magic number to be three, and with our top recommended sites you are sure to get a great cross section of the available deals without losing your entire Sunday afternoon. Check these three to get the most bang for your buck and hour:
Check Back Even After Your Initial Booking
It always pays to book early. There is a better chance of getting a great deal, as well as that invaluable peace of mind that once you get to, or prepare to leave for your destination, something will be waiting for you. As travel experts we also know that there are two main types of deals: those that come from booking very early and those that come from booking last minute. Car rental companies want to make sure that they are going to make money by having their inventory in use; they get nothing from cars sitting on the lot. The two times they are most likely to fear this and slash prices are months out (when nothing is booked yet) and at the last minute (if nothing ended up getting booked). So reserve early and lock in a good price, then check again closer to the date and see if something even better came along. If you follow our first tip, it won’t take long, and could end up being more than worth your while.
Make Sure You Take Advantage of All Available Discounts
Do you also drive at home? If you a member of AAA, Hertz will give you a discount of 10%-20% off your rental and/or other bonuses like free upgrades or double rewards points. AARP members can get up to 25% off a rental with Hertz. Every little bit helps so if you hold a membership in either of these groups, don’t forget to take advantage!
We hope you found these tips useful in booking your next car for travel. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter, as we also like to promote special limited time deals we come across, including rental car savings!