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Rental Car Companies - Finding the Best Deal

Sep 9, 2008
Are you looking for a good deal on a rental car? There are several rental car companies to choose from and they all have different rates and specials. Finding the best rental rates can be a bit tricky but once you know the ins and outs of finding deals it can be fairly simple. Here are some tips to finding the best car rental rates.

Search for Rates

To look for the lowest rental rates, the internet is a great tool. There are online travel websites, such as Expedia and Orbitz that will give you the available rates and car models from various rental agencies. You can easily price and model compare for the dates you need a rental. Keep in mind the rate that is initially displayed usually does not include all taxes and fees. There also may be better rates available from individual car companies' websites since they reserve the best rates for customers who rent directly through them.

Find Discounts

There are several discounts available but they are rarely advertised so it pays to do some research. Common discounts include corporate, auto clubs (such as AAA) and senior discounts. If you qualify, there is usually a place for a discount code on the agency's website. If you don't know the code, contact the qualifying company and ask for the code or call the rental agency and ask. Keep in mind that that discounts can not usually be used in conjunction with special rates. In any case, special rates are usually the cheapest option. To apply the discount you'll need to show proof such as a membership card at check-in.

Partnerships

Most rental car agencies partner up with airlines and other companies in the travel business such as cruise lines, hotels and theme parks. If you'll be renting your car on vacation then it pays to ask the airline, hotel or cruise line if they partner with a rental car company. You'll need to show your ticket or confirmation when you pick up you rental car.

Insurance

Insurance costs can be more than the actual rental fees. Sometimes your own car insurance or the credit card you'll be using will cover part or all of the insurance requirements. It pays to find out so research it beforehand. If you do need to purchase insurance then figure out which option best fits your needs. Agents will try to sell you the most expensive insurance which may not be what your need.

Be Willing to Switch

Customers tend to give repeat business to the company that gave them the best rate in the past. Since rental companies are constantly changing there rates, it pays to shop around and find the cheapest. If you're looking for the best rate then be willing to switch and try a different rental car agency.
About the Author
Linden Walhard often edits publications on news dealing with hire cars in Spain. You might find out more about his work on hire cars in Spain and car hire from alicante airport here.
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