Travel Tips: Saving on the Rental Car

More often than not these days, we find ourselves relying on rental cars once we’ve arrived to our travel destination by plane.  Yes, sometimes we can get away without one given good public transportation (or our own 2 feet) and/or generous family and friends who don’t mind carting us around, but to be independent and free to explore, going with a rental is occasionally necessary.

Aloha! Our rental on the Big Island

Rental cars are expensive, and if you plan to be at your destination for longer than a couple of days, it can really start to add up.  Though a little time consuming and maybe just a little complicated (totally worth it!), we here at “Wild Tales of…” feel we have a way to help you save some money on your rental wheels.  To make things easier, I’ve broken the process down into 5 steps.

Cleaning up the rental in Iceland. Rental car needed if you want to explore the Ring Road.

1. Buy an Entertainment Book.  Already have one? Great! You just have 4 steps. If you don’t already have an entertainment book, get one.  Trust me, it’ll be worth it, and you’ll quickly get the money you spent on the book back in the savings you accumulate.

2. Determine available companies at your destination.  Do this by using a travel search site, such as Expedia.  Enter your dates and location for a compiled list of rates.

3. Choose your company. Based on your search, choose the company with the cheapest rate.

4. Go to Entertainment.com.  Once on the entertainment book’s website, look up the company you chose in step 3.  Scrutinize the coupons, and figure out the best deal based on your stay.  This is where you have to do some critical thinking.  Here are just some of the coupons out there:

  • monthly rates
  • 2 week rates
  • international rentals
  • Hawaii-only rentals
  • free Saturday coupon
  • free upgrade

Choose the best coupon for your situation,  and via entertainment.com, plug in that information and register for the rental car by clicking through to your chosen company.

5. Keep an eye on your situation.  If you found yourself a good, fair rate, be happy!  Congrats. You can relax.  If it still seems expensive, check back every 1-2 weeks through your travel search website (expedia, travelocity, etc.).  Find a better rate? Book that reservation just like before, then cancel your old one.

This baby helped us travel up and down the central California coast.

More Rental Car Saving Tips

  • In our “Wild Tales of…” experience, you get a better rate by going directly through the company’s website + coupon (via entertainment.com), than going through a travel search website like Expedia.
  • For last minute trips, you’ll save a lot with Hotwire.com
  • Plan ahead!  The further in advance you reserve your rental car, the better your rate will be (most of the time).
  • Don’t always rely on the airport locations of rental car companies.  Check for sites away from the airport, and you’ll often save yourself some cash. If you find better rates away from the airport, it might just be worth it to take public transportation or the hotel shuttle to get there.

While in the D.C. area, they took one look at Bergen & upgraded us to a mini-van!

This post is part of Travel Tips Tuesday on WalkingOn Travels and Suitcases and Sippy Cups.  For tons more travel tips, check out their sites!

Come along with us on all of our adventures by “liking” our facebook page and following us on twitter!

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8 thoughts on “Travel Tips: Saving on the Rental Car

  1. Thanks for the tips! Summer is a good time to purchase an Entertainment book at a discount because the coupons expire in November and they want to clear the current year’s inventory.

  2. Pingback: Travel Tips: Saving Money on the Hotel « Wild Tales of…

  3. Pingback: Budget Travel Tips: Cheap Eats While on the Road « Wild Tales of…

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