When looking for a rental car, I’ve become rather lazy when it came to finding the best deal. Before the pandemic, I simply booked a pay-at-the-counter reservation and left it up to Autoslash to keep looking for the best price right until the trip. The method worked well, like when we saved $180 from the time we originally booked until the final price we paid at the counter.
Now that we’re looking to travel in the COVID-vaccinated United States later this year, we’re discovering, along with many others, that rental cars are few and far between. The explanation that rental car companies sold off their excess cars and it takes time to restock inventory from car companies who also slowed down production doesn’t make it any easier to see the prices for weekly car rentals at the end of the summer.
While I was able to snag cheap award seats from Orlando to Austin, there were no such discounts to be found on rental cars for our stay.
Following my own guide on how to find a cheap rental car, I started my search by looking at Hotwire to get a baseline price. Things were not promising.
The cheapest price for a standard car was from Dollar for $589. If there was no other choice, I’d pay it but that’s only the first part of the process. The next step was to go to the secret weapon, Autoslash.
I filled out their online form and waited for the response for the savings they found using all of the available discount codes. Within minutes, I got a response.
It was not what I was hoping for.
Autoslash found me an Economy car from Hertz for $587. Not the ideal vehicle for 4 people with luggage.
We’re still months from the trip and there’s time for prices to drop so I booked it and hoped they’d find me a lower price, as they’ve done in the past.
That’s when I thought of one more thing as I was looking at my reservation on the Hertz website. While in my account, I noticed the discount code from my employer I received from Perkspot. That’s the same website I use to find discounted amusement park tickets.
I went to my Perkspot account and found my corporate discount code for Hertz. I went to the website, logged into my account and searched for my dates. I was honest and said the rental was for leisure and not for a work trip.
What a difference.
The same economy car I found on Autoslash now costs $334. That’s a $250 savings.
A Chevy Spark isn’t the best car to fit 4 full-sized adults and luggage, so I looked for a larger vehicle.
A 5 passenger SUV for $477 for the week isn’t cheap, but it’s better than the prices I found anywhere else and it’s definitely better than paying almost $600 for an Economy class car.
You better believe that I’m going to enter this price into Autoslash to see if they can beat the price before our trip. I’m also going to check once or twice with my corporate discount code to see if the prices have dropped.
While I used to trust Autoslash to find me the cheapest price, I’ll have to confirm that, Post-pandemic, the auto-rental companies aren’t giving better prices to their corporate customers.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary