Paying more than we need to when we travel can range from embarrassing to downright unnecessary. The three biggies in travel expenses are airfare, hotels, and car rentals. For all three of those I’ve got surefire ways of making sure I don’t overpay. But how do you make REALLY sure you are not overpaying? In the case of saving money on car rentals, what many people do to monitor their car rental rates simply isn’t necessary to get the lowest rate. Let’s look at the best save money car rental hack available to us all!
Some savvy travelers suggest checking rates on upcoming car rentals again and again to save money. A friend told me he uses Costco when renting cars. After making a reservation he’ll monitor the rate and in one case checked his current rental reservation 4 times. His point is to re-check rates for price drops.
Now I’m all for saving money, but something about his method to save money doesn’t make sense to me. I never check rates after my initial rental car booking. I give my reservations to Autoslash, the rental car tracking and booking company, and let them do the heavy lifting for me. I’ve been using them for years, still use them, and they never fail to find me a better car rental rate.
Why Use Autoslash For Saving Money On Car Rentals?
I want to remind you all of the same thing. In fact I reached out to Autoslash because when a savvy traveler does something different, I wonder about it. I wondered if maybe the reason he didn’t use Autoslash was that it doesn’t include Costco in its price searching. But turns out they do.
Here’s what the guys at Autoslash told me:
“The prices we at Autoslash find should either meet or beat the price found on Costco Travel. During the quote request process, we ask if you have a Costco membership so we check if those discount and coupon codes help save money on your request. That means, your friend could start with a quote from our site and get the same rates he would find on Costco or even better. He could also book the lowest rate he finds on Costco Travel and submit that reservation for price tracking so we can let him know if a lower price comes along.”
Best Ways To Use Autoslash
With Autoslash just book the easiest rental car reservation you can. Then send AutoSlash the reservation details and wait for them to do their magic.
And just so you don’t think AutoSlash only works its magic in easy locations, here’s a quote I got from a friend about his rental on the Big Island of Hawaii.
If you’ve ever been, you’ll know Hawaii is a tough-to-get-good-deals car rental market. It’s hard to save money on car rentals in expensive destinations.
He said, “I love these emails!” He was referring to this part of the email he got from AutoSlash that read: “You were originally booked at $345.45 USD, and the price has now dropped to $248.21 USD. We’ve automatically re-booked your rental at the lower rate. You’ve saved $97.24 USD without even lifting a finger!”
And I can tell you the price continued to go down even more in the months before he arrived in Hawaii.
My Money-Saving Results Using Autoslash
I just looked at my own emails from AutoSlash. I realized I started using them way back in August 2011. Have no idea who even told me about them. Whoever you were, I owe you a big thank you for this save money car rental hack!
I am now a car rental company agnostic after breaking up with Hertz. But what I used to do was book a car on the Hertz site. That way my Hertz elite number was on the reservation. I didn’t really care what price was quoted. I knew I’d be feeding the reservation to AutoSlash and letting them work on a better deal.
AutoSlash has two options when you enter your reservation, and one of them is for a rental you’ve booked elsewhere. It’s just so easy. AutoSlash continues to monitor the rental and send you updates when it finds better prices.
What I really appreciate is that when they send you the better price options, they include ALL the rental companies. Not just the one you’ve booked your car with. Before I was a car rental agnostic, I was partial to the lower rates they found with Hertz. Now, though, I’m looking more closely at all the options they send me!
Another option they provide, which sometimes you may have to pay close attention to in order to notice, is options for different and cheaper locations. Meaning that you’ll get options for an off-site location if it’s close to the airport.
Or as has happened to me, if I’m booking a car and using a location that’s nowhere near the airport, they’ll provide a few options that differ in price. This is always curious to me. However, because different locations, even for the same company, have different demands, prices do vary.
Two Essential PRO TIPS For Using Autoslash
When you receive the email saying AutoSlash has found you a cheaper price, you click through to see the deal. You’ll notice they send you to Priceline.
If you’ve been using Autoslash for any length of time you noticed the shift from the past when AutoSlash sent you that “We Found A Better Deal” email. You chose the better deal and then AutoSlash handled the rest. They rebooked the car for you at the lower price. The booking stayed with AutoSlash.
When this change using Priceline in the booking process happened, I sent AutoSlash an email with my questions about the NEW booking process. I asked them what’s up.
As I’ve mentioned before, the team at AutoSlash offers great customer service! And they provide the #1 save money car rental hack, for sure.
Here’s what they told me. I’ve BOLDED the most important information you NEED TO KNOW.
Thanks for contacting us!
Since we’re able to find such deeply discounted rates, a number of rental car companies have taken steps to block us from booking with them. We’re still able to find rates for these companies—we just aren’t able to actually book directly with them. For these companies, we’re still able to help you book through other major travel sites, and so our emails contain links that take you to Priceline to complete reservations for these companies. The only thing to be aware of is that if you book through Priceline, we won’t be able to automatically rebook your reservation if prices drop. So, be sure to head over to autoslash.com/track and put in your confirmation number after you book at Priceline so we can notify you when a lower rate comes along. We’re still intent on finding our customers the very best possible rates, and nothing has changed in that regard. As for cancelling a reservation, you’d do that by cancelling through Priceline as they are the booking agency.
We look forward to saving you even more money on your rental car rates!
So don’t forget when you book those cheaper rates, feed the new booking to AutoSlash. Then they can keep working on getting an even better rate!
I then asked AutoSlash if it really is important for us to cancel our car rental bookings. Maybe we can we just let them expire. Here’s another piece of essential information.
We always recommend cancelling any reservations you know you won’t be using. Rental companies have been more aggressive in adding fees for no-shows so it’s better to cancel and not need to worry about that. Even with rates that we offer they do sometimes have those fees in the terms and conditions, but would require entering your credit card info while completing the reservation.
I know people will comment that they’ve never gotten a better deal with AutoSlash. You may not believe me, but I’ve ALWAYS saved money by letting AutoSlash work with my reservations.
One time back a few years ago, I had a car reserved in Phoenix during the Phoenix busy season. I noticed I wasn’t getting any emails from AutoSlash reducing my rate. Decided to be proactive and email them.
I asked them if there was anything we could do to lower my rate. They told me not for Hertz, but if I was willing to go with another company and maybe pick up a car offsite, I could get a better rate. That saved me $41, so I decided to forfeit those Hertz points and let them rebook the rental for me. I consider that to be fantastic customer service!
And in case you’re wondering, even though the examples I’ve given are in the U.S., I do use Autoslash internationally to save money on car rentals.
Have I convinced you to save money with this car rental hack? As you know, I’m all for using services that save me time and money. I never hesitate to add them to my travel toolbox. Certainly AutoSlash belongs right up there with Google Flights, Pruvo, and Juicy Miles. I’m much better at spending my time deciding what travel sites to enjoy and where I’m going to enjoy the local culture and food!
Are you an AutoSlash fan? What’s been your biggest savings so far?
P.S. Save yourself time, save yourself money, and just use Autoslash. The other money saving/time saving site I use is when I book hotels. Pruvo works wonders!
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