Big Changes to the AutoSlash Car Rental Booking Process

I booked a rental car today and then as I always do, I gave the booking to AutoSlash so they could find me a better deal. When I got the email saying AutoSlash had found me a cheaper price, I clicked through to see the deal, but I immediately knew something was different. The interface was different and then I realized they sent me to Priceline.

Before today, 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, and the booking stayed with AutoSlash.

This new process is confusing, so after I rebooked at the lower price through Priceline, I sent AutoSlash an email with my questions about the NEW booking process and asked them what’s up. As I’ve mentioned before, the team at AutoSlash offers great customer service, so here’s what they told me. I’ve BOLDED the most important information you NEED TO KNOW. They are big changes in how the AutoSlash process works.

Hi Shelli,

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!

This creates a whole other step for us because now when we book our cheaper rates, we once again need to feed them to AutoSlash so they can keep working on getting us even better rates! I then asked AutoSlash if it really is important for us to cancel our car rental bookings or can we just let them expire. Here’s another piece of essential information.

Hi Shelli,

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.

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I’m going to keep using AutoSlash even though I don’t like the new system because it creates more work for me. But they’ve never NOT found me a great rate and even with the rate I booked today, they’ve already saved me $53. I wanted to let you know about these changes as soon as I found out! If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below.

43 thoughts on “Big Changes to the AutoSlash Car Rental Booking Process

  1. tk

    Uh, these Autoslash changes occurred many months ago — not “[b]efore today,” as you write — and have been well reported.

    Reply
    1. Shelli Post author

      Good that you’ve known about these changes. It was news to me, so I’m guessing it will be news to many others as well. Thanks for reading and have a great day, tk.

      Reply
  2. Jack J

    Thank you for reporting on this, as I missed this change somehow! Time to boycott hertZ and these other sleazy rental car companies.

    Reply
  3. Rjb

    I used Autoslash a few times. Always found same deal at Costco Travel. The one time they found a better deal in Europe at Sixt. I couldn’t book it so I reached out. They told me they get a lot of “phantom availability “. I find Autoslash to be cumbersome with multiple steps involved for little if any saving. Pass.

    Reply
    1. Shelli Post author

      Good to know where to get your best deals, Rjb, and shop those deals. I’ve never used them for an overseas booking. This change definitely makes their process more cumbersome, I agree. Thanks for reading.

      Reply
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  5. TimmyD

    I first got that message from them late spring or early summer. I was booking for Oakland airport and they only had Priceline results. The past few times the best prices they’ve found for me where always the Priceline choices. The tracking hasn’t seemed to work for me, as I’ve started a new search with them and found cheaper prices that I wasn’t emailed about . I still think they’re great – good prices and great customer service.

    Reply
    1. Shelli Post author

      HI TimmyD, That’s weird about the new search finding cheaper prices. Make sure when you book through Priceline to give Autoslash the updating booking so they can keep searching. I agree, good prices and great customer service. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!

      Reply
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  7. BobbyC

    Today I submitted a new price request and got a better quote than I had received earlier. I thought that I should have gotten an email informing me of this lower price. I contacted AutoSlash and asked what was up. I was told that they only check prices once a day and that I would have probably received an email about that lower price later in the day. The new model is certainly more cumbersome but still worth the extra effort.

    Reply
    1. Shelli Post author

      Good comment, Bobby. I agree, it is a bit more work now, but I still get good prices from AS so I’m still a fan. Have a great day and thanks for reading.

      Reply
  8. TP

    Could not believe the deal we got last summer thru AS! The new arrangement sounds a bit cumbersome but I’ll try it once.

    Reply
  9. Jeff

    I presently have a quote with AS at $255. The FIRST time I tried going directly with an enterprise reservation less than an hour after my AS quote THEY quoted me $242. How you say, “There’s something rotten in Denmark??”

    Reply
    1. Shelli Post author

      HI Jeff, It sometimes takes AS time to email you with the better quotes they find. I’d be surprised if you didn’t get an email from them with a lower quote offer. However, you didn’t say how far out your reservation was for, so that could be a factor too. Thanks for reading and offering your data point. Hope you’ll see the price go down!

      Reply
      1. Chris at AutoSlash

        Hey Jeff, we’re always happy to help and see what might be going on. Feel free to reply to your quote email and mention that you found a cheaper rate and we’ll figure out why there’s a mismatch. We certainly don’t have any intention of fulfilling your Hamlet reference–we’re a small but passionate group of frequent travelers ourselves and just want to help everyone get the lowest possible rate on their rental car rates and have built a pretty incredible system that does that, but if it’s not doing it, we would love to know where it isn’t so we can figure out why and make sure it does. If you reach out, there’s a pretty darn good chance we can identify the issue (could be anything from a slightly different pick-up/drop-off time you put into Enterprise.com to weekend maintenance on their system that prevented us from seeing their rate or any other number of reasons) and probably even beat the $242 rate you found at Enterprise. :)
        Safe travels!

        Reply
  10. BobC

    Jeff –

    I have no affiliation with AutoSlash rather than being a very satisfied long-term customer. Rental rates change very often so probably there was a price drop after you got the quote from AS. It is unclear if you just got a quote or whether you booked with them and then asked them to track your price. If you made the reservation and price tracked it I’m sure AS would have notified you. They don’t catch price drops in real time so it might take a day or so to be notified of a price drop. I’ve never had anything but positive experiences with AS. They have the best customer service of anyone I’ve ever dealt with.

    Reply
    1. Shelli Post author

      HI BobC, Thanks for adding to the conversation. I agree with what you wrote. I’m a long-term satisfied customer, as well :)

      Reply
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  12. Naga

    I have a question on Chase Sapphire Reserve rental insurance coverage … now auto slash can book car directly without going thru priceline and in this case does Sapphire car rental insurance covers the car? since car rental not directly with Enterprise or National rather under auto slash … can you provide some insights pls?

    Reply
    1. Shelli Post author

      HI Naga, Not exactly sure what you’re asking. The credit card you pay with, not who you book the car through, is what matters with insurance. It’s best to check with Chase to see what kind of insurance you get with your Reserve card so you understand the coverage.

      Reply
      1. Chris at AutoSlash

        I’m guessing that Naga is asking about whether our new prepaid rentals will be covered by credit card coverage. Our understanding based on our personal experience as well as reading lots of comments on sites like FlyerTalk is that yes, prepaid bookings are covered. Most credit cards have language stating that the card must be “reserved and paid” with the card in question, and so as long as you’re able to illustrate that you paid for your rental with the card you want to use for coverage, that should satisfy that requirement. In some cases, such as with the American Express Premium Car Rental Protection program, you may need to call American Express and proactively notify them that the charge on your card is for a car rental in order to trigger the coverage, but that isn’t the case with most cards.

        If you want to be sure of coverage, it’s probably best to check directly with the credit card coverage underwriter to make sure third-party prepaid bookings are covered, but to date, we haven’t heard anything that leads us to believe prepaid bookings won’t be covered.

        Reply
  13. R Wardlaw

    Have used AutoSlash for a couple of years and rent cars every few months. They have been great at finding lower rates. Recently, I got a quote and took the prepay option. Really good rate on a rental in Hawaii. Ready to travel next week and found that the rental company has tacked on a Rental Tax Surcharge that they say is not included in my fully prepaid rental through AS. Is this legit? I won’t pay it, as I’ve got the same price from Costco and no surcharge. Just curious and a bit POed at Alamo for this sneaky add-on attempt.

    Reply
    1. Shelli Post author

      Hi RW, I would email Autoslash and see if they know anything. Their customer service is great and I’m sure they’ll get back to you. Hope that helps. Have fun in Hawaii!

      Reply
      1. Chris at AutoSlash

        The state of Hawaii increased their non-resident renter surcharge from $2 per day to $5 per day effective 1/1/19. Alamo, National, and Enteprise screwed up the implementation of the new fee and how it’s applied to prepaid rentals. We’re working with them on getting it resolved. Let me check on the status of the issue with our prepaid booking vendor after the weekend.

        Reply
  14. Rob

    Booked car at AS. Picked up at O’Hare. Price was 63% more $240 vs 141 with added fees and taxes. Very disappointed. AS told me to call Budget myself. In chat, told me prices can change due to currency fluctuations. I am In California erenting in Illinois. How can they not know at AS/Priceline/Budget – booking Costco deal, what the on airport fees are at the 2nd largest airport in the USA? And miss by 63%? Very disappointed. Polite but Poor customer service. Just sending me boiler plate wording and passing the buck back to me. I pay much more, got no better deal than if I booked myself. If I had booked myself I probably would have seen the real price and saved lots of time in followup.
    My advice – not worth it. You are better off on your own.

    Reply
    1. Chris at AutoSlash

      Rob, that definitely doesn’t sound like a good experience. I’d like to look into this more for you. Can you reply to your email conversation at support@autoslash.com and ask my team to forward the message to Chris? I’ll make sure it gets taken care of.

      Reply
      1. Rob

        Already called. Already have an open case. Your reply again shows lack of process on your part, just as I experienced and reported. My suggestion, look within your own system or department before replying here. you will see in my chat, which I saved fyi. In that chat that I provided line by line details of the overages. I also have saved the canned responses I got before further complaining and asking for escalation after being given Budget’s 800 number to call myself. And I offered to scan and send in my documents. No reply yet. No surprise there. My advice, be careful before responding. I have every point documented.

        Reply
      2. Rob

        As you seem challenged to find me, try your help desk case number 114919307. I, honestly, don’t know how much more I can do!

        Reply
        1. Chris at AutoSlash

          Hmm, that’s odd–we only provide support by email (not chat or phone), and that doesn’t look like one of our system’s case numbers. We do use a few different third-party vendors to process bookings–is it possible you reached out to one of those instead of us directly? If you can forward any information you have about your reservations, charges, and previous interactions to support@autoslash.com, we’ll make sure to follow up on it. Sincere apologies for any confusion.

          Reply
          1. Rob

            Again – stunning response! You cant find your own booking, and dont seem to know your own company does a followup email process after your trip. That linked me to the chat – there is no other option under the Contact Us section – no way is listed on how to call, which I would have prefferred to do. Cant find complaints. I ASSURE you you have online chat – at least your CUSTOMERS are directed to it. I save the whole chat! I will send that next if I can cut pand paste it into this system

            Here’s a cut and paste from your customer service department after my chat – amazing! you are owned by priceline and you dont know it? This blog is about changes at autoslash and discusses the changes with priceline!

            I X-out personal info. This is the text from your company confirming my help desk case # you cant find.

            To assist you EVEN FURTHER – here’s your confo # for the booking and Budget’s confo # also!

            Budget reservation via Priceline (Trip Number:177-641-552-89). Budget rental car reservation from Thu, Jun 13, 2019 4:00 PM to Mon, Jun 17, 2019 3:30 PM. Confirmation number: 06420535US2

            *****Cut and paste of your email follows*****

            Sub: priceline.com Customer Service Case 114919307

            From: rental_cr@production.priceline.com
            Wed, Jun 19, 5:48 AM (4 days ago)
            to XXXXXXXXXXXXXX

            Dear Robert XXXXXXXXX,

            We would like to confirm that we are taking action on your research request for rental car request 17764155289. As a reminder, we will receive verification from Budget Rent a Car within 10 business days. We will e-mail you to confirm the resolution to your request.

            Sincerely,

            The priceline.com Customer Service Team

          2. Chris at AutoSlash

            Hi Rob, we (AutoSlash) are definitely not owned by Priceline. What we at AutoSlash do is *search* for discounted rates (using our database of thousands of different coupon codes) and then once we find the best deal, we link you to various other sites to complete the booking. Priceline is one of those. We don’t have any other affiliation with Priceline or access into their systems to see any details about your reservations or contacts with them or anything.

            I would absolutely be glad to help you, but it really is much better if you can reach out by email to support@autoslash.com — here on a public forum where I can’t see your last name, trying to find your information to help you better is rather difficult.

          3. Rob

            You say there’s no chat – WELL – here’s the chat – only change is me suppressing my identity. WHAT ELSE CAN I DO!

            ******

            Jen

            Info at 5:29, Jun 19:
            Welcome to Priceline!
            Info at 5:29, Jun 19:
            connecting you now…
            Priceline at 5:29, Jun 19:
            We have some quick questions for you and then an agent will take it from there.

            Priceline at 5:29, Jun 19:
            First, can I get your full name?

            You at 5:30, Jun 19:
            Robert R
            Priceline at 5:30, Jun 19:
            Thanks, Robert. And, what’s your email address?

            You at 5:30, Jun 19:
            r@gmail.com
            Priceline at 5:30, Jun 19:
            Did you have a question about:
            Flights
            Hotel
            Rental Car
            Vacation Package
            Something else
            You at 5:30, Jun 19:
            Rental Car
            Priceline at 5:30, Jun 19:
            Got it! How can I help?

            You at 5:31, Jun 19:
            Used Auto Slash, price out the door was nowhere near what was quoted.
            Info at 5:31, Jun 19:
            Please wait while your chat is transferred to the appropriate group.
            Info at 5:31, Jun 19:
            Hi! I’m Jen.
            Robert R at 5:31, Jun 19:
            Hello
            Jen at 5:31, Jun 19:
            I’m sorry about that, Robert. I’ll be happy to check that for you. I am locating your reservation so we can review it together. Just give me one moment please.
            Robert at 5:32, Jun 19:
            I have your confo# if neede
            Robert at 5:32, Jun 19:
            d
            Jen at 5:32, Jun 19:
            It’s okay, Robert. I have it on my end. Thank you.
            Robert R at 5:32, Jun 19:
            FYI, Bill was $234.21 vs $143
            Robert R at 5:33, Jun 19:
            And I had to pay with Visa upfront
            Robert R at 5:33, Jun 19:
            I did agree to $10 more for an upgrade, rest is fees not disclosed when I bought
            Robert R at 5:34, Jun 19:
            11.11% Veh Lic Recoup Fee
            Robert R at 5:34, Jun 19:
            21.00% Sales Tax
            Jen at 5:34, Jun 19:
            I apologize for the delay. Please bear with me for a moment.
            Robert R at 5:34, Jun 19:
            Cust Fac Charge $8.00/day
            Robert R at 5:35, Jun 19:
            City Surcharge $2.75 / RN
            Jen at 5:35, Jun 19:
            What was the rate without taxes and fees that was charged by
            Budget Rent a Car?
            Robert R at 5:35, Jun 19:
            Plus the $10/day I agreed to for a larger car
            Robert R at 5:36, Jun 19:
            Base rate was $155.20 minus a 10% discount as a costco person they gave me, is $143.68
            Robert R at 5:36, Jun 19:
            Overall, cost was 63% higher
            Robert R at 5:37, Jun 19:
            I have paperwork and can scan if you need
            Jen at 5:37, Jun 19:
            The Rate you were charged matches the rate on your reservation. The total charges we displayed on the Confirmation Page are an estimated amount; the actual charges assessed by the rental car company may differ.
            Jen at 5:38, Jun 19:
            If any additional products, services or insurance coverages were purchased at the rental counter, this could be the reason for the increased amount and can be found on the rental receipt. The taxes and fees may have changed between the time the reservation was reserved, and the time the car is picked up. If the reservation was purchased with a non-U.S. credit card, the estimated charge could vary from the actual charge because of currency exchange rates.
            Robert R at 5:38, Jun 19:
            May differ! 63% is more than “may”
            Jen at 5:38, Jun 19:
            Budget Rent-A-Car’s phone number is 773-894-1900 and please have your confirmation number 06420535US2 ready when you call.
            Robert R at 5:39, Jun 19:
            Your answer is just baloney – I am in the USA, there’s no exchange rate issue. OHare is the 2nd busiest airport in the USA, it’s rates and fees are known by all.
            Robert R at 5:40, Jun 19:
            What “service” do you provide if you cant quote within 63% of the price your customers pay?
            Robert R at 5:40, Jun 19:
            And you dump me on Budget to solve this myself?
            Robert R at 5:41, Jun 19:
            This isnt a $10 “miss”. I want my case reviewed by someone who can make a decision – and not just cut and paste text into a box.
            Jen at 5:42, Jun 19:
            What we can do is to have this research with the car company directly.
            Jen at 5:42, Jun 19:
            We will send you email resolution within 10 business days from your drop off date.
            Jen at 5:42, Jun 19:
            Your case ID number is 114919307 for your reference.
            Robert R at 5:42, Jun 19:
            Yes! You booked/sold me the car. You got a booking fee. You quoted the price.
            Robert R at 5:42, Jun 19:
            I have the case #. Thanks
            Jen at 5:43, Jun 19:
            This has been noted.
            Jen at 5:43, Jun 19:
            You’re welcome.
            Jen at 5:43, Jun 19:
            Before we go, is there anything else I can help you with?
            Jen at 5:45, Jun 19:
            Are we still connected?
            Robert R at 5:45, Jun 19:
            yes
            Robert R at 5:45, Jun 19:
            I am writing notes
            Jen at 5:46, Jun 19:
            Okay.
            Jen at 5:46, Jun 19:
            Thank you for chatting with me today.
            Robert R at 5:46, Jun 19:
            Thx – you can disconnect

          4. Rob

            So net net: You advertize, quote the price, take the booking, and make a booking fee. You then use priceline to make the booking – subbing it out They follow up with me in email to see my rental experience. Priceline tries to Direct me to BUDGET – not you. I complain, they say they will research. I look in blogs, find you – you say you have nothing to do with priceline! Cant find me! And I have every point documented and provided you all confo numbers, case #s, email texts, and chat texts.

            I start with AutoSlash –> Priceline —> Budget —> PriceLine —> look in Blogs —.> you who say it is subbed-out to Priceline and we go on from there!

            This is your “product”?

            This is your “service”?

            You make a booking fee for this?

            Buyer Beware

          5. Chris at AutoSlash

            Hi Rob,

            Thanks for sending the email with your name. I’ll follow up there shortly, but I wanted to answer this here.

            Not quite. We’re a free service. We maintain a database of over 1,000 coupon codes, and when you ask us to help you find a rate on a rental car, we scan through all of those coupons and find which ones have the biggest discount.

            Then, we send you a quote that shows you the lowest price we were able to find (using those coupons) across all of the various rental companies. In that quote, there are links to book those rates through various sites. We primarily link to Priceline, because their site works the best with applying those coupons that we found, but we can also link to other sites as the situation allows.

            Think of us as a “search” site, much like Kayak or Google Flights. We help you search multiple other sites to find the best price. (Except unlike Kayak and Google Flights, we _also_ search thousands of coupons that would take you hours and hours to search through yourself, so we help you find lower rates than you’d find on your own.) You use us to help you find the best rate, and then you actually make the booking through another site (in your case, Priceline).

            We do all this for free to you (and we *don’*t take a booking fee from you for this–this is a free service we don’t charge for).

            I’ll follow up by email soon to help you with your situation in Chicago. Thanks!

  15. Rob

    So you make no money? There’s no fee paid directly by me. You sell advertising then? Or get a fee from Priceline or Budget in my case. So it would be built into the price downline. I doubt you are all unpaid volunteers! That sounds like a miracle!

    Customers need to know – IF there’s a problem – you are in the middle of a 3 way tie up. In my case

    AutoSlash – who is just now a search company
    Priceline – who is now just a middle man
    Budget – who charges 80, 90, 100 $s more at the counter!

    And they all point at each other – and you have no clear way to get resolution!

    How can you say you are in the travel industry or the car rental industry if you miss the price by 63% at OHare? OHare’s fees have to be well known! Thousands of cars are rented there. If you cant quote closer than that, or quote accurately for OHare – what are you doing?

    My suggestion – just deal with Budget directly on your Costco membership discount. At least I’d have known what the real cost was and not been surprised by 63% in additional fees at the counter on top of price quoted thru AutoSlash from PriceLine, Booked on PriceLine and fulfilled by Budget! If you do all this just for free – sure you wont mind that then!

    Reply
    1. Chris at AutoSlash

      Actually, think of us as another layer of assistance. Our team is made up of highly experienced frequent travelers—most of us fly 50,000 or more miles and and rent cars dozens of times each year. Most of us have worked for or even managed rental car agencies. As an AutoSlash customer, if you ever have an issue with a rental car company, you get the benefit of being able to access our knowledge and expertise to help resolve things.

      I’ve been working in the rental car industry (behind the counter at one of the major players plus now with AutoSlash) for almost two decades, and I’ve rented literally hundreds of cars myself as I’ve traveled to all 50 states and 75 countries and flown well over a million miles. Trust me when I say that glitches and flaws and issues are par for the course, no matter which site you book through. Booking directly on Budget.com is far from absolute insulation from issues like this. I’ve had issues in exactly that situation myself. The best thing for *any* travel issue is know who to contact to resolve things and what to say to them. :)

      Be in touch shortly!

      Reply
      1. Rob

        Chris at AutoSlash was only person between A/S, Budget and Priceline who helped me. Got me a partial refund from Budget. Budget saying they didnt apply a coupon that was booked.

        **** paste from Budget email *****

        we did also find the cupon
        on your reservation was not applied to your final rental charges , and
        we have determined that you should have received the $25.34 for your
        recent rental. To get this matter resolved quickly, we have processed a
        credit of $34.07 to your Visa credit card account.

        ***********

        I am still fighting Budget for a disputed upgrade fee at the counter. And as of today they are now charging me $27.80 for tolls – although I declined at the counter and signed up for online payment. I have documentation for the tolls- and will be pursuing that further with Budget directly myself. Those 2 items are worth approx $75 in additional charges I estimate.

        Be very careful with the counter agents. They can say one thing, do another on the paperwork and put that in front of you to initial. Read the form before leaving the counter.

        And I dont know what to do about the tolls. They left an active transponder in the car. So even tho I declined, the tollway “saw” and charged the transponder. So IPass/tollway wont assist – even tho they acknowledge I signed up to pay online by plate #. And Budget has no incentive to refund anything as they mark-up the tolls tremendously. I dont know what to do about all that – as the transponder was affixed to the windshield in a glass box and I couldn’t remove it.

        Net net – I still ended up paying much more than I expected, but now it is because of the tolls and upgrade charges mostly. I estimate after taking out the disputed upgrade charges and toll issue – Chris’s intervention got the price down to only approx $9-10 more than quoted, about $152.

        So that’s a big-win in comparison to where i was before, so thanks to Chris for his assistance, the only person who helped!

        As to Budget – buyer beware…

        Reply

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