Don’t Check Your Car Rental Rates For a Price Drop: Do This Instead!

Paying more than we need to when we travel can range from embarrassing to downright unnecessary. The holiday season is here and that means lots of travel coming up.The three biggies in travel expenses are airfare, hotels, and car rentals. For two of those I’ve got surefire ways of making sure I don’t overpay. Today’s story is about how what many people do to monitor their car rental rates simply isn’t necessary to get the lowest rate.

Ric Garrido at Loyaltytraveler.com was checking rates on his upcoming rental car again and again to save money. Now I’m all for saving money, but something about his advice didn’t make sense to me.

I never check rates after my initial rental car booking. I give my reservations to Autoslash and let them do the heavy lifting for me. I’ve written about Autoslash many times and still use them.

Ric uses Costco when he rents cars. He checked his current rental reservation 4 times. His point is to re-check rates for price drops. One of the comments on his post reminded him to use Autoslash and so he did. And his price did indeed drop.

I want to remind you all of the same thing. In fact I reached out to Autoslash because Ric is a savvy guy and 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, Ric 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.”

Bottom Line

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!

9 thoughts on “Don’t Check Your Car Rental Rates For a Price Drop: Do This Instead!

  1. larry

    One thing I wish is that autoslash would take into account the location of the rental car agency. At some airports there often is a price difference between agencies that have their desks and cars in the terminal and those that require a shuttle. I wish there were a way to specify in terminal only so that you don’t get alerts from the lower priced off-site companies. Maybe there is a way to do this. If so I haven’t been able to figure it out.

    Reply
    1. Shelli Post author

      Larry, I reached out to AS and here’s what they had to say. “Right now the only way to check if a shuttle is required is to look at the vehicle description on the booking page, or by searching the internet for that info. We are working on a project where ideally you will be able to specify that you want only rental companies that don’t require a shuttle, but that will take a while to complete. There isn’t a central source for that sort of info so it will take a while to procure all that info along with getting it programed into our system. There are also complications due to at some airports certain individual terminals may not have a shuttle, but others will. It is a feature we are aware that would be very useful, so hopefully it will be up and running sometime in the near future.” Hope that answer helps clarify that AS knows it would be a great addition to the service! Thanks for reading, Larry.

      Reply
      1. larry

        Thanks much for asking the question. Autoslash is really useful. This isn’t an issue at too many airports since so many now have moved to shuttles for all companies, but it does occasionally come up. Glad they are working on it.

        Reply
  2. Gordon

    Hello. If I book through Autoslash for National, will my Executive Elite status be recognized for benefits? Can I book Intermediate Car (Midsize?) and still get to pick any cars at National lot? Thanks

    Reply
  3. SuperNova

    I use Costco because that lets me add an additional driver for free. Autoslash keeps giving me quotes that are lower without accounting for the additional driver so I gave up and started searching Costco or AAA manually.

    Reply
    1. Shelli Post author

      Hi SN, Your comment got me curious, so I reached out to Autoslash. The told me the rates they quote wouldn’t exclude an additional driver if they apply the Costco or AAA membership discount code to that quote. You’d get the same benefits you get if you booked through Costco or AAA.

      Autoslash replied, “While those are both great codes and usually offer the best discount, sometimes we find a lower price with a different discount code and that might prevent them from getting the free additional driver. What most customers who are worried about the free additional driver do is reply to our quote email and ask what quote provides a free additional driver. It’s easy for us to check and provide an answer. In the future, Autoslash might add information about the discount code applied to the rate and the benefits it offers to our quote page. That will help customers quickly identify if any of the rates we offered provide a free additional driver or waive the underage fee.”

      So there you have it, SN. No need to do all that checking yourself. AS doesn’t mind email inquiries about rates and whether or not the provide free additional drivers. Sounds easier to give AS another try given what they just told us and that you might just save some money. Hope this information helps!

      Reply

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