THERE IS NO SECRET.
You can use a booking website, like Kayak or Orbitz, to scan and compare rates from various car rental firms. These rates, unfortunately, do not include any discounts. They are public or non-discounted rates. I call these rates the "sucker prices." Hardly anyone pays them. They are like rack rates for hotels and full fares for airfares. In my last blog post, I mentioned that discount codes are the key to getting lower car rental rates. Discount codes, then, are the secret to getting lower car rental rates; but, it is not really a secret.
How do you find a discount code?
Look, first, at your memberships. Rates on Hertz are heavily discounted with AAA discount codes; there is a different discount code (or CDP, in Hertz language) for each AAA club. Costco, Sam's Club, AARP, and many other organizations offer discount codes. ORganizations may have discounts for only one car rental firm (like AAA's discount for Hertz) or for many agencies (like Costco).
There are countless rental car discount codes and sources for discount codes. Your workplace, school or alumni association, or other group may have discount codes. In fact, if you have your own small business, contact car rental firms (and other travel suppliers) and negotiate your own discount code program. Discount codes may also appear in ads (internet, newspaper, magazines), be printed on inserts in your credit card bill or bank statement, or be presented by an airline's website after buying a ticket. The Entertainment book is a fantastic source of car rental discounts.
You can even scour the internet for codes. Just type "discount codes" and the name of the car company] into google.com. Many of the results point to unhelpful websites. Two excellent sources are Fatwallet.com and FlyerTalk.com.
Can you use discount codes for programs you do not belong to? Many people do. I have used codes that I found online or other sources to save loads of money. There were discount codes from organizations I did not belong to, nor would ever qualify for membership. I did my homework and suggest you do the same. Never use a code that is identified as for employees only, for instance. If the code is unknown, search for it online (type the code
+ the car company
ingoogle, e.g., avis K199060); that should reveal the source.
Now that you are aware of the power of car rental discount codes, find them and use them. No more sucker rates.
© 2008, Charles McCool