Car Rental Coupon Codes to Save You Hundreds
I’ve always want to summarize all my knowledge about car rental coupon codes because I have random bits of notes here and there for when I need it. In a selfish way I guess iIm doing this for myself but now that this is on here you guys get to benefit as well!
You are in North America though that is not to say that these won’t work internationally. I have tested some of these in Europe and in Australia/New Zealand but the international marketplace is very different. For example Europcar has some of the best rates in Europe but obviously doesn’t exist here.
- If you’re going to rent with a company, sign up for their loyalty program. For most like Avis and National that I have experience with, you automatically get into their “priority” section whether that means an express counter or bypassing the counters completely.
- When booking a car rental, don’t just look at one rental car company, go to each one and try your top coupon codes and pick the cheapest one.
- Renting from the airport usually means higher surcharges so if possible try to rent within the city for even cheaper rates.
- One way car rentals (picking up in one location and dropping off in another) will always cost more but coupon codes may still help.
- A lot of these are corporate codes so should you worry that you don’t have proper ID to prove that you work for XYZ or have membership to ABC? In all the years of my experience I have never been ID’d so I am 99% certain that you will be okay as well.
Things to Consider When Renting a Car
- Is inclusion of the under 25 important?
- Is unlimited miles important?
- Is additional driver important?
- Is inclusion of insurance coverage important?
The Coupon Codes
Here are a list of my favourite codes I have consistently used and have been able to save hundreds of dollars. In parentheses I’ve put my 2 cents on the code and what it can get you. To simulate the prices I’m even going to do the following example to show you how the codes can give you killer deals. Price without codes is at the car rental company title level. Price after taxes and fees in USD.
Example car rental search
- Location: Salt Lake City, Utah (round trip)
- Dates: January 23-29, 2013
- Class: Fullsize
- Duration: 6 days
National Car Rental ($375.48)
- Contract ID# = 5063773, IATA# = 52431993 ($307.92, no insurance or underage. Unlimited miles. Probably one of the most godly codes out there. I can’t pinpoint exactly what it gives you but everytime I’ve used it I’ve gotten silly cheap rates.)
- Contract ID# = 5760339 ($375.48, no insurance or underage. Unlimited miles. Never as good as the first one though and in this case it did nothing but still worth a try.)
- Contract ID# = 5000491 ($261.78, unlimited miles, insurance and underage included. This one is very good. Belongs to Ohio State University and so the risk is if you did get into the accident you may not get insurance coverage because you aren’t actually a student.)
- Contract ID# = XZ53043 ($274.45, unlimited miles and underage included. Insurance not included. This is a decent corporate code that’s worth a shot)
- As you can see there’s a $100 variance just by using a smart code. This does not mean though that #3 is the best. It really depends on where you’re renting from and a whole list of other factors so try them all please.
- Coupon Code = A442100 ($277.65, Unlimited miles. This is supposedly the Deloitte code.)
- AWD = C682300 ($436.34, Unlimited miles. This is from Air Canada for some bonus miles. If you use this you HAVE to make sure you include your flight details in your reservations or you might not get any of the bonus points)
- AWD = C070127 ($464.21, Unlimited miles. Supposed to be the best but I guess not eh?)
- AWD = U405347 ($448.86, Unlimited miles.)
- AWD = A555500 and Coupon Code = UULA004 ($401.50, Unlimited miles. US Government + upgrade coupon code)
I find that the Avis rates are usually kind of ridiculous. The Deloitte one is a secret one that seems to do the trick and comparable to National.
- Corporate Code = 1660228069 ($331.13. Apparently underage fee and extra driver fee waived but I have never tried and doesn’t show up in the booking)
To be honest I don’t have much experience with Thrifty except for this one code. Their cars are definitely crappier than the other big companies and selection usually more slim. There really isn’t much out there for Thrifty though I know Rental Car Momma can sometime get great deals through Thrifty if you go through their site.
- CDP = 1757580 ($364.92, Unlimited Miles. Apparently THE best CDP to use for Hertz from Car and Driver)
- CDP = 1955226 ($364.92, Unlimited Miles. Some corporate code with similar results as the first)
Again I have actually never rented from Hertz but every time I see their cars in the lot they just have an aura of being more high class than the rest of them. Good cars but I would say one of the more expensive companies.
- Customer # = XVC1092, PIN = CAR ($342.51, waives underage fee, from Car & Driver )
- Customer #=XVC1093, PIN = CAR ($342.51, same as above but includes insurance on top, from Car & Driver)
- Customer # = 01A9037 ($358.57, waives underage fee but still has additional driver fee and no insurance, Beta Gamma Sigma Frat code that saved us during our underage years!)
Haven’t used Enterprise in a long time but looks like most people are using the Car and Driver code. The annoying part about the Enterprise site is that once you’ve done a quote for one customer #, every time you go back to the home page you’re locked back into the same customer. I’ve only been able to bypass it by going to a bad link like http://www.enterprise.com/car_rental/deeplinkmap.do?bid=002&cust=XVC1006 and then click on “Enterprise home page”.
Others Car Rental Options?
There’s Fox Rent A Car, Budget, Discount, Dollar and Alamo to try as well. Never used them but could be worth a shot. See the secret links for more coupon codes.
From this mini-test we can see that the National Car Rental codes are some of the best out there. That’s not to say the other codes aren’t as good. Like I mentioned before, it really depends on what you’re looking for (namely underage in most cases) and where you’re renting. There are some codes that work better in Canada vs the US.
So if you’re serious about saving money, try ALL of these codes and compare. It’s totally worth your time!
- Priceline (Name Your Own Price) & Hotwire – Just do a quick search and you might be able to find some good deals that way
- Expedia – Travel sites such as this one can still provide good results
- Airport Rental Cars
Here’s a list of links that I often use to find car rental coupon deals.
- Rental Car Momma (good especially for states like FL)
- Fat Wallet coupon code thread (an old one but surprisingly a lot of the codes here are still good)
- RFD car rental tips thread
- RFD Enterprise thread
- RFD National Car thread
Featured image via Flickr by Atomic Taco