You probably don’t want to hear this but car rental companies have been milking you for years. The industry secret in travel is that the listed rates are grossly inflated. This is where discount codes come into play which can come in the form of official ones and corporate ones.
Over the years, I’ve been keeping my own list of codes that I’ve used that worked and this has ended up expanding to a large collection. If you’re looking for a deep discount, look no further, these are seriously the best car rental coupon codes organized in one spot.
If you love deals you should read these
- Best Canadian credit cards for travel hacking
- Marriott corporate codes for deep savings on hotels
- The best category 1 hotels with Hilton Honors
- How does Travelzoo work and are travel vouchers worth it?
How to get the best deals in travel
- Hottest deals – Bookmark the travel deals page.
- Car rentals – stop getting ripped off and learn about car rental coupon codes.
- Hotels – Use corporate codes or get Genius 2 tier with Booking.
- Flights – Have you ever heard of the “Everywhere” feature?
- Insurance – Make sure you’re covered and learn more about where to buy the best travel insurance.
Table of contents
To make this guide easier to navigate, use this table of contents to jump to what you care about the most.
Here's what we're covering:
Best car rental coupon codes
The following is a list of car rental codes that I’ve personally vetted. Each one of them offer a certain amount of discount and I’ve put them into an organized table to allow you to quickly navigate between car rental company which code works the best for you. It’s been updated in 2023 to make sure they’re the most up to date and valid to get the best cheap car rentals.
Are you a first timer here? This is a pretty exhaustive post so I know it’ll feel pretty overwhelming if it’s your first time here. Take your time to go through it. If you’re in an absolute rush, jump straight down to my picks for the best codes for each company. Lastly, if you have a specific affinity to a car rental company, make sure to look out for the articles that focus on car rental promo codes by company.
Short Term Car Rental Deals To Jump On
Check back here recently for the newest car rental deals.
ACE Rent A Car: Use code AWESOME24 to save 10% with ACE. No expiry. This is not a corporate code so it’s safe for everyone to use.
Avis: There’s a new code A519319 that gets you up to 30% off if you pay now. This isn’t a corporate code so anyone can use it and not have to worry about having your ID checked.
Avis: Winter Sale – Save up to 35% off when you Pay Now. Promotion is running until March 2024.
Avis: Get a free car upgrade and save up to 35% off when you Pay Now. Rental must begin by 12/31/2023. Offer valid on daily, weekend, weekly and monthly rates only. Coupon valid at participating Budget locations in the Contiguous U.S., Canada, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Avis: For a limited time, get a free upgrade + up to 35% off when you pay now. Pick from one of our intermediate, standard, or full-size car rentals this winter.
Avis: A one-time class upgrade when you book through here.
Avis: Use code AA519321 to save 25% at more locations with fewer exclusions.
Avis: Use code UUWA036 to get a FREE UPGRADE + up to 35% off when you pay now!
Budget: Code D822119 provides 35% off “Pay Now” bookings. Heads up that this is not a corporate code so it’s safe to use.
Budget: Winter Sale – Up to 25% off on your rental. Promotion is running until March 2024.
Budget: Get a free car upgrade and save up to 35% off when you Pay Now. Rental must begin by 12/31/2023. Offer valid on daily, weekend, weekly and monthly rates only. Coupon valid at participating Budget locations in the Contiguous U.S., Canada, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
Budget: For a limited time, get a free upgrade + up to 35% off when you pay now. Pick from one of our intermediate, standard, or full-size car rentals this winter.
Budget: Use code D822121 to save up to 25% at more locations with fewer exclusions.
Budget: Use code UUWZ042 to get a FREE UPGRADE + up to 35% off when you pay now!
Europcar: Save up to 20% off rentals for bookings between March 4-March 17, 2024. This will be valid for booking periods between March 31 and June 30, 2024.
Europcar: They are running a 25% off Valentine’s promo that runs until February 19, 2024 and is good for bookings between February 5 – March 27, 2024.
Europcar: Enjoy discounts of up to 30% on car rentals for winter destinations, with an additional 5% off for any reservations made through their app. Offer valid January 3 – 17, 2024 and good for travels until June 30, 2024.
Europcar: Get 20 EUR with your next booking. There’s a secret coupon code for VIP birthday members but anyone can use this with this link. You’ll also get 10% off all rentals and you can take advantage of their Early Bird summer sale.
Enterprise: Save 15% off mid-week van rentals. Valid for all van rentals made between 15 January and 31 March 2024. Deal expires March 31, 2024.
Enterprise: If you’re renting a car in France, you will be able to find deals on the weekends starting as low as 30 Euros a day. This offer is live from the Jan 8 – Mar 21, 2024.
Enterprise: If you’re looking to rent in the UK, Ireland, Spain or Germany, save 10% off all car rental bookings between Jan 8 – Mar 21, 2024.
Enterprise: Customers in the UK, Ireland, and Spain will be able to get 15% off Van rentals for mid-week reservations! UK & Ireland offers are live from the 15th of January till the 21st of March, Spain is live from Jan 8 till the Mar 21, 2024.
Enterprise France: Rent a car on the weekends for as low as 30 Euros a day. This offer is live from Jan 8 till the Mar 21, 2024.
Fox Rent A Car: Up to 12% off when you pay now. Code appleid automatically when clicking “BOOK NOW”.
National: They are running a 25% off Valentine’s promo that runs until February 19, 2024 and is good for bookings between February 5 – March 27, 2024.
SIXT: Save up to 10% on base rates for the premium fleet.
SIXT: SUV rentals are up to 40% off.
SIXT: Save up to 15% on their premium fleet worldwide. This deal is available in 105 countries.
What about parking at the airport?
Something that’s easy to forget in trip planning is how you’re going to get to the airport and if you’re driving your own car, where you’re going to leave it behind.
That’s where booking platforms like Airport Parking Reservations and Park Sleep Fly come into play. Whether you need to get a hotel package that includes parking or just parking itself, they have you covered.
Use the code AWESOME7 to save up to $7 off of your booking.
Coupon and promo codes by car rental company
Since we often get company-specific questions, I wanted to break things down by some of your favourite ones. These have been revamped for 2023, all tested, vetted, and the most complete set of codes you’ll find.
- Top Budget BCD codes
- Official National rental car discount codes
- Official Enterprise promo codes for car rental
- Avis coupon rental codes and AWD codes
- The best Hertz discount codes
- Dollar car rental promo codes
Alternatives way to find deals with car rentals
Traditionally, most people will go directly to their car rental company of choice. It could be because of loyalty, familiarity, or convenience. That said, there are a lot of hidden offers and smaller car rental agencies that you might not know about.
That’s where search engines that work similar to a Skyscanner for flights come in. There are websites like Discover Cars, RentalCars.com, and Carla that take your trip requirements and find the lowest prices. This can uncover car rental companies you never would’ve thought of and also has the added bonus of seeing all of the prices from all agencies instead of having to search one at a time.
Carla is a relatively new player but if you use the code GOGAP23, you can save 18% on the listed rental prices. Here’s how you enter the code:
After you enter the code, make sure to filter for “Flexible Cancellation Policy” to see the discounted offers in green.
With Carla, just make sure you select carefully whether you want their insurance protection or Carla Plus. By default, these are automatically added.
You can find killer deals this way but can also be a great starting point for your search because then you have an idea of what else is out there before trying out one code at a time.
Official car rental discount codes
All car rental companies issue their own discount codes or general promotions that are accessible to the public. They’re not a secret but sometimes they can be a bit hidden on their website or only shared through their newsletters.
The below is a list of all the official coupon codes and promos that everyone is free to use with no risk of improper usage.
Corporate car rental coupon codes
Use corporate discount codes for car rentals at your own risk. A more complete disclaimer is at the bottom of this post.
You’ll notice that Enterprise, National, Alamo, Budget, and Avis are explicitly not on the list. These unfortunately had to be removed and is outside of our control.
To learn how to apply the discounts, head over to the coupon code listings by company.
Discount rates, if not provided, are calculated based on the case study parameters that you’ll see at the end of the article.
Which coupon code is the best?
If you look at the comments, the countless times this has been asked. This is a bit of an “it depends” kind of question but if I had to pick, here are the best codes for many of the major car rental companies.
How else can you save on car rentals?
Car rental coupon codes aren’t the be-all and end-all. There are other factors you need to consider when renting a car for your upcoming vacation. Here are a few things you should consider.
Didn’t find a code here for your needs?
There are always not-so-secret codes that the car rental companies post themselves. I usually share these above in the highlighted box or on my travel deals page.
Alternative to car rental coupon codes
These are essentially online travel agencies/search engines that will look at the location that you’re interested and find the cheapest rates. The magic is that you might be able to find a rate with a company that you didn’t expect and this typically doesn’t even need a coupon code.
If you’re using Carla, make sure to use code GAP23 to save 18% on all rentals.
Rent outside the airport
Airports are always going to be more expensive to rent than going into the city. That’s because airport has additional taxes and fees on top. Rental companies also increase the rates in exchange for the convenience of renting a vehicle right when you land. You might be better off taking a cab into the city and renting from a smaller location.
Watch out for sneaky fees and add-ons
I’ve noticed that some car rental companies like to add insurance coverage and other add ons automatically when you make bookings online. When you confirm your booking and when you sign the papers at the counter, make sure you read all the inclusions and pay attention to anything they might’ve snuck in. Prepaid gas is something that is quite common.
Don’t pay for insurance you don’t need
Where rental companies make money is in the additional insurance such as loss damage waivers (LDW), collision damage waivers (CDW), or personal effects coverage. Thing is, if you’re already covered under your own car insurance, you have something like CAA/AAA membership, or you have a travel credit card, you really don’t need to pay for extra insurance.
Don’t pre-pay for gas
Only do this if you know you’re going to be really tight on time but otherwise it doesn’t make sense to do this.
How it works is that they’ll charge you for a full tank at a slightly inflated market rate on fuel. This means that even if you have half a tank left, they’ll charge you for full fill up. Don’t do it if you can avoid it and make sure you decline it.
General car rental tips
Read the fine print for tax, fees, and information
Where car rental companies get you is in the fine print often times. I can’t even count the number of times when I’ve seen a killer deal on a rental only to find that there are a ton of added fees on top or you realize it isn’t unlimited miles.
I typically don’t worry as much for the big rental companies but if you’re booking from a smaller unknown/local rental company, make sure you read the details.
Make back up plans
One of the best tips someone every gave me about car rentals and the use of promo codes is to always have multiple reservations in hand. If one fails because they ask for your ID or they flat out reject your reservation because the manager thinks it’s too cheap, you always have another one ready to go with another car rental company.
This hedges your bets so-to-speak and it’s a great best-practice for all of you travel hackers out there.
Don’t reserve a car under a card you know you’re going to cancel
This turned out to be an issue for us in South Africa with Europcar. I totally wasn’t thinking about this at the time but as part of the credit card churning that I do, I ended up cancelling a card that I made a reservation with.
During check-in they asked for my ID including the card. By the time my trip to South Africa happened, I didn’t have the card anymore. Luckily, the manager on duty made an exception for me to allow me to keep my reservation but if things played out differently, I would have had to create a new reservation which undoubtedly would have been much more expensive.
Research all the rental companies
The big players don’t necessarily always win. This is particularly true when you’re looking for a car rental outside of North America. Sure, companies like Avis, Enterprise, and Hertz have locations internationally but there are many more local-based companies that you most likely haven’t heard of.
Many times, there are local car rental companies that can be much cheaper than the big brands.
Here are a few examples from other countries that I’ve rented cars from:
- New Zealand – We rented from Jucy our first time to New Zealand and Hitch on my latest 3 week New Zealand itinerary. We managed to find a code with Hitch and saved a ton of money. Other companies to consider are Gorental, Lucky, Apex, USave, Ace, and Omega.
- Iceland – All the big companies were ridiculously expensive and so we ended up booking with Blue Car Rental on our 8 day Iceland Itinerary which was completely unknown to us but had excellent rates. At the time, didn’t have car rental coupon codes but it didn’t matter. The good news is that I’ve managed to source a bunch of car rental coupon codes to use when you rent a car in Iceland.
- UK – The regular players are there but don’t forget to check out Dollar in the UK as they have good rates as well.
Lastly, it may also make a difference to look at the local country’s car rental websites. For instance, Enterprise.com is usually where I naturally go to search but if you’re renting in Canada you should look at Enterprise.ca and if you’re travelling to the UK, you should use Enterprise.co.uk. Prices can be different on the regional sites even though you’re looking for the same cars.
Don’t discount loyalty
You have to put value in loyalty programs and what will make your life easier. I’ve been with National for a long time and I belong to their Emerald Club program. While their prices may not always be the lowest, I find myself booking with them often because they’re the only car rental company where I can go out to the aisle and pick the car I want. This is a huge time saver on top of knowing that there’s less chances of me being ID’d.
The worst is when you go out onto the lot and realize they gave you a crappy car and you have to go back inside to ask for something different. This is a waste of valuable time when you’d rather be hitting the road right away to explore the new destination you’re in.
Recently, a reader, April, let us know that there have been instances where customers that have prepaid have also been charged another rate after returning the car. In effect, customers have been double-dipped on by car rental companies.
If you do end up pre-paying for a rental to save money, double check your credit card statement to make sure nothing looks out of place or you’ve been charged twice.
Even if you haven’t prepaid, still check!
Take photos of your car before you leave the lot
This is an easy one to forget because you just want to grab and go but it’s good practice to take photos of the exterior so that you have proof if they say you damaged the car but it was there to begin with.
In addition, there’s usually a slip of paper that comes with your car when you pick it up that indicates damage. If there’s anything noticeable, I always grab the parking garage attendant and make sure they mark it up.
Check to make sure everything works
This happened to us on our 8 day Iceland Itinerary where we initially drove off with our SUV only to realize that the cigarette adapter wasn’t working. We don’t smoke but we use that to charge our devices and for road trips.
Lesson – check all of the electronics, air condition, windows, and all of the other basic car functions while you’re in the lot.
If something doesn’t work, you can easily switch cars.
Do they care about rim curb damage?
This is something that I’ve encountered more times than I wish to admit.
During our 1 week Cape Town itinerary, I managed to curb the rims of our car on a turn. I swear this happens every time I drive on the opposite side of the road.
I panicked but since the damage was pretty minor, I didn’t say anything upon returning the car. In the end, I didn’t get charged for it and it never came up afterwards.
Usually, when you drop off a car, you park it in a lot, they check the odometer, and print you a receipt. Car rental agents are incredibly busy and need to move the line as quickly as possible and things like small curb damage aren’t easy to spot.
Upon talking to many agents over the years, what they’re mainly concerned about are windshield cracks and primary body damage. Small scuffs and curb scratches aren’t what they care about so you can get away with that if it happens to you.
Are there codes in other countries?
There are many local providers around the world and while most don’t have specific coupon codes, I’ve managed to find quite a number of discounts in Iceland so make sure to check out where and how to rent a car in Iceland for all the details.
What I learned from doing my research here is that codes are out there, you just need to look for them!
Disclaimer on using car rental corporate codes
There’s inherent risk in using car rental coupon codes that belong to companies you don’t work for.
Corporate discount codes are generated for employees to use and by using them as a non-employee, you expose yourself to some risk. Here’s what could happen:
- They ask for your ID and you don’t have one – They could cancel your reservation which leaves you to make a new reservation on the spot which will be many times more expensive.
- They discover fraudulent use of a code during your rental – Since you haven’t returned the car and they haven’t billed you yet, they could revoke the code which means paying regular price.
- You get into an accident and your code includes insurance coverage – Whether it’s LDW, CDW or something else, if they find out during the claim process that you’re not an employee, they could null all coverage.
- You get into an accident and you leverage your own insurance – There’s no proof of this but in theory your own insurance company could null coverage if they find out your use of a corporate code.
Simply put, you should know what you’re getting into when using one of these corporate coupon codes. Whether it’s ethics or risk, you need to make a calculated decision and be okay with the outcome. If you’re not comfortable using corporate codes, look for promotion codes that aren’t tied to a company and you won’t expose yourself to any risk.
LOOKING FOR MORE TRAVEL DEALS?
Make sure you head to the travel deal portal.
Take me to the deals
Case study to see how corporate codes compare across companies
To close things out, for all the data nerds out there, we wanted to include provide a breakdown of how I was able to determine the level of discount for each coupon code.
Since in most cases, the actual discounts aren’t disclosed, you pretty much need to manually test them out by following a fixed case study.
Keep in mind that this is only one example. It’s 100% likely that your situation will be different based on class of car you want, dates, location, how close you’re booking in advance, etc.
TIP: Don’t discount the smaller companies. For our 7 day Ireland road trip, I decided to get a quote without codes and I was shocked to see Europcar cheap it was. Even the check-in staff was surprised in Dublin how discounted it was.
Case study parameters
- Location: Salt Lake International Airport (SLC)
- Dates: November 9 – 16
- Duration: 7 days
- Car type: Standard Class
- Payment option: Pay Later (Pre-pay not considered)
Price comparison table
Use the sort feature to look at the differences in pricing for the exact same rental with the use of the corporate codes.
Observations on the current state of car rental coupon codes
- There have been some changes in the car rental coupon space in the past few years with some codes disappearing and a few new ones popping up but overall I can’t say things have changed a whole lot.
- There’s an emphasis for some companies to shift customers towards pre-pay but this is never a good idea since you want to the flexibility to be able to cancel or even have multiple bookings in hand. If one fails, you have a back up (or many).
- Fox Rent A Car has really good rates even without the use of codes.
Frequently asked questions
Almost every single rental agency has some form of coupon codes whether they’re official or for corporate use.
This is a grey area. Corporate car rental codes are created for employees of the associated companies and while you’re not supposed to used them, most staff don’t check for ID which means that you can use them without much risk. That said, be aware that car rental companies are checking ID more frequently this year because of the car rental shortage.
There’s no definitive answer here as it really depends on the location in the world, dates, and class of car. Overall, Avis offers significant discounts if you use the right coupon codes.
In most years, they don’t but with the shortage of car rentals this year, they’ve been more diligent to check ID. In some cases, they’ve also flagged this for loyalty program members to check ID so be prepared.
Yes, there is currently a rental car shortage in the United States with companies reducing their fleet by as much as 50% during the pandemic. It’s advised to book as soon as possible. Also, it’s a good idea to call the rental car branch directly to re-confirm your booking ahead of time.
If you’d rather not use coupon codes, make sure to try Discover Cars or RentalCars.com. They look at all car rental companies and provide the best rates so you don’t have to look at each one, one at a time.
Yes, you can use these coupon codes outside of North America as long as the company has rental locations in the country you’re interested in.
What you should read next
Travel Resources For Your Next Trip
If you’re in the process of planning your trip and putting together your itinerary, these are genuinely the best resources that the Going Awesome Places team stands by 100%.
Airport Parking: You’ll need a spot to leave your car at the airport so why not book a spot at a discount. Use code AWESOME7 to get at least $5 off at Airport Parking Reservations or Park Sleep Fly packages.
Data: We’ve been a huge fan of wifi hotspot devices like PokeFi because their rates are so good and you can use it globally but recently, we’ve really loved using eSIMs. The best one is Airalo. Save money by getting region-specific eSIMs and use referral code WILLIA9500 to get $3 USD credit on your first purchase. Ubigi is another one that we’ve had success with where they uniquely offer 5G coverage. Use code AWESOME10 to save 10% on your first order.
Hotels: Our go-to is Booking.com because they have the best inventory of properties including hotels and B&Bs plus they have their Genius tier discounts. The exception is Asia where Agoda always has the best prices. TripAdvisor is also useful for reviews and bookings.
Vacation Rentals: Your first instinct will be to check Airbnb but we always recommend checking VRBO as well if you’re looking for a vacation rental.
Travel Insurance: Learn how to buy the best travel insurance for you. This isn’t something you want to travel without.
- Insured Nomads – Popular insurance provider for frequent travelers and comes with great coverage and special perks.
- RATESDOTCA – Search engine Canadians looking for the cheapest insurance including multi-trip annual policies.
- SafetyWing – A perfect fit for long-term nomads.
- Medjet – Global air medical transportation.
- InsureMyTrip – Best for seniors, families, and those with pre-existing conditions.
If you need more help planning your trip, make sure to check out our Travel Toolbox where we highlight all of the gear, resources, and tools we use when traveling.