If you're looking to save money on your next car rental, make sure you know about the Dollar Car Rental promo codes. The below is a break down of how to use them and list of the top promo codes and CDPs.
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Table of contents
About Dollar Car Rental
Having covered almost all the other major car rental companies including Enterprise, Avis, National, Budget, and Hertz, it's only appropriate to cover another company that's a favorite for many – Dollar Car Rental.
Like many companies, the use of the word “rental a car” all of a sudden became “car rental” in the early 2000s which then became referred to Dollar or just “dollar.”.
For those that don't know, Dollar is under the Hertz umbrella which makes up a trio of Hertz, Dollar, and Thrifty. Hertz acquired Dollar in 2012. This is why at airports you will often see 2 of 3 of them side-by-side or sharing a counter.
As they try to transform themselves into a more modern company, you'll see a brand new website and cleaner design overall. That said, if you click around their website, you'll still see remnants of their old user-interface which will make you squirm.
Also, since they're under Hertz, a lot of the terminology and underlying technology is quite similar.
Dollar has traditionally been the second-tier of car rental companies that made its name in North America.
So unlike Hertz, National, Enterprise, and Avis where they have a large footprint and charge a high price without discount codes, Dollar is typically less inflated and more affordable as a standard base-rate that anyone can get. This is similar to say Budget and Fox Rent-A-Car.
Similar to Hertz, Dollar also has a “Manager's Special” option when booking. Essentially you book not knowing what class of car you'll get and on the day of, they'll just assign you what is more optimal for the location's inventory. In return, you get a reduced price. This is often a no-risk situation as their rate is the same as the lowest class of car you can get – Compact.
Lastly, as with almost every car rental company nowadays, they offer the “Pay Later” and “Pay Now” options. My recommendation is to always pay later because this gives you maximum flexibility and allows you to cancel at the very last minute.
Dollar is predominantly known in North America but has surprising reach in Europe as well.
If you're looking to rent a car in the US, chances are there's a Dollar at the nearby major airport and city. Overall, I'd say their footprint is pretty good and on par with a lot of the other big boys.
What is peculiar is how from there, you have 3 different websites for Dollar in the regions of Canada, UK, and the rest of Europe.
Canada – This is their second largest market with similarly a solid footprint around the country. That said, their website seems to be a simplified version.
UK – This is where the website takes a dramatic turn into the 1990s. With a dedicated UK website, you can see more clearly all the locations they cover (quite significant) but seems to be managed by a completely different team.
Europe – You then have this new URL which looks identical to the Canadian site.
So naturally you're probably wondering, “do I need to go to a different website depending on where I'm renting from?”
The answer is no. On the primary US-based website, you can access all locations.
But wait, what about the rest of the world? The frustrating thing about Dollar is that they don't have a global map of all their locations around the world. The best I managed to do was use Google Maps and search at a zoomed out level. When you do, you'll realize they have surprising presence in:
- South Africa
- Cape Verde
- French Guiana
- Dominican Republic
Lesson? Dollar has a lot more locations than you think. In many countries it's just 1 or 2 locations at major hubs but they're out there.
This means that you could easily book a Dollar car rental for one of many epic road trip adventures such as our 7 Day Southern Ireland Itinerary, a DIY safari in Kruger National Park, or 8 day Iceland itinerary.
Dollar Express Rewards
Dollar also has its own loyalty program called Dollar Express Rewards.
Joining has the following benefits:
- Skip the counter and go straight to the lot
- Free authorized additional driver (sometimes referred to as AAO)
- Quicker service for reservations, pick-ups, and returns
- Earn free days (only for US and Canadian residents) – You earn 1 Dollar Express point per qualifying $1 USD spent
- Priority counter service
- Free to join
While the main benefits are geared towards business travellers, this is still worthwhile to join since it's free.
The main added benefit is being able to skip the counter. This is important because you don't have to go to line up at the counter to process the paperwork. Instead, it's all ready to go and you head straight to your car.
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What are Dollar Car Rental Codes?
Since Dollar is under Hertz, they use the same terminology when it comes to corporate codes and discount codes however they've simplified it by getting rid of complicated convention numbers, rate codes, and voucher numbers.
There are two fields available when booking with Dollar Car Rental:
- Promo Code
- Corporate Discount Program
What's a Promo Code?
Promo Codes are typically issued by Dollar for public use. Some are for a limited time, and others don't have expiry. I've also found these codes generated for corporate use as well.
These are codes that don't necessarily yield big discounts but could offer incentives for weekend rentals, car class upgrades, discounts in specific regions, etc.
The acronym for this is PC.
What's a Corporate Discount Program?
Dollar has corporate codes called their Corporate Discount Program or CDP for short.
These are specially negotiated contracts with companies and organizations with normally better discounts and terms than those available to the public.
To use them, you need to be employees or members of company/organization affiliated with the code or you could be a vendor or contractor as well.
Before you use a CDP, make sure you read the disclaimer on using corporate code so you understand the risks if you're using it without being an employee/member.
How to get the best deal with Dollar Car Rental
As you go through the list of codes on the official and corporate side, you'll find that in Dollar's case, the publicly available codes are pretty good.
If you want to play it safe, the codes for AAA members are excellent at 10% off. In addition, you get a free child seat, free additional driver, and 10% off prepaid fuel. Codes are chapter specific although I doubt you'd get in trouble for using a code for a chapter that isn't your closest one.
For weekly or weekend rentals, the Dollar car rental promo code 101607 gets you 15% off which beats more than half of the corporate codes out there.
On the corporate side of things, CDP 3063724 is quite remarkable and the only one that gives you significant discount. All the others are similar, if not worse than the official codes.
If you'd rather not use coupon codes or just want an easy way to find the cheapest rates across all car rental companies, I recommend that you try Discover Cars or RentalCars.com. These are search engines similar to Kayak and Skyscanner but for car rentals. 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.
Compilation of Dollar Car Rental Promo Codes
We finally arrive at the Dollar discount codes themselves. We're going to break things down between official and corporate.
How to use the below tables
To use the codes, simply click on the orange button on the right side of the table. This copies the Dollar code to your computer/smartphone so you can paste it in the rental car booking form.
Official Dollar promo and discount codes codes
Especially with the current climate of corporate codes and car rental companies checking more aggressively, it's safe to go with the official codes and discounts.
Instant analysis of official Dollar codes: You can save good money by going with the “Pay Now” option with 15% off but I really like the AAA car rental discount codes where you not only save 10% but you also get an additional driver, free baby seat, and 10% pre-paid fuel. Remember, AAA corporate discount codes are broken down by regional club chapters. Another good one is the generic PC 101607 which gets you 15% if you rent for a week or weekend.
Dollar Car Rental corporate codes
There aren't that many corporate codes out there and so the list is limited.
The savings listed are either provided directly by Dollar but in the case where it isn't a clear cut, I've calculated the discounts off of total price savings compared to how much it would cost without any codes.
Again, please read the disclaimer below on using corporate codes.
View all Dollar CDP Codes (click to expand)
Instant analysis of Dollar corporate codes: Remarkably, the Dollar CDP codes are quite average and many of them are similar. The one that stands out is CDP 3063724 at close to 70% off base rates.
How to apply Dollar promo and CDP codes
Entering codes with Dollar is really easy.
When you arrive at the Dollar home page, click on the “Pick-up Location” box and it will expand to look like the below.
Enter in your reservation details and enter the appropriate code under Promo Code or Corporate Discount Program. If you have an Express ID, enter it as well.
From here, you'll be taken to the vehicle selection page and immediately you should see a yellow box which highlights your code if you entered in a CDP. You will not see anything for promo codes.
After the selection of options (insurance, baby seat, etc.), you'll get to the final page to reserve. Click on Details to expand the rental information. Pay attention to any one-way fees if there are any, the discount percentage, and the final total.
Lastly, if you're looking to earn loyalty points, make sure to put in your membership number.
No one-way fees when not using any codes – When you make a reservation without any codes at all, no one-way fees apply which is great news. That said, I only tried SLC -> LAX so your experience may vary.
One-ways come out cheaper? – I noticed something quite peculiar when looking at one-way rentals. Granted this is isolated my baseline analysis where I used SLC to LAX in the US but when using codes that don't charge a one-way fee ($0.40/mile), the total price for some reason was cheaper than pick ups and returns from SLC.
Peculiar things with the Dollar reservation system
Besides the underage driver issue mentioned above, there are few other things that I have noticed.
Add-on glitch – When using codes and adding in options such as insurance (LDW, PAI/PEC, LIS), baby seat, prepaid fuel, it doesn't seem to add those options into the total cost. This makes it look like they are free even though it shows the add-on total separately. This is not accurate because this behaviour happens with all codes.
Difficult to know what's included with CDPs – At most, I've seen the system show the inclusion of AAO (additional driver) but never anything else. Some CDPs say they include other things but they don't show up in the system so it's honestly hard to say.
Dollar has a page that specifically talks about drivers that are 20-24 (under 25). There, it breaks down the requirements and how it's actually 18-24 in the state of New York, Michigan, and Quebec.
It also references a Young Renter Fee. Look deeper and it says “Charge varies based on car class and renting location. Car class restrictions apply.”
Not helpful right?
Even less helpful is the online booking system where you can't even specify whether you're underage or not. It simply doesn't ask for age like other car rental companies. As a result, you can't even get a quote on what the Young Renter Fee is unless you call the location itself.
As for codes to waive the Young Renter Fee? There doesn't seem to be any although rumour has it that the Department of Defence code does but this is unconfirmed.
Earning other loyalty points with Dollar
It's not exactly the most lucrative way to build loyalty points but Dollar does have partnerships with several airlines and IHG. Check out the full list of travel partners.
For airlines, earnings start at 50 airline miles per qualified rental day. This varies dramatically between frequent flyer programs.
For IHG, you’ll be rewarded with an 125 IHG Rewards Club points per rental day.
When booking, you can enter in your loyalty membership and that's it. A heads up though, Dollar charges a frequent flyer surcharge of $0.75 USD – $0.95 USD per day if you earn frequent flyer points on a rental for some programs.
You also can't earn Dollar Express Rewards and loyalty points at the same time.
Other tips on saving money with Dollar
Here are a couple of basic tips on car rental savings with Dollar Car Rental.
- Sign up for Dollar Express Rewards – The main benefit is being able to skip the counter and go directly to the car.
- Don't rent from the airport if you can – Those airport fees add up. They sneakily call it something ambiguous which is why you'll see “Ap Conc Fee Recov”, “Concessn Rec Srchg”, and “Trans Facility Fee”.
- Week rentals sometimes cheaper than 5 or 6 days – Discounts often kick in when you hit a full week so if you're close to that, try getting a quote for 7 days.
- Use credit card for car rental insurance – Instead of purchasing LDW, leverage your credit card for insurance. Make sure you read your policy beforehand to know what and how you're covered. The best Canadian credit cards have insurance built in.
- Prepaying fuel is never a good idea – Unless you think you're going to be in a crazy time crunch, always fill up the tank before you return the car. Even if they offer you a temping fuel plan, it'll always be more expensive than you filling it up by yourself.
Disclaimer on using corporate codes
As I talk about in the complete guide to car rental coupon codes, one thing you need to be aware of is that codes from the corporate section belong to corporations generated for their employees or are for members of big box stores.
Using these codes without being an employee or member is outside of their rate terms. If you do get into an accident, your own insurance may be void coverage if your misuse gets surfaced. It's also possible that car rental companies may change your rate during your rental if they find out. It is also unclear whether if you purchase additional coverage (LDW, LIS, PAI, PEC etc.), whether that will be nulled if they find out.
You have to be okay with these uncertain risks if you decide to use one of the corporate codes. If you don't feel comfortable, you should just stick with the official Dollar discount codes.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best overall and risk-free code are the AAA codes such as CDP 3000084 at 10% off . If you're renting for a week or weekend, the generic Promo Code 101607 is also good at 15% off. You can also try CDP 3063724 for deep discounts.
Car rental companies are becoming more vigilant about checking for IDs so there's a high chance that they will ask for ID.
One-way rentals are allowed with Dollar. Surprisingly, in many cases, no one-way fees are applied or increase in rates. However, some CDPs do add on an expensive one-way fee.
Yes, Dollar does have an affiliation with AAA but not with CAA. Dollar has a unique CDP code per region.
No, Dollar has no codes for AARP members.
No, Dollar does not offer discounts for Costco members.
The system will allow you to do this but the CDP rate will override any rate discounts that come with the promo code. That said, if it's a class upgrade or some other promotion, they should be able to stack.
Yes, if you're under 25, a “Young Renter Fee” is added. This fee is location dependent. Currently you can't see what this fee is online and there are no codes that can remove this fee.
Featured image via Flickr by AutoRentals.com