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Save Hundreds When You Hack Your Rental Car Reservation With These Smart Tips

The cost of going on vacation can add up quickly, especially when you need to rent a vehicle. This expense alone can add on a few hundred dollars to the mix! Try any of these smart and effective hacks for your next rental car reservation and you’ll enjoy watching your costs rapidly decline.

1. Save $200 when you cancel and rebook after the price drops.

Collin’s sister Bryn shared this incredible hack that saved her $169 on her rental car by setting up the reservation through Costco. More recently, another Hip2Save team member Michelle saved even MORE and got her 3-day reservation down from $318.96 to $118.49 following the same cancel and rebook method. She even upgraded her car in the process!

I first booked my car rental over a month ago and was really bummed to see it was over $300 for only 3 days for a small car. Last night, I looked again following Bryn’s advice and the price was just over $100! So the price had dropped down $200, and I even went up a car size. – Michelle

2. Play around with different rental time frames.

If your schedule is flexible, change the length of your rental time. Sometimes picking up your car a day early (or keeping it a day or two longer) will trigger a deal!

3. Save even more with rewards programs.

Get the most bang for your buck by signing up for a Car Rental Rewards Program like Hertz Gold Plus Rewards or Avis Preferred. Or find out if an organization you belong to offers special rental car discounts like USAA, AAA, or AARP. Even your Costco membership can reward you with some money-saving incentives.

4. Check your credit card rewards for extra cash back opportunities.

Hip2Save readers say they’ve been able to score discounted car rentals using Chase Ultimate Rewards or other rewards program through their credit card providers!

Follow these tips to avoid additional rental car fees.
There’s no reason to pay more than you have to when you rent your ride. These simple tips will ensure you hang onto more of your vacation money.
1. Fill the gas tank before returning your rental car.

If you bring back a car that needs gas, you might get hit with two times the normal price for gas and additional fees.

2. Compare equipment rental fees to buying and selling.

Sometimes the rental cost of GPS units or baby seats can cost MORE than the price of just purchasing these items yourself, depending on the length of your rental. You can sell these items on eBay if you don’t need them after your trip. You can also get away with just using your phone for navigating around town!

3. Document any initial damage inside and outside the car.

Give the car a full inspection before and after getting in, and be sure to take photos and mention any damage to the rental car employees. Repair fees can get outrageous if the damage is blamed on your use!

Follow along to read how I get through TSA in a snap!