Travel Tip: Booking Rental Cars

by Brian on September 29, 2012

in Rental Cars, Southwest, Tips, United Airlines

Booking Rental Cars through Airline Websites To Save

I always have the best luck booking rental cars through airlines’ websites. Airlines often feature promotional discount codes on their sites with the major rental car companies. This often includes opportunities to earn bonus frequent flyer miles. The prices I find using the discount codes are often a great deal and are typically less than what I find either through the rental car companies’ sites or through booking sites like Orbitz, Expedia, and Travelocity. To find the special codes, look for the rental car partner links on airline websites.

United Airlines

Here’s two examples. On United’s page, I clicked on one of the offers on the rental car reservations page: triple miles and 35% off a Hertz rental.  I priced out a one-day rental at Raleigh-Durham (RDU) for a mid-size car. The total with taxes was $64.74.

Hertz Car Rental – United.

Kayak by comparison, which also pulled up results for Hertz.com and Orbitz, came up with a cost of $96 for the exact same car or $31 more.  Expedia and Carrentals.com were cheaper than Kayak’s results but still more expensive at $81.81, or $17 more than through United’s website.

In case you’re wondering, Southwest Airlines’ website offered the same low rate as United: $64.74.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines’ rental car page also offered significant savings. A one-day rental of a mid-size Dodge Avenger in Ft. Lauderdale (FLL) was $44.70 when booked through Southwest Airlines versus $122 on Kayak, Budget.com, and Orbitz, a huge savings on the exact same car!

Budget Rental Car – Southwest Airlines.

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