Researching Rental Cars

I rent a car when I go back to Ontario or when I travel on business.

Even if the client pays, I still like getting a good deal.

So I did a little online research as upcoming prep for January/February when I may rent a car for the weekend to visit my sister.

Here are all the major car rental companies I tried:

  • Hertz
  • Budget-Rent-A-Car
  • Discount Rentals
  • Enterprise
  • Avis

I have a couple of discount codes for two of them, but I’ll just assume regular rentals for now.

My Quick Comparison of Daily Rates and Final Totals

My choices:

  • 2 full weekend days (pick up Saturday, drop off Monday) for January
  • No GPS
  • Don’t care about miles — I never go over 600km
  • No insurance coverage or protection (I’m covered under my TD Gold Select Visa with no annual fee)
  • No discount codes — But the ones I used did lower the price to make it cheaper by a couple of bucks
  • No points or rewards considered for other affiliate programs

Picture 3

The daily rates mean jack

Compare between the final totals and prices, using the same criteria for all.

A high daily rate like Budget at $70.30 had the lowest price out of all.

The lowest daily rate at $45.99 from Discount Car Rental, yielded one of the highest prices in the end.

Don’t assume the discount is always a good deal

Like I said, it didn’t apply in this case, but when friends sent me discount codes for their wedding parties, it was $50 MORE than what I would have paid, had I chosen the same flight without the damn discount code.

I think they jack up the price and then discount it.

It’s an old trick done a lot by retailers too — where holiday season hits for example, and they raise all the prices by 10% and then discount by 10%.


Try and get insurance covered by your card or bank

Always try and figure out if you can get your car insurance covered in some other way, rather than paying the car rental company.

My PC Financial Mastercard doesn’t do it, because they’re a low frills card.

So I got a TD Bank Gold Select Visa with no annual fee, and in the contract, they cover me if I rent the car with the card.

This saves me around $16.95 – $25.99 for each day of car rental, which is around $85 saved per week.

Not only that, they have special rates with Budget, that saves me another $4.17 on the rental situation described above.

That’s it.

Happy Car Rental Hunting!

Any other tips from seasoned car renters?

That’s as far as I’ve gotten.

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.