Car rental companies offer coupons that make renting a vehicle from them more attractive to consumers. The different types of car rental coupons include money off, free rental days, and free upgrades. Rental location, vehicle size, and the length of time you rent for represent some of the different factors that affect the coupon you can use. By knowing the different coupons available and the restrictions often placed on these coupons, you can find the best deals to save money on your next vehicle rental.
Method 1 of 3: Coupons for free upgrades
- Desktop, laptop computer, or other mobile device
- Single or double upgrade coupon, or coupon code
Coupons for free upgrades come as either a single or a double upgrade. Most coupons state that the upgrade is subject to availability at the time of rental. However, you should book the size of car you want initially in case the upgrade is not available at the time of rental. This way, you are not stuck with a compact car when you need a full-size vehicle.
- Tip: In addition to the car rental company websites, you can also visit aggregate coupon sites such as Groupon, RetailMeNot.com, and Coupons.com to find a wide variety of car rental coupons.
Step 1: Choose the company you want to use. Visit the site of the company website you want to rent from. Some examples include:
On the website, visit the Discount or Deals page. From there, you can find a variety of different deals, including free upgrades.
Step 2: Check the qualifications. Next, make sure you meet the qualifications for the upgrade, including such criteria as being a member of a certain club, renting an appropriate size of vehicle, and at which locations this type of offer is valid at, such as at locations in the U.S. and Canada only.
You should also check by which date the upgrade coupon must begin.
Step 3: Write down the coupon code. Once you are certain that you want to use the upgrade coupon, write down the coupon code for use at the car rental site online.
When renting online, just enter the coupon code at the appropriate step in the rental process to take advantage of the upgrade.
- Tip: Unfortunately, upgrades are not guaranteed. If you require a certain size of vehicle, but it is more than you want to pay, you are better off using a money-off coupon instead.
Method 2 of 3: Coupons for free days
- Desktop, laptop, or other mobile device
- Free days coupon or coupon code
Free days coupons give you the option of receiving a free day with your rental when renting for a certain amount of time or over certain days of the week. Most often these coupons are valid when renting for at least a week or over the weekend. The way the free day is figured out is to divide the base rate by the number of days to get the per-day rate. This amount is then subtracted after all taxes and fees are calculated.
Step 1: Find the coupon. To find a free day coupon, visit a car rental company or coupon aggregate website.
Once on the car rental company website, click on the Deals or Discount tab.
On the coupon aggregate site, type the appropriate keywords into the search bar to pull up all the coupons they have for free rental days. From there, find the offer that best fits what you need and click on it.
Step 2: Write down the code. Copy down the coupon code for later use.
- Tip: Make sure the coupon does not expire before you need to rent the vehicle and that you can meet all of the requirements to get the free day.
Step 3: Visit the relevant car rental site. Click on the car rental site for the free days coupon.
When you get to the part of the rental process that asks for the car rental coupon code, enter it.
If there is a problem, the site should let you know what it is.
- Note: Once you have entered the coupon code correctly, you must then select the vehicle you want to rent. Keep in mind that free-day coupons are typically only for select vehicle sizes.
Method 3 of 3: Coupons for money off
- Desktop, laptop, or other mobile device
- Money off coupon or coupon code
Money-off car rental coupons provide a clear money savings. Basically, such coupons give you a percentage off of your total rental rate. Restrictions usually apply and include encouraging renters to use the Pay Now option, rentals available in certain areas of the country, and for renting certain size rentals. When using a money-off coupon, make sure that you are aware of and agree with any restrictions before using it.
Step 1: Choose the company you want to use. Select the car rental company or coupon aggregate site you want to use.
Many coupon aggregate sites have offers that require no coupon code and take you directly to the specific site in demand with a redirect link.
Step 2: Read the conditions. Once on the site, make sure you understand and agree with the terms and conditions for the discounted rate.
- Note: Make sure you’re old enough to rent a car using this method as some age restrictions may apply.
With the Pay Now option, you pay a certain amount up front, with the rest due upon picking up the vehicle.
Step 3: Write down the coupon code. Sometimes, the coupon requires a coupon code. In this instance, write down the code you get from the coupon aggregate site.
When the car rental company asks for the discount code during the online rental process, enter it to apply it to your total amount.
- Warning: Most often when you use the Pay Now option when renting a vehicle, if you cancel, there is a no-show processing fee. Find out what this fee is and make sure you are okay paying it if your plans change. Otherwise, avoid using Pay Now.
Saving money on a rental car is as easy as visiting a coupon aggregate site or visiting the car rental company itself by clicking on the Deals and Discounts tab on each provider's page. These discounts are activated using coupon codes and include money off, free days, and upgrade coupons. When using any car rental coupon, make sure to read and understand the terms and conditions that apply to each car rentals.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Rent a Car With a Coupon and was authored by Cheryl Knight.