Budget Travel Coupon Codes: How to Save Money on Rental Cars

Budget Travel Coupon Codes: How to Save Money on Rental Cars

About the author

Anya is a freelance writer whose work has been published on FrugalTravelGuy, Fodor’s, FlyerTalk, 10xTravel and Reward Expert.

Table of Contents

  1. AAA car rental discounts
  2. Hertz
  3. Dollar Rent A Car
  4. Thrifty
  5. AARP discount car rental
  6. Avis
  7. Budget
  8. Payless Car Rental
  9. Zipcar
  10. Costco car rental discounts
  11. AutoSlash car rental discount
  12. More tips for rental car discounts
  13. Conclusion

The rental car crunch and rising gas prices have significantly increased the cost of a road trip. As car rental agencies struggle to replenish their inventory, daily rental rates are soaring in popular travel destinations. In some cities, you’re lucky to find a vehicle at all. However, renting a car doesn’t have to feel like highway robbery. Discounts are abundant — you just have to know where to look. Here’s where and how to find rental car discounts.

AAA car rental discounts

The AAA isn’t just for emergency roadside assistance. As a member, you can get discounted rates on auto repairs, auto insurance and battery service. Additionally, AAA has partnered with a few car rental companies to offer members rental car discounts. Simply enter your club discount code to reserve a car online and present your membership card at the rental counter. AAA membership starts at $59 per year.

Which is cheaper — booking rental cars in advance or last minute?


If you’re an AAA member, you can save up to 20% off the base rate (time and mileage charges only) on Hertz rentals booked in the U.S. and Canada and up to 10% off the base rate on rentals booked across the world. You also can add a driver (who is also a AAA member) and a child safety seat for free. AAA members ages 20 to 24 can will get the “young driver fee” waived. Hertz Gold Plus Rewards is the company’s loyalty program. It’s free to join and membership allows you to skip the counter and pick a car from the lot.

Credit cards with elite car rental perks

Dollar Rent A Car

AAA members receive up to 10% discount off the base rate on Dollar car rentals at participating U.S. and Canada locations. An additional driver who’s also a AAA member and a child seat are free to add. You also receive 10% off fuel when you prepay for gas at the counter.


Save up to 8% off the base rate of your next Thrifty rental by putting your AAA membership to use. Like with the previous two car rental companies, rentals in the U.S. and Canada only are eligible for the discount. Additionally, you can save money by adding a driver (who must be a AAA member) and a child seat at no extra cost. Prepaid fuel and a GPS navigation system get a 10% discount at the counter.

AARP discount car rental

AARP is another organization offering discounts to members, including car rental discounts. AARP membership costs $16 per year, but you can reduce that cost by signing up for a multiyear membership with automatic renewal. You can save money on your rental car with the following companies:


AARP members save up to 30% off base rates on car rentals booked in the U.S. and Canada. A full-class car upgrade may be available at pickup, and an additional driver can be added at no cost.


Budget offers a discount of up to 35% on base rates to AARP members. A free additional driver, a free upgrade, discounted GPS and a loss damage waiver coverage are included in the AARP rates on rentals in the U.S. and Canada. For those who are relocating, Budget Truck Rental offers a 10% (Friday and Saturday) to 20% (Sunday through Thursday) discount on moving truck rentals.

Payless Car Rental

AARP members save 5% off base rates on car rentals in the U.S. and Canada and get an additional driver for free. A free upgrade on compact through full-size car bookings may be available as well.


Zipcar isn’t a traditional rental car company. Instead, this car-sharing app allows you to book a car on demand for a few hours to run errands in your neighborhood or for two days for a weekend trip (up to 180 miles per day are included). AARP members pay $40 to join Zipcar, plus a one-time $25 application fee and get $40 in driving credit. Meanwhile, a regular annual membership costs $70. Gas, secondary insurance and maintenance are included in the cost.

Rental car alternatives you might not know about

Costco car rental discounts

Costco enthusiasts have access to members-only discounts from select car rental companies, such as Alamo, Avis, Budget and Enterprise. It’s possible to get discounts for rentals abroad. With Costco member rates on rental cars, you can reserve online and pay at the counter, or cancel your booking without fees. It’s also possible to add a driver for free — the additional driver fee is waived on cars rented in the U.S. with Avis and Budget and on cars rented in the U.S., France, Germany, Ireland, Spain, and the U.K. with Alamo and Enterprise. Executive Membership holders earn a 2% reward on purchases made through Costco Travel, including rental cars. Costco charges $60 per year plus tax for regular membership and $120 per year plus tax for Executive Membership.

AutoSlash car rental discount

Not only does AutoSlash help you locate the lowest car rental price, but the website also tracks your reservation and sends you an email when the price of your car drops. When generating quotes, AutoSlash takes into account membership-only discounts, including some of the ones listed above. The website asks whether you hold certain credit cards or are a member of wholesale clubs and whether you’re a frequent customer of select rental agencies. AutoSlash then applies more than 1,000 coupon codes in its database when searching for the rental based on your parameters. The website claims to save you about 30% off what you can find on other sites. Once you get a quote and are happy with it, you can reserve your car. If the price of your rental goes down after you booked it, you’ll receive a price drop alert. AutoSlash is free to use.

More tips for rental car discounts

  1. Picking up a rental vehicle at one location and dropping it off at another place lets you see more places on one trip and save time by flying from another airport. Doing this usually costs extra money. To avoid paying drop-off fees, reserve your car during special promotions that waive one-way or inter-city fees. Better yet, avoid one-way rentals.

  2. An airport is a convenient place to pick up a car, but rental rates often include facility fees and taxes. To dodge this bump in the road, look for off-airport car rental agency locations to compare costs. Factor the cost of a ride to the pickup/drop-off spot to make sure the savings are significant enough to give up the convenience.

  3. Select credit cards offer collision damage waiver as part of their membership benefit. This insurance typically covers theft and vehicle damage in case of an accident. Check the cardmember terms and decline coverage only if your card provides this perk.


Being a member of an organization or a wholesale club often provides more benefits than just discounts on products or services. AAA, AARP and Costco all provide car rental discounts to their members. If you’re not a member, search for a vehicle on AutoSlash. Combine the site’s rates with a few money-saving tricks, and you’ve got a discount for your next road trip.

Budget Travel Hacks: Tips to Save Money on Your Next Trip

Budget Travel Hacks: Tips to Save Money on Your Next Trip


Traveling can be an expensive endeavor, from airfare to accommodations to activities. However, there are plenty of budget travel hacks that can help you save money during the booking process and while you’re on the road. In this article, we’ll explore various tips and tricks to help you travel on a budget without compromising on your experience. By implementing these strategies, you’ll be able to explore new destinations while keeping your expenses in check. Let’s dive in!

Finding Cheap Flights and Travel Deals

When it comes to finding the lowest airfare prices, there are a few hacks you can use. First, always clear your web browser cache or use incognito mode when checking flight prices multiple times. Some airline websites track your browsing history and may show repeat visitors a higher price to create a sense of urgency.

Another effective way to get cheap flights and other travel deals is through travel hacking with credit card points. Take advantage of flexible point systems offered by companies like Chase, American Express, and Citi. By combining these points with sign-up bonuses, you can earn free flights and hotel stays. It’s a game changer for any family, regardless of income level.

Saving on Mobile Phone Costs While Traveling

Roaming charges for your mobile phone can quickly add up, especially if you don’t have an international plan. Instead of purchasing a costly plan through your provider, consider getting a local SIM card for the country you’re traveling to. This will allow you to have access to data and make local calls without breaking the bank.

Booking Travel Bundles for Added Savings

One way to save money on your travels is to book a travel bundle or packaged deal. Retailers like Costco offer bundled packages that can include flights, accommodations, and other perks. By booking everything together, you can often eliminate taxes and fees that come with individual bookings. Plus, you may even get free room upgrades and additional discounts.

Being Flexible with Travel Plans

Being flexible with your travel plans can significantly impact your budget. Consider booking your travel on less popular dates or with no fixed destination in mind. For example, flying on a Thursday instead of a Friday or staying at hotels mid-week can save you hundreds of dollars. By adjusting your plans, you can end up with an incredible trip at a fraction of the cost.

Embracing Off-Season Travel

Traveling during off-peak seasons is an excellent way to save money. Accommodations are often cheaper and more readily available. Additionally, flights and attractions tend to have lower prices, and tourist spots are less crowded. By traveling off-season, you can enjoy quality time with your family and friends without breaking the bank.

Taking Advantage of Airbnb Discounts for Longer Stays

If you have the flexibility to stay for a longer duration at your destination, consider booking an Airbnb for two to four weeks. Airbnb offers a generous discount for longer stays, allowing you to save even more money. Furthermore, staying in an Airbnb gives you a chance to experience the local culture and add a unique touch to your vacation.

Alternatives to Air Travel

If you’re looking to save a significant amount of money, consider alternatives to air travel. By using buses, trains, or taxis, you can save a substantial amount on transportation costs. Websites like can help you plan your route and compare different options in major cities and countries. Additionally, RideGuru is an online tool that allows you to compare taxi and rideshare services, ensuring you find the most economical choice for your needs.


Traveling on a budget doesn’t mean you have to compromise on your experience. By implementing these budget travel hacks, you can significantly reduce your expenses while still enjoying your journey. From finding cheap flights and travel deals to being flexible with your plans, there are plenty of strategies to help you save money. So, start planning your next adventure and make the most of your travel budget!

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For more information on budget travel hacks, check out these resources: