Over the recent times technological innovation and community sharing has spurred lot of companies looking to provide same service as traditional companies. One area is "Car Rental".services. The traditional model of car rental is to rent from the old car rental companies or their counterparts such as Hertz, Avis and Alamo, but there are new start-ups which are trying to give established players run for their money by using the concept of community sharing. Couple of companies in this space I want to bring your attention to are:
RelayRides and GetAround both use the community sharing concept. Below are few details which will help you determine if they are better options for you than the traditional car rental companies.
RelayRides allows you to specify the destination (could be an airport) and will show available cars and pricing options for your need. The great thing about RelayRides is since it is based on community sharing you can rent a SUV or Premium Car at reasonable cost compared to the traditional car-rental companies. For e.g. Renting an SUV from San Jose Airport (SJC) from 08/01 to 08/03 gives quite a reasonable rate of $44/day (excluding taxes/fees and insurance) as shown below.
The best part is you could customize the search based on various factors such as Price, Mileage limit, Vehicle Type, Features etc, which is contrary to Traditional car-rental companies where you selection is just limited to "Vehicle Type and Price". There is no joining or annual fees as well as there are options of what kind of insurance you want and based on your comfort you could take either a "basic package" or a "premium package". The only "con" I can think of is that you need to be "approved" by RelayRides before you can rent-a-car from them. What it means is that you need to be registered with Driving License and Credit Card Details and they verify your Driving Record before you can take your rental. But given the price advantage and selection based on your situation it could be a great buy-in.
The other side of RelayRides is that you can get "free airport parking" (which is currently available only at San Francisco Airport) by listing your car for rental through RelayRides (Of-course you would not earn anything from that rental). An alternative option to consider if you are not going to just park your car at the airport.This also helps them provide rentals directly from airport. If you wish to know which airports have rentals available you can look that up here.
GetAround is another "community sharing" car rental service which functions similar to RelayRides. The basic premises are same as RelayRides such as "no joining or annual fees" as well as approval needed before you take your first rental. The difference is that full-coverage as well as 24/7 roadside assistance is included in the price quote. The con is that number of selection criteria is rather limited. Taking the same example as RelayRides for Renting an SUV from San Jose Airport (SJC) from 08/01 to 08/03 gives a rate ranging from $100 to $140 (including insurance) as shown below:
As you can see from above the options are limited compared to RelayRides but the pricing seems to be at par once you consider that insurance cost is included for GetAround. Similar to RelayRides you could list your idle car for rental and earn an extra income from GetAround.
Both RelayRides and GetAround has sign-up or referral promo's all the time from which you can get $10 to $25 for your first rental. So, next time you plan to rent-a-car, you would want to consider these new "community sharing" car companies for your need!
Most often than not on your trip you rent a car and its good to know what all the available options are as well as which websites would fetch you the cheapest car rental cost.
To start with there are two kind of rentals you could book:
When you book the car rental using this kind of service you are typically renting through 3rd party travel agency site. Below are the advantages and disadvantages of this kind of rental:
This is how typically you would book you car rental using either 3rd party OTA websites or the car rental agency website. The only disadvantage if you might end up paying a higher price then otherwise you would pay using the "Opaque booking", but the advantages are many as listed below:
With that being said for "transparent booking", below are some of the websites which you would find useful for finding promotion / discount codes before you would go ahead and make your car rental reservation or could help you in getting the best available price for your next car rental.
Promo Codes / Discount Codes Websites:
Car Rental Booking Websites (OTA):
Below is the list of websites which generally tend to give good discounted rates for car rentals. Some of them are limited to access for "members only", but if you have access to them it would be really useful. You would want to try at-least 3 of them before concluding the best available price.
Note: None of the above links are referral links or earns me any commission. Thanks for reading!
On your air trip one of the concern is the cost of car rental. As the cost of the flight tickets are dynamic so goes the car rental prices. But if you are leisure traveler looking for bargain on you car rental then you might be interested in the strategy below which can sometimes result in good amount of savings on your wallet.
Step1: Start your car rental search at Expedia, Priceline or CostcoTravel:
Begin your search for car rental prices at the Expedia, Priceline or CostcoTravel . Most often than not you will get fairly decent idea on going price of car rental. Another advantage of going this route is you get the prices which are not "discounted" through any rental car company or partner discount/promotions.
For e.g. sample search for SJC Airport for car rental from 04/13/2013 to 04/15/2013 yields a lowest price of Economy car (incl of taxes) as $38.31 (Payless), $38 (Payless) and $37.82 (Alamo) as shown below
Step2: Go through the website "Zalyn" to see what are the coupon options it presents:
You do not need to sign up for the service and your intent is to get listing of different possible coupons. Zalyn does a good job of listing good set of discount coupons and codes as shown below.
Step3: Use Step1, Step2 and Car rental vendor's website to figure out the pricing for your rental:
This step involves using data of approximate price for your rental from Step1 combined with different discount codes provided by Zalyn in Step2 to determine what further discounts you could get. Since we know that Payless and Alamo were the lowest, it would be best to try different codes provided for Payless and Alamo above. Selecting "Payless - Save 15% on your rental" gives a code which discount's Payless cost to $34.47 (all inclusive) for Economy Car as shown below.
Step4: Is this the best? Check one more thing!!
One area where "Zalyn" lacks is in the ability to determine if you can earn any "Airline Miles" and thus assigning a discount code and coupon to earn those miles. Since rental from "Payless" does not earn any "Airline Miles" but "Alamo" does earn them you might want to check if there are any special promotion code at "frequenflyerbonuses" which gives you a good discount as well earn "Airline Miles"? (Note: Earning Airline miles adds a cost of $.75/day to $1.5/day and earns from 50 miles/day [UA, Delta] to 600 miles/rental [Southwest] or 1000 miles/rental [Virgin Atlantic] , so you might want to take that into account in your car rental).
Best of luck for your NEXT CAR RENTAL search!!
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