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Renting a car can be a complicated and expensive process. There are many options to consider, as well as affiliations and discounts. Searching for the best price can be an all-day affair. However, it doesn’t have to be — especially if you book your car rental with AutoSlash. In this post/video, I’ll review how we used AutoSlash to save money on our upcoming trip.
Our upcoming road trip and car rental
We’re planning to take a honeymoon road trip to visit seven national parks in September. A big expense on that trip is our car rental. We decided to book through Avis earlier this year. We’ve had a solid experience with them in the past and get a discount with them since we have a Chase Sapphire Reserve. Since we’ll be potentially driving off-road at a few national parks, we opted for an intermediate-size SUV. I typically rent the cheapest (i.e., economy) car available. However, this time around, we opted for a car to cover all our bases.
My booking through Avis ended up being $1,185 for 15 days. I pre-paid the entire amount on my Chase Sapphire Reserve and opted out of Avis’ insurance coverage since primary car rental insurance is provided by the credit card.
What is AutoSlash
I first heard of AutoSlash a while back when researching a video/post on rental car tips. I didn’t think much of it. I figured that I could probably find the best rate by searching online on my own. Then I saw other bloggers writing about it, yet I remained skeptical. However, I was wrong to dismiss it as just another discount travel search engine.
Search for a rental car quote, track prices for an existing rental, or use a coupon
AutoSlash is a website that performs three specific functions:
- Provides you a quote for new car rentals
- Tracks an existing car rental and looks for a better deal
- Lists coupons for booking a car rental
Tracking my rental car reservation for a better price
Since I already had a booking, I decided to Track a Rental for price drops. I selected the rental company used, which was Avis, and entered the confirmation number. From there, AutoSlash asked for the pick-up date and the reserved price. I was then asked to confirm the name on the reservation. Next, it asked to select groups and association where I am a member. This includes associations, credit cards, loyalty programs, and warehouse clubs. Once I made my selection, it asked for my email address. And that was it!
AutoSlash found a better price
About 15 minutes later, I received an email from AutoSlash showing similar rentals with cheaper rates. The prices started at $513, which was less than half the price that I was paying for my Avis reservation. Most of the lower price rentals were with less premium rental car companies. For example, the lowest price was at Fox, which has some questionable reviews online. I probably wouldn’t care as much about the quality of the car, except that we’ll be driving it for two weeks. Also, it’s our honeymoon trip!
I decided to use Enterprise, which is one of the larger and more established rental car companies. It wasn’t the cheapest option. However, at $882, I was still saving around $300 from my original booking with Avis. Also, since we’ll be driving a lot of miles, we wanted to have a reservation that allowed us to have an additional driver. This was included in our new reservation from Enterprise.
AutoSlash found a better price through my Costco membership
AutoSlash accounted for my Costco membership when identifying this deal. The booking mentioned that I would need to show proof of membership when picking up the car. It great knowing that the system is comparing prices using all potential affiliations and membership discounts.
How much I saved with AutoSlash
We ended up saving a little less than $300. Since there was a $50 cancellation fee associated with our pre-paid Avis reservation, the final savings was $253. Though that’s an extra $253 that can be put toward more travel experiences. AutoSlash performed all the “heavy lifting” of finding the cheaper rental. Needless to say, I am very happy with the results.
Recommend AutoSlash for all car rentals
I highly recommend AutoSlash the next time you are looking to rent a car. If you’ve already booked a rental car for any upcoming trip, I suggest having the service track your current rental to search for better deals. With life being so busy, we lack the spare time to research all the discount codes and prices. Having AutoSlash automatically search for better prices was very convenient and easy.
I’m assuming that AutoSlash makes money by redirecting customers to bookings through Priceline. However, there wasn’t any visible fee tacked onto my reservation for using the service. Regardless of how AutoSlash generates income through their service, I’ll be using them for all my future rental car reservations.
Additional tips and considerations
Below are some additional tips when using AutoSlash.
1. Always enroll in the car rental loyalty program:
Before completing a booking for any rental car, you’ll want to join their loyalty program. It’s a very simple and straightforward process and is free. Doing so will help speed up the process of picking up your car. In some cases, you can pick-up your car without even stopping at the rental counter. And if you do have to go to the counter, it often means a separate one for members that is less crowded.
I also recommend downloading the rental car company’s smartphone app before your trip and logging into your account. This can also help speed up the process, especially if you’re able to confirm information via the app.
2. Unsubscribe from your notification:
Once you book your new reservation, you’ll see still receive notifications from AutoSlash about discounted bookings. AutoSlash doesn’t automatically cancel your tracked reservation. You’ll need to do so by clicking on the link in the email notification or deleting the tracked reservation on the AutoSlash website.
3. Rates can change:
Between the time that you receive your notification and the time you check it online, the rates may change. Though I wouldn’t expect it to change drastically. It’s just something to be aware of when using the service.
4. Research the rental car company:
In my case, I didn’t opt for the cheapest rental car company. Some of you might be wondering why I didn’t opt for the lowest rate. This is because I’ve had bad experiences with some of the budget rental car companies. I recommend researching and determining your level of risk. Personally, I’m willing to pay a bit more in order to get better service and a well-maintained vehicle.
5. Check out our video/post on rental car tips:
Check out our previous video/post on tips for renting a car. It’s full of additional tips to save you money. For example, we discuss how to save money by opting out of the insurance offered by the rental car companies. This is especially relevant for those with a premium travel credit card that offers primary car rental insurance.
Have you used AutoSlash before? If so, were you able to save money?
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