Challenge: How Cheap Can I Get A Rental Car?

rental car, cheap rental car, inexpensive rental car


I’m always up for a good challenge, especially when it comes to saving money.

My wife and I are going on a little trip next month, and are in need of a rental car.  Naturally I want to keep the bill as low as possible, so I compared prices for a five day rental between all the major car rental companies. Hertz won that competition weighing in with a cost of about $206 for five days of unlimited miles with a full sized car.

Satisfied that I had done my due diligence in finding the lowest base cost, I filled out all the reservation information and was one click away from hitting the final “submit” button. It was then that I noticed there was a place for several kinds of promotional codes to be entered.

I didn’t have one, but felt like the screen was challenging me, almost begging me to find one.

Searching the internet for the terms “coupon codes” and “promotional codes” along with any of the major car rental companies produced countless hits that can be best described as hit or miss quality.  Some worked, some didn’t.  I will say that I had some pretty good luck with the codes I got from

But the best code that I found was actually right on Hertz’s own site. They have a “Discounts and Coupons” tab where I found a promotional code that saved me $5 for each day. That dropped my price by $25, but I wanted more.

Nosing around on their website some more, I noticed they had business programs including one named “Small Business One for Individuals.” I reasoned that my freelance writing was a business as far as the federal government is concerned on my tax form, so I decided to register for the program. It was free, took me less than 5 minutes to enroll, and resulted in an email with a CDP number in it. I don’t know what CDP stands for, but I was able to stack it with my promotional code and save an additional $20.

The promotional code has an expiration date, so next time I rent a car from Hertz I’ll have to find a new one. But the CDP number is stored in my Hertz Gold Club profile so it will be applied to all future rentals.

Finding the lowest base price isn’t enough if you’re a real bargain hunter, you have to go further. Anytime you see a space to fill in a promotional discount code,  there exists the opportunity to save even more. With just a little extra effort, I was able to drop my car rental cost by $45.

OK, Clever Readers, now I have challenge for YOU!  My trip isn’t for another month, so there’s still time to save even more money. Do you have any additional tricks I could apply to save even more money on my rental car? How low can we get my bill?

Brought to you courtesy of Brock

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Brock Kernin


  • Try I may need a car rental in a month as well. I have set up a reservation through that I can cancel if they are I am able to find the reservation cheaper than they can. As I get closer to the dates, I will check out Hotwire’s Hot Rate and if it’s something that I would like to pursue, I’ll try to bid a little lower on Priceline.

  • This just goes to show that if people are will to spend a few extra minutes and if they are paying attention, they can get a better deal on things like rental cars and other car related expenses. Always shop around!

  • @James – Registering for the small business account was something I just kind of stumbled into….but it goes to show you – if you just hunt around and try different things you never know what you will find! 🙂

  • @Teresa – thanks for the tip! I’m a little wary, however, that if I don’t lock into a rental now that the price will go up if I can’t get something through one of those sites. Definitely worth checking out though!

  • @Steven – The price goes down? I always thought the price went up as the day approaches (which actually seems counter intuitive to me…I would think, as you mentioned that the price would go down as they look to rent the car for whatever price they can get). I’d be a little worried that they wouldn’t have a car available for me – do you ever run into the situation where they have no cars left?

  • @EC – I had heard that too, and actually tried it….it didn’t work out for me this time. But it’s definitely something to take a look at each time a car rental is needed – thanks for the tip!

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