PrePaid Car Rental Savings

Prepaid Car rental is one option to discount your rental car rate.

Now, instead of only being able to book prepay rates through sites like Hotwire or Priceline, there are a few rental car companies that will discount your rate if you prepay  in advance (online, when you are making your reservation) instead of waiting until you get to the rental counter to put down your deposit.

Currently Avis and Budget, Hertz and Alamo, offer prepaid discounts on their respective websites (links below, open in new windows).

When looking at prepaid discounts, one very important factor to consider is that you will want to make sure that you're fully aware of all the terms and conditions of the offer, and what rules and regulations are set up if, for some reason, you need to cancel your car rental reservation that has already been paid for.


Terms & Conditions

Alamo

There is a link to Pre-Pay and Save 10% on the homepage.

Availibility is limited to participating locations and reservations must be made at least24 hours in advance.

Alamo has the following information about cancellations

If the reservation is cancelled MORE than 24 hours before the pick up time, you will be charged a $5 cancellation fee will. If the reservation is cancelled within 24 hours of the pick up or or if the renter is a no show, the credit card on file will be charged for a $10 no-show fee.

No information is provided about applying for a refund of the prepaid amount in either case.... but all cancellations and modifications must be done by phone, so make sure to ask the Alamo representative about a refund if you must cancel a prepaid car rental.

Avis

When you get to the step in the reservation process to select a vehicle, you may be offered the choice between a pay later rate and a prepaid car rental rate.

Once you select a vehicle using a pay now rate, you'll be able to select options and see the total charge for the rental. Avis provides the following information about cancellations for a prepaid rental car:

You can get a refund of the rental if you cancel at least 6 hours before you're scheduled to pick up -- less a 25.00 USD processing fee.

For a no show or if you cancel with less than 6 hours notice, you can get a refund of the prepaid amount less a NO SHOW fee of $100.00 USD.

Once you fill out your name, adress, credit card information, etc., make sure to Click to Show on the link beside Terms and Conditions to review all the rules and regulations for your rental, before clicking reserve.

Information is provided on how to apply for a refund if you need to cancel your reservation. Once you hit reserve, your credit card will be charged.

With Avis, you can change most things on your prepay reservation at any time, even multiple times, with no fee. 

Budget

When you get to the step in the reservation process to select a vehicle, you may be offered the choice between a pay later rate and a prepaid car rental rate.

Once you select a vehicle using a pay now rate, you'll be able to select options and see the total charge for the rental.

Budget provides the folliwing information about cancellations:

As long as the reservation is cancelled before the pickup time, Budget will refund the prepaid amount less a $10 processing fee.

If you don't cancel your reservation and fail to show up to pick it up, Budget will process a refund of the prepaid amount less a $50 no-show fee.

Once you fill out your name, adress, credit card information, etc., make sure to click the link at the bottom of the page for Terms and Conditions to review all the rules and regulations for your rental, before clicking reserve.

Information is provided on how to apply for a refund if you need to cancel your reservation. Once you hit reserve, your credit card will be charged.

With Budget you can change most things on your prepay reservation at any time, even multiple times, with no fee. 

Hertz


Hertz prepaid car rental rates are available at participating airport Hertz locations.

If a prepay rate is available, you will be given the option when selecting a vehicle type.

Hertz states the following information about cancellations on a prepaid car rental:

If the reservation is cancelled more than 24 hours before the scheduled pickup time, Hertz charges a $50 cancellation fee.

If the prepaid reservation is cancelled with less than 24 hours notice, Hertz charges a $100 fee.

If the prepaid reservation is not cancelled and/or no one shows up to pick up the scheduled rental, the entire prepaid amount will still be charged - it's non-refundable.

Reservation changes and cancellations for prepaid reservations can only be done on Hertz.com. Changes must be made with same credit card that you used to make the Hertz prepaid car rental reservation.



The amount of the discount that you can get for prepaid car rental is different for different companies.

Alamo offers a maximum discount when you prepay your rental car of 10%, while Hertz, Avis, Budget average around a 15% discount. Note that any discount is off the base rate of your rental car only. The prepaid car rental discount only applies to the base rate of the rental car itself, and you won't be able to discount optional purchases such as car seats, gps units or optional rental car insurance purchases. You also can't apply a prepay discount on top of a rate that is already discounted because of a coupon, car rental discount code or special offer.


Image Credit: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net








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