How AutoSlash can save you up to 77% on car rentals
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There are often great deals to be found on rental cars. But, finding the lowest rates and going through all of the potential discounts can be overwhelming. Luckily, this is where AutoSlash comes in. In this post, I’ll share all you need to know about AutoSlash to help you save money on your next car rental.
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What is AutoSlash?
AutoSlash is a website that provides three main services, free of charge:
AutoSlash differentiates itself from other car rental websites by tracking rates so you can save money when they drop. Specifically, AutoSlash finds lower prices using coupons, discount codes and membership-related discounts.
When generating car rental rates, AutoSlash factors in coupons for all of the major car rental companies. Many of the coupons are listed on AutoSlash’s coupon page, which I discuss below. But, AutoSlash also finds other discounts, including those related to memberships, programs and select credit cards.
When you request a new quote or track a current reservation through AutoSlash, you provide information about your memberships and credit cards you carry. AutoSlash then shows you the cheapest rental car rates based on this information. The memberships you select will be auto-filled next time you search, assuming you don’t clear your browser data.
Some credit cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, provide primary car rental insurance. Meanwhile, The Platinum Card® from American Express qualifies for the Amex Premium Car Rental Protection program.
To take advantage of a discount related to a particular credit card, you only need to show your credit card at check-in. Specifically, there is no requirement to pay with that card.
One concerning aspect
Autoslash doesn’t tell renters which discounts were applied. As such, you should only select memberships you have and credit cards you carry. But, as my husband JT and I found last summer, this isn’t foolproof.
We’ve used AutoSlash for rentals dozens of times over the last two years. And, we’ve only had one situation where the car rental counter refused to honor the rate we reserved using AutoSlash. In this case, we’d reserved a $338 one-week rental in Seattle while traveling in Australia. But, Dollar refused to honor the rate because we couldn’t show Australian identification. Apparently, AutoSlash used an Australian resident rate even though we never claimed to be Australian.
The reservation was through Priceline, as are many of AutoSlash’s reservations. But, the Priceline representative I spoke with wasn’t helpful and only offered to make a new reservation at a much higher rate. In reaching out after the fact to AutoSlash, an AutoSlash representative said our experience was uncommon. And, AutoSlash offered to reimburse the difference between the rate we reserved and the rate we eventually paid.
Although we’re wary after this experience, it hasn’t stopped us from using AutoSlash for subsequent rentals.
How to get the best deal on a rental car
If you’re looking to rent a car, AutoSlash is a good place to start. Start by going to AutoSlash’s website and filling out the form to get a quote for a car rental. The first time I used AutoSlash, it took me less than two minutes to submit my request.
How to get a new AutoSlash quote
The first step is to choose whether you want to pick up your rental at an airport or near an address. The next page asks whether you’d like to return the car at the same location. If not, input the return airport or address.
Next, input the pick-up and drop-off dates and times.
Then select the vehicle type needed from a drop-down list. Note that you can select the “Least expensive option.” Doing so will include all vehicle types in one search and return results for the cheapest rental.
For international markets, AutoSlash also includes a drop-down for choosing the transmission type: automatic or no preference.
Next, you need to check the box next to any memberships that you currently have, loyalty programs you belong to and credit cards that you carry.
Finally, AutoSlash asks for your name and email to send the quote.
After submitting the form, you can edit any information that you might have entered incorrectly. The quote isn’t available immediately due to the depth of AutoSlash’s search. But, you’ll usually receive it in less than 15 minutes.
How to book a deal using AutoSlash
In all of my tests, I received a quote by email in well under 15 minutes.
Clicking on the link in the email takes you to a page displaying all your options.
In my tests, I could pay later with Priceline, pay later with AutoSlash or pay now with AutoSlash. For the pay later options, you won’t need to enter a credit card and you can cancel at any time. For the pay now option, your credit card will be charged but can usually cancel until 48 hours before scheduled pick-up.
Rental rates change frequently, so you’ll need to book quickly after getting the emailed quote if you want the price to be accurate. Although old quotes still link to a valid search, they may not show the lowest prices from your initial email. And, if you wait more than six hours, AutoSlash will offer to generate a new quote.
How to find a lower price on a car rental
After you’ve made a reservation with free cancellation, go to AutoSlash and fill out the form to track your rental for price drops. If you have your current reservation in front of you, filling out the form should take less than a minute.
The form for tracking price drops requires information about the booking, including your name, the rental company, your confirmation number, the pick-up date and the price reserved. You will also need to provide information about which memberships you hold and which credit cards you carry.
You’ll receive an AutoSlash tracking confirmation email immediately after submitting the form.
When/if you receive an email saying AutoSlash has found a lower rate, the booking process is similar to what is described above for a new quote.
If you book a lower-priced option, be sure to do all of the following:
- Cancel the higher-priced reservation
- Cancel your current tracker (otherwise, AutoSlash will continue to send quotes when lower prices are found)
- Go to AutoSlash and fill out the form to track your new booking for price drops
Longtime users know that AutoSlash used to track and automatically rebook users when lower prices were found. Due to pushback from rental car companies, AutoSlash had to alter the process. So, now users must rebook (and re-track) whenever lower-priced rentals are found.
There’s really no downside to using the tracking functionality. If your originally-booked reservation winds up being the cheapest, then you can rest easy knowing that you got a great deal. And, if AutoSlash finds you a lower rate, the few minutes of your time will be well worth it.
Car rental coupons
If you need or prefer to book directly with car rental companies, AutoSlash may still be useful for you due to the car rental coupons page. After all, these coupons are specific to particular car rental companies and can be applied when booking directly.
You can click on a specific company on the sidebar to only see the coupons related to that particular car rental company.
How did AutoSlash perform?
AutoSlash is superior for tracking prices on current rental car reservations, as it’s much better than doing it manually. However, to determine the quality of AutoSlash’s initial quotes, I did some quick experiments.
I searched for automatic transmission rental cars with free cancellation. For rentals in both a week and two months, I found one-week, round-trip rentals at select airports as well as a one-week, one-way rental from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.
For each rental, I compared AutoSlash’s quotes to a few competitors that I might use: the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal and booking directly with Hertz using the member discount code associated with The Platinum Card® from American Express. I indicated that I was eligible for all discounts, except for the warehouse club discounts.
AutoSlash found the lowest car rentals for all of my tests. However, note that some of the low-cost rentals found by AutoSlash are through lower-rated companies (such as Fox) that often feature off-airport locations, longer lines and more upsells.
|Rental details||AutoSlash||Chase travel portal||Hertz (Amex Platinum discount code)|
|LAX (searching a week out)||$145 (Hertz)||$323 (Budget)||$635|
|LAX (two months out)||$218 (Fox)||$366 (Budget)||$523|
|BGR (a week out)||$326 (Hertz)||$552 (Budget)||$622|
|BGR (two months out)||$293 (Hertz)||$324 (Avis)||$296|
|FCO (a week out)||$228 (Thrifty)||$688 (Hertz)||$600|
|FCO (two months out)||$181 (Hertz)||$301 (Hertz)||$269|
|LAX to LAS (a week out)||$241 (Fox)||$359 (Alamo)||$504|
|LAX to LAS (two months out)||$240 (Fox)||$556 (Alamo)||$773|
In the end, there are many ways to save when booking rental cars. And, the best method will depend on your memberships and travel style. But, I recommend adding AutoSlash to your search process if you don’t already use the site. After all, using AutoSlash for my own rentals has saved me hundreds of dollars over the last few years.
Except as noted, images in this guide are courtesy of AutoSlash.
Featured photo by Dave G Kelly/The Points Guy.
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