Trying to rent a car at most places while being under 25 usual incurs an additional “age differential” fee that significantly adds to the price. These fees range from $15 to $30 per day depending on location and the rental car company policy. While statistically young drivings are more prone to get into car accidents there are ways to reduce the sting of these fees and eliminate them entirely. The savings tips I will outline is not just useful for young adults but I have also found these tips to be one of the best ways to save money on rental cars for anyone regardless of their age.
1. Signup for an USAA Account
While most people only think veterans, active military personal, and their families can signup for a USAA account, actually anyone can with some restrictions on what products and benefits they can use. Fortunately one of those benefits includes rental car discounts.
2. Signup for Rental Car Rewards Programs
An added benefit of signing up for a USAA account is you get access to priority rental car programs such as Avis Preferred, Budget Fastbreak, and Hertz Gold Plus Rewards. Click through the links if you have not signed up for any of these programs, you may need to log into your USAA account. With these priority programs you can skip the lines and directly pickup your rental car and can earn valuable rental car points, airline miles, or hotel points depending on your preferences.
3. Click Through a Cashback Portal for More Savings
Before checking out of any online website I always check cashback websites to try to get additional savings. I typical use Mr. Rebates for rental cars but also check evreward for additional opportunities. Through Mr. Rebates Avis, Budget, and Hertz typically are 3% cashback.
4. Use the USAA Rate Codes for Savings
Use the rental codes listed below to shop for rates or click through this link to the USAA website for direct links. You will probably need to be logged in to see the rental codes. In addition to waiving underage fees they also waive additional driver fees and include primary liability up to certain limits. The special rates do not work at all locations but I have not have had problem using them anywhere in the United States including Puerto Rico.
Avis – A177232
Budget – Y126501
Enterprise – ALNCGEN
5. Rental Car Coupons
In addition to the rates codes, pretty good coupons come out that are specific to USAA for all rental car companies. Here is a great link for a list of all the up to date coupons and more specific information on the rate codes benefits. For example, a current coupon gives an additional $20 off a Hertz weekly rental.
6. An Example of Savings
To give everyone an example of these savings I chose a random week in March to rent a car from the Hertz at Seattle Tacoma Airport. The savings was insane, $978.21 without any discounts versus $315.72 with the USAA rate code, a savings of $662.49!!!! Notice how the base rate also changed thanks to the discount rate code from $563 to $200 this is an added benefit to using any discount code when renting a car. Also by clicking through Mr. Rebates to the Hertz website another $9.47 will be deposited into my Mr. Rebates account upon completion of my rental and I will earn 270 Hertz Gold reward points for future use when renting cars.
I know this is only one example and quite extreme at that, but I have been very successful at using this technique at Avis, Budget, and Hertz locations. Hope this helps someone out!
Mr. Rebates link is a referral link from my account to signup