Insurance and Finance

9 Ways to Rent a Car at the Best Rate

By Christine Perez 7.11.13

Like most Texas drivers, you’ll rent a car at some point for a leisure or business trip. When that time comes, here are some strategies for getting the best bang for your buck.

  • Use member discounts. Texas Farm Bureau members, for example, can get discounted car rental rates through Alamo Rent a Car, Avis, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Hertz, and National Car Rental.
  • Go online. Car rental companies and other travel sites are always offering specials to lure customers. Sites like will even do the work for you.
  • Add another day. It may sound counterintuitive, but sometimes you can get a better rate by adding a day—picking the car up on a Thursday instead of a Friday, for example—or going from six days to seven to get a weekly rate. (Rates often are lower when you pick up the car on a Saturday.)
  • Book as early as possible. After that, periodically recheck the rate to see if you can lock in something lower.
  • Avoid airport rentals. Most will add expensive airport surcharges or taxes.
  • Fill up the tank yourself. The prepaid gas option may sound like a good deal, but it’s often not. Research gas prices before you sign.
  • Rent the smallest car possible. Rental shops often won’t have them in stock, and they’ll have to offer you an upgrade for free. If not, you can always upgrade on site.
  • Review insurance coverage. Make sure the insurance offered doesn’t duplicate coverage you already have. Check with your agent to confirm the particulars before paying for something you don’t need.
  • Keep it local. After reviewing online options, call the rental location directly to see if you can get an even better deal.