Saving Money on Car Rentals - Use an Agent!
Tuesday, May 24, 2022 | Categories: Ireland Travel Planning; Car Rentals; Travel Agency Savings;
So many times we've told clients, "the price is the same as booking direct however, if you book direct, the company keeps the commission they would pay to an agent, doubling their profit." While that is generally true, we just did some homework and found that this is not always the case and we, travel agents, can save you quite a bit bit of money on a car rental.
While trying to reserve a car rental for our vacation to Portland, Oregon, we checked all of our usual discounters, including Auto Europe. The rates were high and the suppliers low since many of the car rental companies pulled their stock to sell direct rather than through discounters. Checking back often, we were finding the rates rising so it was time to get serious.
PDX 8-Day Car Rental - Saving $291.95 Using an Agency
Comparing a few different rental companies, we determined Enterprise/National had the best rate for our location, dates and car types. We decided on a VW Atlas or similar cross-over as we like to try different rentals cars on vacation and perhaps find our next personal car.
The first step was to log in using our agency credentials to get a rate, knowing that we'd receive commission so final cost would be be lower. Doing so, we found a rate of $1286.06 - a mind-numbing rate but remember, these rates were lower than the other companies available. You'll see the weekly rate of $800 plus an additional $160 for the extra day (which is really 5 hours; we're picking up at noon but dropping at 5:00pm on the 7th day, triggering the additional day rate.)
Thankfully rentals here in the States are typically on reservation and not pre-paid so we can check back often to see if there is a better rate available between now and our vacation.
Next, we decided to check what the same car would cost if we created a loyalty account and logged in to start the process. We made sure we selected the same criteria, including the pick-up and drop-off times. The exact car category was available and we were shocked that the rate was $291.95 more than our agency rate, which included commission paid to us! Oddly, the "Emerald Club" discount of 10% was included and still, the final rate was 23% higher.
Please consider calling your travel agent when making reservations for any of your travel needs as you might be surprised how much they can save you.