Don’t Let the Thanksgiving Travel Rush Overwhelm You – Save Money With These Rental Car Tips


(Image by Matt Davis via CC BY-SA 2.0 )

About 5 million people will fly somewhere over the Thanksgiving holiday. However, almost 50 million people will get into a vehicle and then drive over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Over 50 million people will travel 50 miles or more to get to their Thanksgiving destination. So, get ready to pay when it comes to gasoline.

The national average for a gallon of gasoline is a about $2.60-per-gallon. That demand might spike incrementally during the Thanksgiving holiday rush, since so many will be travelling at once.

Also, you should keep in mind that the average daily cost for a rental car is about $75. If you’re driving more than 50 miles during the Thanksgiving travel rush, then those costs will add up quick.

Here are some rental car tips to help you save some money throughout the Thanksgiving travel rush.

Make the Most of Online Rental Car Coupons and Promo Codes

You should regularly check with the official websites of the rental car companies that you regularly patronize. Companies like Avis, Budget, Hertz, and others regularly advertise discounts.

However, you are more likely to comparison shop for rental car deals more comprehensively if you check out various coupon, discount, and promo code aggregation site offers.

These sites may clue you in on better discounts from competing companies. Also, not enough people make enough use of promo codes.

Promo codes are alpha-numeric codes that you input just before finalizing an online sale that offers extra savings.

There are also exclusive discounts based on your employment, academic standing, military status, senior citizen status, and more.

You may be losing out on rental car savings that you didn’t know you qualified for. Don’t be shy about asking about available rewards or discounts programs.


At Honey.com, you can save up to 60% on rental services at companies like Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, Thrifty, and more.


At Retailmenot.com, you will find discounts, deals, coupons, and promo codes for rental car services for as much as 35%.


You’ll find coupons for rental car services on a global basis at Rentalcarmomma.com.


At DealsPlus.com you’ll find discounts as high as 45% for Budget rental cars and other companies as well.

Tips for Rental Car Savings on Thanksgiving

Don’t forget this advice:

Forget the Brand Names

You can save $5 on your rental car by renting from lesser-known and budget rental car brands like Advantage, Thrifty, Dollar Rental, or Payless. That may not sound like a lot, but the savings add up on longer trips.

One Driver

Most rental car companies will charge you fees of up to an extra $13-per-day for adding an extra driver on the contract.

Utilize Your Primary Car Insurance

If your car insurance policy covers you when driving a rental, then skip the rental car insurance. You can save as much as $30 daily. However, don’t just assume your primary car insurance automatically covers rentals. Double check.

Forget the Frills

Do you really need rental car extras like GPS or satellite radio? Why pay $15 daily for GPS when you can get satellite maps on your smart device?

Rent from the City Instead of the Airport

You are going to pay anywhere from 10% to 30% extra for the convenience of renting a car from the airport. You’ll save more money taking mass transit into town and going to a rental office in town.

The Subcompact Reservation Gambit

Most rental car companies don’t have enough subcompact cars on-site. Or, they don’t have any. If you reserve one, you may be asked to pay for an upgrade. Politely decline. You should then be offered an upgrade to an economy car free of charge.

Just be careful: this gambit could spectacularly backfire on you if the rental company has subcompacts available. Please don’t try this stunt when traveling internationally. Subcompact car ownership is the norm overseas.

Don’t Overpay for Rental Cars Anymore

Your ability to save money on car rentals is relative to your location and personal circumstances. So, research accordingly. Everyone will be driving somewhere this Thanksgiving. You just don’t need to pay as much to do so like everyone else.

Finally, if you’re reading this because you need a place to travel, consider reading Go Far Go Close’s article on Cheap Warm Winter locations.

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