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      15 of the Best Websites to Book Cheap Car Rentals in 2022

      Natasha Gabrielle
      Best Websites to Book Cheap Car Rentals

      If you’re traveling far away from home for your next vacation, chances are you won’t be able to use your car to get around. If you’re headed to a destination with limited public transit options or prefer to have a vehicle for greater flexibility, booking a rental car is an excellent choice. If you’re not careful, rental car costs can be high. But if you know where to look, you can save money and time. We’ll explain the different types of websites you can use to find or book a car rental and the best website options to consider for your travel budget.

      Types of Websites to Book Rental Cars (Summary)

      Here are a few types of websites that you can use:

      Book directly with car rental companies: You can always book a car rental directly with the car rental agencies. This is standard practice for many as it may feel easier to do. Some of the most popular car rental companies include Enterprise, Hertz, National Car Rental, Budget, Alamo, Avis, Thrifty, Fox Rent a Car, and Sixt. Many of these companies have their own rewards programs. If you want to earn points through a car rental company’s rewards or loyalty program, you may need to book directly with them. But when you book directly with a car rental company, you may not be getting the lowest price available on the web. 

      Book with a rental car website: Another option is to book through a website specializing in car rentals. You can search for your next car based on your needs and preferences. Some of these websites are more specialized and offer unique car offerings. 

      Book with an online travel agency (OTA): You can also book car rentals through an online travel agency. These agencies help you search for a car by comparing prices available around the web. You may be able to get a better deal with this option. But reservations may be less flexible, and you’ll have to deal with the OTA if you have concerns or issues. 

      Search for car rentals with a travel aggregator: Another option is to find your next car rental by using a travel aggregator. These websites function as a search engine and help you find a lower price. When you use these websites, you won’t be booking directly with them. Instead, you’ll be directed elsewhere to make your booking. 

      Book through a credit card travel rewards portal: Finally, you can find and book a rental through a credit card travel rewards portal. If you like to earn or use travel rewards points, this may be a good option.

      We go into more detail about these options below. Keep reading to learn more about some of the best websites to find and rental cars for your next trip:

      Rental Car Websites

      Some websites specialize in offering only car rentals. There are some pros and cons to using these kinds of websites.

      Pros: These websites are easy to use. They feature a variety of cars and also have powerful filtering options to help you find the right car for your needs. You may be able to find a unique vehicle when using these kinds of websites. 

      Cons: Some of these websites may not have a rewards program. If that’s important to you, it may make sense to book elsewhere. Some of these websites may not have flexible cancellation offerings. Be sure to look into the details of each reservation carefully before booking.

      Here are a few options that you may want to consider:

      1. RentalCars.com

      RentalCars.com Cheap Car Rentals

      Screenshot: rentalcars.com

      As its name suggests, RentalCars.com is a website designed to help you find car rentals. This tool compares prices from various car rental companies. You can use the filters to narrow down the search results and sort the results in many ways. You’re shown the price you’ll pay when making the booking and what taxes and fees you’ll owe at pick-up. Some rentals offer free cancellation, and some bookings allow you to book now and pay later. When you make a reservation, you will be doing so with RentalCars.com, not off-site. 

      Pros:

      • Shows pricing due now and at pick-up
      • Offers rentals with free cancellation
      • Offers book now, pay later reservations 

      Cons: 

      • No rewards program

      Click Here to See Cheap Car Rental Deals at RentalCars.com

      2. RentCars.com

      RentCars.com Cheap Car Rentals

      Screenshot: rentcars.com

      RentCars.com is another website that you can use to find and book rental cars. The website shows prices available through many car rental agencies. This website offers a good amount of filtering tools to make it easier to search. RentCars clearly shows what’s included with your reservation, such as unlimited mileage and rental company fees. RentCars has its own cash back program. When you make an eligible booking, you can earn up to 10% cash back, which you can use toward future bookings. 

      Pros:

      • Shows what’s included in the price of your rental
      • Has a cash back rewards program

      Cons: 

      • Not all bookings are eligible for cash back earnings 
      • Cash back earnings expire after 24 months

      Click Here to See Cheap Car Rental Deals at RentCars.com

      3. Auto Slash

      Auto Slash Cheap Car Rentals

      Screenshot: autoslash.com

      Auto Slash is another website that you can use to book rental cars. This website works differently than most others on our list. Instead of searching based on your criteria and being able to book a car right away, you’ll need to submit your details, and a quote will be emailed to you. AutoSlash considers what credit cards you use and any other membership programs you’re part of to help you get the best possible rate. Auto Slash also has a coupon section that displays current coupon codes for the top car rental companies. 

      Pros:

      • Considers membership programs and credit cards used to help you get lower rates 
      • Has a coupon section with active coupon codes for top rental companies 

      Cons: 

      • Quotes aren’t instant

      4. TURO

      Turo Cheap Car Rentals

      Screenshot: turo.com

      TURO is a website that you can use to book rental cars. The difference is this website is a car-sharing platform, so most rentals shown are owned by everyday people. They also showcase unique and specialty vehicles like luxury cars and electric cars. You can think of TURO as the Airbnb for car rentals. The website is easy to use and includes filtering tools. In some cases, you may be able to save money by using TURO instead of renting through a traditional car rental company. You can cancel your reservation up to 24 hours before the start of your trip.

      Pros:

      • Many rental websites require drivers to be at least 25 years old—but TURO rents to drivers who are 21+ 
      • Discounts may be available for extended rental periods 
      • You can cancel your reservation up to 24 hours before your trip 
      • Has unique, specialty vehicles for rent 

      Cons: 

      • You’ll need to arrange pick-up and drop-off with the owner—this may be less flexible than car rental agencies 
      • You’re driving someone’s personal vehicle

      Click Here to See Cheap Car Rental Deals at TURO

      Online Travel Agencies (OTAs)

      Next up are Online Travel Agencies or OTAs. These websites make it easy for you to search for and book car rentals. You can save a lot of time by using an OTA. But you should be aware of the pros and cons of using OTAs. 

      Pros: You may be able to find better deals than if you were to search and book directly with a rental company. You can also use money-saving tools like cash back rebate programs to save even more when renting your next car. 

      Cons: When you use an OTA, you have to deal with their customer service. If something goes wrong or you need help, it may be more challenging to deal with their customer service rather than the car rental company directly. There may also be less flexibility with cancellation. Keep this in mind when using these websites. 

      Here are some OTA options you may want to consider when it comes time to book a rental car:

      5. Orbitz

      Orbitz Cheap Car Rentals

      Screenshot: orbitz.com

      Orbitz is a popular OTA, and you can use this website to search for and book car rentals. You’ll see many popular rental car agencies listed and a variety of car options. You can use the many filtering tools to find the right car. Orbitz lists whether cancellation is available or if books are non-refundable. The price you see includes taxes and fees. Some bookings allow you to reserve now and pay later, while some require payment at the time of booking. You’ll see some “Insider Pricing” rates on select bookings when you’re logged in as a member. 

      Essential rental information such as maximum seating, manual vs. automatic engine, and whether a rental includes unlimited mileage is also displayed. Since Orbitz is an OTA, your reservation will be made with Orbitz, not the rental car company. Orbitz has its own rewards program, but you will not earn Orbucks on car rental bookings. However, you can earn Orbucks when booking travel packages. 

      Pros:

      • Includes vehicles from various car rental companies
      • Shows total pricing, including taxes and fees
      • Shows whether a booking is non-refundable or can be canceled 
      • Offers pay in advance and pay later booking options 
      • Offers “Insider Pricing” rates to Orbitz members 

      Cons: 

      • You can’t earn Orbucks when booking car rentals (unless booked as a package)

      Click Here to See Cheap Car Rental Deals at Orbitz

      6. Expedia

      Expedia Cheap Car Rentals

      Screenshot: expedia.com

      Expedia is another popular OTA that you can use. You’ll see many car options from different car rental companies. Expedia makes a note if you pay at pick-up or in advance and whether a booking qualifies for free cancellation. Similar to Orbitz, Expedia will show you important details about your rental. You’ll also see ratings for each car rental company. The price shown includes taxes and fees. If a price is a good deal, Expedia makes a note of it. Logging in will give you access to members-only pricing. 

      When you make your reservation, you’ll be making it with Expedia. When you use Expedia to book a car rental, you can earn rewards through Expedia’s rewards program. 

      Pros:

      • Includes vehicles from various car rental companies
      • Shows total pricing, including taxes and fees
      • Shows whether a booking qualifies for free cancelation 
      • Offers pay in advance and pay later booking options 
      • Offers “Members Only” pricing on select bookings
      • You can earn rewards on rental car bookings

      Cons: 

      • You may not see the best rates if you’re not logged in

      Click Here to See Cheap Car Rental Deals at Expedia

      7. Priceline

      Priceline Cheap Car Rentals

      Screenshot: priceline.com

      Priceline is another website you can use to find rentals. There are many filtering options, and you’ll see cars from the most common car rental companies. Pricing is shown per day as well as the total rental price and includes taxes and fees. You can choose to pay in advance or at the time of pick-up. If you choose to pay in advance, most of these rates are cheaper. You’ll also see important details about each rental option so you can better decide on a car. 

      Priceline also offers Express Deal bookings. You’ll be shown general information such as the style of car (economy, mid-size, supplier’s choice) and will be shown a few rental car company logos. When you book these deals, you won’t know which rental car company you’re renting with until after you book and pay. If you like the element of surprise and aren’t picky about the rental car company you choose, this is an excellent way to save on your next car rental. But you can’t cancel Express Deal bookings.  

      Pros:

      • Includes vehicles from various car rental companies
      • Shows total pricing, including taxes and fees
      • Shows whether a booking includes free cancellation  
      • Offers pay now and pay later options
      • Express Deals may help you save more money on your next car rental 

      Cons: 

      • No rewards program 
      • Express Deals bookings can’t be canceled

      Click Here to See Cheap Car Rental Deals at Priceline

      8. Hotwire

      Hotwire Cheap Car Rentals

      Screenshot: hotwire.com

      Hotwire also offers car rentals and offers rentals from many rental companies. You can use the search filters to narrow down your options before booking your next car. Hotwire shows the daily rate and total rate and includes taxes and fees in the price shown. Essential details about each rental option are also listed. 

      Hotwire also has “Hot Rate” bookings available. Like Priceline, you’ll only know the basic details about your rental until after you book. You’ll then be shown the rental car company information and other important details. You can save money by booking Hot Rate rentals. But Hot Rate bookings can’t be canceled or changed. 

      Pros:

      • Includes vehicles from various car rental companies
      • Shows total pricing, including taxes and fees
      • Shows whether a booking includes free cancellation
      • Hot Rate bookings may help you save more money on your next car rental 

      Cons: 

      • No rewards program 
      • Hot Rate bookings can’t be canceled

      Click Here to See Cheap Car Rental Deals at Hotwire

      Travel Aggregators

      Another option is to use travel aggregators to find your next car rental. When you use these tools, you’ll be able to compare vehicle options and prices around the web quickly. But you’ll be directed elsewhere to make your official reservation.

      Here are some top travel aggregator options:

      9. Skyscanner

      Skyscanner Cheap Car Rentals

      Screenshot: skyscanner.com

      Skyscanner makes it easy to search for a cheaper rental car price. You’ll have a variety of filtering tools available. After searching, the results will clearly show the most important details about each rental option and whether the booking includes free cancellation. The prices shown include taxes and fees. Remember, since Skyscanner is a travel aggregator, you’ll make your reservation off-site. See our guide on how to use Skyscanner.

      Pros:

      • Shows total pricing, including taxes and fees
      • Shows whether a booking includes free cancellation

      Cons: 

      • No rewards program

      Click Here to See Cheap Car Rental Deals at Skyscanner

      10. KAYAK

      Kayak Cheap Car Rentals

      Screenshot: kayak.com

      KAYAK searches the web for you, so you’re able to get a great deal on your next rental car booking. This tool also has many filtering options to help you find your next rental. KAYAK mentions whether a booking includes free cancellation. Most rentals offer pay now and pay later options, but the pay later options are usually more expensive. If bookings are exceptionally affordable, KAYAK marks them with a “Great Deal” button. The prices you see for rentals include taxes and fees. 

      In addition to including results from top car rental companies, KAYAK also includes alternate rental options such as TURO.  

      Pros:

      • Includes vehicles from various car rental companies
      • Includes vehicles from alternate rental platforms like TURO 
      • Shows total pricing, including taxes and fees
      • Shows whether a booking includes free cancellation  
      • Offers pay now and pay later options

      Cons: 

      • No rewards program

      Click Here to See Cheap Car Rental Deals at KAYAK

      11. momondo

      Momondo Cheap Car Rentals

      Screenshot: momondo.com

      momondo is another tool that you can use to find a car rental. You can easily search the web quickly to find a cheap rate before booking. Just like with the other websites mentioned, there are various filtering tools available. The most important details about each rental option will be listed. momondo lets you know if a booking includes free cancellation. The prices listed include taxes and fees. momondo includes some car-sharing rental options like TURO. 

      One thing that sets momondo apart from some other travel aggregators is it shows some Surprise Agency bookings. You won’t know which rental company you’re booking with until after you reserve and pay. 

      Pros:

      • Includes vehicles from various car rental companies
      • Includes vehicles from alternate rental platforms like TURO 
      • Shows total pricing, including taxes and fees
      • Shows whether a booking offers free cancellation

      Cons: 

      • No rewards program

      Click Here to See Cheap Car Rental Deals at momondo

      12. Tripadvisor

      Tripadvisor is another popular travel aggregator to use if you need to find a car rental for your next trip. There are many filtering options to use when searching. You’ll see vehicles from a variety of rental agencies shown. Tripadvisor tells you if a booking includes free cancelation, and you’ll also see the more important details about each rental. The prices listed include taxes and fees. 

      Pros:

      • Includes vehicles from various car rental companies
      • Shows total pricing, including taxes and fees
      • Shows whether a booking offers free cancellation  

      Cons: 

      • No rewards program

      Click Here to See Cheap Car Rental Deals at Tripadvisor

      Travel rewards portals

      You can also use travel rewards portals to find and book rental cars. If you like to earn and utilize credit card rewards, this can be a great option. These websites have similar search functionalities as other websites on our list. These portals are relatively easy to use and make it faster for you to find a cheaper car rental. But they do have some pros and cons:

      Pros: These portals are easy to use and have great search features. If you have enough points or miles, you may be able to use them to cover the entire cost of your rental. This may be more desirable for some travelers if they don’t want to charge the purchase.

      Cons: When you use a travel rewards portal, you may not be making the best use of your credit card points or miles. Booking a car rental may not offer maximum value, and it may make more sense to use your points in another way. When booking this way, you may not be able to earn points through the rental car company’s rewards program.

      13. Chase Ultimate Rewards

      Chase Portal Cheap Rental Cars

      Screenshot: chase.com

      Chase cardholders can book travel reservations through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. This includes car rentals. You’ll be able to search by pick-up and drop-off location and use the filtering options to narrow down the vehicle results. The total price listed includes taxes in fees, and you can see what it would cost in dollars and points. Chase also shows if a reservation charges cancellation fees. 

      You can pay with your card, points, or a combination of both. If you have extra Chase points to use up, it may be worthwhile to check this portal first. Before making a reservation, ensure it’s a good use of your points. 

      Pros:

      • Includes vehicles from various car rental companies
      • Shows total pricing, including taxes and fees
      • Allows payment with card, points, or a combination of both 
      • Outlines cancellation rules 

      Cons: 

      • This may not always be the cheapest option or best use of points

      14. American Express Travel

      American Express Portal Cheap Car Rentals

      Screenshot: americanexpress.com

      American Express cardholders can book travel reservations through the American Express Travel portal. Car rentals are available, and you’ll see vehicle options from many top car rental agencies. Amex offers filtering tools to help find the right car for your needs. Pricing is listed in points and dollars, and the pricing includes taxes and fees. You can pay with points or charge your Amex credit card. Amex outlines cancellation rules.

      Pros:

      • Includes vehicles from various car rental companies
      • Shows total pricing, including taxes and fees
      • Allows payment with card, points, or a combination of both
      • Outlines cancellation rules 

      Cons: 

      • This may not always be the cheapest option or best use of points

      15. Capital One Travel

      Capital One Portal Cheap Rental Cars

      Screenshot: capitalone.com

      Capital One cardholders can book travel reservations through the Capital One Travel portal. You’ll see a variety of car rental agencies displayed in the search results and can use the many filtering tools to find your next car rental. The full rental cost is listed in miles and dollars, and the pricing shown includes taxes and fees. You can pay for your reservation with miles or charge your Capital One credit card. Capital One outlines cancellation rules.

      Pros:

      • Includes vehicles from various car rental companies
      • Shows total pricing including taxes and fees
      • Allows payment with credit card or miles 
      • Explains cancellation rules 

      Cons: 

      • This may not always be the cheapest option or best use of points

      Best Credit Cards for Car Rentals

      While many credit cards include rental car benefits, some are better than others. First, we suggest a credit card that offers primary rental car insurance. In the event your rental car is stolen or damaged, primary rental car insurance allows you to file a claim with your credit card company before your personal auto insurance policy. That can save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, in the event something happens to your rental. Additionally, certain credit cards offer automatic status with rental car companies as well as additional bonus points on rentals. Here are a few of our top picks.

      FAQ

      How far in advance should I book a rental car for the best price. Does it matter?

      No set booking time guarantees a better rate. But if you know that you’re going to be taking a trip that requires a rental car, booking as soon as possible is best. If you’re booking a few months in advance, make a refundable, cancelable booking. This way, you can check rates a couple more times before your trip starts to get the best rate.

      Is it better to book direct with a rental company or use third-party platforms for the best price?

      There is no guaranteed method to get the best price. It’s a good idea to compare pricing on third-party platforms with that of the rental car company before booking.

      Do OTAs allow you to use/gain status with a car rental company?

      Likely, you won’t be able to gain or use status with a car rental company when using an OTA. Some car rental companies have rules in their terms that outline this. Be sure to check the terms and conditions to be sure. If you want to gain or use status, it may make sense to book directly with the rental car company. However, some OTAs have their own rewards programs that you can join to take advantage of extra benefits.

      Should I book off-site or at the airport to get a cheaper price?

      In many cases, airport rental car locations can be more costly. It’s a good idea to compare both airport and off-site rental locations before booking. Many locations that aren’t at an airport but only a few miles away offer a free shuttle, so it’s worth seeing if that’s an option.

      Are car rentals a good use of my credit card points or miles?

      It may be worthwhile to use your credit card points or miles for a rental car. But do the match and check the value before booking. If you’re part of a rewards program that allows you to transfer your points or miles to transfer partners, that’s often a high-value redemption option rather than using a rewards program travel portal to book your travel needs

      The Vacationer’s Final Thoughts

      If earning status is your main concern when booking your car rental, you should book directly with the rental car company. Otherwise, we recommend checking prices on the various OTAs and aggregators. Finally, consider a credit card that offers primary rental car insurance in the event your car rental is stolen or damaged. See also our guides on the best websites for booking cheap flights, the best websites for booking cheap hotels and the best website for booking cheap cruises.

      Natasha Gabrielle Headshot

      By Natasha Gabrielle

      Natasha has been a freelance writer since 2015. She specializes in writing travel and credit card rewards content. When not busy writing, she’s either dreaming up her next credit card rewards redemption or traveling the globe. Her goal is to encourage more people to experience the world around them while making smart money choices.