Whether you need a car to move off campus or for a road trip, college students are always looking for a great deal when you rent a car. Here's how to make sure you don't pay too much for a car rental.
Book Early and Track Your Reservation for Price Drops
Car rental prices go up and down, so it makes sense to book when prices are at their lowest. The easiest way to snag the best price is to ask AutoSlash for a quote as soon as you know you need a rental car. We'll scour the Internet for the best deals and apply any discounts for which you may be entitled.
Next, track your reservation right up to the moment you pick up the car. If the price drops, you can cancel your booking at no charge and rebook at the lower rate. No time to track your booking? Ask AutoSlash to do it for you and, for no charge, we'll let you know if we find a better price. This is the way to guarantee that you never pay more than you have to for a rental car.
Avoid the Young Renter Fee
Let's get the bad news out of the way first: if you're under 25, most car rental companies will charge a daily fee to offset the risk of renting to younger drivers. The amount of the fee depends on your age and the rental company, but typically you can figure on paying around $30 extra per day, on average.
It's possible to avoid the young renter fee if you're a member of certain organizations. Hertz waives the young renter fee for AAA members, and USAA members can get young driver fees waived at Hertz, Avis and Budget.
Rental car companies typically require drivers to be at least 21, but there are some exceptions. In New York and Michigan, state law allows drivers 18 and over to rent a car. However, drivers who meet those state requirements but are under the typical age minimum for the rental company tend to face higher fees that could end up being more than $50 per day.
Look for Discounts Through Student Organizations
Alamo offers discounts through Student Advantage, which provides promotional prices to students for retail, movies, car-sharing services and more. You can also browse its general deals page to see which promotions are available at any given time.
Check Out the Student-Friendly Car Rental Companies
At Hertz and Thrifty, the minimum age to rent a car is 20. Hertz advertises student deals, but it's also worth checking out the special offers page.
Fox Rent a Car is another good option for college students because its minimum age is 19, which gives many young drivers the chance to rent a car when they might not be able to otherwise.
Consider a Car-Sharing Service
Another option to a full-day rental is a car-sharing service, which allows you to rent a vehicle by the hour instead of a full day.
If you just need a car for just a few hours, Enterprise Car Share is a good bet. It has locations on college campuses across the U.S., and is open to students 18 or older who need to leave campus for errands or activities. Car insurance is included.
Zipcar also has a big presence at universities, offering its services at more than 600 campuses.
- Cheap Car Rentals for Drivers Under 25
- It's Now Much Easier to Rent a Car with a Debit Card
- Should You Buy Car Rental Insurance?