Think the "American Association of Retired Persons" is just for folks over age 50? In fact, whippersnappers under 50 can join AARP by paying the $16 annual membership fee. (The fee is just $12 if you are 50 or older.) This membership fee is a tremendous unsung bargain even for occasional travelers of every age, since AARP delivers such impressive savings that you can recoup your fee in a single trip.
Regardless of your age, it makes sense to join AARP for the hefty discounts available through the organization. It's very easy to save hundreds per year on all sorts of travel services with an AARP membership, and if you're renting a car, AARP offers the best discount codes around.
Here at AutoSlash, we analyze pricing on literally hundreds of thousands of rentals a year, and in many cases, the AARP discount code for Avis and Budget will beat the pants off other discounts. Each rental depends on the specific situation, but in general the AARP discount is better than those from Costco and AAA.
Save on Rental Cars with AARP
AARP Membership provides rental car discounts at companies owned by the AvisBudget Group (Avis, Budget, Payless, and ZipCar).
When you ask AutoSlash for a quote, we automatically compare more than one thousand coupons and discounts available to the public, and we factor in your memberships. So you may always rest assured that you get the lowest rate available.
Just a quick note of caution: Never request a membership-based quote (AARP, AAA, Costco, etc.) without a current membership in the organization. You will be asked for proof of membership at the rental counter, and if you are unable to produce the required documentation, you can be charged the walk-up rate for the rental car.
Not an AARP member? Download the AARP app and you can join on the spot. AARP can issue a membership card instantly. If the lowest car rental rate happens to be with AARP, you can pay the nominal membership fee to join before reaching the rental car counter.
Additional Car Rental Perks with AARP
At Avis and Budget, the benefits for AARP members are identical. In addition to competitive pricing, members get a free upgrade (subject to limitations on the car class and availability).
Splitting the driving with someone else? AARP members get one free additional driver on their contract. While there are other ways to avoid additional driver fees, rates booked under the AARP code do not list the typical restriction that the additional driver has to be a spouse, partner, family member, or coworker. Given that additional driver fees can be up to $13 per day (plus tax), the AARP membership is easily paid for with a two-day car rental.
You also get an insurance perk AARP membership limits the responsibility for damage to the rental car to $5,000. That doesn't cover costs such as personal liability, medical payments, or damage to other property, but AARP rentals always have a firm cap on the total damage responsibility for the rental car itself.
The AARP benefits at Payless are not as good as with Budget and Avis. Payless offers highly discounted rates to begin with, and the maximum AARP discount is only 5 percent of the base rate. The free additional driver provision still is listed but there's no limited liability coverage.