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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Good news! I just saved a bunch of money on my car rental!

Well, not really. But I want to share what I learnt when I rented a car for 5 days in Canada over Christmas. Assuming you have your exact dates and the type of car you want, here are some tips :

- Start your search by looking through all the major travel booking sites (Orbitz, Travelocity, etc...) so you have an idea of the current prices.

- Be sure to check out rentalcodes.com to see if there are any discount codes that are applicable.

- Book early and then check back often. Booking a rental car does NOT bind you to that rate. You can cancel free of charge (please double check and read any fine print) most of the time. Therefore, since rates change often, keep on checking for a better rate as your trip nears.

- Use any "best value guarantees" to your advantage. For example, thrifty.com has a "best rate guarantee" where they match and then take off an extra 10% off.

As for my trip, I ended up booking on cheapseats.com at first for 41 CAD/Day. A couple of weeks later, I found out that cheapseats had dropped their rate to 26.46 CAD/Day while thrifty had the same booking for 27.85 CAD/Day. After writing thrifty to match the cheapseats.com rate, I ended up with a final rate of 23.81 CAD/Day.

I hope that helps. As always, leave a comment if you have any questions, have any other tips, or don't agree with something I wrote. Thanks!

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