• Reserve now, and shop later. As soon as you find a rate you think is great, reserve it. However, as you get closer to your travel date be sure to check sites like Hotwire.com to see if any last-minute, discounted rates have become available. If there are better options, you can always cancel your original reservation (which is free to do) and book the discounted rate. Like hotels and airlines, car rental agencies often have plenty of cars left unsold and offer them to discount sites to sell at incredibly low prices — like only $11.95 a day.
• Consider renting from smaller agencies. By searching on car aggregator sites you not only see the prices of the bigger agencies like Hertz, but you also get results from smaller companies that have more flexibility with pricing. Sometimes these smaller car companies can net you big savings because they have to be more competitive with prices to draw business away from the big guys. However, with a smaller fleet of cars, these deals can disappear quickly, especially during high-demand times.
• Check out off-airport rental locations. Airport fees and taxes in some locations can really drive up the final price of your car rental, so it's best to shop both on and off-airport locations in order to see where the true deal is after you total up ALL the costs.