Step 4: Specialty discounts

If you are a student, a senior, have a family, or have a frequent flyer membership, there are often special deals just for you. Visit the specialty sections on our website, or consider these options:

Seniors:

  • Search for specific deals in the SmarterTravel.com senior section.
  • Check if your rental company has a special discount for AARP members or for seniors above a certain age.
  • Check for ongoing promotions for seniors, such as percentage-off discounts, special rates, and special membership clubs such as Dollar's "Silver Dollar Club."
  • If you go south for the winter, check for snowbird savings. In the winter, many leading car rental agencies discount one-way rentals in states such as Florida, which experience a rise in long-term visitors during this season. As such, you may be able to save with a south-bound rental and/or a one-way rental.

Students:

  • Search for specific deals in the SmarterTravel.com student section.
  • Unfortunately, most car companies in the U.S. won't rent to those under 21, and will only rent to those ages 21 to 25 for an additional charge.

Families:

  • Search for specific deals in the SmarterTravel.com family section.
  • Check if your rental company has a special discount on family-sized cars such as minivans or SUVs.
  • Check for ongoing promotions for families such as percentage-off discounts and savings on child-safety seats.

Frequent Flyer:

  • Depending on your preferred airline, you may be able to earn miles for car rentals. However, note that you may be charged a frequent flyer surcharge with your mile-earning rental. With this surcharge, the cost of the miles may undercut their overall value, as well as that of your rental rate. For example, Hertz charges an extra fee when a rental earns miles, but Budget and Thrify enable renters to earn miles without extra charges. Compare rates and determine the value of your miles to see if this option is worthwhile for you, as well as which option will save you more in the long run.
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