Getting a refund if the car rental rates drop even after you’ve made a reservation? Think of it like Yapta, but instead of airline tickets, it’s for cars.
The way the car rental industry works, there is often very little penalty for canceling a reservation (there are a few exceptions, though). This allows you to save tons of money because it allows you to continue searching for an even better rate after you’ve locked in a price. Once you find one, all you have to do is book the new one and cancel the old one. It’s as simple as that.
Right, cause I have all the time in the world to constantly search for a better rate on my car.
I stumbled across AutoSlash a couple of days ago, while digging information on car rentals. The website promises to keep tracking car reservations for the best rate until you have to pick up the car. Luckily, registering a car rental on AutoSlash seems pretty straightforward. For better or for worse, there’s no account sign-up like there is on Yapta. All you do is click on the tab to “track a rental,” enter an email address and provide a few details. The pertinent facts would mostly include the car rental company, confirmation number and pick-up date.
How they figure out the details from these few slips of information, I don’t know. Through voodoo magic is my best guess@ The site will then send an email confirmation once it’s been registered in the system. If the rate drops before you’re scheduled to pick up the vehicle, you’ll get notified so that you can go ahead and rebook the car.
Just to see how it worked, I recently decided to track down two car rentals I reserved, one made with Hertz and the other made with Thrifty. I received a confirmation with the Thrifty rental, but got notified the next day that the system was unable to track my reservation. Fine, whatever.
My Hertz reservation, though, fared differently. After receiving the confirmation, I got an email from AutoSlash about three days later notifying that it found a lower rate than what had been booked online. My initial 10-day rental, which I had locked in at $150.67, could now be had for $140.89. Curious, I tried rebooking the exact same reservation with the same exact coupons I had originally applied online and got quoted $139.57. Well, that's a savings of over $10.
I should note that AutoSlash claims to only get the published rate, which is the rate before any discounts are applied. I wasn’t able to verify the actual $140.89 rate because I missed the actual email by about eight hours—dude, sometimes a girl has got to get her beauty sleep—and there is a chance the rate went back up after the email was sent out. C'est la vie.
Now I’m off to register my newest reservation again.