I just got back from my trip to Orlando, where I tried the new car rental website AutoSlash.com to book, and previously wrote an introductory summary of their features. To briefly recap, the website takes advantage of a unique feature of car rental reservations to continuously check for lower prices over time and re-book you whenever there is a price drop.
Here is the price history of my one week rental of a mid-size car in April 2011 from Orlando International Airport (MCO). I later realized it included Good Friday and Easter weekend, which I think increased the demand of cars.
- Day 1 – $665.61 including all taxes and fees, with Payless. This was really the lowest price I could find at the time across Kayak, Expedia, etc.
- Day 2 – $346.18 with Dollar Rent A Car at .
- Day 3 – $320.41 again with Dollar.
- Day 38 – $273.68, final price with Dollar.
As you can see, there was a flurry of activity in the beginning, nothing for a long time, and then finally one last price drop at the end. This is only a theory, but I think that the folks behind Autoslash do a manual price search right after your rental reservation is first made, and again a week or so before your actual rental date. They are probably really good at finding the best price, perhaps they know some manual tricks that their automated scripts can’t replicate. Or, this is just a result of how the rental agencies vary their prices over time.
Regardless, I was really happy with my experience, and will use them again in the future. They found a better price than I could have found, with really zero effort on my part. Many of these rental agencies are clones of each other anyway. I picked up my car from Dollar with no issues with my special coupon code, and drove away in a huge Ford Crown Victoria with 9 miles on the odometer since that’s all they had left. I declined all additional insurance coverages from them, and returned it with no problems. This last part is more of a testament to that specific Dollar franchise, but it increases my confidence with places that aren’t Avis or Hertz.