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How to use AutoSlash to save on rental cars

Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.

I often rent a car when I visit a destination that isn’t walkable and doesn’t offer public transit options that fit my needs. Unfortunately, rental car rates can be high, and sifting through all the potential discounts to find the lowest rate can be overwhelming. Luckily, this is where AutoSlash comes in.

In this guide, I’ll discuss how I use AutoSlash and share everything you need to know about it to help you save money on your next car rental.

What is AutoSlash?

Rental car in South Africa
A rental car in South Africa that I found through AutoSlash. KATIE GENTER/THE POINTS GUY

AutoSlash is a website that provides three primary services free of charge:

  • Quotes for car rentals
  • Tracking to find less expensive car rentals
  • Coupons you can use

AutoSlash distinguishes itself from other car rental websites by finding lower rates through features such as coupons, discount codes and membership-related discounts. You can also use AutoSlash to track rates if you already have a car rental reservation.

Related: The 1-minute video you should take every time you rent a car

How does AutoSlash find lower rates?

Rental cars in South Africa
Rental cars at Hoedspruit Airport (HDS) in South Africa. KATIE GENTER/THE POINTS GUY

When aggregating car rental options, AutoSlash factors in coupons and discounts many major car rental companies offer. You can find some discounts on AutoSlash’s coupon page, which I discuss below. AutoSlash also finds other discounts, including those related to the following memberships, affiliations, loyalty programs and credit cards:

When you request a new quote or track a current reservation through AutoSlash, you provide information about your memberships, affiliations, loyalty programs and credit cards. Based on this information, AutoSlash shows you the cheapest rental car rates.

You may need to show your credit card at the rental car counter to take advantage of a discount related to a particular credit card. However, there is usually no requirement to pay with that card, so you may still be able to use one of the best credit cards for rental car insurance.

Related: 11 common rental car mistakes — and how to avoid them

How to use AutoSlash to get a discounted car rental quote

Using AutoSlash is quick and easy. ANDREW KUNESH/THE POINTS GUY

If you’re looking to rent a car, AutoSlash is an excellent place to start. Start by going to the AutoSlash website and filling out the form to get a quote for a car rental. The first time I used AutoSlash, it took me less than two minutes to submit my request.

How to get a new AutoSlash quote

The first step is to choose whether you want to pick up your rental at an airport or near an address.

A screenshot of an autoSlash quote

Then, input whether you’d like to return the car to the same location. If not, state the return airport or address near which you’d like to return your rental.

AutoSlash quote

Next, input the pick-up and drop-off dates and times.

Then, select the vehicle type needed from a drop-down list. The options will vary depending on your pick-up location. If you don’t have a preference, you can choose the “least expensive option.”

Screenshot of AutoSlash options

For international markets, AutoSlash also includes a drop-down for choosing the transmission type: automatic only or manual OK.

AutoSlash quote

Next, you must check the box next to your credit cards.

Screenshot of AutoSlash options for user credit cards

Then, you should check the box next to any memberships you currently have, loyalty programs you belong to and warehouse club memberships you carry.

Screenshot of AutoSlash loyalty program membership options

Finally, AutoSlash asks for your name, the country where your driver’s license is issued and the email address to which you’d like a quote.

AutoSlash screenshot of personal information page

After submitting the form, you can edit any information you entered incorrectly.

Screenshot of AutoSlash request confirmation page

Due to the depth of AutoSlash’s search, the quote isn’t available instantly, but you’ll usually receive it in just a few minutes.

How to book a deal using AutoSlash

After submitting a request, I always get a quote by email in under 15 minutes. The subject line for the above request was “Discounted Rates for Your 3/13 Car Rental in Denver.”

Screenshot of AutoSlash pickup and drop off details

Clicking on the link in the email takes you to a page displaying all your options.

Screenshot of Autoslash confirmation email

You’ll usually see options that let you pay later with Priceline or AutoSlash or pay now with AutoSlash. Your credit card will be charged for the pay-now option, but you can usually cancel until 48 hours before the scheduled pick-up. Meanwhile, you won’t need to enter a credit card for the pay later option.

In my experience, you’ll usually get loyalty perks and earnings with your rental company if you choose to pay later and enter your loyalty information when booking. But don’t expect loyalty benefits and earnings when opting to pay now with AutoSlash.

Rental rates change frequently, so you’ll need to book quickly after getting the emailed quote if you want the price to be accurate. If you wait too long, AutoSlash will offer to generate a new quote when you click through the email.

Related: Check your receipt — 5 hidden rental car fees to look out for

How to use AutoSlash to track a rental for price drops

After you’ve made a reservation with free cancellation, go to AutoSlash and fill out the form to track your rental for price drops. If you have your current reservation in front of you, filling out the form should take less than a minute.

The form for tracking price drops requires information about the booking, including the rental company, your confirmation number, the pick-up date and the price you reserved. You will also need to provide information about which memberships you hold and which credit cards you carry.

After submitting the form, you’ll receive an AutoSlash tracking confirmation email. You can click on a link in the email to set your preferences for the tracking service; for example, you can opt to only receive notifications if select car rental companies offer less expensive rates.

A family loading yellow suitcases into the back of a car

If you receive an email saying AutoSlash has found a lower rate, the booking process is similar to what is described above for a new quote. Once you book a lower-priced option, be sure to do all of the following:

  • Cancel the higher-priced reservation
  • Cancel your current tracker (otherwise, AutoSlash will continue to send quotes when it finds lower prices)
  • Go to AutoSlash and fill out the form to track your new booking for price drops

There’s no downside to using the tracking functionality. If your originally booked reservation remains the cheapest, you can rest easy knowing you got a great deal. And if AutoSlash finds you a lower rate, the few minutes of your time will be well worth it.

Related: Credit cards that offer elite status for car rentals

Car rental coupons

If you need or prefer to book directly with car rental companies, AutoSlash may still be useful for you due to its coupons page. These coupons are specific to particular car rental companies and can be applied when booking directly.

You can select a specific company from the drop-down menu at the top of the page to only see the coupons related to that particular car rental company.

Related: How you can redeem points and miles for car rentals

Is AutoSlash legit?

Rental car in South Africa
A rental car in South Africa that I found through AutoSlash. KATIE GENTER/THE POINTS GUY

I’ve used AutoSlash for dozens of rentals over more than seven years. The site is legit and has saved me hundreds of dollars on domestic and international rental cars.

Whenever I need to rent a car, I open four sites: AutoSlash, Avis, Budget and Enterprise. For years, I used AutoSlash as a one-stop shop. But my current employer has corporate codes with Avis, Budget and Enterprise that employees can use for personal rentals.

I’ve found these corporate codes are competitive in many U.S. cities. I’ve also found the discount codes for the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card to be good (and not currently supported by AutoSlash). So, although I search on all four sites when renting a car, AutoSlash usually doesn’t provide the best quote for rentals in the U.S.

AutoSlash is still useful for tracking my rentals, though. It has also remained the most competitive when renting abroad. For example, AutoSlash provided the best rates I could find for several rentals in South Africa.

Related: Best car rental sites to book your next road trip

Bottom line

There are many ways to save when booking rental cars. The best method will depend on your memberships and travel style, but I recommend adding AutoSlash to your search process if you don’t already use the site. AutoSlash has helped me find competitive car rental rates worldwide, so I suspect it may also help you save money.