Autoslash (General Discussion)

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AutoSlash automatically searches thousands of coupon codes to find the best one that slashes your rental car rate!
How to use AutoSlash:
  1. Request a quote at https://www.autoslash.com/quote. You'll get an email usually within 10-15 minutes with the best rates (it takes a few minutes to scan through thousands of coupons!). The email will have a link to view your quote results. The quote will include the best rates (after discounts and coupons) from each major rental company that AutoSlash was able to find. Choose which one you want to book and you can then complete your reservation.
  2. If you've already booked a rental elsewhere (or after you book one through step #1 above), register your reservation at https://www.autoslash.com/track. AutoSlash will periodically check your reservation for lower rates and will email you if and when a lower rate is available.

AutoSlash searches and books two different types of rates:
  • "Pay Later" — retail pay-at-counter rates, just like the ones you can book directly at the rental car companies' websites, but with coupons applied to slash the rate
  • "Pay Now" — specially-negotiated "Slash Deals" prepaid rates that can often be a significant discount from retail rates
"Pay Later" rates are booked through affiliate travel sites. Currently, the main affiliate is Priceline, but additional partners may be added in the future. The quote from AutoSlash includes direct pre-discounted deep links to these affiliate sites so you can quickly and easily find and book the rate.
"Pay Now" Slash Deals rates are booked directly with AutoSlash.

FlyerTalk Advanced Questions (FAQs):

Is there a fee to use AutoSlash?
No, AutoSlash doesn't charge for its services.

How does AutoSlash stay in business, then?
AutoSlash gets a little bit of affiliate revenue from the booking links in the quotes.

What big evil corporation is behind AutoSlash?
None. AutoSlash is a bootstrapped start-up birthed by FlyerTalkers (and even still employing mostly FlyerTalk members) with an initial goal of automating what many FlyerTalk members were already doing (manually testing dozens or hundreds of coupon and discount codes for each rental) and now aiming to be the best and cheapest place on the Internet to book rental cars. There are no plans to shut down or sell out, but if someone wants to match or beat this offer...

Why do I have to provide my email address?
It takes a few minutes to scan through all of the different coupon and discount codes, so a real-time search system isn't really possible. An email alert will be sent when your quote is ready, usually within about 10-15 minutes.

Why haven't I still haven't gotten my quote after 15 minutes?
During periods of heavy demand, the system may get a little backed up. Quotes are generally processed in order of pick-up date (rates for rentals several months out usually don't fluctuate very often), though there's a bit of logic in the system to try to make sure that people don't wait too long (more than an hour or so) for a quote, even when AutoSlash is featured on national news money-saving segments. Also, if you request a quote that doesn't return any results (like trying to pick up off-airport at 3am or searching for a convertible in Duluth in January—yes, those are real requests), your request goes into a queue for manual review, where a support agent will review things to see if your quote can be adjusted to find a result. That should be processed within a few hours at most (but often much faster). Also, try checking your junk or spam folder. Some ISPs tend to be aggressive about bouncing AutoSlash quote emails; feel free to reach out to AutoSlash support to check on your quote email status if you can't find it.

How can I get support from AutoSlash?
[email protected] is the best way to get in touch. A support agent is usually online Monday-Friday 8am to midnight Eastern time and Saturday/Sunday 10am to 8pm Eastern time. During that time, you'll usually get a reply within five to 30 minutes or so and pretty much never more than an hour or two. Most agents are long-time FlyerTalk members, meaning your response generally comes from the perspective of a frequent traveler (if not an outright travel hacker), not some clueless offshore call-center script-reader. Since it's a small team, not to mention they're FlyerTalkers and often traveling themselves (and working from on-board wifi), phone support isn't currently provided. Messaging (privately) on Facebook works, too, with similar response time to email (it goes to the same support agents). Public Facebook wall posts and tweeting @autoslash on Twitter as well as posting in this thread aren't as fast (the support team doesn't monitor those, so they're not the best channels for individual support). (Original post)

Why should I use AutoSlash instead of just going directly to Priceline?
If you search on Priceline.com's homepage for a rental car rate, you'll just get the same rack rates that you'll find on the rental car companies' own sites (plus a mix of nonrefundable prepaid Express Deals rates). The pay-at-counter rates AutoSlash finds are different (and usually significantly lower) than the rates you'd find looking directly on Priceline due to the coupons and discounts AutoSlash applies.

Why are rates on AutoSlash the same or higher than what I've already found elsewhere?
Could be a couple of reasons. If any time has elapsed since you found the lower rate elsewhere, rates simply may have gone up. Compare rates within a few minutes of each other to make sure both results are fresh. A lower rate you found last week really means nothing if you compare it to a rate you found today. Also, make sure you're searching for the exact same itinerary--even adjusting the pick-up or drop-off time by one minute could affect rates, sometimes drastically, especially with all of the rate management games the rental companies engage in these days. Make sure, too, you're searching the exact same location--a small difference in location can be easily overlooked when searching for off-airport rentals. The easiest solution is to book what you found elsewhere and then submit it for price tracking—that way, it's assured to be an apples-to-apples comparison. If you found or booked the lower rate elsewhere within the last hour and AutoSlash can't beat it, there's probably something wrong somewhere. Reach out to [email protected] for assistance and you're virtually assured to come out with an even lower rate.

Are reservations I book through Priceline refundable?
The Pay Later rates AutoSlash finds are not prepaid and generally don't even require providing a credit card (a few exceptions apply depending on company and location—no-show fees are starting to make some appearances). Be sure to look for rates marked "Pay Later," "Pay At Counter," "Free Cancellation," or similar, or just avoid booking anything that asks you to enter a credit card number, to avoid accidentally booking one of Priceline's prepaid and nonrefundable Express Deals. If you match the rate AutoSlash quotes exactly (i.e. AutoSlash quotes a rate with Alamo of $142.62, and you find a rate with Alamo on Priceline of $142.62), then it should be fully cancelable without a penalty.


Why do I have to prepay now? Why did you change?
Nothing's changed—only a new, extra option! AutoSlash still searches the same pay-at-counter rates it always has, and they're still in your quote (marked as "Pay Later" and bookable via major online travel agencies). In addition, AutoSlash now also offers the option to directly book highly-discounted prepaid rates, which are often lower (they're marked in your quote as "Pay Now" or "Slash Deals"). But prepaying for your rental doesn't mean you're trading flexibility—prepaid Slash Deals rates can be canceled for a full refund up to 48 hours before the scheduled pick-up time.

Are prepaid Slash Deals rates booked directly through AutoSlash refundable?
Slash Deals reservations can be canceled up to 48 hours before pick-up (in the local time zone of the rental office) for a full refund without a penalty. Within 48 hours of pick-up, cancellations are subject to a cancellation fee equal to 1 day's charges. After the pick-up time, reservations are nonrefundable.

I booked a prepaid Slash Deal. What if my flight is canceled or the rental agency won't rent me a car?
The cancellation fees are set by contract between the car rental companies and the booking vendor AutoSlash uses. AutoSlash has a limited ability to request exceptions to the cancellation policy but can't guarantee refunds. AutoSlash recommends you always carry a good travel insurance policy to help minimize issues with prepaid travel arrangements. (Original post)

Can I add my loyalty program to a prepaid Slash Deals reservation?
Unfortunately, there isn't a way to do this (though it's understandably important to most people on FlyerTalk!). However, due to the way National's program works, you can still receive your Emerald Club benefits on prepaid bookings--just book and then use National as normal, including skipping the counter and choosing a car from the Emerald Aisle or Executive Selection as applicable, and the agent at the exit gate will associate the rental to your Emerald Club account using your driver's license number. While not guaranteed, rental credits (including One-Two Free hits) should post normally. To date, no one's posted any experiences attempting this with other rental companies (please post if you try this!).

Are prepaid Slash Deals safe to book? Can I trust AutoSlash?
The booking vendor behind prepaid Slash Deals rates, Connexions Loyalty, is one of the largest vendors in this sector. They power the booking portals for many major financial institutions' rewards portals, including Citi ThankYou Points and (until recently) Chase Ultimate Rewards, both products used by tens of thousands of FlyerTalk members (so hardly a fly-by-night operator). Connexions has robust contracts with the rental car companies for rates and inventory. At no point does AutoSlash ever have access to your credit card information; the travel.autoslash.com subdomain for booking Slash Deals rates is actually hosted by Connexions.

What happened to the grid?
The previous booking platform AutoSlash used was discontinued (it was a division of Travelocity that got bought by Orbitz and eventually folded into Expedia and then sunsetted). AirportRentalCars.com, a subsidiary of Priceline, does have a grid that actually works reasonably well, but their support for coupons and discounts is broken at the moment--hopefully they'll get it fixed at some point. Most other sites out there we've found with grids have half-baked or zero support for coupons and discounts, making them a non-starter.

Known Issues and Workarounds:

Off-airport rate not found: Occasionally, a rate AutoSlash finds in an off-airport quote request won't show up when you click on the Priceline link. This is usually due to Priceline's default search not including the location AutoSlash found. (Priceline dynamically adjusts their search radius based on a number of factors, and they also always search from the geographic center of the city, regardless of ) The current best workaround is to take the Priceline URL and append &radius=25 to the end, which will force Priceline to show all locations within 25 miles of the city center (this can be hundreds of results). You can use the filters on the left sidebar to help narrow down the results and make it easier to find the rate you're looking for. (Original post)

Customizing tracking results: AutoSlash support agents can adjust the reservation parameters (date/time/location/car size/membership affiliations/etc.) as well as filter out specific rental car companies and disable searching for prepaid rates. Reach out to [email protected] or reply to your tracking confirmation or offer email for help with this.

Feature Requests:
  • User profiles -- it's coming--slowly, yes, but it's finally on the development timeline
  • Mobile-friendly design -- in progress
  • App -- not much benefit to one until user profiles are rolled out. Let's get mobile-friendly design perfected first.
  • Retain membership/affiliation choices in a cookie -- RESOLVED
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Old May 5, 21, 9:21 am
  #1096  
Company Representative - Autoslash
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 4,358
Originally Posted by nmenaker View Post
I’ve recently had a couple of Hertz reservations going, sometimes different airports and different days. About two weeks prior to the initial date, I got an email from Hertz that listed them all and asked which ones were still needed. There WAS some narrative about some might be cancelled, but it was easy enough to click “still needed”. And I was diligent to cancel whichever ones I KNEW I didn’t need as soon as practicable to free up those cars for their reservation system. I DID keep a 2nd rental with another company at a different airport in the Bay Area, on the off chance that I showed up at SJC and they didn’t have the car I needed for our cannonball. Once I had my car secured, I went to cancel the 2nd car at a different airport but I couldn’t get to the reservation anymore since it was already the day of the Rez (and this wasn’t a Gold or PP pickup, just a normal one). So, as much as I tried, I ended up having to call customer service and wait and wait and wait just to fully release the car. Probably wasn’t necessary.
Yes, this is something Hertz instituted a couple of years back. As you pointed out, it's easy enough to click the button to tell Hertz you want to keep both.
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Old May 6, 21, 10:24 am
  #1097  
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Austin
Programs: AA P4L, WN, BA, DL, UA, HHonors, IHG
Posts: 3,435
As a data point, I just cancelled an un-needed Allianz rental-car policy purchased during the auto-rental process on the PL website.

You can do many things on the Allianz website, but cancelling a policy requires a phone call...in my case, a half-hour plus phone call to someone in a faraway land. No cancellation number was offered, but she did say I should receive a confirmation email in 24 hours.

MAY 8 UPDATE: The email never arrived, but the Allianz website shows that the policy has been cancelled.
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Last edited by Middle_Seat; May 8, 21 at 5:50 am
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Old May 7, 21, 10:34 am
  #1098  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: San Francisco, CA
Programs: SPG Gold, Hyatt Plat, Fairmont Premier
Posts: 99
I made a reservation many months ago with Enterprise for a 1-week rental in Hawaii for roughly $500. We're looking to extend our trip by one day, and of course with the rental car shortage any new reservations for 8 days is now more than triple at $1,700. Would I be better off just keeping the existing Enterprise reservation, returning the car late, and paying for the extra day? Best case scenario is that extra day charge is just one-day prorated from my original rate (roughly $71/day), but is it possible that Enterprise could charge some insane rate for that extra day (like $500/day), or reprice my entire rental charge for the original 7 days + 1 extra day to current rates ($1,700 in total)?
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Old May 7, 21, 10:54 am
  #1099  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: LAX
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Posts: 5,023
Originally Posted by jch636 View Post
I made a reservation many months ago with Enterprise for a 1-week rental in Hawaii for roughly $500. We're looking to extend our trip by one day, and of course with the rental car shortage any new reservations for 8 days is now more than triple at $1,700. Would I be better off just keeping the existing Enterprise reservation, returning the car late, and paying for the extra day? Best case scenario is that extra day charge is just one-day prorated from my original rate (roughly $71/day), but is it possible that Enterprise could charge some insane rate for that extra day (like $500/day), or reprice my entire rental charge for the original 7 days + 1 extra day to current rates ($1,700 in total)?
From my understanding, as long as you alert them in advance that you’ll be returning the car a day or two late the original contract has the pricing already included. This is with Hertz, I have no experience with enterprise. But from my understanding they seem to be quite flexible (at least the time I had an insurance loaner from them)
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Old May 7, 21, 12:10 pm
  #1100  
Company Representative - Autoslash
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 4,358
Originally Posted by jch636 View Post
I made a reservation many months ago with Enterprise for a 1-week rental in Hawaii for roughly $500. We're looking to extend our trip by one day, and of course with the rental car shortage any new reservations for 8 days is now more than triple at $1,700. Would I be better off just keeping the existing Enterprise reservation, returning the car late, and paying for the extra day? Best case scenario is that extra day charge is just one-day prorated from my original rate (roughly $71/day), but is it possible that Enterprise could charge some insane rate for that extra day (like $500/day), or reprice my entire rental charge for the original 7 days + 1 extra day to current rates ($1,700 in total)?
Just return a day late. You'll be charged the prorated rate for the extra day. It's no problem at all.

Check your rental contract when you receive the vehicle. It should say on there how much the extra day is.

I don't believe Enterprise levies a late fee, so no need to call--you can just return a day late and not worry about it. The additional day will be calculated at rental return.

Safe travels and enjoy Hawaii!
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Old May 26, 21, 11:52 am
  #1101  
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Austin
Programs: AA P4L, WN, BA, DL, UA, HHonors, IHG
Posts: 3,435
Skip the Line With Multiple Drivers?

I plan to rent a Hertz car at LAS, with 2 additional drivers. I have status (so I could skip the line), the others 2 drivers do not. Is there a way for our group to skip the line at the counter?
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Old May 26, 21, 11:57 am
  #1102  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 15
Since these extra drivers are not your spouse there'll be an additional charge. Not sure how you could skip the line since how would you pay for them? Have you called Hertz to see if you could get them added to your reservation prior to your trip?
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Old May 26, 21, 1:46 pm
  #1103  
Company Representative - Autoslash
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: New York, NY
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Originally Posted by Middle_Seat View Post
I plan to rent a Hertz car at LAS, with 2 additional drivers. I have status (so I could skip the line), the others 2 drivers do not. Is there a way for our group to skip the line at the counter?
If you are a Hertz Gold member, and your Gold member number is attached to the reservation there is no need for any of you to stop at the counter. When you get to LAS all three of you simply go to the Ultimate Choice section corresponding to your status level (Gold, Five Star, President's Circle) and choose any vehicle you want (assuming you booked something other than economy, compact, manager's choice).

When you get to the exit booth, you give the booth attendant all three driver's licenses and let him/her know that the reservation is in your name and the other two will be additional drivers. They can be added there on the spot. No need to stop at the counter.

Keep in mind that as BobbyC777 pointed out, there will be a charge for the additional drivers unless you are renting under a discount code that waives the additional driver fee (AAA, USAA, etc.). The Gold benefit only waives the additional driver fee for a spouse. The charge will just be added to your rental contract and will be settled up at the conclusion of the rental (as all other charges are).

Last edited by AutoSlash; May 26, 21 at 3:38 pm
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Old May 26, 21, 2:13 pm
  #1104  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 15
Gang -

I am just an amateur so good to get such a quality answer from AutoSlash. I've used them for close to 15 years now and they really know their stuff. While I am just a customer I am thrilled to say that they have literally saved me thousands (!) in car rentals over the years.
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Old May 27, 21, 6:35 am
  #1105  
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Austin
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Posts: 3,435
Yes, it's great having an auto-rental expert here. You can see a recent interview at https://milestalk.com/renting-a-car-...se-watch-this/
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Old May 27, 21, 7:28 pm
  #1106  
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Austin
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Posts: 3,435
Now a variation on my earlier post about multiple drivers: The group has decided to do a pre-paid Avis rental at LAS...not my recommendation, but it's already been made and paid. The person making the reservation and his wife will be drivers, and I (a friend) will be the third driver. The person making the reservation has an Avis account, but I do not know if he has any status.

Will we be able to skip the counter at Avis and have his wife and me added as drivers at the checkout kiosk?

Last edited by Middle_Seat; May 27, 21 at 7:47 pm
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Old May 28, 21, 4:07 am
  #1107  
Company Representative - Autoslash
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: New York, NY
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Originally Posted by Middle_Seat View Post
Now a variation on my earlier post about multiple drivers: The group has decided to do a pre-paid Avis rental at LAS...not my recommendation, but it's already been made and paid. The person making the reservation and his wife will be drivers, and I (a friend) will be the third driver. The person making the reservation has an Avis account, but I do not know if he has any status.

Will we be able to skip the counter at Avis and have his wife and me added as drivers at the checkout kiosk?
It depends on where the prepaid reservation was made. If the prepaid reservation was made directly with Avis and the reservation was made when logged into the person's Avis Preferred account then their name should be on the board with an assigned car and you can add the additional drivers at the exit booth. If the reservation was made anywhere other than Avis.com or it was made on Avis.com and the person making the reservation did not login to their Avis Preferred account when booking it, then you will have to go to the counter.
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Old May 28, 21, 4:46 am
  #1108  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Originally Posted by AutoSlash View Post
Just return a day late. You'll be charged the prorated rate for the extra day. It's no problem at all.

Check your rental contract when you receive the vehicle. It should say on there how much the extra day is.

I don't believe Enterprise levies a late fee, so no need to call--you can just return a day late and not worry about it. The additional day will be calculated at rental return.

Safe travels and enjoy Hawaii!
Now I understand that the bolded part is sound advice in normal times, but isn't there a rather high chance that you will hurt the next renter by providing no prior notification whatsoever, given the car shortage?
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Old May 28, 21, 5:18 am
  #1109  
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Austin
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Posts: 3,435
Originally Posted by AutoSlash View Post
It depends on where the prepaid reservation was made. If the prepaid reservation was made directly with Avis and the reservation was made when logged into the person's Avis Preferred account then their name should be on the board with an assigned car and you can add the additional drivers at the exit booth. If the reservation was made anywhere other than Avis.com or it was made on Avis.com and the person making the reservation did not login to their Avis Preferred account when booking it, then you will have to go to the counter.
Thank you Autoslash, this is excellent news!
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Old May 28, 21, 8:21 am
  #1110  
Company Representative - Autoslash
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: New York, NY
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Originally Posted by gnargel View Post
Now I understand that the bolded part is sound advice in normal times, but isn't there a rather high chance that you will hurt the next renter by providing no prior notification whatsoever, given the car shortage?
No, not really. Even if you were to notify them it probably wouldn't change anything. It's not like the rental company has every last vehicle allocated to a specific person. They generally operate within tolerances taking into account the number of vehicles coming in and going out, the no-show rate, the number of people who may return early/late, etc, and generally they build in some padding so they don't over-allocate themselves.

If they were always at maximum utilization with every vehicle allocated to a specific renter, imagine what would happen if one or more vehicles got into an accident or had a mechanical breakdown and had to be taken out of the fleet. "Oh sorry Mr. Jones, the car we had reserved for you was supposed to be returned today but the previous renter had an accident yesterday so now we have nothing." That's not really how it works though. Vehicles are coming and going all the time. Flights get canceled or arrive early or late. People cancel at the last minute or no-show, or they extend their rental when their plans change, etc, etc. This is a normal part of rental operations. One renter keeping a car for one extra day is a drop in the proverbial bucket, so no, you will not "hurt" the next renter by keeping your car an extra day.

Last edited by AutoSlash; May 29, 21 at 4:08 am
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