Costco Travel integrates rental car bookings

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Costco Travel, as noted in this post, often comes out tops in The Rapid Traveler’s rental searches, sometimes even undercutting Hotwire and Priceline, and nearly always beating Autoslash and Breezenet.

CostcoTravelNewRentalCarCostcoCodesBudgetRentalBooking with Costco has always been a tedious search of clicking through the various coupons for each of their partners, trying to find applicable coupons among the restrictions for rental period and vehicle class, then being redirected to rental company sites to make the booking.

This week Costco unveiled an integrated search tool on its site that endeavors to simplify the search process and complete bookings within the Costco Travel site, much like a number of airlines’ rental car booking tools.

Good concept, but test searches are buggy. Sometimes there are errors where it is unable to price any or some of the rental companies, sometimes it takes a dedicated “price this coupon” search reminiscent of the earlier methods to get results. This is a problem found in many booking engines, Priceline is one of the few to routinely display results for all major rental companies.

Assuming the bugs get worked out, this will be a convenient booking tool for simple reservations such as airport locations.

For complex reservations, such as researching neighborhood locations, selecting add-ons, and studying rental company terms and gotchas, these kind of booking tools can be inadequate. Fortunately, Costco Travel still lists all the applicable codes which can be directly entered onto rental company websites.

Note: booking on the site requires validation of an active Costco membership. But entering the codes directly on the rental company websites remains as a workaround.

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[…] suggest following the Rapid Travel Chai method and do a quick check on Hotwire and on Costco travel to get a quick read on the lowest price of a car rental.  Then do the math to see if you’re […]