SALT LAKE CITY — Imagine a company that always books you a better rental car deal, even if it comes along after your original booking.
Ryley Eaton flies to Denver frequently and picks up a rental car. For her most recent trip, KSL asked her to try the free online booking engine, AutoSlash.com, as an experiment.
"I had never heard of AutoSlash before," she said.
Here's how it works: Book your car rental through AutoSlash. The site then scours the Internet for rental car coupon codes, discounts and promotions, then automatically re-books you at the lower rate.
Eaton said the original rate definitely needed help: $371 for three days.
"I knew I didn't want to spend $371 for my trip on this rental car," she said. "So I made a back-up reservation in case AutoSlash didn't pull through. I was nervous at first."
However, the next morning Eaton got an email from AutoSlash saying it booked her at a better rate. And it didn't stop there. Ryley said she was automatically re-booked six more times, day after day, as AutoSlash kept on searching for a better deal.
Remember, her original rate was $371.
"My final rate that AutoSlash finally got me was $103.31," she said.
That's a savings of $268.
This is the type of thing anyone can do, if they wanted to spend their time looking for these discount codes and repricing each day.
Eaton said she picked up her rental in Denver without a hitch.
"The rental agency even commented on how I got an amazing rate for the car I was booked for," she said.
Jonathan Weinberg launched AutoSlash four years ago.
"What could be a decent deal today could be a horrible deal tomorrow and vice-versa," he said.
Today, users can expect to find a better deal about 90 percent of the time. Weinberg said usually AutoSlash users will save 30 percent on their car rentals. He felt there was an opportunity in the discount codes that were floating around.
"The price varies greatly, depending on the discount code you use," he said.
Weinberg said there's nothing magic about the promotional and discount codes.
There is a solution. AutoSlash can track rentals for any company made via any site. Just enter that rental on the "track a rental" tab, and it will let you know if it finds a better deal.
AutoSlash does not charge a fee for the service.
"This is the type of thing anyone can do, if they wanted to spend their time going out and looking for these discount codes and repricing each day. The whole idea behind AutoSlash is we automate the process for you," he explained.
But that hasn't stopped some of the major rental agencies from putting the squeeze on AutoSlash. Some won't let their cars appear in the site's booking engine.
"It's been challenging. Car rental companies are not enthralled about our model. It's something they'd like to see go away," he said.
Still, Weinberg said he's committed to keep AutoSlash going, despite the challenges. That's music to the ears of Eaton, who has already used it to book upcoming trips.
"I don't know if I'll use anything again. By far, the best rates I've found anywhere," she said.