Every time I travel, I do my best to stick to the same exact routine. I park at the same lot (if I'm flying). I rent from the same company (if I’m driving). I stick with what I know for the "knowns" of my trip, so I have more energy to deal with any unknowns that may crop up. But there are plenty of options today in the competitive rental car industry to find steep discounts and savings. Here, learn what you need to know to get the best deal on ground transportation—during the holidays or anytime of year.

1. Book through Car Rental Savers

If you have ever used a service like Priceline, Expedia or Hotwire, you’re already familiar with the potential savings you can realize from shopping at a third-party aggregate site for your travel needs. But Car Rental Savers is a bit different—all it does is car rentals.

  • Visit the website: http://www.carrentalsavers.com
  • Create a free account: Sign up here and store your favorite specials and coupons, plus track reservations.
  • Coupons: Find coupons, discounts, ongoing specials and last-minute specials.
  • Services offered: No booking fees, cancel without penalty, reserve without a credit card, guaranteed no rate change, national and international rental options, 10-30% off rates at other aggregate sites.

2. Book through Costco Travel

If you have access, there are several advantages to booking your rental car through Costco Travel. You can use the Costco Travel website for price estimation purposes even if you don't have a Costco membership (required to actually complete a reservation).

  • Visit the website: http://www.costcotravel.com
  • Perks: Reservations can be cancelled for no fee, no penalty even if you don't pick up the car, deep discounts on all the big rental car companies, and you can earn rental car loyalty club points and enjoy their perks even if you book through Costco Travel. 

3. Book through your credit card company

If you have one of these credit cards, you can book your rental car through their special customer portals online to get lower rates than by booking directly.

1. Citi Thank You

You earn $0.01 per one point. As you earn, you can then use your accrued earnings like cash to book discounted rental days. If you cancel your reservation, you will be charged $15. You can book only at airports for round-trip reservations.

2. Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall

You earn $0.01 per one point. As you earn, you can then use your accrued earnings like cash to book discounted rental days. Plus, if you cancel you reservation at least 2 days prior, there are no cancellation fees. You can book only at airports for round-trip reservations.

3. Capital One No Hassle Rewards

You can book at non-airport rental facilities and you can book one-way as well as round-trip reservations. There is no cancellation fee if you reserve your rental with a credit card.

4. Book directly through your loyalty club 

If you are a member of a rental car loyalty club, you can use your perks to get free rental days and upgrades.

1. National

2. Avis

3. Budget

4. Hertz

5. Alamo

6. Thrifty