Car rental rates have soared in the last several years. Even using sites like Kayak and Priceline you tend to get some high rates. Some time ago I saw a reference in the New York Times to a site called Autoslash.com. I tried it earlier this summer and was able to get a very reasonable rate for the July 4th week in Hartford, Connecticut. previously my best rate for the week was about $400. I ended up paying $241 and got the car from Hertz. That was a substantial savings thanks to AutoSlash.
I have booked a 21 day rental in Sicily and did quite a bit of shopping. I searched Hertz, Auto Europe, and Avis. Each gave me rates that were in the $800 range. Hertz got down to about $760 and it was looking better. I got a quote from AutoSlash and found that they could get me a $747 rate for the same period and they would continue to search for updates to the rate. Hertz is the provider.
Now for the really good news! We leave on Tuesday and today I got an email saying they checked rates and it went from $765.51 to $305.89. This is a substantial savings. Note the original quote I got was $747 but Hertz raised it. When I brought this to the attention of AutoSlash they contacted Hertz and got the rate reduced.
Give AutoSlash a try and compare with other search engines. Hotwire, Hotels.com, Kayak have been helpful to me in the past, but not have reduced the rates after booking.
You do not pay up front! Also keep in mind many credit card companies will cover your CDW which can save you several hundred dollars on a rental.
I have no affiliation with any site mentioned above.
Always good to have some tape. In Palermo a driver strayed into my land and hit the mirror. He then continued as if nothing had happened. Luckily I had some tape and we survived. I rented with Europcar and got it through InItaly.com. They covered the damage but still charged me $100. That is why credit card CDW is better. BUT read your credit card agreement throughly.