5 Things to Know About the Costco Car Rental Program

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The Costco car rental program is one of the little-known membership benefits at the warehouse club chain.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how the Costco car rental program works, which companies you can rent from and how to cancel a Costco car rental, among other things.

Here’s What You Need to Know About the Costco Car Rental Program

Costco doesn’t just offer deals on food, clothing and household items. Through Costco Travel, you also have access to some of the best deals on rental cars.

“People seem to be really happy with renting cars through Costco,” money expert Clark Howard notes.

In particular, Clark points out Costco’s no-fee policy for adding a second driver as a real selling point.

“One of the things members really like is if you’re going to rent a car for leisure as a couple or family, pretty much everybody else charges you for a second driver, which adds $10 or so a day to your rental. But when you rent through Costco, normally you pay no second driver fee. So that’s a really valuable thing.”

Table of Contents

1. How Does Costco Car Rental Work?

Costco doesn’t maintain a fleet of rental cars waiting for its customers. Instead, it partners with several well-known companies to offer cars for rent at a discounted rate. Its large membership base affords Costco group-negotiating power, which means you often get the best deal on a rental car.

There are two ways to reserve a rental:

  1. Through the Costco Travel website
  2. By calling 1-866-921-7925

And if you’re a Costco Executive Member, you can now receive an annual 2% reward on Costco Travel purchases (up to $1,000). That’s in addition to the 3% you can get back on travel expenses if you use the Costco Anywhere Visa by Citi.

2. Which Car Rental Companies Participate?

At this time, four popular car rental companies participate in the Costco program:

Costco Travel's car rental homepage
Costco Travel’s car rental homepage

3. How Old Do You Have to Be to Rent a Car Through Costco?

You can rent if you’re younger than 25. However, you’re likely to pay more. While drivers under the age of 25 still receive the Costco Member Discount, they may have to pay an additional fee.

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To reserve a car rental if you’re under the age of 25, you must book directly by calling 1-866-921-7925, option 1. Costco says the fee varies by company and location.

4. Does the Program Work Internationally?

Yes, the Costco car rental program works both domestically (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and in these select international locations:

  • Canada
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Spain
  • United Kingdom

5. How Do You Cancel a Costco Car Rental?

If you decide you don’t need your rental car — or maybe you find a better deal elsewhere — it’s easy to cancel:

  1. Log in to your Costco Travel account
  2. Select the Current booking
  3. Click the “Cancel” button
  4. Click “Yes” when the pop-up asks you to confirm cancellation

You’ll get a confirmation of your cancellation emailed to you. And there is never a charge for canceling an online rental car reservation.

As an alternative to canceling online, you can also call the company directly at 1-866-921-7925.

Final Thoughts

Between the negotiated discount rate and the fact that they don’t charge for an additional driver, renting a car through Costco can save you money.

That said, it’s important to always comparison shop! That’s exactly what Clark says he does:

“Costco seems to be able to get people better rates a majority of the time than you can find on your own but not always. So what I do when I’m renting a car is I go look at Costco.com and I go look elsewhere. Then I just go with whichever is the better deal.”

More Costco Stories From Clark.com: 

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