How to Bid on Priceline Car Rentals

Are you looking for ways to save money on booking a car rental for your next trip? Priceline’s “Name Your Own Price” car rental bidding system can help you save money renting a vehicle. In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of how to bid on Priceline car rentals, and give you some tips for rental car bidding.

How does Priceline bidding work for car rentals?

Priceline's "Name Your Own Price" system for rental cars allows you to select a pick-up/drop-off city or airport, pick-up and drop-off dates and times, and class of car. Then, you get to submit a price that you're willing to pay for your car. If your price is accepted, Priceline will book your rental for you.

Note that as a trade-off for getting to pick your own price (which will usually be lower than published rental rates), you can't pick the company that rents you the car.  Some travel booking websites have similar restrictions, such as the "Unpublished Rates" program for hotels on Expedia.comHotwire.com has a booking system what works in the same way.

To bid on Priceline rental cars:

  1. Go to www.priceline.com, and then click Cars.
  2. Click Start Your Rental Cars Bid Now.
  3. Enter your pick-up/drop-off point, pick-up and drop-off dates and times, preferred car class, and desired price.
  4. Enter your driver information, billing address, and credit card details.
  5. Confirm your bid.

If those instructions were a little too quick for you, don’t worry – read our more detailed step-by-step instructions with pictures below.

Detailed instructions for car rental bidding

1. Go to the “Cars” section on Priceline.

Open your web browser and go to www.priceline.com. In the menu across the top of the screen, click Cars.

Priceline cars menu

2. Start bidding on a car rental.

Scroll down to the "Name Your Own Price" section and click Start Your Rental Cars Bid Now.

Priceline bidding option button

3. Indicate your pickup and drop-off information.

In the same way as if you were booking a car rental normally through Priceline, you must enter your pick-up/drop-off point (can be a city or airport), pick-up and drop-off dates and times, and class of car. Then click in the box labelled "Name Your Own Price" and type in the price that you wish to pay for your car rental. Then click Bid Now.

Pickup and drop-off information form

4. Enter your driver information and billing details.

To complete your bid, the first step is to enter your driver information (as it appears on your driver's license) and billing address (as it appears on your credit card statement).

Driver information form

Under the "Driver Information" section, click in the respective boxes and type in or select:

  • Your first name
  • Your middle initial (optional)
  • Your last name
  • Your age range (you may be declined or incur extra charges if under 25)

Next, under the "Billing Address" section, click in the respective boxes and type in or select:

  • Your first name
  • Your middle initial (optional)
  • Your last name
  • Your street address
  • The country in which you live
  • The city or town in which you live
  • The state, province, or territory in which you live
  • Your mailing code
  • Your home phone number
  • Your work phone number (optional)
  • Your email address
  • A copy of your email address

5. Enter your credit card information to pay for your rental car booking.

Next, it's time to enter your credit card details. 

Priceline credit card information form

Scroll down to the "Enter Your Credit Card" section, click in the respective boxes, and type in or select:

  • Your credit card number
  • The month that your credit card expires
  • The year that your credit card expires
  • Your credit card's security code (click What's This? for help finding it)

You must also click one of the buttons below this information to choose whether you will be paying for the security deposit on your rental car with a credit card or a debit card. (If you choose "Debit Card," you will have to choose whether you have proof of round-trip airline travel or are renting locally).

6. Confirm and submit your Priceline car rental bid.

At the bottom of the "Important Information" section, click in the box labelled "Initial Here" and type in your initials. Then click Buy My Rental Car Now to submit your bid.

Car rental bidding confirmation button

You might get a response right away; if not, check your email inbox. If your price is accepted, your rental car will be booked, and you can print out your confirmation information (which is a good idea, as you may need it when you check in to the hotel).

If your price is not accepted, you will be notified by Priceline that your bid was not accepted. You can re-bid at the same price (or a different price), but you must change one parameter of your booking (such as pick-up/drop-off area, pick-up/drop-off dates or times, preferred car class, etc.).

4 Tips for Bidding on Priceline Car Rentals

1. Do your own research on the average cost of rental cars within the area you’re looking to rent.

Though Priceline may give you a guideline on the average price of a rental car in the pick-up/drop-off area that you select, you may want to shop around yourself. Try searching for rental cars on Priceline (or other travel booking websites, such as Travelocity) using your booking criteria as if you were going to book them normally. This will allow you to see the actual rates that hotels for the area(s) in which you wish to stay are charging, so you can make a better estimate of a bid that might get through.

2. Try to make sure your bid for the cost of the rental car is not unreasonably low.

Compared to bidding on hotels with Priceline, you really want to go for a reasonable price when bidding on car rentals, as opposed to going for the lowest possible price. This is because you will never be given the chance to immediately retry your bid with the same parameters, but a higher price. If your price is too low, you will have to change one of your booking parameters if you want to immediately re-bid. Otherwise, you must wait 24 hours, and then start the process over again.

3. Make sure that the dates and area you’re looking to book within are correct.

When you book through Priceline’s “Name Your Own Price” rental car bidding system, you won’t be able to easily make changes to your booking, or cancel it if your plans happen to change. Before you submit your bid, make sure you have all the correct information entered.

4. Try to be patient when waiting to have a bid accepted.

It may take you a little while to have a bid for a rental car booking accepted if you’re trying to spend as little as possible. If you can stick it out, it’ll be worth it in the end if you’re able to get a great deal on a car rental for your trip.

That's our guide to bidding on hotel bookings through Priceline.com!


How to Bid on Priceline Hotels

Looking to save money on booking your next vacation? With Priceline’s “Name Your Own Price” bidding system, you may be able to save big on your hotel booking! Want to learn how? Lucky for you, in this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how their hotel bidding system works, and how to actually bid on hotels.

How does Priceline bidding work for hotels?

Priceline's "Name Your Own Price" bidding system allows you to select a general area in which to stay, check-in and check-out dates, number of rooms, and minimum star rating. Then, you get to submit a price that you're willing to pay for your stay. If your price is accepted, Priceline will book your hotel for you.

Note that as a trade-off for getting to pick your own price (which will usually be lower than published room rates), you can't pick the specific hotel or rooms that you get to stay in. There are some ways to get around these limitations, though, which we will cover at the end of this tutorial.

To bid on Priceline hotels:

  1. Go to www.priceline.com and click Hotels.
  2. Click Start Your Hotel Bid Now and enter your destination, check-in and check-out dates, and number of required rooms.
  3. Select areas in which you'd like to stay, your preferred hotel star rating, and your price.
  4. Enter your billing details, and confirm your bid.

Detailed instructions for Priceline hotel bidding

1. Go to the “Hotels” section of Priceline.com.

Open your web browser and go to www.priceline.com. In the menu across the top of the screen, click Hotels.

Priceline Hotels menu

2. Start the process of bidding on a hotel room.

Scroll down to the "Name Your Own Price" section and click Start Your Hotel Bid Now.

Priceline bidding menu

Like if you were booking a hotel normally through Priceline, you must enter your destination (can be a city, airport, or nearby point of interest), check-in and check-out dates, and the number of rooms that you wish to book. Then click Bid Now.

3. Enter the criteria for the area and quality of hotel you’d like.

First, you need to pick a specific area in which you want your hotel to be located, and select the quality of the hotel that you wish to stay in.

Choose hotel location and quality details

Under the "Step 1" section, click the check box beside the area in which you want your hotel to be located (you can use the map on the right to see where each area is). You must select at least one area, but you can select more than one as well.

Next, under "Step 2," click the button beside the star rating of the hotel that you wish to stay in.  Depending on which areas you have selected, you will be shown what amenities are guaranteed for the hotels of that star rating in those areas (e.g. free wireless Internet, free breakfast, pool, work-out centre, and high user rating).

4. Enter the price you’re willing to pay.

Next, it's time to "name your own price"! Click in the box labelled "Name Your Own Price" and type in the price per room per night that you want to pay. Sometimes, the box will show you the average price of a hotel for the quality and area that you have selected; you can use this as a guide to bid for a slightly lower price.

Enter a price for the booking

After that, under "Reservation Name," click in the respective boxes and type in your first name, middle initial (optional), and last name. When you're done, click Preview Offer.

5. Apply any coupons you may have.

On the next screen, you can click Apply Coupon if you have a coupon that you would like to use to reduce the cost of your booking. More importantly, under "We Recommend Trip Protection," click one of the buttons here to choose whether or not you want to purchase additional trip insurance.

Priceline travel insurance screen

Be sure to click the check box highlighted here to say that you understand and agree to Priceline's rules concerning bidding on hotels. Then click Continue.

6. Enter your billing details.

To finish up, they need to know how you're going to pay for your booking, should your bid be accepted. To start, go to the "Choose Your Payment Method" section and click the button beside either "Credit Card" or "PayPal." (If you choose PayPal, you will have to click Buy with PayPal at the bottom of the screen, and log into your PayPal account to complete the transaction).

Priceline billing information form

Assuming that you want to pay with a credit card, scroll down to the "Enter Your Billing Address" section, click in the respective boxes and select or type in:

  • Your first name
  • Your middle initial (optional)
  • Your last name
  • Your street address
  • The country in which you live
  • The city or town in which you live
  • The state, province, or territory in which you live
  • Your mailing code
  • Your home phone number
  • Your work phone number (optional)
  • Your mobile phone number (optional)
  • Your email address
  • A copy of your email address

7. Type in your credit card information.

Next, it's time to enter your credit card details. Scroll down to the "Enter Your Credit Card" section, click in the respective boxes, and type in or select:

  • Your credit card number
  • The month that your credit card expires
  • The year that your credit card expires
  • Your credit card's security code (click What's This? for help finding it)

When you're all done, click Buy My Hotel Now.

Confirm bid on hotel button

You might get a response right away; if not, check your email inbox. If your price is accepted, your hotel will be booked, and you can print out your confirmation information (which is a good idea, as you may need it when you check in to the hotel).

If your price is not accepted, one of two things will happen. If your price is too far below what any hotel is willing to accept, you will be notified that your bid was not accepted. You can re-bid at the same price (or a different price), but you must change one parameter of your booking (such as available areas, check-in or check-out dates, number or type of rooms, etc.).

If, however, your bid is close enough to what at least one hotel might be willing to accept, you may be allowed to immediately re-bid at a slightly higher price. Unlike in the previous scenario, though, you will not have to change your booking parameters.

4 Priceline Hotel Bidding Tips

1. Shop around online and compare the average price per night of various hotels in the area you’re looking to stay.

Though Priceline may give you a guideline on the average price of a hotel of the star rating that you choose in the areas that you select, you may want to shop around yourself. Try searching for hotels using your booking criteria as if you were going to book them normally. This will allow you to see the actual rates that hotels for the area(s) in which you wish to stay are charging, so you can make a better estimate of a bid that might get through.

2. Get a more detailed look at the area you’re interested in staying in.

Taking the previous hint even further, you may want to use an alternative mapping service – such as Google Maps – to get a detailed look at the areas where you want to stay. Find hotels on the map in that area and view information about them; it might take some of the mystery out of what hotel you'll be booked at if your bid goes through.

3. Try to be reasonable with the prices you choose to bid for hotels.

Unless you're trying to go for the absolute lowest price possible, try to go for a reasonable price on your first bid. If your price is too low, you will have to change one of your booking parameters if you want to immediately re-bid; the alternative it to start over. On the other hand, if your price is a little low but still in the acceptable ballpark, Priceline may simply allow you to re-bid with the same booking parameters, but with a slightly higher price.

4. Make sure you get all the information right the first time.

Keep in mind that when you book a hotel through Priceline’s “Name Your Own Price” system, they make it much harder for you to make changes to or cancel your booking. Have a look at our article on Priceline’s cancellation policy to learn more.

 

That's it for our guide to bidding on hotel bookings through Priceline!  You should also note that though you used to be able to, you can no longer bid on flights on the Priceline website. You can however bid on car rentals, so if you’re interested in learning how to save on rental car bookings for your trip as well, check out our next tutorial on how to bid on Priceline car rentals.