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Understanding your Search Results

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


Be sure to sign-in to your account before you kickoff your search. This adds relevant affinity discounts like AAA, Costco, USAA (& many more) into your search results. You'll also see stackable discounts (whenever possible) to help you make a good deal even better!

You're finally on your Search Results page & wondering what to do next. Worry not, we've got you covered. We'll start off with a brief introduction to the search results page & then discuss tips to help you navigate your search results like a pro.

Summary


At the top of the page, you'll see a summary of your search results. It shows
  • Rental Vehicles: The number of rental vehicles available (this is is what you see on other websites like Expedia).
  • Coupons: The number of relevant coupons & discounts found for your rental. No other website (except Zalyn) does this for you (Learn How). You can also see details like the number of coupons analyzed, relevant coupons found & the reason others didn't make the cut.
  • Results: The number of unique (Rental vehicle + Coupon) combinations for your rental.

Search Result


Each search result represents a unique (Rental vehicle + Coupon) combination. This means that if there are 4 coupons applicable to a Fullsize car @Budget, you'll see 4 search results (one with each coupon). In addition, you'll also see a search result for the same vehicle without a coupon. Each of these represent a (potentially) different rate for the same vehicle. We track coupon performance & use this data to calculate the
  • Estimated Savings: Your likely savings, $31 in the example above
  • Success Rate: Chances it'll work, 75% in the example above
We sort your results by the standard retail price of the vehicle, the estimated coupon savings & the Success Rate. Please note that the price you see on each search result is the standard retail price of the rental vehicle & it doesn't reflect the coupon discount.
 
Coupons are finicky & don't always work. The only way to know if a coupon works & how much it saves you is by trying it out for yourself. Simply click the APPLY button & you'll be sent to a booking site that shows you the final discounted price of the rental vehicle using the coupon.

How to get through your search results like a pro

Since the search results show every possible (Rental vehicle + Coupon) combination, the sheer number of results can be intimidating, especially if your rental qualifies for a lot of coupons and discounts. However, there are ways to trim down your results to a more manageable size. Read on for tips to navigate through your search results like a pro & you'll be done in minutes!

1. Filter by Vehicle

There are many types of rental vehicles available for most rentals. However, most people either need a specific type of vehicle (e.g. a Minivan for large family, a Convertible for that Florida vacation) or are simply the cheapest set of wheels.

If you're looking for a specific vehicle like a Minivan, SUV or a Convertible, you can easily trim down the number of results to around 1/10th of all results by simply filtering the results to your preferred vehicle(s).

Alternatively, if you're looking for the cheapest rental vehicle don't assume its going to be an Economy or Compact car. A lot of good discounts apply only to Midsize car & above. Some of the best deals are also found on Midsize SUV. With that in mind, if you're looking for the cheapest rental vehicle, filter your results to include only (Mini), Economy, Compact, Midsize, Standard, Fullsize, Midsize SUV.

By doing this you'll trim your search results down to around 1/2 of what you started with.

2. Filter by Rental Company

Rental car companies broadly fall into one of these three categories:
  • Premium/Business: Avis, Hertz & National
  • Budget/Leisure: Alamo, Budget, Enterprise, Dollar, Thrifty & Sixt 
  • Discount: Ace, Economy, E-Z, Fox, Payless, etc
Some people rent only with one of the Premium/Business brands due to better vehicles with fewer miles, Rewards program & other perks like skipping the rental counter.

Others are fine booking with a Premium or Budget brand, but tend to skip the Discount brands because these companies don't have the name recognition, tend to have older vehicles with more miles & less than stellar customer service. Be sure to filter out rental companies based on your preference (if any) to trim down your search results further.

3. Filter by Yay Score

Coupons are finicky and don't always work, even if you meet all the terms & conditions (which we check for your rental). To tackle this, we track coupon performance every time a coupon is used. Based on the feedback, we assign a Yay Score to each coupon, which indicates the chances the coupon will work. This gives us another opportunity to trim down the search results further by filtering out coupons that are likely to be duds.

If you're only interested in the creme-de-la-creme, only include coupons with a Yay Score of 60-100%. If you have a little more time on your hands, expand it to cover Yay Score from 40-100%.

Coupons with an Unknown Yay Score refer to results without a coupon. Filtering out these results means you'll miss out on results with a lower price (without a coupon). This is commonly seen for Discount brands (that don't have coupons) or for rentals that don't qualify for a lot of coupons (like daily/weekday or overseas rentals). Use this one with caution.

4. Share coupon feedback

Every time you hit the APPLY button on a search result, we send you over to a booking site along with your rental information and coupon details. If the coupon is accepted, you'll see a discounted rate for the vehicle on the booking site. If it doesn't (coupons are finicky and don't always work, even if you meet all the terms & conditions), you may see an error message on the booking site, or you may simply see the standard retail rate of the vehicle. When you return to Zalyn, you'll see a popup window asking for your feedback.



If the coupon worked for you, simply enter the final discounted price of the rental vehicle (including all taxes & fees) and hit the SAVE button. The popup will close and you'll notice that the amount you entered is now reflected on the search results page. As you go through the search results, this'll help you quickly determine which one worked best for you. You can do this by sorting the search results by your feedback. We recommend checking the top 10 coupons for the best results.



If things don't go your way, you can try using a different booking site. If you still can't get it to work, be sure to share the negative feedback. Since it didn't work for the current vehicle, it is unlikely to work for any other vehicle either. When you give it the thumbs down, we scan the search results & filter out all results using this coupon. In most cases, this trims down your list by 10-14 results!

5. Skip ahead

As you work your way down the search results, you're likely to run into the same coupon (that worked previously), but coupled with a different vehicle this time. It is likely that this combination will work as well & you'll get a discounted rate. However, it'll probably cost more than the previous one (due to the higher standard retail price on which the discount is applied). In the example above, if the 20% off coupon works for the Economy car, it'll work for the Compact and Midsize car too, but they'll still cost more than the Economy car (with discount). In such cases, it makes sense to skip ahead.

The only exception is when you're dealing with a rental agency that allows stacking (Alamo, Avis, Budget, Hertz & National). In this case, we recommend that you check out the result for the Midsize car/Midsize SUV (even if its more expensive than first result you came across). This is because a number of discounts apply to Midsize car & above (or Midsize SUV), so you might be able to get a better deal by stacking coupons for a lower price.

6. Sort by Feedback

After you've gone through a fair number of results, sharing your feedback along the way, you can easily track down the one that worked best for you by sorting your search results by My Feedback. Note that the APPLY button now shows the discounted rate you entered while sharing your feedback. Learn more about the sorting options available to you.


Got any tips or hacks we can add to this list? Tell us about it in the comments below.


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