Best Rental Car Affiliate Programs for 2022 (Based on Data)
Hotels and accommodation are some of the most profitable affiliate programs to promote as travel bloggers. But there's a counterpart to the travel experience that's often overlooked: namely, rental cars and transit.
There are a couple of aspects that make rental cars interesting for travel affiliates.
First off, rental cars are pretty pricy. So people booking through your link will usually spend several hundred dollars, if not more, to secure their rental car.
Second, it's a somewhat high margin business. Renting a car out requires less staff, upkeep, and maintenance than furnishing an entire hotel room. As such, the commissions can be even higher as well.
Some programs on this list will give you up to 70% of their profit (!) as an affiliate.
Your standard rental car for a road trip is just the tip of the iceberg: as a travel affiliate, you can also promote airport transfers, shuttles, RVs, camper vans, and motorhomes.
Each of which with their own plethora of long tail keywords to target.
Want to learn more? Here's a quick note on how we compiled this list.
How we compiled this list
This list of rental car and transportation affiliate programs was compiled based on scanning roughly 50 top travel blogs for their most popular affiliate programs and merchants.
From there, we sussed out which ones received the highest share of links and did some research to see whether they had all the elements of a high performing program. Those that made the cut are listed below.
The result is a list of the best rental car affiliate programs, entirely based on what highly successful travel bloggers are promoting today.
Rental Car Affiliate Programs
Here are the best rental car affiliate program to try this year:
- RentalCars.com affiliate program
- Discover Cars affiliate program
- Welcome Pickups affiliate program
- Outdoorsy affiliate program
- RVShare affiliate program
- Program name: RentalCars.com Affiliate Program
- Network / Software: RentalCars.comIntegrated in Affilimate, CJ AffiliateIntegrated in Affilimate
- Commission: 40% of RentalCar.com's cut (RentalCars.com), 6% of sales (CJ Affiliate)
- Cookie duration: 0 days (RentalCars.com), 30 days (CJ Affiliate)
- Markets: Global
- Alternatives: Discover Cars at 70% of rental car profit, 30% on Full Coverage insurance revenue (Post Affiliate Pro), 54% of rental car profit, 23% on Full Coverage insurance revenue (ShareASale)
RentalCars.com is a great example of how much of an opportunity transportation is a big opportunity for travel blogger affiliates.
As one of the biggest rental car comparison websites online, RentalCars.com has got great brand recognition and overall does prove to have some solid deals.
If you tend to do road trips or just prefer to socially distance from your fellow travelers, rental car affiliate programs are a great addition to your travel content.
The two main rental car affiliate programs we found in our analysis were RentalCars.com and Discover Cars (also in this guide). Depending on your audience, one or the other might convert better, so it's worth testing each.
Tips for promoting rental cars: Obviously, it works best to promote rental cars for places where you might like to have a car to get around, and parking isn't too terrible. Think road trips, regional trips, and destinations where people are likely to visit multiple towns or cities in a single trip.
The longer the person's trip is, the more commission you earn. So thinking about destinations where people tend to spend a longer amount of time driving around is helpful.
- Program name: Discover Cars Affiliate Program
- Network / Software: Post Affiliate ProIntegrated in Affilimate, ShareASaleIntegrated in Affilimate
- Commission: 70% of rental car profit, 30% on Full Coverage insurance revenue (Post Affiliate Pro), 54% of rental car profit, 23% on Full Coverage insurance revenue (ShareASale)
- Cookie duration: 365 days
- Markets: Global
- Alternatives: RentalCars.com at 40% of RentalCar.com's cut (RentalCars.com), 6% of sales (CJ Affiliate)
Discover Cars is a brand I wasn't familiar with until compiling the data for this article. But then I saw it everywhere.
Their merchant page on ShareASale got my attention:
"We partner with some of the top webmasters in the travel vertical who are earning on average $2,500 USD per month with a traffic of 100K."
This means average commissions vary from $20-$50 per sale, and with a super generous 1-year cookie. With affiliate commissions like that, it's easy to imagine that adding some car rental links to your existing content could be pretty profitable.
You may find it interesting to try out both RentalCars.com and Discover Cars and see which one converts better for your readers.
- Program name: Welcome Pickups Affiliate Program
- Network / Software: Tapfiliate
- Commission: €5.00 per booked airport transfer, 10% of total price on sightseeing rides
- Cookie duration: 45 days
- Markets: Global
Welcome Pickups is a car ride service, which focuses primarily on airport transfers. As such, this is a great option to promote in locations where the airport is not conveniently connected to the city via public transit (as is the case in a lot of airports that budget carriers like RyanAir and easyJet operate out of).
Welcome Pickups operates in 60+ cities around the world, and have a strong presence in cities in Europe. Personally, I booked a Welcome Pickup when I was in Lisbon last Summer and it was a pretty smooth experience.
While the commissions pale in comparison to a full-blown rental car, it's an easy add-on to destinations with less-than-ideal connections between the airport and the city center.
- Program name: Outdoorsy Affiliate Program
- Network / Software: AvantLinkIntegrated in Affilimate, CJ AffiliateIntegrated in Affilimate, Tune (HasOffers)Integrated in Affilimate
- Commission: $60.00 or more per booking
- Cookie duration: 30 days
- Markets: US, CA (AvantLink), US, CA (CJ Affiliate), US, CA (Tune (HasOffers))
- Alternatives: RVShare at 5% for each stay, $7.00 for each new RV listed (CJ Affiliate), 6.4% for each stay, $7.00 for each new RV listed (FlexOffers), or Camping World at 4% commission
Who wants to take bets that RVing, renting camper vans, and hitting the road is going to be the most popular travel activities next Summer?
While hotels are some of the most lucrative affiliate programs for travel bloggers, RVs and camper vans take their place when it comes to destinations popular for their natural beauty.
Think about national parks and places famous for their camping and wildlife.
Apart from the solid commissions at $60+ per booking, Outdoorsy is available in both the US and Canada. So if you're outdoors activities in North America, there's a good chance you'll be covered.
Look no further than the Outdoorsy homepage for a roadmap (ha!) to their most popular places to rent an RV:
The great commissions and cookie period make this an excellent affiliate program for both travel and outdoors-focused websites.
You will need to reach $100 in earnings to trigger a payout from AvantLink, CJ, or Tune (formerly HasOffers). But with these commissions, that shouldn't be an issue.
- Program name: RVShare Affiliate Program
- Network / Software: CJ AffiliateIntegrated in Affilimate, FlexOffersIntegrated in Affilimate
- Commission: 5% for each stay, $7.00 for each new RV listed (CJ Affiliate), 6.4% for each stay, $7.00 for each new RV listed (FlexOffers)
- Cookie duration: 30 days (CJ Affiliate), 45 days (FlexOffers)
- Markets: US
- Alternatives: Outdoorsy at $60.00 or more per booking, or Camping World at 4% commission
RVShare is an RV marketplace where both RV owners and those looking to rent can connect. It includes a range of vehicles from pop-ups to luxury motor homes.
With an average order value of $699, according to the program landing page, that means an average commission of about $34.95. Not bad at all, but not nearly as good as Outdoorsy, assuming a comparable conversion rate.
Still an extremely solid option if you need to promote RV or van rentals in places Outdoorsy doesn't cover. At least, as the homepage claims, it is the largest RV rental marketplace.
Similar to Outdoorsy, popular destinations are plastered right on the homepage:
Take any of these for inspiration on the types of destinations that people tend to visit by RV, and you'll be ahead of the curve.
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