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Are car rental rates always this crazy?

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by AndyAkeko, Nov 3, 2012.

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  1. AndyAkeko

    AndyAkeko Time magazine's 2006 Person of the Year

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    I usually look a couple times a week to rebook a rental car in case the prices go down, and they usually do at least twice (one time I rebooked six times and went from $212 to $88). But yesterday the price changed three times in about a six hour span at Payless and Advantage. Is this normal, that much change that quickly?

    I hope they do. I'm at $111 for a compact now but looking to get down into double digits.
     
  2. merlin

    merlin VIP Whale

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    I dont know about hourly, but yea, they change all the time, done the rebook thing many times.
     
  3. tomkc1

    tomkc1 Newbie

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    In the past year of so I have found Dollar to be the least expensive, sometimes by many dollars (no pun intended). This is true not just in Las Vegas but in Seattle and FL. If you don't find a reasonable rate one day, try again. The price fluctuates greatly.

    In early December I have a base rate of $86 for a week ($146 with taxes). Couldn't find anything close to that with the other "majors".

    Tom
     
  4. wroberson

    wroberson Tourist

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    Rebooking is the only way to go.

    This year I'm having issues with rental car quotes.

    If I rent a car on the day I arrive for 1 week, The quote is $248.00.
    If I rent a car on the day after I arrive, it's only $168.00.

    How can a $23.00 per day rental go up 80 bucks for 1 extra day?

    My rental car history is I rarely pay more than $130 per week tax and all.

    Needless to say, I have a rental for the day after and will walk to the Rio from the airport.
     
  5. burdog

    burdog Low-Roller

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    It is crazy. The last time I booked 6-7 different times and I checked daily. A word of caution, if you see a great rate on company website book it immediately. I found a ridiculously low rate on a Tahoe (were driving to Phoenix ) and went to check with my wife as she was driving. Came back 5 minutes later, was locked out and when tried to book it had tripled!!! Will never do that again.
     
  6. sammasseur

    sammasseur VIP Whale

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    This is completely normal. I use Southwest's site to list 7 different major carriers at once, and can rebook several times in just one afternoon. My rental for two days, starting tomorrow, has gone from $39 to $184 and is currently at $79. Adding or subtracting just one day can make a huge impact on the grand total as well. On one occasion, I arranged to get the rental on my second day, just because the savings would have been almost $100. It would be worth it to take a shuttle to my hotel and back to the airport the next day in that situation. It's worth it to know the tricks and keep rechecking. This applies to hotels and flights, too. If you fly Southwest, that is. You can always rebook your flights and bank the difference, or have points restored to your account if that's how you paid the first time.
     
  7. Tammy58

    Tammy58 Frugal Slot Jockey

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    Car rental rates are always crazy. They vary by the minute. I am still waiting for my dates to drop. Going mid Dec and they have been sky high...high enough that I haven't bothered booking. Supposedly the slowest week of the year in Vegas, wish someone told Alamo that ;)
     
  8. NandJfrmNJ

    NandJfrmNJ High-Roller

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    We usually book with Alamo but their prices have been ridiculous lately. We just returned from a 10 day trip and had to pay $229, by far the most we have ever paid for a rental and that was through Hertz. I wonder if it has to do with all these mergers that are happening? Going again in Dec. for 10 days and I'm at $253 now. Pretty soon airfare will be cheaper than car rentals!
     
  9. bigdogmom

    bigdogmom VIP Whale

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    I start looking at rental car rates when I book my trip (usually about 3 months out) and check back almost daily. I too do the book/rebook thing and usually find the best rates anywhere from 3-6 weeks out. I now have a 3-day rental for my upcoming trip for $63 total; that's an economy car with Alamo.

    Tammy, you're going around the same dates I am... Dollar has some halfway decent rates right now; punch in your dates and when the rates come up, click "check for city specials". They had a compact for $12.69/day and a midsize for $13.99/day.
     
  10. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    I'll tell you what was CRAZY... all the people in line this past Sunday at the "cut-rate" bargain rental places... all to save a buck! The lines were incredible at Payless and Advantage when I walked thru at 10 a.m.. The kind of lines you see that go back and forth, back and forth. I looked at the counter and there were a couple people helping all of them (they gotta reduce costs somehow). I sure don't want to start my limited time in Vegas that way!!!
     
  11. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    As others mentioned, best to check regularly (sometimes daily or twice a day) and rebook when you find a lower rate.

    I usually check a few rental sites, kayak, costco travel, carrentals.com especially. As with air fares, they fluctuate regularly and are based on the number of rentals for that particular period. They must have some kind of calculation program which determines the rates, raise rates when there are more rentals for your period, drop them if there are less rentals.

    I came back from vegas over 3 weeks ago, but before that I made it a habit in the morning to check the rental sites every day (in addition to hotel rates).

    Before I found good rates from dollar/thrifty and alamo. On this last trip I rented from Budget, they had the lowest rates. Fox, payless and advantage offer lower rates but I will try to rent from the national chains if possible, as others have said, not worth the stress just to save a few bucks.

    I never had much problem with Advantage though, while lines may appear long the wait wasn't as long and stressful as with fox or payless.
     
  12. domeboy

    domeboy VIP Whale

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    I am looking for a rental 1/18 - 1/24/13, and so far the rates are still sky high. Last January I booked for around 80 bucks all in......Right now Dollar is around 235 for a mid size.

    Since this seems to be a trend here is my theory.. When the tourist trade dropped off in 2008, the rental places still had a lot of cars in Vegas. Supply versus demand lowered the prices. Over the last couple years, they have been cutting back on supply. Now that things are getting better in the tourist/convention area the demand is greater than supply and the price has gone up.
     
  13. wroberson

    wroberson Tourist

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    My rate has been unchanged at $243 since I booked the hotel and flight. I've rebooked changing the date to a day after arrival and return a day before departure and it's now sitting at $108.00. I've been looking daily too. Really hope the price breaks before I leave. I'm taking my sister and trying to make it a cheap as possible for her. So far, she's only paid 229 for her flight. I'm picking up the car, the 2 nights hotel and of course the gas for our trip to Zion.

    I also check gas prices daily. Has nothing to do with my Vegas trip, but the fuel cost for an upcoming trip has dropped 293 to 250.
     
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