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Out of control rental car pricing WTF is happening?

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by DrLect, Apr 9, 2016.

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  1. DrLect

    DrLect Low-Roller

    Jul 1, 2013
    The North Coast
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Preparing for our annual September trip -- secured airline reservations first. We have plenty of room offers for off strip rooms, just have to arrange them at the proper time. We prefer South Point, Suncoast, Orleans, and Sam's Town, in that order. (We have some negotiating to do.) I reserved a full-size SUV about a month ago through Budget for $502 -- two weeks + 4 hours, Sat 9/10 through Sun 9/25. I just checked again and the same rental is over $1000.

    How can the price double in this short period of time?

    I checked with rental companies directly, using available discount codes, and could not do much better than $450 for a compact car.

    Is anyone aware of any reason this might be happening? I expected the price to go down, not up.

    We have been going for the same September weeks for the last four years. We have never encountered this type of pricing.

    Any thoughts?
    "Let's squeeze a trip to LV in this lull in our schedule." -Yes, dear!
  2. calcuttaman

    calcuttaman Tourist

    Dec 24, 2015
    Supply and demand.

    The best part about car rentals is you can make and cancel reservations without being penalized.

    Best practice (For me) has been to check a site that checks all the sites: http://kayak.com or http://www.bookingbuddy.com and there are others. Once I find the best prices I go to the individual company's website and reserve my car. I typically make 3 reservations and I do this right after I've bought my airline ticket.

    Then you keep checking websites. Last year my initial reservations were for around $360 for 13 days. 2 weeks before, the price went down to $245 and 1 week before the price went down to $213. It really is supply and demand.
  3. siwst852

    siwst852 Low-Roller

    Aug 10, 2007
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Life is Beautiful 9/23-9/25 prices escalate. I would keep checking it is early. You might also look at booking for just a week and then re-booking for the next week, for some reason that can be cheaper. Prices have been going higher for cars each year in LV. My last trip I used Lyft with no rental car.
  4. zlanga

    zlanga Low-Roller

    Jul 30, 2007
    Bergheim, TX
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Yep, "life is beautiful" makes life miserable for frugal travellers in Vegas. But, it's only one of many such events that have the same effect... Keep checking like Calcutta said, they often drop unexpectedly and u just have to be ready when they do. Good luck!
    USBC Open
  5. 44inarow

    44inarow VIP Whale

    Sep 8, 2012
    New York, NY
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    That's also in the middle of Mexican Independence Day weekend, which I can tell you from personal experience rivals Lunar New Year for out-of-town visitors. And that's not even looking at other events on the calendar.

    Also, others, including you, might have a better sense of this than I do (I don't drive and almost never rent cars everywhere, though sometimes my girlfriend and I wind up doing it out of necessity for other trips), but $500 for two weeks in a full-size SUV sounds insanely low.

    THE FLYING V Low-Roller

    Mar 16, 2004
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    We've used Costco online for their car rentals and have had great deals. Ended up getting a Ford Expedition SUV for $430 for a week, when all other sites were a MINIMUM of $950 for a ski trip in Montana, and a standard car rental for a week in Tampa was $414, instead of $650 on other sites...might be worth a look see.
  7. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

    Jan 9, 2010
    Chicago South Suburbs
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    It is early so you may see some improvement over time. Booking early does help capture a cheaper rate but there can be such a thing as too early. There are more and more special events offstrip and they do trigger car rental rates to rise. Needing a vehicle for a week or more also doesn't help. Are you willing to break the rental into smaller segments if that will help you get a better rate?
  8. letsgotovegas

    letsgotovegas Low-Roller

    Mar 22, 2006
    You might also try pricing it out as 2 separate one week rentals instead of 1 two week rental, if you are willing to do a return and pick up in the middle of your vacation. Sometimes this helps with the pricing. The extra 4 hours are probably not helping you much either.

    We also find Costco to be the cheapest alternative, if you have a Costco membership.

    As others have suggested - book and rebook as prices go (hopefully) down. I check every day, sometimes several times a day at different times.

    Good luck!

  9. hoklun

    hoklun Newbie

    Dec 17, 2015
    With the Costco rate on Avis' website, or even just Costco's. I found it cheaper to do a pick-up from a local Avis and drop off at LAS.

    You avoid the facility fees and etc... also rates seem to not fluctuate as much. Also they don't charge extra for the inner-city different location drop-off.

    Often its cheaper to uber/lyft,taxi to the local Avis, then drive back with rental.
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