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Rental Car Booking

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by Firehawk, Mar 29, 2013.

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  1. Firehawk

    Firehawk Tourist

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    For those of you who do rentals, how far out do you book from your trip? Do you book right away or do you wait till closer arrival? Also since this will be my first time renting basically, can you get lower rates the longer you wait?
     
  2. Italladdsup

    Italladdsup Tourist

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    I just keep checking and book as soon as I see a good deal. Since they do not charge your credit card up front it is easy to cancel and rebook if you find a better deal. I always seem to find the good deals late at night.
     
  3. Username

    Username VIP Whale

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    Book a car NOW....then just keep checking rates a couple times a week and rebook for lower rates....if you wait until the last minute you will feel like you're buying the car, not just renting it.....:)
     
  4. Kcitsme

    Kcitsme Low-Roller

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    I booked my 7 day rental in January for a trip at the end of April. It was not a good price but it was a starting point. While I held this reservation I watched the prices rise to more than double. I have been waiting and waiting for them to drop. Finally they are dropping. I have booked and rebooked several times. Right now they are down $40 from where I began and I am hoping that they will drop even more in April. I will keep checking until the day I leave. Think of it as a game, a game you can win if you have persistence and endurance.
     
  5. 21wins

    21wins VIP Whale

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    Usually starting 4-6 weeks out from your trip you should start to see prices drop.

    As everyone has stated book something now that you can cancel and then start watching prices.

    I once booked and rebooked 18 times for a trip to Vegas. Prices do fluctuate.
     
  6. tatterdema

    tatterdema VIP Whale

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    I book my trip around when I can find a hotel, AND a rental car at a reasonable rate (4 days under $100). I book everything at the same time. Then I keep watching it. For my trip at the end of the month it dropped down to $55 for a full size-4days, and now is back up to over $100.
     
  7. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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    Book it NOW - if you wait it could go up. If it goes down, you can always get the lower rate.
     
  8. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

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    It's a lot like airfares, with a couple of differences:

    Once you get inside 14 days, it's usually really hard to get a good airfare, but a lot of times, you can get good rental rates at the last minute.

    Car rental companies tend to do sales that are good for rentals the following month, whereas airlines will put on sales for a few days that are good for a longer (or shorter) window of time, further out in advance.

    At any given time, car rental companies usually have several "specials" going.

    Ultimately, like airfares, the way to make sure you get the best rate is to check every day and see what patterns develop over time. And like hotels, car reservations are usually cancellable, so you can always book now and rebook if prices go down, but you have to commit to keep looking.
     
  9. saintpauljeff

    saintpauljeff VIP Whale

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    I book a reservation early and then use Priceline as the trip is about a week out; if Priceline/Hotwire works I just cancel the original reservation
     
  10. Rush

    Rush High-Roller

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    Play with the time of day you pick and drop, too.

    I see that if you use the static noon-noon times, they can be a couple hundred bucks higher than by just shifting the pick up time and drop time a couple hours one way or the other!

    The people at the kiosk don't give a damn if you have 3pm on your reservation, and pick the car up at noon!
     
  11. Buddha

    Buddha VIP Whale

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    I usually have my best luck about 6 or 7 weeks ahead of our trips, but I tend to check every Tuesday, Wednesday, and on weekends, for the best price drops. We use Alamo, and have never paid more that $155 all-in, for a full week rental.
     
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