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Rental cars

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by bananaman, Jul 22, 2013.

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  1. bananaman

    bananaman Tourist

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    I had read to keep checking the prices of rental cars because they change daily. Well I did so and the closer I got to my vacation the more expensive the cars got. I paid about 50$ more because I waited to long. It is still two weeks till I get to vegas but I locked in last night. If I waited any longer it would have gotten even more expensive. So do your self a favor if you are going to rent a car, rent early. Ought to be against the law to raise prices because the time is getting closer.
     
  2. saintpauljeff

    saintpauljeff VIP Whale

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    You try Priceline? I usually "lock" in some sort of cancelable rate and then try Priceline/Hotwire to beat it... most of the time I do unless the supply is extremely squeezed by high rentals
     
  3. bananaman

    bananaman Tourist

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    NO but I will

    I have not tried Priceline but I will. Thanks
     
  4. mjamesp

    mjamesp High-Roller

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    Lock in as soon as you know your dates (never wait) or sooner if you have a pretty good idea. This way you are protected from price increases. Then watch for lower rates and modify the current reservation or cancel and rebook.

    The process with Dollar really can't be any easier. I use Orbitz and the price grid they provide on-line to compare my reserved price at Dollar with the current price and all of the other rental companies current price.

    How nice would it be if we could do this with airfare.
     
  5. bardolator

    bardolator Lifelong Low Roller

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    It appears that you got good advice but didn't follow it well. Lock in a price as soon as you know the dates. Use the rental agency's website, NOT A THIRD PARTY. Then you can cancel and rebook if prices go down. It does not work to just wait and hope, as you learned. The only third party I have found that gets you good car prices early without a bundle is Hotwire, and Hotwire is not competitive in Las Vegas.

    You can do the same thing when reserving hotel rooms unless you are taking advantage of a deal that requires you to pay up front. I am VERY reluctant to pay up front for anything in Las Vegas except prime seats to a show we really want to see.
     
  6. goldil

    goldil Tourist

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    This is what we do. I plug our pickup/drop-off times into Expedia to compare rates, bookmark it at home and at work, constantly check for lower prices, then reserve directly with the lowest-priced company (that's located at the car rental facility). For our upcoming Aug 11-15 trip I started out at around $140 for an economy car and now I'm at $73. I've canceled/re-reserved at least four times with as many different companies. If I were to just blindly reserve that same car through Hertz today without doing any shopping, it would be $334.
     
  7. TequilaCat

    TequilaCat Tourist

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    The closest to a trip I would wait to book would be about 6 weeks out. Ideally you should book a refundable rate as soon as you see something you are willing to pay, THEN after you have locked something in, keep checking rates and if they go down, then modify or cancel and rebook your reservation. That way, you have something booked that is ok (my standard for Vegas is starting out under $25 a day ALL IN for a mid size car, and my goal is to have it under $20 a day ALL IN for a mid size car).

    Car rental rates are REALLY flukey (is that even a word? doubt it). They can change in a blink of an eye, for just an hour or so, then they change again. We lucked into a great rate for our August trip $189 ALL IN for 10 days midsize through Alamo. I booked that on May 30th. I haven't seen a rate that low since. I was lucky.

    At this late stage, I would check for last minute deals with the companies, as well as priceline and Hotwire (if you are SURE you are going, many priceline and hotwire rates are non-refundable). And keep checking, sometimes rates will go down the day before or the day of travel, if the companies haven't rented as many cars as expected. On our last Vegas trip, I got a cheaper rate the day before we flew out - it does happen.

    GL, I hope you can find a rate you are happy with before your trip :)
     
  8. lotso-bear

    lotso-bear VIP Whale

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    If only hotels and airlines had to follow this law :evillaugh
     
  9. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    Not sure if there is a sticky on rent a cars that also give suggestions when renting but as a habit I would always have a car booked after I make my airline reservation. That way if prices go up I have a set booking. If rates go down I would rebook and cancel the prior reservation (making sure I have the new booking prior to cancelling).

    as others mentioned, rental rates can fluctuate regularly so best to keep checking and rebook if you find a lower rate but at least have a guaranteed booking so you don't end up paying more than you should have.
     
  10. Rush

    Rush High-Roller

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    I don't know the particulars, but two weeks from now, you can get a midsize from Dollar for $117 for 4 days.
     
  11. zamboni

    zamboni VIP Whale

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    Yep they change day to day, best thing to do is just book and check back often
     
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