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Costco car rental explanation of the current high prices

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by skybank, Mar 28, 2021.

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  1. skybank

    skybank Low-Roller

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    Costco has this note posted below to their front page of the car rental site and is their explanation of the current high rental prices.

    "Limited Rental Car Availability - Due to COVID and car manufacturing shortages, rental car availability is extremely limited. If you are not able to find a rental car for your desired travel dates, please either search for new travel dates or select a transfer service instead."

    So I guess that and higher demand is why the prices are so crazy right now.
     
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  2. SprintGravy

    SprintGravy High-Roller

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  3. joespoolhall

    joespoolhall VIP Whale

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    After they drastically cut back their fleets during the great recession, they realized they didn't need five choices per customer! Trimmer fleets mean supplies won't exceed demand very often. Travel in the last year probably diminished replenishment to a higher degree.
    Of course, on the other hand, I could be wrong.
     
  4. pultzar

    pultzar Low-Roller

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    The used car market did exactly the same as the housing market so all rental companies sold big chunks of their fleet. It'll balance at some point but not as long as record sales on the used vehicle market are happening. It is insane what I personally see dealers buying used cars for.
     
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  5. steveks225

    steveks225 High-Roller

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    Regardless, I still keep checking. I booked a rental car for about 3 weeks from now, and I rebooked once when the price dropped $20. It has gone up almost $70 since, but as the time draws near, the price still could drop. However it looks as if the rental car companies' forecasting tools are seemingly inline with the current market, so I'll pay more for my rental car than airfare, at least for this trip.
     
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  6. PaiGow

    PaiGow Low-Roller

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    About three weeks ago I booked an "intermediate sports utility vehicle for May, 15th to the 19th from NU rental (I've never had a single problem with them ever.) and I locked it in at $158. That same rental class from the same NU location on the very same dates is now $406. I feel like I have stolen the car. I just got in before Vegas started to pick up again.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2021
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  7. ngrund

    ngrund High-Roller

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    Yep I made my reservation with Dollar in Feb for Oct, 10 days for just under $550, now price is $950.

    I always reserve as soon as I start thinking about my dates, as I can always update if prices change
     
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  8. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    I went through Costco to book my rental for may. $315 for a 5 day stay. Hope the price goes down.

    BTW, if you have free time you can always split up your rental to 2 separate reservations. For last years December 2020 trip I split my 6 day rental to 3 1/2 day and a 2 1/2 day rental. I booked through two separate agencies and it made a big difference. If I had booked a 6 day rental it would have cost me over $300 but splitting it up I only paid $110. it was easy for me, just return one rental and pick up the other car.

    Word of wisdom, always book a reservation, even though it may be considered expensive. You can always rebook and cancel the old reservation if the prices goes down. That way you won't be messed up if the prices go up instead of down.


    I agree with the other posters. Rental agencies got rid of some of their inventory because they knew business would be bad in 2020 so now they have to restock but are waiting until tourism comes back, hence the low inventory. But that is also why many of the rental agencies are closed during off hours.
     
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  9. Sisyphus

    Sisyphus Low-Roller

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    I booked through Costco at just the right time for my trip last week. I paid $160 for a full size, for 3 days. I checked the week before I left, just to see if I could re-book at a lower price, and was quoted $325. What the Avis guy told me confirms the info in the CNN link above.
     
  10. skybank

    skybank Low-Roller

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    Same here, I booked for a week with costco at $220 and now it varies from $350 to over $500 for the same week!!
     
  11. bruceb

    bruceb Low-Roller

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    It looks as if the rates for May are starting to drop. I just reserved an intermediate class (Hyundai Elantra or similar) for $127 for 3 days. Still more than I am use to paying, but better than the $175-200 that the rates were at. The rental is Budget with Costco discount(s).
     
  12. nostresshere

    nostresshere Mr. Anti Debit Card

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  13. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    On our tv news last night they also mentioned high prices for rentals but this is in Hawaii. Recent checks showed rentals going for $700 a day! Another agency showed the lowest priced rental at $1000 a night.

    Same reasoning as in vegas, during covid they got rid of inventory since it was too expensive to just have them sit somewhere and now that tourism is starting up again they don't have many rentals available.
     
  14. SprintGravy

    SprintGravy High-Roller

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    I don't get why Hawaii did the same thing. It takes years to turnover a fleet because of all the fees and taxes to import a car in the first place. I think every time I've been I've had a 3 year old car.
     
  15. DBear

    DBear VIP Bear

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    With the computer chip shortage, the whole auto industry will have fewer cars to sell this year. That’s going to take a few months at a bare minimum to sort out. Even when production resumes to normal levels, rental fleets will be the manufacturer’s last priority as first priority is to restock dealer inventory for retail sales (more profit on those ones). Try bargaining for a new car these days. They say take it or leave it.

    If you have a second car that you can sell now and get by with one car, now’s the time to sell it. A friend just sold his 12 month old truck for the same price he paid for it a year ago. As long as you’re in no hurry to replace it, this is when you can sell high.
     
  16. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    Because of covid the government completely closed down Hawaii last year. Car rentals went down to basically zero. The State of Hawaii allowed rental agencies to store their rental cars at our football stadium parking lot and other areas for a month but probably were going to charge them for storage so the agencies decided to sell off a lot of their inventory. It was just too expensive to store inventory not knowing when Hawaii would reopen again. Unlike the continental US rental agencies just couldn't move their fleet to another state to store during the shutdown.

    Because of required covid test prior to travelling to Hawaii we still aren't ready to recover. Tourism is still down 75% or so and it looks like a few more months before the state allows tourists to come in without covid tests (even if you are vaccinated). So now the rental agencies have to restock their supply but have to compete with the rest of the US for cars and they have to figure out how much to bring in knowing that Hawaii is still not really open to everyone yet.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2021
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  17. ngrund

    ngrund High-Roller

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    I just hope Hawaii opens up by 2023/2024

    I retire in Nov '23 and that's my planned retirement trip!
     
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  18. ams722

    ams722 Side Bet Shunner

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    Arrived in Vegas today. Got to the rental car center at noon.

    Rented an economy car from Budget via Costco Travel.

    Thank you baby Jesus for Fastbreak!!!!

    The Budget line was extremely long. It was snaking all around the lobby of the rental car center, almost going outside the main entrance doors.

    My name was on the Fastbreak sign and my car had already been assigned. I booked out of there so fast... Even the Fastbreak line down in the garage was long. My car was right in front of the desk, the line of people was right next to my car. Felt bad walking right up to it and driving away while all those people looked miserable waiting.

    I heard someone say Budget was the only place left with any cars available - unless you have a reservation at one of the other places. Do people really just show up to the rental car place without already having made reservations?
     
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  19. steveks225

    steveks225 High-Roller

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    Apparently so. I can just imagine the conversations that went along the lines of, "I thought YOU made the car rental reservations!" When the Chrysler 300 was first held out at the Speedway, even with car rental companies importing cars from So Cal, Arizona and Utah, there was still a shortage of cars. I had strangers wanting to "buy" my reservation, so it's easily plausible for people to travel to LAS without having made rental car reservations.
     
  20. Necrochaos

    Necrochaos VIP Whale

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    Budget and Dollar are always so long. I book with Enterprise and have a quick convo at the desk. Then I'm sent to pickup my car in the lot. I know I could save money using Budget/Dollar, but it's not worth the wait most of the time.
     
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