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Rebooked trip but car prices are outrageous!!

Rebooked trip but car prices are outrageous!!

Old Jul 14th, 2021, 09:22 AM
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Rebooked trip but car prices are outrageous!!

I just rebooked most of our trip to Portugal that was cancelled last year.. We are now hoping to go in April, 2022 to enjoy some of the Easter festivities. The car prices are stunning.....about $1000 more for same amount of time (5 weeks) , smaller car! Does anyone have any suggestions for reputable car agencies? We'll be picking car up in Lisbon and dropping in Porto, manual drive is fine, and economy/compact is also fine. Europcar says it doesn't have any for our itinerary, Sixt has a lot of bad reviews, Amoita isn't clear on WHAT car picking up where?? so I'm hesitant to use them, (unless I hear otherwise from a poster) The booking last year was with AutoEurope whom I have used for years with great success. This year their prices were way high. But maybe that's what we need to pay??? Any ideas or thoughts??
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Old Jul 14th, 2021, 09:24 AM
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It's far too early to book a rental car for next April, check back in a couple of months and the prices will be different, hopefully much lower.

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Old Jul 14th, 2021, 09:57 AM
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Besides it being far too early, suggesting other agencies likely won't help at all. It is a world-wide issue - have you looked at current rental rates in the States - especially in popular areas. In some places (like Hawaii and Alaska) the only rental vehicles available are U-Haul trucks. . Most rental agencies sold off a large % of their fleets over the last 18 months just for cash flow to keep afloat. Now with fewer cars and tourism starting to rebound rates are sky high.

Wait until this winter and search again to see if the situation has improved.
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Old Jul 14th, 2021, 11:45 AM
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Ok, guess this next year will be different!! I booked our 2020 Portugal trip rental car for April, 2020 in June, 2019 and I do know that USUALLY it is far better as far as price and availability to book way ahead. We are going to Hawaii in October and I had no trouble booking a car a few months ago for a reasonable price, but if I tried to book it now, the price would be much much higher, but cars are available, at least on Kauai and Big Island!! I'll wait a month or so for Portugal car then and see how it goes!! Thanks for your input!
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Old Jul 14th, 2021, 01:17 PM
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If is for 5 weeks, are you looking under regular rental car or are you looking under short term leasing? Both AutoEurope and Kemwel offer lease for such a longer timeframe and at various major European locations. Lease is usually much less.
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Old Jul 14th, 2021, 09:32 PM
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Maybe book a flexible rate now, and cancel that when you find something cheaper?
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Old Jul 15th, 2021, 07:42 AM
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I've had two good experiences with Sixt, so I would take bad reviews with a grain of salt. I have not seen any indication of a systemic problem.
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Old Jul 15th, 2021, 08:13 AM
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I just booked a rental car through AutoEurope for a week in Italy for September, at twice the price I booked one for the same trip for April 2020 that of course didn't happen. I checked back a few days later to see if rates had gone down, and no, they had gone up by about 70% from the already high price I booked at. It's crazy out there right now.
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Old Jul 15th, 2021, 08:28 AM
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Rental car pricing seems dynamic. I had that issue in the US over the 4th July holiday. I had booked something for about $400. It was high but what else are you going to do. I kept checking and on the day of my rental rebooked exactly the same thing at exactly the same company and airport for about $125.
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Old Jul 15th, 2021, 10:22 AM
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Laurie Ann.....yes, I've used AutoEurope/Kemwel for many years and we've leased from them before, This trip we are in Portugal for 5 weeks, but only want the car for 3 of those weeks. Don't want car in Lisbon, Sintra, or Porto. So lease is not an option. I'll keep checking. If rates don't decrease, I guess we'll just be stuck with higher costs!! So difficult to predicate where this is all going. As said, rates are one price, one day, higher or lower, the next. BUT we will still keep on traveling!!!!!
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Old Jul 15th, 2021, 09:22 PM
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We dropped off our Audi rental car to Sixt in Bilbao last week for a 10 day rental and had a excellent experience. Usually rent through AE but checked out Sixt through a TAP offer and it was much cheaper. Got upgraded to a Audi A4 diesel wagon for free. Was offered a Mercedes S class but opted for the Audi as we both drive Audi and I was not sure my credit card would fully cover the S class for insurance.
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Old Jul 16th, 2021, 06:32 AM
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Thanks for all the input! I will recheck on Sixt and keep an eye on AE and see how that looks as time goes on. Probably will wait to rebook car for now, though. Also found it interesting that 2 of the hotels that I had booked in June, 2019 for our April, 2020 cancelled trip do not have their 2022 April rates loaded yet. Wonder if some Portugal tourism businesses are waiting for further covid developments??
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Old Jul 20th, 2021, 09:20 AM
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Not sure if this helps or not, but in 2019, we used Hertz for our rental in Portugal. We picked up our car at the Lisbon airport and returned it to the Porto airport. In hindsight, we probably could have picked up/dropped off in city locations but I was afraid we would have trouble locating them.

We had a wonderful experience with Hertz. I am a Gold Plus Rewards member (free to sign up for) and boy was I glad that we had that service. It allowed us to bypass all the lines at the Lisbon airport (they were super, super long) and go immediately to the garage where we had a private check-in desk and our car was brought right out (free upgrade as well). I just randomly punched in dates for April 2022 using those locations at hertz.com and with full super insurance coverage and unlimited miles, I was able to find a compact, manual vehicle for approximately 600 Euros per week or 1800 Euros for 3 weeks. (You don't need to take the insurance if you have a credit card that will cover you).

I'm not sure what price you are looking for but I can say that the Hertz rate was quite competitive in 2019 and you can book and cancel for no fee. Might be worth it to make a booking now to protect yourself and then keep an eye on the rates. I am constantly checking right up until the week of departure to see if I have the best rate or not.
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Old Jul 21st, 2021, 07:21 AM
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Thank you for information, Susan. Yes, I checked with Hertz and the price of $1800 is close to what I saw. (The same car for same time was $1000 for 2020!!) We are Gold Plus Rewards members and do use Hertz sometimes when renting in the States. For Europe I prefer to use Auto Europe since they help with any issues with car companies internationally and generally have far better rates. We do ALWAYS, ALWAYS take the full insurance though, even though our credit card states it will cover damages. I was a travel agent for 28 years......had many clients who insisted their credit card covered any incidents with rental car, only to find out that it was a huge hassle with all charges going on card until straightened out. One client had charges of $28,000 (for relatively minor damage) put on their card and it took them many months and a lot of back and forth to get it reversed, partially. SO we find it easier/safer, albeit more expensive, to go with rental car insurance!! I'll keep checking rates and think I will do a booking, with perhaps Hertz, for our time and then watch for a decline in prices!!!
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Old Jul 21st, 2021, 08:25 AM
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Dodi66 --

We do the same thing. I have great coverage on my credit card, but have heard horror stories from family members and others regarding trying to get charges reversed or covered in Europe, so we too take the Super Coverage and honestly, it's so much more relaxing to not worry when traveling in a foreign country. We actually had a ding in the car in Portugal that we didn't even notice until the hotel in Coimbra pointed it out to us before parking the car in their underground garage-- it looked like someone opened their car door into our door and had obviously happened within the last 24 hours. It was so nice to know that three days later when we returned the car to Porto there was nothing to worry about. Hertz didn't blink and our return was seamless.

Good luck -- I hope the prices go down, but I keep reading that Europe is going to have the same issues that we are having in the States with rental cars and everyone is recommending booking now for next year so I think you're smart to do it now. By the way, driving in Portugal was very easy -- roads well maintained and well marked.

Susan
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Old Jul 23rd, 2021, 07:03 AM
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Thank you, Susan! Yes, I did book a car with Hertz through Auto Europe yesterday. Auto Europe was a bit less expensive than directly with Hertz. BUT I booked the Basic without the Super Coverage! That would have actually DOUBLED the price of the car to $2300 for 3 weeks! I checked with our Capitol One Venture card and the Visa Card Benefits and also with Hertz. I'm a bit uncomfortable with not getting the Super Coverage and fingers crossed that all will go well with our car rental!! DOUBLE price, REALLY???? So what I was told was.....Hertz says they will NEVER charge more than 2100 euro on a credit card for damages and both the Capital One representative and the Visa Card Benefits said IF a claim needs to be made, it is 'settled' within the month after submitting it. Hopefully we won't have a horror story to report when we return!!! And I will keep a close eye on car rentals prior to our departure next April for any changes. I'd love to hear of your trip to Portugal and your impressions and any thoughts you'd like to share if you want to PM me.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2021, 08:04 AM
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"Hertz says they will NEVER charge more than 2100 euro on a credit card for damages"

Hertz Corporate may or may not have the final say. AFAIK in Europe, all Hertz locations are franchises. Sure, they have operation agreements with the company but IME local locations do tend to march to different drummers. (This isn't limited to Hertz -- most of the major chains have the same business model)

Not to scare you - but just understand you'll be dealing with the local guys. Using Autoeurope which helps, and if something goes pear shaped AE/Hertz/Cap One will probably have your back and fix things. But it could be messy initially.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2021, 09:04 AM
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I belong to AAA in the states and you get a discount on Hertz rentals, even in Europe. I always get quotes using that discount that are less than Autoeurope and they refuse to match it because it's a program discount. Now that was only in France, so maybe AE has cheaper rates for Hertz in Portugal, In fact, last time I did this (probably 3 yrs ago by now), AE didn't have any cheaper rates in France than you could get on the particular company's own website, whcih was a change. And they have more stringent cancellation fees/periods. Hertz had zero, you could cancel up until pickup but I thienk AE requres 2-3 days notice if I recall.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2021, 09:17 AM
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oh, by the way, I have a Capital One Mastercard and they just cancelled all travel benefits and car insurance coverage last month, I think. I have read a of companies are doing that for their more basic cards. The one I had did not have a fee, and it wasn't a Venture card, either, though. When I rent a car in Europe I use my AMEX (a free one, Blue Cash or something) as you can enroll in a program that gives your primary car insurance coverage on rentals for only $25 per rental. Much cheaper than gett5ing it through the rental company and I trust that more than the secondary coverage on regular cards (which I do think I still have on my SWA Visa).

I know the Venture card is just a Visa and has an annual fee, so I think it's ok but I think companies are reducing that car rental waiver on their free cards. At least Cap One is. They also cancelled the purchase warranty protection, which I never used anyway.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2021, 10:35 AM
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I also find that in Europe, if using Hertz, it's better if I remove any company discount code and instead use my AAA discount. It's always better. However, I just rented a car for our trip to France in 2022 and found that Europcar had the best rates -- so I suspect it is country specific.

But, to address the issue of the credit card rental car coverage. I have both the Chase Sapphire Reserve as well as a couple Capital One cards, including the Venture. I believe that Chase's coverage is much more extensive, but honestly, I have to agree with janisj. Hertz in Europe is all franchises so every location is different which is why you see reviews all over the place. Every time I've heard of someone having an issue when using their CC for rental insurance, they ultimately do get reimbursed (unless the issue was caused by their negligence), but it takes months and many, many emails, calls, etc. And in some cases, the rental company just automatically deducts whatever they believe is the cost to repair the damage and you wait months to get reimbursed.

We had a minor issue in Puerto Rico a few years ago with the Hertz at the airport. They told us the car had a toll transponder and we were traveling from the airport to the West Coast of Puerto Rico -- first toll booth we went through -- lights and alarms went off and we pulled over and were told that we didn't have a transponder and needed to pay cash. Turns out we did have a toll transponder and ended up getting charged twice every time we went through a toll booth. When I realized what had happened after we returned, I tried to get the charges reversed and basically Hertz here at their US Customer Service said there was nothing they could do since it was a "franchise" outlet and if I did a chargeback through my credit card, I could potentially be placed on the "do not rent" list with Hertz. I ended up dropping the issue as it wasn't worth the time or trouble and chalked it up to lesson learned -- but I would be very wary about believing that Hertz won't put more than 2100 Euros on your card. Just my two cents.
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