Adding a day to car rental question

Old Jul 16th, 2012, 11:23 AM
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Adding a day to car rental question

My S.O is leaving Wednesday for Portland, OR. His original plans were to leave Thursday and return Monday. I made his rental car reservation through the hotel's website (hilton.com) for Thursday through Monday. I forgot to add Wednesday when he added an extra day to the start of the trip. Original rental was $208. Enterprise wants another $200 to add one more day to the rental. Hilton can't help me. They say they rent hotel rooms not cars, and the rental was through a third party. Does anyone have a suggestion on how I can add a day to his rental without bankrupting him?
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Old Jul 16th, 2012, 11:28 AM
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Why don't you just cancel the "original" car reservation then check with the various car rental agencies in the area to see who gives you the best price and "rebook" with that company. I venture to guess you'll get a better price even from Enterprise.
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Old Jul 16th, 2012, 11:38 AM
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Depending on what time his flight arrives at PDX he could ride the light rail downtown from right outside baggage claim and pick up the rental car the next day.
Otherwise, if he needs the car on Wednesday, check with Priceline or Hotwire. Renting the car downtown will likely be cheaper than at the airport considering the taxes and "recovery" fees etc.
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Old Jul 16th, 2012, 12:59 PM
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Roams: I already checked one or two car rental websites and the price to rebook the entire stay seems to be in the ballpark of what Enterprise wants to charge for the old reservation plus one day. I am not going to cancel the cheap one until I find something better. He could hardly do worse by just throwing himself on some agent's mercy when he arrives. Could they possibly charge more than $200 for a one day rental??!!
tomfuller: you are definitely correct that off-airport rentals are way cheaper, however this is not in the S.O's playbook. (He's heading for Vancouver, so the lightrail solution won't work, either, but thanks for the suggestions in any case.)
I'll keep hunting...
thanks to you both,
gail
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Old Jul 16th, 2012, 01:13 PM
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Vancouver Washington (across the river) or Vancouver BC?
Did you check the weekly rate? Sometimes they try to charge more for 6 days than a week.
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Old Jul 16th, 2012, 01:31 PM
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I'm not sure I understand. Do you mean that I should plug in dates that are a week apart, then have him return the car early? If so, would they credit him for the unused day?
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Old Jul 16th, 2012, 01:38 PM
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Is it safe to assume the hotel is in Vancouver rather than Portland?

Do not try returning the car a day early unless you specifically clear it with the rental agency. I've heard they can charge a penalty for early return - presumably to prevent people from reserving for a week to get the cheaper rate but then returning it after 5 or 6 days.
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Old Jul 16th, 2012, 02:03 PM
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In May I rented a car from Cleveland airport for 12 days. I paid for 2 weeks since it was cheaper than 12 days. The day before I was to turn it in at 7PM I called and asked to turn it in about 9PM. No problem. I could have turned it in any time up to 9AM the next morning at the same price.
Why not just rent the car at the airport after he gets off the plane? On a Wednesday the cars are not all rented out.
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Old Jul 16th, 2012, 02:25 PM
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Renting cars at last minute can be an expensive proposition.

Just how much would it cost him to get around (by taxi, at the very worst) for one day, before keeping and using the original rental?

Have you informed us just where he is picking-up the vehicle?


And is his hotel reservation all one thing, with the same hotel, but with a night added to the beginning?

At the very worst, he could rent a car for ONE day, from (the airport???? - where IS he scheduled to pick-up your reservation?)... and then return there to pick-up his original rental.

Vancouver, Washington simply isn't that far away from the airport for this to be a true 'problem', unless you've left out a whole lot (more).

IF he is staying at the Vancouver Hilton, that's a neat little area and having a car isn't exactly a necessity (though do watch out for people throwing ACID on themselves nearby).
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Old Jul 16th, 2012, 02:29 PM
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Cancel the Enterprise reservation and book from Thrifty or Dollar.

HTTY
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Old Jul 17th, 2012, 10:45 AM
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to answer the above questions:
he's flying to Portland to visit 2 (adult) sons, one in Vancouver WA and the other in Portland; he needs a car to go between the 2 and for daytrips each day with them. He stays in the Hilton Garden Inn in Vancouver each time he goes out there (a few times a year) because he loves the location, the people at the hotel, and the bed.
I was thinking about getting him a one day rental but (1) then he'd have to drive back to the airport and (2) it doesn't appear to be much of a bargain. I don't know how far it is from the hotel to PDX but I've heard often about Portland traffic and traffic across the bridge, etc., and was trying to avoid having him have to go there. If you say it's close and I can find a cheapo one-day rental, that would seem to be an answer. I've discussed this with him and he's all for trusting his luck and persuasive powers with a rental agent. I'm more of a pessimist and like to know ahead of time if I'm going to incur some kind of outrageous charge that will make my blood boil. You know, the old "Men Are From Mars and Women are From Venus" thing...
I don't think I've "left out a whole lot more" -- but I appreciate the usual Fodors gang willingness to jump on a problem and offer suggestions. Thanks a bunch, guys!
gail
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Old Jul 17th, 2012, 10:55 AM
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Look on Hotwire for the entire package days he needs. Cancel the other reservation. Don't tarry--it will only get more expensive. If it is tomorrow, you need to get on with it. And yes, walk up will be more expensive.
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Old Jul 17th, 2012, 11:14 AM
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The returning early example almost 100% sure won't work here. Tom's rental was for over 7 days (discounted) in the first place and his early return was still over the 7 day minimum. If Tom had turned it in after less than a week -- you can be pretty sure they would have nailed him for extra $$

Your SO's rental isn't long enough to get a weekly discount - but some agencies count Thurs through Monday as 'weekends' for reduced rates. That is probably where the problem is. The original rental was quoted as a weekend but if it had included Wed in the first place, it would have been much more expensive.

Hotwire . . . or maybe Enterprise might work out. But otherwise you may be stuck w/ the extra cost.
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Old Jul 17th, 2012, 11:16 AM
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Thurs through Mon is "weekend rates" which are cheapest. By adding Wednesday, you are throwing him into a "weekly" rate or a "daily standard rate". So it's not really that they're charging you $200 for an "extra day", it's that you are now in a whole new rate category.

You might keep the thurs to Mon reservation, and see what just a one-day Wednesday rental would cost. It should save probably $100 at least? When he shows up, if he tells the agent he has back-to-back reservations, the agent might do some magic and allow him to just keep the car all the way through without returning after one day and switching cars. If not, he'd have to be willing to return the car after one day and switch out in order to save $125 or whatever it ends up coming to.
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Old Jul 17th, 2012, 11:30 AM
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yes, he's leaving tomorrow.
Thanks for the explanation of the reasoning behind the huge increase in cost (although it doesn't make me feel much better for forgetting to add a day to the rental when he added a day to his stay...)
He's still thinking that he will try to talk the agent into a one-day addition at the same rate. Plan B is take a taxi to hotel. It also occurred to me that I should call the Hilton and find out if they have a shuttle. If so, he could cab to hotel Wednesday and maybe get the shuttle back to pick up the car (he's trying to avoid inconveniencing his sons).
I appreciate the suggestions. Thanks,
gail
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Old Jul 17th, 2012, 11:38 AM
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Update: the hotel doesn't have its own shuttle but there is a "Blue Star Shuttle" that leaves the airport every half hour, no prior arrangement necessary, $16, pay the driver (and might stop at other hotels if there are passengers who wish to do so). There is apparently a "Washington only" shuttle.
If he wanted to take it back to the airport on Thursday, he can arrange a pickup.
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Old Jul 17th, 2012, 12:15 PM
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C'mon, when driving from the Hilton Garden Inn in Vancouver, WA, to PDX, you don't even take "THE" bridge... you go east and take the wide-open I-205 path, and you certainly don't do so during the morning commute.

Oh, and it is 12 miles each way from central Vancouver, WA to PDX... mostly highway/freeway.

At any rate, MAKE him a one-day reservation at whatever random airport company you can find, spanning Weds-to-Thurs, SO he has something in stone onto which he can fall back, in the event he strikes-out with pleading to the agent.

Perhaps Expedia.com or the like would unearth the least expensive company for this purpose.

(scratches head) I've stayed at that very hotel a few times, and never noticed any references to a shuttle.
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Old Jul 17th, 2012, 01:03 PM
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Enterprise is not the easiest company to deal with when trying to negotiate at the counter. I agree, just make a one day reservation with Thrifty or whoever, just to have something to fall back on when the Enterprise agent doesn't co-operate. Couldn't be easier to do, you are under no obligation to keep the one-day reservation, etc.
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Old Jul 17th, 2012, 01:45 PM
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okay okay, I'll listen to you! I'll make him a one-day reservation when I get home from work today. (I did already make a 5/6 day reservation with a company I never heard of, Advantage, that allegedly has a counter in the terminal and shuttle to their cars. So he does have a fall-back position.)
As far as the shuttle is concerned, I called the hotel and spoke to someone at the hotel front desk, who told me about the shuttle. Since it isn't connected to the hotel, I'm not surprised there isn't any advertising for it there.
gw
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Old Jul 17th, 2012, 01:52 PM
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and as a postscript, yesterday I did run the dates through Hotwire (in the $400s) and Priceline (which is where I found the Advantage car rental for about $280 for the entire period). He prefers to not have to use a shuttle to get and return the car, but at least it's signficantly less $ than Enterprise.
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