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Any ideas for getting my CO/UT/WY car rental total down?

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Feb 5th, 2012, 05:11 PM
  #1
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Any ideas for getting my CO/UT/WY car rental total down?

Yikes! I just priced out a 14 day rental beginning in Grand Junction, CO and returning in Jackson Hole, WY and it was almost $2000! As I found by playing around a little bit that the price is so high becuase I'm renting and returning in two different states. I found that if I pick up in Grand Junction and return in Salt Lake City and then rent a different car in Salt Lake and return in Jackson, it takes the total down to about $1400. I'm not sure how else i can bring this down-the total was surprising! Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
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Feb 5th, 2012, 05:56 PM
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I'm not surprised given the distances involved and the relative isolation of the various places. You might see if you can get a better deal on Hotwire by pre-paying. But I don't know if you can really save much on this kind of itinerary because of the drop-off fees.
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Feb 5th, 2012, 06:18 PM
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How are you getting to Frand Junction and how are you leaving Jackson Hole? If cost is an issue and you have the time, it is 4.5 hours from Denver to Grand Junction and 8+ hours according to Google (probably more like 10) from Jackson back to Denver.
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Feb 5th, 2012, 06:18 PM
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Frand = Grand
Michael is online now  
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Feb 5th, 2012, 08:09 PM
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Flying into and out of SLC will save you big bucks. Driving time from SLC to Grand Junction via Price is 5 hours. From Grand Junction via Vernal and Rock Springs to Jackson WY is a bit over 8 hours. From Jackson via Evanston to Salt Lake City is 5 hours. The circle is 1000 miles in 18 hours not counting the side trips.
Renting and returning at the big airport is the most cost effective.
If you really wanted to rent a car in Grand Junction, you could get on the CA Zephyr about 3AM in SLC and ride to Grand Junction. The train goes through a beautiful canyon that you can't see from any highway.
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Feb 5th, 2012, 10:45 PM
  #6
 
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Don't know what your lead time is but when I do this, I start way ahead and just keep checking several times/wk with many websites, then go to the car co's own website for reservation. Often, I have lucked out and gotten the price way down but one way rentals are hit or miss. Also, don't forget to figure in the cost of an additional driver if you have one. Every driver's name needs to be on the contract to be covered by insurance. If you "belong" to the various co's memberships which are free, sometimes additional drivers are free.
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Feb 6th, 2012, 01:39 AM
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Try carrentals.com, retailmenot.com, rentalcarmomma.com by city.

Also if you have Amex Plat card you can rent at many National one car level and upgrade to next level free..
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Feb 6th, 2012, 05:02 AM
  #8
 
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Always save RT DIA or SLC and carrentals.com hotwire.com priceline.com cheapo rental from there. alamo and enterprise
sometimes save not usually though.

Your problem is the one way drop just do a round robin to save thousands.Should save on air too open jaw air never saves. cheapoair.com
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Feb 6th, 2012, 05:08 AM
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On carrentals.com 2 weeks out of DEN Denver International Airport) Advantage from $150 heck of a deal find a business credit card that covers rentals you are set. I did this up to Yellowstone Black Hills Jackson Utah and back about 7 years ago had a great time and saved a tonne.
classic.mapquest.com directions distances.
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Feb 6th, 2012, 07:16 AM
  #10
 
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Look for discount codes on the web.
Book with Thrifty and/or Dollar and see if you get better deals.
Reserve using a card that covers insurance.
Change your flight plans so you can pick-up and return to the same place.

HTTY
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Feb 6th, 2012, 09:59 AM
  #11
 
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I think the real extra cost here is not that of the daily rental but rather the large drop-off fees, so while you can certainly save by ferreting out deals and discounts, you just can't overcome the drop-off fees this way. The idea of beginning and ending your trip in SLC or Denver is probably the most cost-effective. You'd have to reorganize your itinerary, but it's still going to be much cheaper in the long-run if it works for you timing. That probably means you lose at least one full day of vacation, but if it can save you $1000 or more, then it's probably worth it. I'd also the cost of perhaps flying one leg of the trip, perhaps from SLC to Jackson Hole and renting a car there if that makes sense based on the places you want to visit. You could rent a car just for the time you're in Jackson.
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Feb 8th, 2012, 11:29 AM
  #12
 
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Some rental car locations are owned and operated by the big company itself, and others are owned and operated by local franchisees. Costs aren't much different when picking-up and dropping-off at the same locations, no matter which is operating them.

The huge costs arise when you arrange to pick-up a car from one such place, and drop it off at a location run by the opposite.

It is unlikely, for example, that truly staggering costs will be incurred when doing such a rental between, say, San Fran, and San Diego, because the big company typically runs both.

Additionally, while car rental rates tend to fluctuate wildly (though uuuuuuuuuuusually predictably), they won't deviate as much when doing one-way rentals between a franchisee and a (usually-larger) location run by the big company.

(by the way, I don't believe that merely "two different states" affects the prices so wildly for THAT reason)

In the old days, when gas was more affordable, the move would be to get a car in the original spot, and then drive like crazy, for a day or two, and turn it in at (what would be Jackson Hole)... and then begin a BRAND NEW pick-up-and-drop-off-at-same-place rental for two weeks.

At least the spots you're working with are in adjacent states, so you CAN try something like that. If it's vacation, and if by chance you've never been, maybe you can gain something by having cause to take/see two paths to the same place.

Price it at the very least...

Hopefully my explanation up in this post might at least imply other alternatives (such as flying into and out of S.L.C.).

I hope you get it figured out.
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Feb 8th, 2012, 11:45 AM
  #13
 
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NorthwestMale is correct. Sometimes renting a car from those so-called "smaller stations" without dropping off at a different location can cost a lot of money. Be glad they are at least giving you unlimited mileage.

You are going to pay an airport concession fee if you rent at the airport in either Salt Lake or Denver and you could avoid that by renting from an off-airport location or from an operator not located on the airport or even nearby sometimes.

I think you also owe it to yourself to calculate how much more time and gasoline are involved in not using an open jaw itinerary so you'll have a better feel of how much you are really saving. Valuing your own time isn't always easy I realize but it's worth plenty.
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