Car Rental Frustration

Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 05:28 PM
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Car Rental Frustration

I'll be needing a car, picking up from and returning to Las Vegas, (driving to CA in the middle) but am finding the prices so much higher than I have had in the past. Lots of taxes, etc, seem to jack the price up. Even for an economy on Hotwire I'm looking at $500 and up for 10 days. I would like my husband and I both to drive, but have been told that it's $11 more a day for another driver. I wonder what would happen if we didn't pay that and the other person was driving. How would they know. And, anyway, our own insurance covers us both. Is this just another way of them trying to get more money out of us? Need some expert help out there to get a better price.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 05:44 PM
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Prices have risen dramatically on rental cars in the last few years -- especially at airports. I often find that the prices and taxes are lower at rental agencies in town. I save money by taking a taxi or shuttle from the airport to the hotel. Then renting the car the next day from a car rental office near the hotel. But reserve your car well in advance to get the type you want. Some hotels will arrange this for you if you ask the concierge.
Also, it's worth it to join AAA. As a member, you will get a 10-15% discount on prices plus your spouse drives free (depending on the car agency). I know Hertz does for sure. Also, if you are associated with a government or corporate job most car agencies will give very good discounts.
Above all, call several agencies and see which gives you the best deal.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 07:55 PM
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Monterybob has good suggestions. Just a FYI, I too have posted the Rental Car sitution has gotten ridculous...

I used Fox to get a better rate and will never use them again in SFO. In Seattle they were fine..but you do have to know they will give you a car that has LOTS of MILEs and DH & I refused our first car as it had all kinds of problems as well as scratches everywhere not documented.

I call the rental agencies directly..not the 800 # but exact office I want to rent from...sometimes they will be lower even thn the web.

You can get dosicunt rates on coupon sites like coupon cabin...

Also I had a Thrifty Agent tell me something new...he said you go over a 4-5 day rental it is considered a 7 day week and they charge you for a 7 day week.
He suggested try to do your trip so that you rent 4-5 days at a time and then turn the car in and get another one for 4-5 days!

LAtely I have been calling back to the rental co I book with just before I p/u and they have lower prices and will allow me the reduced amount.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 08:07 PM
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Just last month I rented in LAS for 12.00 a day + the considerable taxes via Hotwire.
What I would do is try a shorter length of rental, see if that gets a better rate and then call to extend the rental date, That may help.
Delete your cookies between shopping!!!
Let us know what you end up with.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2010, 09:24 PM
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"I wonder what would happen if we didn't pay that and the other person was driving."

Whatever you do -- DON'T pull that trick. Sure - your insurance covers you -- IF you are fulfilling the requirements of your rental contract. But if something happens and there is only one authorized driver--and the other one is driving -- the rental agency won't cover you. Your insurance won't cover you. Basically YOU will cover the damage, which could be the full value of the car plus liability.

But some companies include spouses w/o charging for a 2nd driver so shop around some more.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 05:04 AM
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Wow, lots of good advice here. I have my work cut out for me.

I always have gotten the best price from Hotwire in the past. My most recent rental through them was in St. Louis with Thrifty. They allowed two drivers at no extra charge if they were husband and wife. It was the first time I heard that. I don't know if it was just that franchise in St. Louis.

And yes, the "considerable taxes" is what is driving that price up.

On Orbitz, Fox has the best price in Vegas, but the directions look complicated to get to their office. Anyone else had a bad experience with them? I don't want a beat up car. We will be driving four hours each way through the desert. Another possible problem is that at least one of the companies state you can't take the car out of Nevada and we are going to Palm Springs.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 05:42 AM
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I tried the advice about reducing the booking to one week and have found a great price on a convertible through Payless. I originally saw it on Expedia, but didn't like that I would have to pay for it on the spot and don't know their cancellation policy. So I went directly to the Payless site and they were offering the same price, so I reserved it. I can change or cancel that, so I have time to do more research.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 06:10 AM
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I recently needed to rent a car as well and was experiencing the same frustration that you did. After spending too much time on the internet I called my local AAA office. Got a much better rate, got a coupon for a free upgrade and didn't pay extra so that both my husband and I could drive. We used Hertz. I thought travel agents were dinosaurs but was proven wrong.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 08:33 AM
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Hmmnnn I am wondering too how they can see and find that the other person is driving. Is this the first time that you have tried to rent a car? If you are, the you must be up for the challenge of car rental prices. Be vigilant and read all the rules and restrictions. You won't like to be paying for some hidden charges, right? Use priceline and vroomvroomvroom.com instead.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 09:01 AM
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No, I have rented a vehicle many times. As I said, usually Hotwire works for me. On the advice above, I checked both AAA rates and the vroom site, both were way higher than the same convertible rental I got from Payless for $288. AAA was 175 higher for the week and Vroom was 237 higher for the week.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 09:15 AM
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"Hmmnnn I am wondering too how they can see and find that the other person is driving."

They won't. Unless you have an accident. It may even be not your fault, somebody can hit your rental car.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 09:23 AM
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That's a risk I'd be unwilling to take. But I just noticed on the Payless rental terms it looks like adding a spouse would be no extra charge.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 01:58 PM
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You could try www.carrentalsavers.com
I saw a compact with Alamo for $348 inc. taxes and fees for 10 days including an additional driver. I have seen good reviews for them over in the Vegas forums at Tripadvisor.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 03:08 PM
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Thanks! Tried that site as well and it was still $150 more than I was quoted at Payless for a convertible for one week. So far, Payless has my vote.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 04:29 PM
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Have you signed up for everyone's e-mail specials? I got a great deal this year that way. I just got an entertainment.com book. Two for $10, free shipping. Saved me over $50 on the cheapest rental i could find and a few dollars on a hotel room. It even has coupons for movies. They expire in Nov, but worth a try if you are traveling before then. Get one for home and one for Vegas.
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Old Aug 3rd, 2010, 04:35 PM
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LeoKarlo: You have posted 6 times on Fodors -- and all 6 are to promote vroomvroom (whatever that is) Advertising is not allowed on Fodors.
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Old Aug 5th, 2010, 08:56 AM
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Maggie, I have rented several times from Dollar rent a car. I joined their fast lane club, which means they have your 'card' ready to go when you get there, you don't have to wait in line to get a car. They do not charge for an extra driver unless the driver is under 25 years old. I know they have an outlet in vegas but I agree, the taxes and fees are nuts, it is just another way of extracting money from the visitors. enjoy your trip, ziggypop
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Old Aug 5th, 2010, 10:53 AM
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Thanks for the tip, ziggy. I think I lucked into a great deal on a convertible for $288 total for a week. I checked Dollar and the lowest "deal" they can offer me is $307 total for a compact. I'll figure out what to do about our remaining four days when we get there. I might just opt not use a car on those days.
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Old Aug 5th, 2010, 10:54 AM
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What I meant is I'll stick with the $288 convertible deal with Payless...
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