Car Rental Quotes??? Pls help a dumb aussie

Old Mar 14th, 2006, 05:00 AM
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Car Rental Quotes??? Pls help a dumb aussie

Trying to assess what it would actually cost for a car rental in the usa...confused by base rates/other charges/cdw etc...

trying to compare the actual cost of..

abq to abq for 8 days in april


phx to abq for 8 days in april.

Can someone attempt to explain in words of two syllables or less??
orbitz rates versus company base rates..blah blah blah
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Old Mar 14th, 2006, 05:20 AM
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If you go to Expedia or Orbitz they will give you a nice list or chart that lists price and then something called "total price" - that usually includes tax and and silly other charges.

What adds greatly to cost of rental is "optional" insurance. For a US person renting car in US, insurance (collision - that is you smash up the car; liability - you do damage to something else or someone else with the car; and something called loss of use - covers lost rental revenue for time car is out of service if one of above happens) - is usually covered on their own personal insurance (car insurance, homeowners insurance, or coverage under the credit card)

It is my understanding that non-US renters in US often must pay for this added "optional" insurance - and it can amount to $10-20 per day. Some car renters traveling to US from England have reported here that these charges were automatically added to their bill. These charges are not likely to appear in the nice chart you can get on-line, but if you go to individual car rental company websites, they should list them and even tell you in the fine print if you are required to pay them.

The only other common charge I can think of would be a "drop off charge" - that would be applied in your second case of renting in one city and returning to another.

When I rent a car, I usually go to something like expedia or orbitz, price cars, and then recheck price on the car rental company's website. I usually find little difference in price.

Sorry if this is not really clear either - the rental companies make it confusing on purpose so they can sell you all sorts of "optional" stuff when you pick up car. They also try to scare you into buying this stuff when you pick up car - but in your case you may have to buy the insurance - I would check with you home insurance company and the rental car website.

Hopefully this will be the most confusing part of your trip - after you figure this out, everything else is simple!
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Old Mar 14th, 2006, 05:32 AM
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Thanks very much for that Gail...

I have been "surprised" before with CDW charges on arrival at a desk in the usa.

However I have checked orbitz and it shows a significant difference in total charges betwwen a phx to abq hire and an abq-abq hire. I assumed this represents a drop off charge.

However on several company sites it shows little difference in internet quotes between the two options.I guess I am correct in assuming that the quoted charges on company sites are a little devious and operating on the premise that there is one born every minute.

I think i will go for some extra driving and take the abq-abq option for our south west loop.
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Old Mar 14th, 2006, 05:43 AM
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I should probably look this up before saying this, but I want to say that Australia's auto club has a reciprocol (SP?) agreement with AAA in the US. If that's true, and you are a member, you might also want to either book through AAA or use that when calling directly to the car rental. I have found that I have literally been able to cut costs for my car rentals for a week or more to half of the original quote. You have to work for it though, it doesn't tend to be advertised.
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Old Mar 14th, 2006, 05:49 AM
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I have also found that renting a car in Phoenix is VERY expensive. I was going to rent a car in Phoenix instead of Las Vegas & it was twice the price (800 vs. 1600)!!!!
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Old Mar 14th, 2006, 06:52 AM
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Don't know if this will help, but when my family from the UK were coming to visit (US) I scoured the net for best prices. I found that insurance was the "killer" (much as it often is for us in reverse). I found some cos. that used 3rd party insurers or had contracts with some of the top cos. was one. Don't know if they service abq or phx but worth a look.

In the end, my family used

and got a great price that was all inclusive (included ALL insurance and tax on the original quote.) They needed a "people mover" (minivan) so don't know if same savings are good for regular sedans.

You might also check
which lists discount codes from various sources. While this doesn't solve the insurance problem, it could help bring the basic rates down.

Here's a post from'04 about renting in Albuquerque and drop off in Phoenix
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Old Mar 14th, 2006, 10:58 AM
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We visited Phoenix and Albuquerque this past Feb. and found that it was very inexpensive to fly Southwest Airlines between the two cities. It eliminates the one way drop off charge for your car rental. We found good car rental rates at Car rentals were expensive in both cities, compared to other places we have travelled.
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Old Mar 14th, 2006, 11:12 AM
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Please note also that the car rental compaines will charge different base rental amounts depending on the renter's country of residency.

Some companies will charge a separate drop fee on one-way rentals; others will just build it into the base rate.

By all means check your Oz insurance to see what, if any, coverage you'd have in the US, and also check your credit card to see what coverage you might get by using the card. Many people think their Platinum Whatever card exempts them from needing to buy CDW, only to discover the fine, fine print when they need it.
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Old Mar 14th, 2006, 11:14 AM
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My parents were just in Phoenix and apparently it is Car Rental Rip Off City, USA! They had a nice-priced reservation for their car, but they couldn't get out of the rental office without being incredibly pushed to take all this extra insurance. And their friends all had the same problem at other agencies. Some towns are just know for this.

I also think the Phoenix airport adds on extra percentages. This is a tax to help pay for the airport and is mandatory.

I think it is best to go to Orbitz, find which company has generally the lowest prices, and then go directly to their website to get more of a grand total. Some of the car sites guarantee the lowest rate on their own websites anyway.
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Old Mar 14th, 2006, 11:30 AM
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NYC city rentsl and Phoenix area rental cars have the highest add on taxes in the US.

The thinking goes like this - as a car renter you are stuck - you have a rent a car. And you can't get angry at the politicians and vote them out.

So local politicians have found out an easy and painless way to raise significant tax revenue is by slapping on airport taxes. The rental companies actually don't have a say in the matter, it is cost of doing business in that city, at that airport.

Businesses travelers generally don't care because their companies carry the cost, other travelers just have to pay.
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Old Mar 14th, 2006, 01:48 PM
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There are in general several "add-ons" to the basic rate:

Damage waiver (DW) which can run from $8.99 a day on up

Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) - which can run about $3 a day on up

Supplemental Liability Protection (SLP)

In addition, when you pickup/drop off a car at an airport, there is an additional "city fee" which usually averages $3 (pickup and drop off = $6). If you choose to pick up/drop off your car at an off airport location, these fees do not apply.

It is best to see what your own insurance covers and then purchase the rest.

One site that has not been mentioned but which I use once in a while is Travelocity. You might check their auto rental rates also.

Also on Travelocity, when you choose a particular rental (without going all the way to actually booking the rental), you can find out what exactly each category of insurance covers. Each car rental agency has its own rules, which goes to complicate the situation.

Getting the DW is really very important, as just a small scratch or dent can cost $250 - which is probably the total cost of all the DW insurance you would have to purchase. It may be worth it for avoiding all the headaches, especially if you are a visitor from overseas. Only you can judge whether paying this amount is reasonable for you or not.

Good luck! And welcome to the US!
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Old Mar 14th, 2006, 02:52 PM
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Just be happy you are not going to buy a car here - now that is an exercise is silly pricing and add-ons!
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Old Mar 15th, 2006, 04:01 PM
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Thanks very much for your contributions.

I am renting abq-abq and getting a discount with my aussie car "club"

What will the weather be like in AR and NM in mid april?
Mesa Verde
Sante Fe
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Old Apr 14th, 2006, 12:49 AM
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we are in Vegas May 17 to May 23 and have the same problem.

Tried Hotwire but wouldnt let us book because were not USA residents!! Yes another Aussie How did you go John?
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Old Apr 14th, 2006, 04:45 AM
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If you go to they will give you average temps, highs/lows, etc for any month, any US city.
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