Hire car Houston to Vegas, why so expensive?

Old Jul 8th, 2022, 01:48 AM
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Hire car Houston to Vegas, why so expensive?

Hi, I'm asking for my brother who is coming from Australia. He wants to rent a car from Houston, dropping in Las Vegas. Rental cost for 3 weeks with Hertz is around $3000. I checked via Driveaway for him and cost was similar, that was with Budget. He said rental costs have gone up considerably since he started looking, months ago. To me, it seems like supply and demand, too few cars to go around. Is there anything we're missing? His trip is October.

Also any tips of where to stay on the strip in Vegas, clean but budget priced, would be helpful.
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Old Jul 8th, 2022, 03:23 AM
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You may not have travelled/rented cars recently. That is just how it is now between the rental fleets being sold off early on in covid, staff shortages, increased demand. Heck, in some popular areas there are 8 or 10 renters for every car. But there brokers that offer foreign visitors special all inclusive deals. He should probably be able to find one that caters toAussies
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Old Jul 8th, 2022, 03:25 AM
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Weekdays in the summer almost every hotel is dirt cheap. Weekends everything will be pricey
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Old Jul 8th, 2022, 03:48 AM
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Look on Autoeurope.com. They offer discounts on Budget cars that may not show up on Budget website.

I see a 3 week Oct rental, IAH to LAS for $1400 without collision insurance for a mid-size SUV or $1800 no deductible collision + $600 one-way fee, to be paid at time of pickup. The rate is a bit less for a smaller car.

I did a similar one-way trip a year ago in the southwest and had no issues at all. I even had to replace a wiper blade mid trip and AE refunded that cost when I submitted the receipt.



Last edited by J62; Jul 8th, 2022 at 03:59 AM.
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Old Jul 8th, 2022, 06:02 AM
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You might also want to check https://www.vroomvroomvroom.com/. I used them a lot when I lived in Australia and traveled to the US.
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Old Jul 8th, 2022, 08:51 AM
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My style of travel is to take an Amtrak train to somewhere near where I want to go and then rent a car there for a loop trip. He could ride on the Amtrak #1 Sunset Limited from Houston to Tucson AZ and rent a car there. Enterprise has rented to me several times in Tucson. Las Vegas is not served by an Amtrak train but they do have buses that go there from Los Angeles and Bakersfield if he has to fly back home from there.
The adult fare from Houston to Tucson in coach is as low as $108. It will go up sometime between now and October. A roomette on the same train is less than $500 and includes meals on the 26 hour trip.
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Old Jul 8th, 2022, 04:29 PM
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Enterprise is $2350 for a mid-sized car with all insurances, taxes and fees included.

Hertz has a lower price (approx $450 per week) out of El Paso Texas Airport. So if they plan to drive through El Paso, they would do better to rent from Houston to El Paso, and then from El Paso to Las Vegas.

Hilton Grand Vacations Club (excellent reviews) is around $200 per night in October with taxes and fees included. The Desert Rose, just off the strip across from Mandalay Bay, has a $150 deal on booking.com but it might be non-refundable non-changeable.
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Old Jul 8th, 2022, 06:59 PM
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Thanks everyone, this is all useful. I'll pass on the websites etc to him. We have the same issues with car hire in Australia, a lot were sold off during the "covid/no one going anywhere years" and it means the price has shot up. Worth asking for the locals advice though. Happy for more tips on where to stay or car hire. I think my brother would normally stay somewhere like Days Inn or Motel 6, to give you an idea. He stayed at Circus Circus years ago.
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Old Jul 9th, 2022, 10:55 AM
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And he might book something that can cancel without penalty and keep looking. I had two trips last summer in the US and I booked what I could but kept checking and the week before each time I could get the same rental at the same company for 1/2 the price.
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Old Jul 9th, 2022, 11:40 AM
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Circus Circus is a dump, and far away from most other hotels and sights, Try Luxor, on the Strip but usually has pretty good deals especially midweek. Avoid Excalabur, caters to families.
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Old Jul 9th, 2022, 01:53 PM
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If he’s there midweek most any of the nicer hotels on the Strip will be cheap to very cheap. He does need to factor in the ‘resort fees’ that most charge. Often summer weekday room rates are actually less than the resort fee. If he’s there on a weekend, then he may need to go down market a bit because room rates will be much higher. But nothing could make me stay at Circus Circus. If budget is really important, he could look downtown on Fremont Street
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Old Jul 9th, 2022, 08:46 PM
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Good idea to book something now able to be cancelled but keep looking. In the past I've kept checking on car rental and the price often comes down closer to the date.

The whole resort fee thing gets right up my nose. Especially as it's mandatory. What next, a room with extra payment for a bed? Oh, you want sheets too? That's extra. So annoying.
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Old Jul 10th, 2022, 06:23 AM
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In the 3 weeks from the time he arrives in Houston, what towns, cities and scenic places does he want to see? If he does not want to see a lot in between and does not want to use a train, then he should fly from Houston to Las Vegas and then rent a car in Las Vegas and return it there.
For stays in the Las Vegas area in the past we have stayed at the Luxor, a big hotel in Henderson and at the Hoover Dam Inn which had a different name at the time. At the time we stayed at the Luxor the parking was free and there was no resort fee. We were in LV for a wedding at a chapel where I gave away a bride. The aisle was three steps. We did get a ride in a limo from the hotel to the chapel and return with the wedding party.
IMO there is not a lot to see driving between Houston and White Sands New Mexico.
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Old Jul 10th, 2022, 04:59 PM
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Based on a tip from a fellow Fodorite I used usarentalcars.com to book an SUV in Denver for about half the cost other sites quoted.
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Old Jul 12th, 2022, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Seamus View Post
Based on a tip from a fellow Fodorite I used usarentalcars.com to book an SUV in Denver for about half the cost other sites quoted.
usarentalcars is part of AutoEurope now. Most of their rates don't seem to including liability insurance, which is a big additional cost for a 2 or 3 week rental. It might explain why the rate seems lower than other sites are quoting. Make sure you've read the fine print/ terms/ additional information.
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Old Jul 12th, 2022, 08:39 PM
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clark, the site displays different rates and what is /is not included in each. Liability insurance is most often unnecesssarty, anyway, as a combination of one's own auto insurance and credit card benefits provide ample coverage.
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Old Jul 13th, 2022, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Seamus View Post
clark, the site displays different rates and what is /is not included in each. Liability insurance is most often unnecesssarty, anyway, as a combination of one's own auto insurance and credit card benefits provide ample coverage.
Right but the OP is looking for something from an Australian visitor who will need both liabilty and collision coverage for the rental.
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Old Jul 13th, 2022, 01:57 PM
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Or travel insurance...lots of policies sold in Australia include car rental insurance
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Old Jul 13th, 2022, 02:00 PM
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought 99+% of rental contracts include Liability in the base rate. It is mandatory in most states. Collision/CDW is an extra add on -- that protects the renter / car, but liability protects others which is what it is mandatory.
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Old Jul 13th, 2022, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by KayF View Post
Thanks everyone, this is all useful. I'll pass on the websites etc to him. We have the same issues with car hire in Australia, a lot were sold off during the "covid/no one going anywhere years" and it means the price has shot up. Worth asking for the locals advice though. Happy for more tips on where to stay or car hire. I think my brother would normally stay somewhere like Days Inn or Motel 6, to give you an idea. He stayed at Circus Circus years ago.
Treasure Island mid-strip has a 2-nights-for-the-price of one deal this summer which brings the room, after all taxes and fees etc down to about $90 per night total. The motel 6 and Days inn that are not as well located are at $70 per night or so on weeknights. There are some "$35 per night" offers out there for weekdays that then add $45 in resort fees and $15 in taxes so make sure you're checking final price not just advertised rate. Many places are charging for parking now, too, Treasure Island does not.
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