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How can I arrange a specific kind of rental car?

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How can I arrange a specific kind of rental car?

Old Nov 2nd, 2016, 05:26 AM
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How can I arrange a specific kind of rental car?

We will be spending two weeks in Montana next summer, dipping down into Wyoming to spend 4 days at the Grand Tetons National Park. We will be flying in and out of Missoula Airport.

We would like to use the opportunity to try out one of the next generation cars we are thinking about: our current thoughts include Honda CRX, Toyota Rava, Honda Accord hybrid, Honda Civic hybrid, Toyota Camry hybrid. For this trip we would particularly like to try the Honda CRX or the Rava.
Our current car is a 1999 Toyota Camry with 198,000 miles on it and we plan to drive it until it dies, but it can't go on forever.

We know that Missoula is not San Francisco or LA but does anyone have any suggestions as to how we might go about this?

Thanks much,
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Old Nov 2nd, 2016, 06:10 AM
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One can never guarantee a specific make/model (or even class) of car unless that is the only type of car the agency has in their fleet.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2016, 07:19 AM
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Yep, that's right. I would call all the agencies at the airport--if you can get past the 800 numbers, which is a big If--and ask about likelihood, but that's all it will be.

And it's the Toyota RAV, not Rava.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2016, 07:21 AM
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An idea:
Try to rent one of your target models at home. Yes, it's extra expense, but from home you can be ready to run over to the rental agency and snap up a car when it's available.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2016, 08:19 AM
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RAV 4
(the 4 looks very much like an A)
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Old Nov 2nd, 2016, 09:11 AM
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I've never known a car rental agency to have hybrids, but never looked for it in particular, I just take what I get in my size class. I just wouldn't count on that, at least not the models you name. More likely to get a Prius or Hyundai Sonata, I bet.

Enterprise Missoula has Rav 4s, that is a car which rental companies have in inventory. National has them, also. So you could call them and ask how likely you could get one.

Alamo has a site to rent a hybrid
https://www.alamo.com/en_US/car-rent...rd-hybrid.html

Hertz also has a section and they list at least one you desire
https://www.hertz.com/rentacar/produ...ted%2520States
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Old Nov 2nd, 2016, 10:43 AM
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For what it is worth, several of the cars I've rented from Avis during the past two years have been hybrids. I've never specifically requested one, though - they have just been the ones that were randomly assigned to me at the time.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2016, 11:49 AM
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I had a Honda Civic hybrid for 3 years and loved it. Prior to visiting the dealership, my late husband rented that model car for me to drive locally for a day and overnight from Fox near LAX. Not sure if we had to pay extra for that specific model.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2016, 08:47 PM
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Thanks everyone. These five me some good ideas to start with.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2016, 05:42 AM
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Lots of car rental companies offer hybrids, but they are generally an upgrade, so in order to have a better chance, you have to reserve one and pay the extra costs up front. (Of course, there's no guarantee that they will have them in Missoula, nor may they have one on hand when you arrive, though if you reserve one it's a pretty decent bet that one will be available.) It's generally an expensive rental, and you need to make sure your car insurance will cover a specialty vehicle; otherwise, you might have to spring for expensive car-rental insurance.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2016, 01:50 PM
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If you aren't already, join any agency's frequent guest program and you will be far more likely to switch cars or choose on arrival.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2016, 03:32 PM
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I have been with Budget for years and they usually let me pick from four cars in the lot. I love trying out different cars unless it is a stressful drive then just give me a Ford that I am use to driving.
I have had lousy cars and went back in and said it was smelly or ugly and could I change and they have let me. That happened in Montana and it was a Grandpa car. I got a nice suv in exchange.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2016, 04:31 PM
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Very unlikely you can do this. First, you don;t even know which cars they have in their fleet. Second, don't know what they will have available when you get there.

Usually you can get a specific car only if it's a specialty car (like a sports car or similar) and generally the prices are very high and you have to go to a specialist agency.

I have enough trouble getting a real car, versus an SUV, sometimes when I rent and arrive in the afternoon.
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Old Nov 4th, 2016, 01:39 AM
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Popular cars that sell well don't usually make it into the rental fleets.

Currently they are full of Chrysler/Fiat junk, and cheap Hyundai and Kia products.
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Old Nov 4th, 2016, 03:25 AM
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It's very unlikely this will happen.

The best chance is to join National's Emerald Club. Then you can choose your own car from those available when you arrive -
https://www.nationalcar.com/en_US/ca...t/welcome.html

But you'll need to book a class that includes the cars you are interested in. That doesn't mean the ones you are interested in are in the garage when you arrive...but if they are you can choose the one you want and drive out.
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