Priceline bidding for car rentals

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May 30th, 2008, 08:17 AM
  #1
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Priceline bidding for car rentals

Ok, I think I've got it down and will be trying soon. But just to recap what I THINK are the pertinent facts.

1. When I enter in my price, they show me a total amount which includes fees and taxes. Is that the FINAL, FINAL amount I'll pay?

2. They tell you your bid might be too low, so try a higher one. Should you still just go with the low one? Or are you wasting your time and should go with their suggested one?

3. If I select to pick up at the airport, that's guaranteed, right? Not like after it's done, they tell me to pick it up downtown, something like that.

4. I'll be billed immediately.

5. If my bid is rejected, I'll have to start all over again (entering in all the data on my next bid)?

Anything else I need to be warned about?

Thanks!
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May 30th, 2008, 08:46 AM
  #2
 
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1. Yes from Priceline. You need to decline all the insurances, fuel offers at the counter, extra drivers, etc.

2. Yes, go with the low one. But of course, you may not get it. Then add a dollar and try again in 3 days. If it's a last minute rental, then you can't bid too low.

3. Yes, at the airport. But depend on the airport and which company you win - it could be Avis, Hertz, Budget, Alamo or National - you may have to be shuttled to the actual rental location just outside the airport.

4. Yes.

5. You need to start all over again, after 72 hours. Or you have to change location, car type or date.
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May 30th, 2008, 09:07 AM
  #3
yk
 
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Agree with rkkwan. One thing to add:

<< Anything else I need to be warned about? >>

I usually cross-check prices on Hotwire.com and see what price I can get thru hotwire. I then use the hotwire price as my bidding limit on Priceline. If my bid is rejected on PL, I just go over to hotwire and reserve from them instead.
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May 30th, 2008, 09:19 AM
  #4
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rkkwan,

on the Priceline site, they say you have to wait 24 hours before submitting your bid, not 72?

yk,

I usually use Hotwire, so I'll definitely be using them as a max bid on PL.

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May 30th, 2008, 10:22 AM
  #5
 
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Right. They've changed the rebid time from 72 to 24 hours. Sorry for the old info.
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May 30th, 2008, 12:49 PM
  #6
 
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I've had really good luck MOST of the time using name your own price on priceline.com. You've got it correct - if it comes back saying it's too low, they usually give you a chance to up your price once before they kick you out or make you change the car type - if this happens just add a few bucks and try again.

One thing to be careful about is the credit/debit card requirements for picking up the car - they vary from company to company. I'm going through this right now - reserved a car through name your own price two days ago, they accepted my bid and told me I was confirmed with National Rent A Car. Since I've never rented with them before, I checked their policies. I had wanted to use my debit card this time and have never had a problem doing so with Avis & Hertz, but National has a set-in-stone policy against renting to locals on a debit card. So - now what? Priceline's charges for the entire rental were already charged to my account and National assured me they would turn me away when I showed up for the car. I called Priceline back and they cancelled the reservation, but I've yet to see a refund of the fees charged to my account. So - I wait. And hope that they will be refunded BEFORE my trip next week when I have to pay for rental car from someone else who DOES accept debit cards to rent a car.
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Jun 3rd, 2008, 10:06 AM
  #7
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Hey, another question folks.

I just bid over there (bid was rejected, will try again tomorrow), and I notice you can opt to have all your info (including credit card number I assume) held for you on their site.

Would make it very convenient not to have to enter everything in again, but I'm not very comfortable having my CC number "stored" in some folder there.

Have any of you used that feature or do you all just re-enter everything whenever you bid again?

Thanks.
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Jun 3rd, 2008, 10:26 AM
  #8
 
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I don't have my CC info stored there, but I'm an old fogey.

Remember that you're limited to $50 of charges if someone does abuse your CC info, so it's probably safe. Much safer than giving it to a waiter who disappears with it (where CC number and safety code could be easily copied) and brings it back with your slip to sign.

Gee, now I'm talking myself into it....
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Jun 3rd, 2008, 10:59 AM
  #9
 
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"I had wanted to use my debit card this time and have never had a problem doing so with Avis & Hertz, but National has a set-in-stone policy against renting to locals on a debit card. So - now what? "

Do you NOT have a credit card? If you do, what's the harm in giving it to them if you don't plan on keeping the car longer than you planned. It's like winning a hotel bid on Priceline, all hotels require a CC or debit card for incidentals, but if you don't incur any, nothing will be charged to your CC or Debit Card.
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Jun 3rd, 2008, 11:19 AM
  #10
yk
 
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travelinandgolfin - I've had my CC info stored at PL for years, haven't had a problem (knock on wood).
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Jun 8th, 2008, 09:54 AM
  #11
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Well, I gave it a shot.

It didn't go quite "by the book" I guess, but it turned out well.

Anyway, just to share....

First, I entered in 10.00/day for the car. It "advised" me to try 15-16 instead. I stuck with the 10/day and it was rejected.

So I waited a few days and tried again. This time I entered 12.00/day. Strangely, this time, it advised me to try 35-37/day!!! That was really strange. No way did price rentals triple in that time! I stuck with the 12/day and it was rejected.

At this point, I immediately tried again and entered 15/day (I didn't change anything else). I was expecting to get a reply back that I couldn't submit another bid so soon, since it said I needed to change something else in my bid besides just the price.

Well to my surprise, I GOT THE CAR!! No waiting 24 hours....no changing anything but the price!! I don't know if I lucked out or if Priceline is changing their policies regarding re-bidding.

So overall, I'm very pleased with how Priceline worked, and will be trying them again.

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Jun 8th, 2008, 11:40 AM
  #12
Cassandra
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"Do you NOT have a credit card? If you do, what's the harm in giving it to them if you don't plan on keeping the car longer than you planned."

Warning -- you can't usually extend beyond the pre-paid rental period without going back to the counter and re-renting on THEIR rates. There's no calling an 800 number and saying "I want to keep it another 2 days" -- they won't let you. Even if you go through the whole bidding process again and HAPPEN to get the same company for your "extension," you'll still have to go back to do the paperwork.
 
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Jun 8th, 2008, 12:17 PM
  #13
 
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You can always extend your rental car period without calling or going back to the rental car counter. You are just going to pay the full rack rate printed on the agreement when you take the car out. It may be many times more than what you paid originally, but the car will still turn on, the car will still be sitting where you park it, and they won't send the cops to arrest you.
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Oct 29th, 2013, 04:40 AM
  #14
 
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The Hotwire price will include all the fees for the rental so it is a good baseline to have in mind.
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