Priceline Car Rentals

Old Aug 14th, 2007, 12:08 PM
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Priceline Car Rentals

In October I will be attending a professional conference in NOLA. DH is coming with me and will be doing relief work. He thinks he will want an SUV rental. We are considering doing a Priceline bid for the car. I have used Priceline for hotel and always got good counsel from betterbidding.com and biddingfortravel.com They are not particularly helpful for the rental car. Has anyone had any experience with Priceline for rental cars (particularly in NOLA) which might help me frame a bid? Thank you.
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Old Aug 14th, 2007, 12:13 PM
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i just did this. nothing too fancy --i would go to orbitz or something and see what the market price is, and then start bidding at 2/3 that.
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Old Aug 14th, 2007, 12:51 PM
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Thanks, youngtom. I appreciate the help.
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Old Aug 14th, 2007, 12:52 PM
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I also suggest trying Hotwire. I often look up the car I want on Hotwire and get the price then go to Priceline and bid (factoring in taxes and add on fees) a few dollars lower than the Hotwire price. Sometimes I get it but frankly, most often I end up getting the best price on Hotwire.
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Old Aug 14th, 2007, 01:18 PM
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We just used Hotwire for a car (turned out to be Avis) in Maui and it was 30% less than the cheapest price we had gotten directly from the rental companies.
 
Old Aug 14th, 2007, 01:37 PM
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I pricecheck on Hotwire, then bid about 20% lower on Priceline. Almost always get it--last two times it was Hertz....
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Old Aug 14th, 2007, 02:45 PM
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hi cmcfong-

Ditto to what others have mentioned. Go to Hotwire to get a sense of what prices are (remember to keep clicking to get the "final" price with all tax/charges included), then bid a few bucks/day lower on Priceline (again, you'll have to figure out how much tax/charges Priceline adds).

Hotwire's rental car rates sometimes can fluctuate a few bucks throughout the day or throughout the week, so keep checking a couple of times for a couple of days to get a sense of what the price is.

The other thing to know about PL car rental is that if your bid is rejected, you'll have to wait 3 days before you can rebid. And there's no free rebid like a lot of the PL hotels, if you're set on getting a SUV.

Good luck!
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Old Aug 14th, 2007, 03:02 PM
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If your stay spans a weekend, Enterprise cars usually has 1/2 price rentals from Thursday night/Friday morning to Monday night. Check out the Enterprise locations in NOLA to see if there's anything available.

Paying a few dollars more on Enterprise may be worth not having the uncertainty of Priceline bids.
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Old Aug 15th, 2007, 03:59 AM
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Thank you very much for the good counsel. I appreciate the help.
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Old Aug 15th, 2007, 07:18 AM
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The minimal savings are not worth dealing with Priceline for a car. You pay even if you change your plans and never show up. You can find better deals by going to airline websites and checking out their deals for frequent fliers. Anyone can join the frequent flier program in 2 minutes flat.
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Old Aug 15th, 2007, 09:32 AM
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Not true, I've saved more than 50% on car rentals many times. In general Bookhall's comments are correct, bid 20% lower than Hotwire's price. Also Hotwire's fees are higher. On the off chance Priceline doesn't work in a particular city Expedia has good consolidator rates.

Hawaii is probably the best city for Priceline car rental discounts in my experience.

SUV's are pretty cheap on PL now because of fuel costs.
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Old Aug 15th, 2007, 09:41 AM
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Some companies charge a per diem for an additional driver, even a spouse, others don't. That could negate any savings so look into it.
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Old Aug 15th, 2007, 05:06 PM
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DH will be the only driver. I appreciate all teh advice.
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