Strategies for best rental-car rates??

Sep 26th, 2006, 11:02 AM
  #1  
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Strategies for best rental-car rates??

so there's a million and one travel sites out there. everyone from Travelocity to Hotwire serves as portals for booking car rentals. plus each car rental company has it's own site, and obviously the rates vary quite a bit, sometimes within the same company/car-size, depending on which site you use.

i realize there may be no definitive answer like "this website is always the best/cheapest," but i'm hoping to narrow down my process so i'm not checking every single travel site and then comparing it by checking each individual car-rental site.

so how do you go about getting the best rate on a car rental?
tlf18 is offline  
Sep 26th, 2006, 11:06 AM
  #2  
 
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www.priceline.com

I've paid $18 per day for a Hertz midsize, Tampa.

Gekko is offline  
Sep 26th, 2006, 11:11 AM
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I price a car on Orbitz because I like the way the comparisons are set up, and check a couple sites of the car rental agencies we've found to be on the cheaper side, like Payless and Alamo.

Armed with that information, I use Priceline, and have always done better.
abram is offline  
Sep 26th, 2006, 11:12 AM
  #4  
J62
 
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i use orbitz.com to compare. they show a table with all the companies and all the car sizes side by side on one page.

I then go to the specific rental car co website and book directly.
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Sep 26th, 2006, 11:38 AM
  #5  
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thanks everyone.

so the best i can find (friday night to monday night, oct.6-9, chicago) is $46/day or a total of $180 after tax/fees from Hertz.
the price is exactly the same on Travelocity, Orbitz, Priceline, and the Hertz website.
oh well, i guess a weekend in chicago with a "holiday" monday (columbus day)isn't gonna yield any better deals.
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Sep 26th, 2006, 11:41 AM
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Are you stuck on Hertz?

Budget is $22 per day
saps is offline  
Sep 26th, 2006, 11:46 AM
  #7  
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nope, not stuck on Hertz.

not sure where you see that, everywhere i look (for oct 6-9, Chicago Midway), Budget is $68/day or $258 total.

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Sep 26th, 2006, 11:52 AM
  #8  
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finding $157.62 total(Including applicable tax-recovery charges and fees) on hotwire now... a little better than $180, but still a bit pricey.

tlf18 is offline  
Sep 26th, 2006, 11:57 AM
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Since you didn't say which airport I checked Chicago ORD and Budget was $22/day.

Midway is $68...ouch.
saps is offline  
Sep 26th, 2006, 12:03 PM
  #10  
 
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I use Orbitz to check first. Then for a few companies I check the rate quoted if I go thru a link on Auto Club or with an Airline, which often turns out better than the Orbitz rate or the car rental site.
mlgb is offline  
Sep 26th, 2006, 12:18 PM
  #11  
 
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the past three trips I've needed a car, Breezenet.com was by far the cheapest; and you don't pay until you get there. ($11/day in Orange County)
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Sep 26th, 2006, 12:22 PM
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tlf18, go ahead and book the lowest price you see now. You can always cancel.

If you are a AAA member, you can use the rate code on the back of your card with Hertz. Gets you a 10% discount! Mine is CDP 000014. Feel free to use it, but be aware they may ask you at checkin for the ID card (by the way, they've never asked me). Hertz also allows spouse and fellow AAA members in your party to drive free.

Also, this doesn't apply to Midway, but here's a list of locations where the rate code LAST will get you a nice price:

http://offers.hertz.com/lastminute02.cfm?uniqueID=1033
joan is offline  
Sep 26th, 2006, 12:27 PM
  #13  
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thanks joan. i might just do that. (well, dont think you can cancel with Hotwire, so i might not go that route even though it's $20 cheaper.)

tlf18 is offline  
Sep 26th, 2006, 12:28 PM
  #14  
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thanks for the link Sylvia.
it returned pretty much the same results, but i'll keep that site in mind.

tlf18 is offline  
Sep 26th, 2006, 12:50 PM
  #15  
 
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I allow a couple of rental car companies to send me email to a specail email address, sometimes they include rates that are hard to find otherwise.
L84SKY is offline  
Sep 26th, 2006, 01:07 PM
  #16  
 
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Good info to have. I'm currently looking for a decent rate for Orlando during Christmas week.

Thanks for posting this thread tlf18.
JAGIRL is offline  
Sep 26th, 2006, 01:19 PM
  #17  
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no problem JAGIRL. and thanks to everyone else for the info.

i just paid only $14-15/day in orlando last week, but that was a Sun-Tues rental to go to Jacksonville for the Monday Night Football game vs. the Steelers.
i imagine christmast/weekends will be pricier.
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Sep 26th, 2006, 01:34 PM
  #18  
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"Strategery."

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Sep 26th, 2006, 01:44 PM
  #19  
 
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Of course, never rent a car at the airport, you pay substantially more, sometimes double, than if you rent at a location not associated with the airport.
buongiorno is offline  
Sep 26th, 2006, 01:45 PM
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I'm going with 5 other people,so a minivan it shall be Avis has the best rate so far.

And for what it's worth, using a Jamaican address usually gives me a much...much better rate than using a US addy.
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