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Thread: Car Rental Marketing Games...

  1. #1
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    Car Rental Marketing Games...

    I have rented cars dozens of times in the last 20 years. The reason being, if I want to make a round trip somewhere, and rack up in a short time what would normally be several months worth of miles(1000-2000) around town, for me. This is better than putting all that mileage on my littlebitty old car. Never, ever had a problem renting until now. What the deal is, the company I've done the most business with, National, doesn't want to let you go online & price shop & peruse a complete menu of prices, anymore. Like you do at Amazon or anywhere else. They are in on the latest deal that the big-boxes play--getting you to join a "club", filling out an application with personal info, so they can flood your mailboxes with "stuff", mostly marketing hype and junk.. They pressure you to give out all kinds of specifics, credit card, destination, name, address, email, etc., before they will even give a price. You are not allowed to have a price, until you tell them all about yourself. It's very invasive. But see-- I want to just look at a menu, peruse it, mull it over, & see what I am getting, for how much,when the bargain rate in in effect and so on, before I sign on. I want to comparison shop, and get the best rate. I don't want to play their phone poker games with their reservation clerks, where they hold all the cards, and I don't. But, they don't allow this, anymore. It's crazy. Do you want to commit to anything, give out personal data, before you know the price? I didn't think so, and I don't either. I just want up-front, competitive pricing.

  2. #2
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
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    I go thru the AARP website and get a selection to choose from. Scored $13 a day for my trip to NM next month. Avis is usually the "winner" but this time it was Enterprise (someone i don't normally like to book through because they tend to be more pushy with upsales...but I know how to say no).

    I also looked through rentals via Priceline and Expedia. AARP beat them both.
    Last edited by Float On; 3-17-15 at 10:12am.
    Float On: My "Happy Place" is on my little kayak in the coves of Table Rock Lake.

  3. #3
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    Thanks, Float On. I'll give it a try!

  4. #4
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    Here are a few other sites to try. Also, the price will be lower if you commit in advance. The last car we rented the agent asked how we got such a low price. It pays to be frugal and shop around!

    http://rentalcodes.com
    http://zalyn.com/#!car-rental-deals

  5. #5
    Senior Member kib's Avatar
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    Also hotwire.com. Hotwire gives you a teaser per day price but also indicates the anticipated total including the taxes and fees. One thing I found is that it sometimes pays to rent for a full week rather than several days, especially if you're using your own insurance / cc insurance. Example, hotwire's got a car for $154.99 total for a week, same car is $151.99 for 5 days.

  6. #6
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    I've gotten great deals on rental cars through Costco.

  7. #7
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    My husband has had good luck with walk-up rates in the past. This didn't work out last time, though. We got to the counter and were quoted an outrageous price - got out of line, searched with my smartphone and got a great rate and went right back to the same guy. He said it happens a lot but he's not allowed to recommend comparing online rates, etc.

    They often will price match too. So find your lowest price and take it to all the agents to compare.

  8. #8
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Good info! Thanks for posting.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  9. #9
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    One of my rental journeys went as follows: Eight years ago this month, I rented a nice, new Impala, which met my requirements for the trip: Good highway cruiser, fairly roomy interior, and low rental rates. See, vans and SUVs are higher, unless you get a free upgrade, somehow. Anyway, I left here late on Thursday, and headed for Gum Springs, Va, just outside Richmond, with a stop scheduled for Oak Hill, WV. Then, my itinerary was York, PA., See, the purpose was an EBay Packy Parts Pickup. I had bought an engine from a guy in Gum Springs, and an iron manifold from an individual in Oak Hill, and a bunch of stuff--including a never-used set of tailfins(5' in length) and a pair of never-used leaf springs,etc., from a seller in Masontown, WV. I planned to meet him in York, Saturday, while attending a parts swap meet. Also got a never-used steering wheel and trunk lid, and some other misc., from sellers at York. So, I had quite a load. I had removed the back seat from the 'pala, and brought along cardboard, an old tire, and rope to hold the engine, which was already partially disassembled. Took a wrong exit, and mistakenly went through downtown Washington, DC, past the Washington monument, etc., a Packard engine sitting in the back seat. D.C. was full of cops. Made it to York, PA late Friday & stayed in a $55 motel, and spent the day at the York County fairgrounds meet & loading my parts. I got it all in there! It was full up; there was just barely enough room for me to fit in the car. Then, left York and took the northern route back through PA(the tunnels)and Ohio, Indiana and back through St Louis. Made it back in time Sunday afternoon to carefully unload the engine from the back of the car without soiling or scratching the rental & putting the seat back in & getting it gassed up & back to the Rental Agency in time to get it for the weekend rate x 3 days. I had initially biked out there to the airport to pick up the car, but asked a neighbor to give me a ride after I returned the car, since it was getting late. This saved about $30 in parking fees. I think the total mileage was around 2,000 for the weekend. But see--you can't just run down to your local auto parts store, and get Packy parts; they are even hard to find on EBay. But, this worked out.

  10. #10
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    That' sounds like a productive trip, but I've got you beat on a mileage standpoint. When I was in college, in Miami, a friend and I had applied for summer internships in Colorado and could either interview in NYC or Denver. So we got a cheap weekend rental (a brand new 1989 corolla) and drove straight through to NYC. Spent the next day in NYC, did our interviews (we both got the internships) saw some sights, and then drove straight through back to Miami. Just under 3,000 miles all told, and with a friend's radar detector we really tested out the high speed capabilities of that corolla. And I'm sure that Alamo appreciated us giving it's engine a good break in.

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