Car Rental Notes

mgarbowski

Well-known member
I just rented a car for an upcoming non-Disney trip and found the following to be notable:


  • For the first time in a long time Avis had the best deal for me; usually they come nowhere near the best
  • I also really hate how Avis (and Budget) show prices excluding taxes, airport fees, etc while every other company I checked show rates inclusive of those
  • I despise that so much that Avis not only has to have the best price, but must beat the next by a significant amount like 15% or more to get my business
  • For this rental, after finding out the true full cost, Avis came in at right about 20% off the Hertz rate I get with the Platinum card which is almost always my best rate
  • Avis is offering up to 30% off for prepaid rentals right now (unclear how long this lasts). The penalty if you cancel at least 24 hours in advance is $50. My prepaid discount offer was 20% and was substantial enough to make it worth my while. In contrast, Hertz offered just $7 per day if I prepaid on a 3 day rental which enticed me not at all.
  • The Honey discount code service/extension was amazingly well integrated into the Avis website, showing me I'd save $x on car type A and $y on car type B, etc.
  • The Avis prepay discount is stackable with their Amazon Prime discounts and benefits
  • Alamo, National, Budget, Thrifty, Enterprise and Dollar were not even competitive with Avis or Hertz. I realize part of this is due to affinity deals I have with those 2 (AmEx for Hertz, Amazon for Avis) but I still don't get how the other companies almost never are competitive when I check
  • Anyway, if you are an Amazon Prime member and haven't bothered looking at Avis rates in a while, it might be worth doing so.
 

Pooh

Member
Do you mean the "true cost" is different than what is shown on Step 3 of their shopping cart thingy? It has an Estimated Total, but that stinks if that estimate changes significantly :-(

I've had a problem where I did a package car+flight on aavacations and it looked like a deal, but at the Avis counter they charged me a big chunk of fees, which pretty much zeroed out the deal and made it the same as buying separately. Won't do that again :)
 

mgarbowski

Well-known member
Do you mean the "true cost" is different than what is shown on Step 3 of their shopping cart thingy? It has an Estimated Total, but that stinks if that estimate changes significantly :-(

I've had a problem where I did a package car+flight on aavacations and it looked like a deal, but at the Avis counter they charged me a big chunk of fees, which pretty much zeroed out the deal and made it the same as buying separately. Won't do that again :)
No I mean the initial list of prices. You put in your date and location(s) and basically every company generates a list like this:

Compacts cost X per day and 3x total (assuming 3 days)
Intermediates cost Y per day and 3Y total.
Small SUVs cost Z and 3z total

and so on.


For Avis and Budget the X Y and Z numbers reflect their fees only, then when you say, eg, I want a full size car or whatever, then you see the full all in price.
With every other company the list shows the all in price, not just the rental fee but taxes, airport concession, etc., etc.

I rent cars sporadically enough that I forget Avis does this. So I always check Hertz first and make a note of the all in price. Then I go to Avis and my initial reaction is wow, that's way less, and then I go one page further and just get mad at Avis.
 

mgarbowski

Well-known member
Are you going to finish your August trip report? :RpS_crying:
Yes, and thanks for the interest. I even worked on the next day's entry some today. It's been super busy. Since coming home besides all the usual life stuff we drove Big Girl back to college and I also had my annual photo trip (this year Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island) and my sister and I have been dealing with nursing home and health issues with our mom. I appreciate the inquiry. I want to finish it.
 

bnoble

he's right
I just rented a car for an upcoming non-Disney trip and found the following to be notable:
Alamo, National, Budget, Thrifty, Enterprise and Dollar were not even competitive with Avis or Hertz. I realize part of this is due to affinity deals I have with those 2 (AmEx for Hertz, Amazon for Avis) but I still don't get how the other companies almost never are competitive when I check
I've gotten to the point that I don't even bother checking anything but National (I can use the Big Ten negotiated rate for personal rentals) because (a) no one else is usually even close and (b) to get close I usually have to hunt for obscure codes, etc. That plus the AmEx Plat comp to Executive Elite seals the deal---there are sometimes some fun cars on the EE Aisle.
 

DopeyRunr

the jeweled acrobats only perform amazing stunts f
I've gotten to the point that I don't even bother checking anything but National (I can use the Big Ten negotiated rate for personal rentals) because (a) no one else is usually even close and (b) to get close I usually have to hunt for obscure codes, etc. That plus the AmEx Plat comp to Executive Elite seals the deal---there are sometimes some fun cars on the EE Aisle.
I'm strictly National for business and pleasure. About half the time I find a Charger/Challenger and maybe 1 in 5 I'll find a convertible on the EE at MCO or TPA.
 

smwisc

Member
FWIW, I'm impatiently awaiting your trip report too - yours are some of my favorites. :)

But of course I completely understand how life gets in the way, so no pressure - I'll enjoy it whenever you are able to get to it!
 

mgarbowski

Well-known member
FWIW, I'm impatiently awaiting your trip report too - yours are some of my favorites. :)

But of course I completely understand how life gets in the way, so no pressure - I'll enjoy it whenever you are able to get to it!
Thanks! I did post an update the other night.
 
That's good to know. We've been checking car rentals on and off. We're about 80 days out and hoping to find a good deal soon. We like Sixt but they've slowly increased their rates so not nearly as competitively priced as past.

Will check Avis out. Thank you very much! We have Amazon Business Prime and didn't realize that might help with these rates.

Update: Signed up for "Preferred" Avis thru my Amazon for 30% off, plus we'd get 10% back on an Amazon card. They have great rates for cars but we're looking for a big SUV to carry 4 people, luggage and ECV. Those rates are still high with Avis. The Mercedes from Sixt is double the price thru Avis, $350 vs $700. It was worth the try!
 
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George

wishes he had a pink frolicing llama under his tag
I feel that car rental rates are so fleeting and subject to the whims of supply and demand that it’s all but useless to attempt to draw consistent conclusions about finding low rates. I’ve found the major companies more or less the same when I exercise the same defensive pick-up habits (checking for damage, waiving unnecessary extras, etc.) across the board.
 
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