Summer rental car rates

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Night Ranger

Service Attendant
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Jan 22, 2020
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123
I booked a car from a small town in Indiana,( Newcastle). I was driving to Ashville Ohio. When I went to pickup the car they bring out a real beater Crown Vic. I had no choice but to hit the highway with it and it actually turned out to be a great car for the trip.
One of the absolute best travel vehicles we have ever owned was a 2000 Mercury Grand Marquis, the Crown Vic's cousin. The other one was my beloved 1972 VW Type II Westphalia but that's an entirely different story.

Those land yachts were built for taking long trips with their smooth ride and plenty of horsepower. Body on frame construction was great for road dampening and gas mileage was not that bad. We had reached that stage in our lives where we enjoyed our creature comforts especially on long road trips. Parking and tight traffic were different issues but we'd still have one if Ford had not discontinued them years ago. As long as your rented Crown Vic started, ran, and stopped you were good to go.
 

Night Ranger

Service Attendant
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And if it was any dark color or plain white, a lot of people slowed down when they saw you coming. ;)
True that. Our older son owned a 1998 Crown Vic with the police interceptor package that he bought cheap at an auto auction. It was white, had both spotlights and a push bar on the front, and screamed COP CAR. As a joke I popped the plugs for the antenna holes and installed some junk CB radio antennas. Until you saw his license plate you would swear it was a cop car. "Cop motor, cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks, . . ." If you've seen The Blues Brothers you know the lines even if their car was a Dodge.
 

MARC Rider

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Baltimore. MD
Arriving at ANC, no such model/make was available, but, for the same price, I was given a brand new Ford Focus with less than 2000 miles. This was my first SUV that I have ever driven.
Do you mean a Ford Escape? I own a Ford Focus, and while it's a perfectly good car, I would not consider it an SUV by any stretch of the imagination. By the way, Ford doesn't sell the Focus in the US any more, but they were still selling a few back in 2019.
 

MARC Rider

Engineer
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Baltimore. MD
In all of my years of renting cars, I don't think I've ever been able to specify the make and model of a rental. In fact, I consider myself lucky if I get within one category of what I order. Fortunately, this usually means an upgrade. My favorites are from the Enterprise in South Boston, where I call a day or two before and remind them that I want my compact SUV with 4WD or all-wheel drive. When I get there, instead of getting the RAV4 type "compact" SUV, I've gotten a Mercedes one time, and a Range-Rover the other at no extra charge. But I'm picky on the 4WD because they once rented me an SUV with 2 wheel drive that got stuck at the bottom of a slope on an icy driveway.

On the other hand, when I rented for official travel, we had to order the cheapest smallest car unless there were a lot of people in the party. And while the rental agencies sometimes gave us upgrades for free, usually, they obliged us. Thus, I was once stuck driving from Baltimore to Ohio in the absolute smallest roller skate sold by Chevrolet, and this over the Pennsylvania Turnpike through a thunderstorm and some pretty windy weather.
 

Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
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May 31, 2009
Messages
23,081
Location
Austin Texas
In all of my years of renting cars, I don't think I've ever been able to specify the make and model of a rental. In fact, I consider myself lucky if I get within one category of what I order. Fortunately, this usually means an upgrade. My favorites are from the Enterprise in South Boston, where I call a day or two before and remind them that I want my compact SUV with 4WD or all-wheel drive. When I get there, instead of getting the RAV4 type "compact" SUV, I've gotten a Mercedes one time, and a Range-Rover the other at no extra charge. But I'm picky on the 4WD because they once rented me an SUV with 2 wheel drive that got stuck at the bottom of a slope on an icy driveway.

On the other hand, when I rented for official travel, we had to order the cheapest smallest car unless there were a lot of people in the party. And while the rental agencies sometimes gave us upgrades for free, usually, they obliged us. Thus, I was once stuck driving from Baltimore to Ohio in the absolute smallest roller skate sold by Chevrolet, and this over the Pennsylvania Turnpike through a thunderstorm and some pretty windy weather.
As a retired Government hand also, this sure rings True!😉
 

flitcraft

OBS Chief
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
946
We rented a car at National Airport from Hertz and prepaid. Yesterday we arrived post CL trip and picked it up no problem. Their garage was close to empty, though, and we were told to pick either available car from the President's Circle area, although we are not PC members.. I had been advised to prepay in advance, since the car rental companies hate having to refund customers and will save their cars for high level elite customers, which we are not, and prepayers. Worked for us...
 

Michigan Mom

OBS Chief
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Jan 28, 2012
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884
Location
MI
I wonder how they (the car companies) feel about third party discounters like Priceline, Hotwire, Kayak, Expedia etc. That's where I'm seeing the lowest rates. On Priceline, you have to put in credit card info to reserve, and supposedly not charged until pickup.
 

west point

Engineer
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Jun 9, 2015
Messages
2,642
2 items.
1. If possible do not rent at airport and save those franchise fees. Find locations that do not have franchise fees.
2. Do what my daughter did. Had a very long trip for 1 month. Decided to buy a good used car. Transferred insurance to car and stored regular car. Drove all over for 5 weeks and then sold car for $200 less than purchase. That saved 12,000+ miles on her regular car. Only one minor problem for rental substitute.
 

Bob Dylan

50+ Year Amtrak Rider
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
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Location
Austin Texas
I've never rented a Car with an Amtrak Package( Ticket/ Car/Hotel) but have rented from Hertz to get Amtrak Bonus AGR Points during " Deals".

Wondering if anyone is getting cheaper prices on their car rental by doing this?( usually Hotels were Cheaper when booked thru a Travel Site or Directly with the Hotel)
 
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