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Mark Sedenquist
11-11-2005, 02:23 PM
I just dropped off a rental car, (used on a road trip), and noticed that the amount of taxes that are levied on rental cars have risen a good deal in recent years.

I am very curious what you have found on your own roadtrips and have started the poll above to share some information about this trend.

Rentals made from Las Vegas are subject to nearly 28% in taxes, surcharges and levies. Supposedly these taxes are distributed to the local airport commission, the county, the state and other taxing authorities.

It is my understanding that such levies now exceed 90% in locations like Kansas City and Detroit. What has been your experience?

In many locations, locals can request and receive a discount on the airport concession fee -- which in Las Vegas is 10% of the total rental.

Mark

Robert Schaller
11-11-2005, 04:30 PM
Here in Phoenix, I know there are some extra charges but I am not certain where all of the money goes -- at least part of it goes toward building sports stadiums.

The city fathers (and mothers) and business people think it is OK to soak our tourists for these expenses after the taxpayers wouldn't approve higher general taxes for these purposes. I won't express my own opinion on that tactic. Or did I already? Bob

Midwest Michael
11-27-2005, 08:22 AM
I'm heading to Dallas in a few weeks and will be renting a car, where taxes and fees will make up 80% of my rental cost.

The cost for my car will be 45.96. The cost for the taxes will be 36.95: including $16 for DFW facility fee, $6 TX License Fee, $5.11 Airport Access fee, $2.30 City of Euless Tax, and $7.54 Sales Tax.

An Airport Access fee and a Airport Facility Fee???


Adding to Bob's comments about Pheonix taxing tourists, in March the whole state of AZ also adds a "spring training" tax to all rental cars.

Mark Sedenquist
11-27-2005, 09:48 AM
I'm heading to Dallas in a few weeks and will be renting a car, where taxes and fees will make up 80% of my rental cost.
The cost for my car will be 45.96. The cost for the taxes will be 36.95: including $16 for DFW facility fee, $6 TX License Fee, $5.11 Airport Access fee, $2.30 City of Euless Tax, and $7.54 Sales Tax. It is getting crazy -- being a local in Las Vegas, I have been able to ask and secure an exemption for the tax used to "transport" me from the airport to the rental facility (which I have never used), but the airport authority is getting ready to close that loophole.

I would think that being a customer service representative at these places would be unpleasant at best. I have seen shocked tourists almost scream at the desk operators when their rental was nearly double what they expected.

Thanks for the intel on Dallas. Phew!

Mark

tickford
01-23-2006, 02:03 AM
Hi people,

We are coming to New York in May and hiring a car for 30 days and the cost for car rental is approx $1049 US dollars and $458 US on top of that for taxes of some sort. It was put to me by a New Yorker that they are slugging tourists to pay for things in New York that the locals refuse to pay for, as seems the case in Las Vegas. As my husband says, we could nearly buy a car for that. Oh and BTW we still have to sort out part of the insurance which is on top of that.

Mark Sedenquist
01-23-2006, 10:31 AM
We are coming to New York in May and hiring a car for 30 days and the cost for car rental is approx $1049 US dollars and $458 US on top of that for taxes of some sort. Airport use taxes are the way many local governments pay for their services. Kansas City is currently running about 93% taxes and Las Vegas is about 28% --
It was put to me by a New Yorker that they are slugging tourists to pay for things Actually the one group of people that really get slammed are business travelers. The average business traveler (without a Saturday usage/stay) pays about 34% more per week than that average tourist.
As my husband says, we could nearly buy a car for that. Not really -- But in our view, the HUGE ADVANTAGE is that a rental car comes essentially maintenance free -- if something breaks, you can new one with little problem. Try doing that with a car you purchase for a month...

Oh and BTW we still have to sort out part of the insurance which is on top of that.
RoadTripping is an an adventure and adventure travel can be costly -- but worth every penny.

Mark

tickford
01-23-2006, 09:54 PM
Editor,

Husband's comment was with tongue firmly in cheek. Of course renting a car from a reliable source is for us the only way to go, any problems and we call the rental company. Road tripping is what we nearly always do and are looking forward to this adventure, can't wait to go.

kcstockdale
04-13-2006, 07:51 AM
Doing some research with Hertz, I learned they have off airport terminals that rent cars much cheaper and with less taxes then airport terminals.

Does any one know of a rental company that will rent to users under 25? Hertz is the cheapest being $25 a day for a driver under 25. So my week long road trip will cost an extra $175. Thats a bunch of "nonsense" if you ask me.

As far as Dallas goes, the extra tax is so the Cowboys can get a better stadium. If you ask me, they should just "increase" the cost of tickets for games and get the money that way.

MDMonetti
04-13-2006, 12:42 PM
I've always paid less than 20%, but I only rent in more rural areas (I really think you can do without in most major American cities).

-M.Monetti

MaxxedMan
04-17-2006, 10:06 PM
For $1500 you could buy a car that would worth $1500 a month later... not my depreciation there.

RoadTripper Brad
04-18-2006, 09:02 PM
Here in Phoenix, our public transit really takes the low points, and our taxi service will cost you an arm and a leg just to go a few miles. If I was only spending a day or two, or was in a city like New York where transit is abound, I wouldn't bother with a rental, but for most the the cities I've been to (Seattle, San Francisco, LA, Phoenix), to do much out away from your hotel without having to dole out the dinero or be inconvenienced by late bus service/no taxis, a rental car seems best. Yet, I'm too young to rent one... so I'm stuck with transit, taxies, and super-shuttle to get around if I go off without my own wheels.

-Brad

AshleyDillo
05-02-2006, 10:34 AM
Does any one know of a rental company that will rent to users under 25? Hertz is the cheapest being $25 a day for a driver under 25. So my week long road trip will cost an extra $175. Thats a bunch of "nonsense" if you ask me.

Enterprise is only $10 extra a day I believe. If you don't use a credit card you WILL have to surrender a deposit or a hold against debit card funds, but I believe this is for all renters, not just someone under 21.

-- Ashley

Midwest Michael
05-02-2006, 11:26 AM
Enterprise's 21-25 fee varies from location to location. I have seen it as low as $10 at some places, up around $25 or more at others, and some places Enterprise won't allow anyone under 25 at all.

Mark Sedenquist
06-06-2006, 08:39 PM
I rented a 2007 Chrysler Torrent AWD (SUV) from National at Las Vegas from May 23rd to June 6th. Taxes (called a variety of things ranging from "customer facility charge, city car rental fee, license recovery surcharge, Tax recoup and Nevada government surcharge fee") added 29% of the rental fee to the total cost. ($113.95)

Total cost for the 15 days (including my discounts) was $397.52 for a brand new car with unlimited mileage and was a nice ride!

Mark

The Taco Monster
08-02-2006, 06:30 PM
I've been to Florida fairly frequently, from the Wash DC area, and have noticed the taxes there boosted the bill around 50%. I investigated further and found some (not all) of the taxes are levied on travellers and not the local population. The true difference comes in how long you've been in Florida before you pick up your car rental. At the time I asked, the magic time span was 72 hours. After that you are treated like a resident. Now, I've relatives in Florida, so immediate transportation has not been critical.

Another option if you in the N.E. is to send your own car down by Amtrack's AutoTrain, leaving just South of Washington DC. I've found if you are in Florida two weeks or more, Amtrack's ticket for the car, will be less than renting a car for the same time period. For just a week, the cost is about the same. BTW - You have to travel on the same train as the car. Very roomy seats are standard, more private accomodations are also available. An overnight trip. The cheaper private accomodations can be cramped if you have more than two people, regardless of what you might see on the train's website.

Here's another saver for California that worked well for me. This is from a trip I took late May, early June (yes over memorial day). Flew into Sacramento. Two months before I left I checked rental car prices for a 10 day period,
and found them $200 - $300 more than what I expected, i.e. over $500 for an intermediate 5-passenger car. I got the price I wanted by (a) staying overnight in Sacramento at a motel, then (b) getting Amtrack part-way to Yosemite (my first "real destination), and picked up a rental car at a small town part way there. Presto, no high fees.

Point is, if you have the flexibility, and can do without the car for a few days, there are ways to make that drive more affordable. BTW, in the past year, I've twice rented at one location, dropped of at another without a surcharge -- perhaps because I'm a AAA member, perhaps it was just the locations. :-?

Hope that helps.

Mark Sedenquist
08-02-2006, 07:08 PM
Here's another saver for California that worked well for me. ...I got the price I wanted by (a) staying overnight in Sacramento at a motel, then (b) getting Amtrack part-way to Yosemite (my first "real destination), and picked up a rental car at a small town part way there. Presto, no high fees. VERY interesting -- thanks for sharing these tips!

Mark

PNW Judy
08-02-2006, 11:51 PM
Another option if you in the N.E. is to send your own car down by Amtrack's AutoTrain, leaving just South of Washington DC.

I had no idea these types of trains existed in the US. I knew they were in Europe but didn't know they were here. Very cool.

RoadTripper Brad
08-03-2006, 01:16 PM
I too have heard that, although avalibility may be less ample and the selection of vehicles limited, you can shave quite a few bucks off the Metro Rental prices by getting as far from the Metro Area as possible.

As soon as I reach the age where I can rent a car without being asked to pay an unthinkable surcharge, this idea will lay well into my origional plans of flying into Sea-Tac from Phoenix then taking the Super Shuttle to Amtrak/King St. Station, and off to Wenatchee.

Mark Sedenquist
08-03-2006, 03:20 PM
I too have heard that, although avalibility may be less ample and the selection of vehicles limited, you can shave quite a few bucks off the Metro Rental prices by getting as far from the Metro Area as possible.In my limited experience, I have found that the best place to find the lowest prices are at the high-volume sites -- like airports and metro locations. I have paid large premiums for cars when renting in locations with small number of cars in the local fleet.

Mark

The Taco Monster
08-03-2006, 07:21 PM
I have found that the best place to find the lowest prices are at the high-volume sites -- like airports and metro locations.
Mark

That was especially true many years ago when I compared prices in San Diego to a small airport to the West by 20 miles. Back then, I think the taxes were fairly low, regardless of where you got the car - the price was just say 5% higher than the quoted rate, regardless of location. Long time ago.

Las Vegas would make an interesting case for today. If I recall the taxes and other fees almost double the price when renting from the airport. I wonder if that's the case when renting from a neighborhood location.

AZBuck
08-04-2006, 01:14 PM
On a recent business trip to Albuquerque/Santa Fe, the actual rental
cost for three days on a full-sized car (a Ford Taurus) was $134.67.

The taxes were:

State Surcharge: $12.15
Rental Tax: $ 6.73
Concession Fee: $10.17
Sales Tax: $13.32
---------
Total Taxes: $42.37

So the taxes amounted to 31.46% on top of the price of the rental.

AZBuck

Mark Sedenquist
08-04-2006, 01:15 PM
AZBuck,

I really need to update my records from my last few trips -- Good reminder. And thanks for this info!

Mark

duck
08-07-2006, 07:29 AM
Who do you guys recommend for one-way rental Tacoma to San Francisco. I'm more than happy to pick up and drop off at off airport location if it's gonna save me some $. I always use Enterprise with off-airport(i.e. for NY/NYC, pick up in Jersey City and save big) but they do not do one-way rentals.

Would also consider driving a car tat someone needs moved from Seattle-Tacoma area to Sanoma-San Jose area. Any info on how to hook up for 'drive my car' deal would be great.

-Duck

thoreau_LM
08-07-2006, 08:46 AM
Doing some research with Hertz, I learned they have off airport terminals that rent cars much cheaper and with less taxes then airport terminals.

Not just the taxes, but the fare as well. In Chicago, you can get a much cheaper rental fare renting from Midway as opposed to OHare, even using the same company.

BTW, the rental tax in Chicago is about 18%. (this is literally Highway Robbery)

regards,
-Lance

The Taco Monster
08-07-2006, 06:24 PM
Interesting. That was certainly true for one of my trips in May/June. Its a great option when it fits in your schedule. I've advocated it too.

But my cheapest ever rental was Chicago Ohare many years ago -- I had to assume a price war was going on ... :-) Washington Dulles had really low rates one summer. So it pays to shop around. Also the airports have the best hours, if you don't arrive during prime time. Eg: I arrived in Oklahoma City last year, just after lunch on a Summer Saturday ... the only Hertz rental open in the city was the airport location -- fortunately I'd done enough research to know that ahead of time. At OKC, btw, the cars were walking distance from terminal building.

daawgon
11-14-2006, 03:28 PM
Those of you planning to visit the Pacific Northwest, I just wanted to clue you in to where you could rent a car with no extra charges at all, and no taxes as well. If you fly into Portland/PDX, you can rent a car in Beaverton, OR with no additional charges/taxes at all. There is light rail service directly from the PDX airport terminal to Beaverton, where you walk approx. 1/2 mile to either Enterprise or Budget agents on Canyon Blvd. I suggest you use Mapquest to help you locate the vicinity.

In addition, we have a fabulous market where you can get a free lunch of quality food samples (best on Saturdays). This pre-Thanksgiving week, we had a wonderful mini-plate of turkey, 2 dressings, gravy and cranberry sauce presented to us at the front door. In addition, they had a wine tasting and a dessert sampling in the store as well.

quinncallahan
11-29-2006, 02:22 PM
The Under 25 fee is bushleague for those of us "young" adults that have a fine driving record and alot of driving experience. Unforunately there is no way around it though. The one thing I have learned is that it varies by each company in each state, and even sometimes as the taxes by each branch. I know in Louisianna National Rent-a-Car is a wonderful ten dollars a day and that if you research the different companies and branches you can often (though not alway) find someone that offers a under 25 fee of less than 25 dollars a day.

~quinn

Mark Sedenquist
11-29-2006, 02:51 PM
The one thing I have learned is that it varies by each company in each state, What I have learned is that posing questions to real people often results in much better savings than anything one can find online. Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum and thanks for your insight.

Mark

RoadTripper 912
12-08-2006, 10:45 PM
I rented a car from Budget.

It was a terrible experience for the most part. * Just little things like:
- They never went over the rental time / estimate costs.

- They never went around the car with me to point out dings so I was so stressed worrying about ones I noticed.

- They were hard to pin down on the phone.

- They didn't reply to my email to customer service trying to sort my issues.

- They ended up phoning at 5am CA time to say the car was "late" - when in fact I'd phoned them two days earlier to confirm it was being returned 2 days EARLIER - to San Jose (they were still expecting it to be returned to NY) Nevermind it's confusing and it was frustrating and it was by far the worst part of the whole entire month-long journey.

Now for the money - they charged me the following for one a month rental:

$ 1059.99 - rental
$ 300.00 - one way fee
$ 194.21 - 14.28% fee (Fuel service fee?)
$ 207.87 - tax @ 13.375

$ 1762.07

That's my car rental two cents at any rate. I won't use them again - though customer service on the West Coast (San Jose Intl)* was far superior to what I experienced at LaGuardia. I am sure there will be other people who had a great experience with Budget, but I simply am not one of them...

C'est la vie!

Cali

PNW Judy
12-10-2006, 06:56 PM
What a huge expense! I'm sorry your experience was so poor. I hope more people report back their experiences in the future so we can get an idea of what companies are good to do business with and which aren't. I'm sorry you had to find out the hard way.

Mark Sedenquist
12-21-2006, 05:41 PM
I rented a car from Budget. I am sorry you had a bad experience. For the future and for others considering renting a vehicle a few observations:

- They never went over the rental time / estimate costs. That really isn't the job of the counter agent -- the renter has the responsibility to ask questions if the rate is unclear.

- They never went around the car with me to point out dings so I was so stressed worrying about ones I noticed.The only rental companies that do this are the "budget" carriers like Enterprise Rent A Car -- Major chains don't worry about the little stuff and neither should you. I have rented hundreds of vehicles over the years from major firms and have never been charged for anything ding (and I never bothered to look at the car when I picked it up either...)

- They were hard to pin down on the phone. This is odd and not good. You might consider contacting Christopher Elliott (http://www.elliott.org/columns/the_troubleshooter/), he is a colleague of mine and an expert at resolving issues like you seem to have had with this rental. He writes a Troubleshooter column and if you write to him, I bet he can assist.

Mark

Midwest Michael
12-21-2006, 08:09 PM
I'm sorry that Budget was such a hassle for you. I certainly understand how that can be an unwanted stress on a trip.

I will say that I have used Budget before without any problems. Although its been about 5 years and at the time I chose them mostly because they had the smallest under 25 fee.

It also does sound like you at least got a good rate. Most people who've posted rates for a 1 way, 1 month trip generally are quoted more than $2000. It might not make up for the lousy service, but at least its something.

lhuff
12-22-2006, 12:28 PM
As some know I am a CPA and I got my license at 24 and have worked as an accountant since I was 21. My first real job at the CPA firm was to perform an audit of a car rental company. I got the biggest laugh when I learned that I was compentant enough to audit the financials of the company but not trusted enough to rent a car from them. They had a strict no rental policy for anyone under 25. And it was a National Car Rental Franchise in Louisiana.

Mark Sedenquist
12-22-2006, 12:30 PM
I got the biggest laugh when I learned that I was compentant enough to audit the financials of the company but not trusted enough to rent a car from them. They had a strict no rental policy for anyone under 25. And it was a National Car Rental Franchise in Louisiana.I loved this story.

mark

loola
12-24-2006, 01:54 PM
I work for a travel agency and therefore make most of the pre-arrangement for the trip through work. I rent a car from Alamo-National via our local supplier which gives me a significant discount on a deal which includes insurance (plus waive of damage), two additional drivers and a tank of gas for free.

However, the longest rental period available through the local agency is 56 days. Not having any concrete plans for the trip besides a conference in Vegas in Mid-April, we had initially thought to drop off the car whcuh we'd pick up in Chicago in Vegas tgen pick up another car there and drop off that second car in Chicago. This would have cost $1000 plus tax.

This forced us to play around and actually plan, so we ended up renting a car for 56 days, pick up and drop off in Chicago, and then pick up another car in Chicago for 14 days and drop it off in NYC. The drop off charge would be $200 plus tax but taking a plane to New York would have cost even more.
We've been told that we can try and baragin at the rental station - perhaps take a smaller car or something in lieu of the drop off charge. Is it doable?

Midwest Michael
12-24-2006, 02:51 PM
Well, it certainly never hurts to ask if you can get some sort of a deal. However, $200 for a drop fee from Chi to NYC doesn't sound unreasonable to me and I don't think you'll have much luck getting it changed.

Part of your problem is that most rental car companies keep their fleets at specific locations, and one way rentals are typically returned to their original location. Therefore, the rental car companies additional costs for renting a car one way are the same regardless of what size of car you are dealing with.

But like I said before, it never hurts to try and negotiate a deal. The worst that can happen is you'll end up paying full price.

oggy
01-04-2007, 01:17 PM
I dont know too much about hiring face to face as I have only hired cars twice, both of which I picked up in California and dropped off in New York. I went through, http://www.airline-network.co.uk. As i am from England and our insurance is so different to that in the US I email all the information to the AAA to ask their opinion. I got a reply telling me that the deal I had got was about as comprehensive as I could hope for. The cost was not very expensive either. The biggest bonus was, both times they forgot to charge the one way drop off fee.

sunpo
04-03-2007, 03:19 PM
Oggy... I am planning on renting a car in San Francisco to drop of in New York, can I ask you:

1# What the name of the car rental company was that you used as I see the link provided different options?

2# Was there any other charges on top of what you where quoted or charged from the online booking?

Many thanks
Mike

mikphire
04-04-2007, 09:26 AM
I'm sorry to hear about Roadtripper912's experience with Budget.

My experience with them was pretty good, I got an almost brand new Hyundai Sonata, racked up 11,000 miles and had dinged the front bumper pretty good, but they didn't charge extra, didn't even bat on eye at the miles and didn't even notice that the front was a bit 'out of place'.

Maybe it's where you rented it- you mentioned LaGuardia... I rented mine in Long Island, don't have the specific stats on me, but it wasn't unreasonable. Plus, we used coupons we found for them and got a discount- they seem pretty good with honouring the coupons. You can get them on various travel sites, just takes poking around a bit.
And they seem to have the best rates in New York so far.

RoadTrippers A & R
04-04-2007, 10:06 AM
The worst abuse we've heard is Whistler Canada.

UKCraig
04-04-2007, 10:38 AM
I've used Avis, Hertz and Dollar at various times and from various locations. Never had any problems with any of them and I think it's fair to say, we do tend to really hammer the cars, but have never had a word said to us about anything (including a busted gearbox in Toronto!) I don't recall the taxes though, I'm afraid, but I'll definately keep an eye out next time.

glc
10-28-2008, 08:21 PM
Last time I rented a car was from Avis here in town. I rented a Cadillac DTS for a wedding - one day rental. The rental was $99.00, the total bill was $106.75. No fees here, just normal sales tax.

Lifemagician
12-26-2008, 11:47 PM
I am sure there will be other people who had a great experience with Budget, but I simply am not one of them...



Hi Cali,

Glad to say, I am one of them.

I have on three occasions rented from Budget - one day Rocklin CA > San Jose CA (2001); two days San Jose > LAX (2004). Neither cost was excessive - though right now I cannot remember exactly what they were... I recall the two day rental was around $86.

In 2004 I also rented a vehicle from Budget, Seattle, for 28 days, unlimited miles, which cost me a smidgin over $1000.00. That car went up the Sea to Sky Highway, to Prince George, Smithers, Whitehorse, Anchorage, Seward, Fairbanks all of the Alaska Hwy, Icefields Parkway and via Kamloops, back to Seattle.

An hour after picking up the car, I had a minor accident, and within hours the vehicle was replaced. I was not charged for the replacement, or the very very minor damage. And to top it off, I had been upgraded from a small car to a medium sedan at no extra cost.

It was a great deal, the service was excellent. Only complaint I have is that I was not able to rent for six or seven weeks, to have a bit more time for sightseeing.

Lifey who hopes to get back to Alaska in 2009

rtusa613
01-07-2009, 10:49 AM
Interesting...Is there any final conclusion about the most inexpensive ways to rent a car?

A list of the cheapest states, taking into account both actual cost and all the taxes and Insurance?

Midwest Michael
01-07-2009, 11:14 AM
The only final conclution is that there is no one sized fits all answer.

Even a state-by-state breakdown wouldn't do much good because many "tourist" taxes and fees on rental cars are specific to cities, metro-areas, or even individual airports.

You just have to shop around

PNW Judy
01-07-2009, 02:20 PM
I believe there is also going to be differences in cost based on what is going on in the area. If it's the high-tourist season, cars are probably going to cost more than if they're searching for customers. Since this varies from one area to another, month-to-month, and there may be local anomalies that increase prices for a short period of time (things like the big balloon festival in Albuquerque, for example) that means the prices will keep changing.

Jerry
01-08-2009, 07:15 AM
I think that where many people used to rent from one car rental brand, exclusively, more and more people are comparison shopping and will go with whatever company will give them what they want, for that particular rental. For some it's price, some vehicle type, and for some it's the level of customer service they recieve. Sometimes those priorities change from rental to rental. You generally go with Company A for business rentals, but will only use Company B, C or D for leisure rentals or vacation.

Car rental companies cannot bank on brand loyalty from their customers without providing the products and services to back it up.

glc
01-08-2009, 08:58 AM
You will also find widely varying levels of customer service from one office to another even with the same company. When I was living up in the Chicago area, I used to get great service from the local Enterprise office, but the Enterprise office down here sucks. I've switched to Avis here.

vegas08
01-08-2009, 10:34 PM
I worked for two rental car companies while in college and have rented many cars since in 10-15 states, but I have little loyalty. I go for the best price, sticking with bigger companies because I want the convenience of having my car replaced relatively easier in case of breakdown or such. I've typically rented for one day to one week, declining insurance because my own auto coverage and credit card offer protection. Rates vary widely no matter the company, based on supply and demand. At the rental companies I worked for, we would call all competitors each day to check prices and adjust as needed. Airport locations are often more expensive in metro areas, I've found. Unless there's a specific reason that I need a larger car, I always reserve the smallest car possible. More often than not, they don't have a compact available and I get an upgrade free. When I request a car, I try to make sure it has a trunk, so my bags and such are hidden.

When going to town knowing demand will be high, I try to reserve a car at two separate companies, provided I don't have to give my credit card number. I do that because one of the rental companies I used to work for (a huge chain) routinely overbooked people every summer weekend because every call that went to the 800 number would be booked, without knowledge of local car supply. That meant that, on many weekends, angry customers would stand in line for hours waiting for the few cars available and those yet to be returned.

When renting at airports, I tend to avoid Enterprise and other smaller companies because they're sometimes inconviently located away from the airport (you take a shuttle or call for a van ride). I don't like the delay. I also don't like that some of the smaller companies aren't open 24 hours at airports. If I take a late flight that is delayed, I stand the chance of the rental car company closing before I actually get to pick up my car, forcing me to pay walk-up prices at a competitor.

If money is tight and you expect to buy insurance from the rental company, I'd suggest you comparison shop those rates along with the rental costs. Some companies really stick it to customers on insurance, though their rental rates are lower. In the end, you might pay more than you would've elsewhere.

At one of the rental companies I worked at, all employees had to join the Teamsters, were paid relatively well and had insurance benefits even as part-timers, which is why I worked for them. I mention this in case some people are interested in supporting such business practices.

Luc
05-23-2009, 02:03 PM
Hi,

I booked my car for 31/8 untill 25/09 and therefore I payed 585 (around 820 $). I think this is a fair price. Above all the company told me that there are no extra charges at all. I did my reservation via www.eautohuur.nl and I will be renting with Alamo.

So fingers crossed, that I won't meet any surprises when I arrive...

Greetz,
Luc

dina maria pittas
06-23-2009, 12:03 AM
Hey,
We have just booked our car rental through a travel agent. We collect the car at Phoenix airport and drop off at Las Vegas airport 10 days later.

The driver is under 25, and we were originally quoted as having to pay 120 (approx $196) of charges payable locally and an additional 350 (approx $570)surcharge for the driver who is 24 years old.

The rental only came to 317 (approx $516) with insurance included we thought it was quite funny the charges cost more than the actual rental of the car. So the total stood at 787 (approx $1,283) thats nearly more than double the cost of the original rental price on charges.

Luckily the agent managed to speak to the company (Alamo) and they have agreed to drop the under 25 charge for us since the driver has held her license for 5 years. We of course are waiting for this in writing, as it will totally cripple us moneywise if we turn up at Phoenix and discover we have to pay hundreds of pounds out extra.

I am concerned that we may have to pay an extra charge now for dropping off in Las Vegas. Would this charge of been presented to us when we got the quote and booked since the quote is based on us hiring in PHX and dropping off in Vegas? or will it be a nasty surprise at the start/end of our trip?

Mark Sedenquist
06-23-2009, 12:13 AM
I would be cautious about those "Dropped fees" It's actually not uncommon for the surcharges to exceed the cost of the rental. I think you need to be prepared to pay the surcharges and perhaps you will be pleasantly surprised.

Mark

dina maria pittas
06-23-2009, 12:20 AM
I'm really glad i found this site now, it has been really useful and i will definatly be phoning the agent as soon as possible I was there while she was on the phone to Alamo and def said they'd pass over the charge.. hmm. but like you say if we expect to pay the charges it may be a great end to the trip to have some extra cash to burn in Vegas and if we do have to pay we haven't lost anything really.

Midwest Michael
06-24-2009, 05:51 AM
It is certainly a good idea to get the "no underage fee" deal in writing. Remember, most people in the US get their drivers license when they are 16, and you generally can't even rent a car with a surcharge until you are 21 - so that's 5 years of experience for most people. The underage fee last until you are 25, so again for most americans, that's a whole 9 years of experience before the fee goes away. Of course, the fee is tied to age, not experience, so you can be a 25 year old driver who got their license 8 minutes ago, and get a better rate than someone who is 24 and has had a full license for more than 8 years!

Regardless of the those things, the fees should be presented up front, and I would want to get everything I could in writing before landing in PHX. Once you have the car, your rental paperwork will spell out all of the costs, and you should know everything you'll have to pay before you drop off the car.

Midwest Michael
07-06-2009, 02:50 PM
Not surprisingly, with many areas having big budget problems, governments are turning once again to tourists to fix their money problems.

Milwaukee will apparently see car rental fees jump by up to 800%, which now makes the taxes and fees 40% or more of the rental cost! Sadly, as this newspaper article shows (http://www.jsonline.com/business/49987352.html), several other cities are also charging nearly as much!

fezboa
09-09-2010, 03:59 AM
Hi,

we are three guys form Germany doing a road trip in September starting in Los Angeles. We rented a car over a german internet site and got a voucher for Alamo Car Rental. We already paid to the broker and the voucher includes a collision damage waiver and a second driver.
It would like to hear some advice from you to avoid any additional costs Alamo might try to charge from us. We know we have to pay for the full fuel tank at departure, which is ok. However we are afraid they might try to charge extra services or insurances we did not take or were unaware of when signing.

bye,
fezboa

Southwest Dave
09-09-2010, 04:13 AM
A voucher ?

The only way to get the right advice is to contact the broker, or Alamo directly, but have you not got a renal contract with all the details ?

You say you are starting in LA but are you finishing there ? If not "one way drop off fees" could be possible if not already stated/agreed upon. Are any drivers under the age of 25 years ? If so you could have "young driver fee's" unless already stated/agreed.

Wroberson
06-09-2012, 12:24 AM
I can help a little here.

If traveling to Chicago, rent a car from Oak Park. Oak Park is just west of the City of Chicago and can be accessed from the blue line trains from either Midway or O'hare. The 2.25 it will cost to get from the airport to the rental company in Oak Park is worth it. Even though it's going to take 90 minutes. You can save 50-100 bucks on a week long rental.

Denver. You can save money on the rental by renting from downtown Denver. I don't remember who much I saved, but it had to be close to 100 bucks a week. A bus will take you from the airport to Cherry Creek Mall bus terminal. There's a few rental car companies right around the corner.

Las Vegas. If you're heading there, search online for Vegas specific sites like this one. I always get a car from the airport for 9-15 dollars a day. I don't remember the name of the sites, but they are out there. You can even save on hotels.

My main advice and this is how I've always done it. You should reserve a rental car first. Even if you only have a range of travel dates, reserve a car per week for your range dates. If you're going sometime between July and September, then you are allowed to make 8 reservations. Make the reservation(s) as far in advance as possible. Just remember to cancel all reservations that will be unused. This will keep the rental company(s) happy.

The 2nd thing is to always look for a lower price every week once you have your reservation(s). By reserving first and committing later, checking up for better deals will save you money based on the original reservation total. My example is the reservation I made in February at $181.00. Last week I found one for $165.00, and about an hour ago, I found another rental car for $139.00. So, From my stand point, I have saved $42.00 on the cost of my rental car. Just $15.00 in taxes and surcharge.

joanpark
08-13-2012, 02:50 AM
By reserving first and committing later, checking up for better deals will save you money based on the original reservation total.
This is a good idea, booking your plane ticket and car rentals in advance can get you a much cheaper deal whenever you're on vacation.

DonnaR57
10-12-2014, 02:14 PM
Adding to the rental car bit:

If you are a member of Costco, be sure to check out Costco Travel before you rent a car someplace. We were just looking to make a reservation for our November air trip to the Midwest. I checked different rental car sites, such as Enterprise's site, Hertz's site, and a few others. I also checked some other conglomeration sites, as we were looking for either a small SUV or a mini-van. The prices were outrageous! Then my husband remembered an article we had read, about Costco Travel, and decided to check that one. WOW! The end result was that we reserved a regular-sized SUV at $200 less for the week than any other site, including Alamo's itself. My husband made the comment, "That just paid for our Costco membership, for two years -- this year, and when it comes up for renewal in Feb."

But we will keep checking for better deals. Unfortunately, over Thanksgiving, that may be fairly useless. A lot of folks are flying over that holiday.



Donna

glc
10-12-2014, 03:15 PM
Try AARP Travel too, if you are a member. I've gotten great car and hotel deals from them. It's powered by Expedia.

MartyandApril
11-01-2014, 10:21 PM
I wonder if that will work with our Australian Costco membership...
We're planning on travelling to America for the first time in 2015 & I'd love to drive the west coast from LA to Seattle.
Still in early thought prior to planning phase though, so have a some time to research more!
Great advice though Donna, thanks.

Lifemagician
11-01-2014, 10:52 PM
Hi and Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum.

It might pay to check with your local store, but I recall being in the States when it was announced that Costco was coming to Melbourne. At the time, when visiting Costco in Boston with my son.They seemed to be of the opinion that the membership would be honoured in both countries.

Since those days I have discovered that my local grocer is cheaper than Costco, so have not bothered with a membership.

Lifey

DonnaR57
11-02-2014, 07:49 AM
Whether you save enough on anything with a Costco or Sam's Club membership, really depends on how you shop. For us, it's not usually the food that we save a lot on. Instead, it's things like motor oil, car tires (we haven't needed new tires on the truck yet), liquor, men's shirts, and a few other things. The car rental thing was happenstance and I'm glad for it. They are also good for tickets to things both local and far, like movie and theme park tickets.

My parents shopped in Canada's Costco stores when traveling with their USA Costco card, so it would surprise me if an Australian Costco card would be turned down!


Donna