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  1. Default Car rental in Vegas

    I need to reserve a rental car for our upcoming fly-and-drive trip. We'll be flying into Vegas, where we'll rent a car and drive through the western national parks. We plan to head towards the Grand Canyon first (none of us've ever been there!), then through Utah and up through Denver. We'll see Mt. Rushmore, then Yellowstone / Grand Tetons, and finally we'll return to Vegas.

    First, I've already learned -- too late! -- that it's expensive to rent a car in Vegas. Wow, the surcharges and taxes! But it's done. Since we're flying on reward points (and those seats go fast), I had to make the flight reservations 100 years in advance, and we're now locked into a Vegas arrival-departure. In retrospect, I could've begun-ended our trip in Denver just as easily.

    I can't fix the surcharges and taxes, but I could use some advice on these things:

    My husband uses rental cars frequently for business, and he usually uses Avis or Enterprise simply because they're convenient to our house. It turns out that Avis has a very poor selection in Vegas (sedans only, and we're looking for an SUV for more space -- we're a family of four) and Enterprise is uber-expensive (we didn't know -- the company's been paying!).

    Some companies do not allow their cars to be driven as far as we plan to drive. I don't want to break any rules and end up with fines.

    A quick look through the internet sites tells me that Dollar and Alamo look pretty good. Any advice on them?

    Alamo has a Chevy Trailblazer (or similar) for a very good price, and it seems to be about the size of the Ford Explorer we drive at home. Am I on the right track here? Would we be comfortable with four people (the girls are 12 and 15, and both are bigger than I am)? We're light packers, but we'll each have a bag . . . plus a cooler and a plastic tub for bread, chips, etc.

    I'd kind of like to go up to the full-sized SUV -- like a Dodge Durango -- but WOW the price difference. We're talking double! And more gas too. I'm not sure it's worth the difference.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Amazing Deal

    I did a search for a car out of Las Vegas for 2 weeks in July to get an idea of what you were seeing, and I was flabbergasted by the deal Alamo was offering on a standard SUV (Chevy Trailblazer or similar). $140/week with unlimited miles!. Now, of course, once you add all the taxes, tariffs and fees, that comes to $414 for the two weeks. I see what you mean about Las Vegas. But that's still less than what Hertz or Avis will give you an econobox for over the same timeframe. I have rented from Dollar and Alamo, and most of the other 'secondary' companies over the years and find their cars just as good as the big boys'. Their location may be a bit farther from the terminal, but they'll have a shuttle. They may be a bit slower to get you service should you have a problem with the car on the road, but you're renting a relatively new, well maintained vehicle. I have never had a problem with any rental car I've ever had.

    I was going to suggest that you look at a mini-van with a third row of seats, but that deal from Alamo looks too good to pass up if you can get it. The Trailblazer lists as a 5 passenger vehicle with room for 7 bags, which should be more than enough for your purposes. If in doubt, go by your local Chevy dealer and have a sit in one.

    AZBuck

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    I did a search for a car out of Las Vegas for 2 weeks in July to get an idea of what you were seeing, and I was flabbergasted by the deal Alamo was offering on a standard SUV (Chevy Trailblazer or similar). $140/week with unlimited miles!. Now, of course, once you add all the taxes, tariffs and fees, that comes to $414 for the two weeks. I see what you mean about Las Vegas.
    I also thought the price was really good -- that's why I posted! I was suspicious that there might be "something wrong" with it! I did peek into a Trailblazer that I saw at the mall, and it looks to be essentially the same in size as our Ford Explorer.

    Thanks for the vote of confidence. I probably will end up taking this deal.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Yes, a Trailblazer is GM's answer to the Explorer. A Durango is hardly any roomier, it's not really a full size SUV either. When you talk full size, I think Tahoe/Expedition class. I've been in a Trailblazer on the highway, it's not too bad. Expect 18 to 21 mpg on the highway, less in town. It may only have a 6 cylinder engine, but it's quite powerful.

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