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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    worcestershire UK
    Posts
    17

    Default Car hire in advance or risk it at the airport?

    I am having a problem finding a decent rate for 2 weeks car hire in August.
    We go to The USA every year and have never experienced such high rates. I have always understood that just hiring on spec as such was the most expensive way to do it, is this still the case?
    Usually we secure a car six or so months ahead and go for the cheapest we can find then negotiate an upgrade with the company.
    Does anyone do anything any different and found it a better option?
    Cheers

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Many travellers from Europe mention on this forum that they get the best deals by going through a European consolidator and have all arrangements made before they arrive.

    Lifey

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    A UK consolidator we have heard good things about is carhire3000.com.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default This is What a Recovery Looks Like

    There are usually several contributing factors in any major price change and such is the case with car rentals. One major contributing factor was the recession and the current recovery. During the recession, car manufacturers lowered production and rental companies purchased fewer cars as demand dropped. Neither wanted to replace capacity or restock their fleets ahead of a recovery which no one was sure was even coming, let alone when. Well now that recovery is here, although still modest, and travelers - particularly business travelers - are back renting cars. But since the rental fleets have yet to be restocked it's the old law of supply and demand: too many renters chasing too few cars. Prices have been steadily rising for the last year or so and as long as people are available to pay the new higher rates, there is precious little incentive for the rental companies to add to their fleets and upset the supply/demand balance which is currently in their favor.

    Another thing that has changed is the way cars are transferred from maker to rental firm. In the past, cars were basically leased form the manufacturer and then returned after some set period of time for a set price. The risk of the car being returned with high mileage was on the manufacturer so the rental agency was free to rent it as often (as cheaply) as they could. Now cars are more likely to be sold directly to the rental company and they must then handle the resale of those cars through wholesalers. They get less for high mileage cars than those that have just been driven around town a few times. Again this argues for higher rental fees and fewer 'unlimited miles' deals.

    Rest assured that the price structure will eventually return to something like 'normal', but it won't happen any time soon. In the meantime your best bet is to grab the best rate that you can and then continue to watch for rate changes. Typically there is no penalty for canceling a car rental if done well enough in advance, so you are free to replace one reservation with another. Note however that some companies will cancel all reservations if you double book, so be sure to cancel your first reservation before making another with the same company.

    AZBuck

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    worcestershire UK
    Posts
    17

    Default

    Thank you for your help I didn't realise it was so complicated!
    I think that I will secure a booking with the cheapest and smallest car and then see if an upgrade (which is what we normally do) if still possible at a reasonable rate and if not squish in the smaller one! We aren't covering our normal 4000 - 5000 miles + this year probably only 2500 so it wouldn't be so bad if that was the case.
    Thanks again for your help.
    I might consider a blog this year as we're covering some beautiful places

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default We'd love to have you here.

    Quote Originally Posted by mac View Post
    I might consider a blog this year as we're covering some beautiful places.
    We'd love to have you share your trip with us. In fact, we have a special forum where you can record your adventures and photos.

    Looking forward to reading it.

    Lifey

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