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  1. Default Trust rental prices

    Hello, I've been looking at the forum when planing my coast to coast road trip next year. It's clear looking at the website here that you recommend renting a car instead of buying one. I have been looking at sites like kayak.com and here on the roadtripamerica.com for prices, and I am a bit confused as how these sites can show so much cheaper prices with Hertz, compared to checking the price on hertz.com. Are there a lot of extra fees not included in the price offer on roadtripamerica.com and kayak.com?

    Gabriel

  2. Default

    I should also say that the trip is from New York to San Francisco May 5th to June 12th. Hertz.com shows a total of a bit over USD2,000 and roadtripamerica.com and kayak.com show around USD1,300. Which i don't really understand when all sites show hertz as the cheapest.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Sometimes it seems there is no rhyme nor reason.

    Hi, and Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip forum!

    It appears at times as if there is little rhyme nor reason as to why rental costs vary so much. As well as varying so greatly from the company's own site, you will often find that a different day of the week or different time of day, can make a lot of difference in the price quoted. Make sure, however, that you go right through to the very end of the online rental process to make sure that all 'extras' have been included.

    Some find that going through the sites you have checked is the cheapest. At other times going through a consolidator seems to save a lot of money. For myself, my specific situation, I have always found that going through Budget's site, is the cheapest rental I have had.

    So you see, there is a lot of difference. Remember also, that normally car rental companies do not charge a penalty for cancelling a rental. So if you find what is a great price, grab it. Then email the location where you are renting, and confirm with them that your price is all inclusive.

    Lifey

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default apples to apples

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    When renting a car, changing just one small detail can result in a huge change in your price, which I'm going to guess might be what is happening here.

    What I suspect may be the most likely, especially with Kayak, is that you are seeing a big difference in price between renting the car at the airport and renting a car at a Hertz location within the city. From my own experience renting from Hertz in San Francisco last summer, I cut my rental car costs in half by renting from a Hertz office a couple miles from the airport, rather from the location at the airport itself.

    I would check that, along with other small details - even the pickup time can change the price. I would also make sure you are looking at the "total cost." Most car rental sites show two prices, the rental rate and then the total price after taxes and fees. Taxes and fees can easily double the total cost of the rental, especially on a one-way, cross-country trip, where there is usually a "drop fee."

    Now having said all that, it is entirely possible that 3rd party sites have a better rate than Hertz itself. As long as it is with a known company and they offer the price in writing, there should be no problems booking through an outside company (RTA's travel booking is backed by Priceline). Also keep in mind that Kayak is only a search engine, they don't offer booking themselves, rather they provide a link to the company that is offering the best rate (be it Priceline, Orbitz, Travelocity, even the rental car company itself).

    One final thought, unless you prepay or go through a consolidator, most of the time you do not have to pay, or even put down a deposit to hold your car rental reservation. That means you can reserve a good rate today, but if you find a cheaper rate a few weeks from now, you can rebook the new rate, and cancel the old one without penalty. I've actually done this as little as a few hours before picking up the car to save a few bucks!

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