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Alamo-sky harbour rental advice

Winnipeg
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149 posts
47 reviews
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Alamo-sky harbour rental advice

I want to rent a compact for 10 days at christmas from the Phoenix airport and drive all over Arizona.

Alamo is a lot cheaper than the rest. Does anyone have advice on this? thankyou.

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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1. Re: Alamo-sky harbour rental advice

We are renting from Alamo at PHX soon - I can let you know how it goes. I booked ours through www.hotwire.com , thus didn't know it was Alamo until it was booked and pre-paid. (Not that it gives me any misgivings - isn't Alamo one of the big national car rental companies?) It was cheaper doing it through hotwire than directly with them.

Great brickhill...
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243 posts
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2. Re: Alamo-sky harbour rental advice

Hi weve rented alamo cars on our stays in phx for more than a 15 years never had one problem , just be happy you got a good deal .

enjoy

paul

3. Re: Alamo-sky harbour rental advice

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Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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4. Re: Alamo-sky harbour rental advice

Hi again,

We booked Alamo through www.hotwire.com for our recent trip to Arizona. It was a good deal - just one warning though... they are VERY aggressive at upselling. The counter agent told us flat out that the subcompact we had booked would be "unable" to drive up the hills we would encounter in the mountains and that we would encounter difficulties at higher elevations - !!!

Now, we now that a subcompact won't be the most powerful vehicle on the road, especially on long hills, but it is stretching the truth - OK, I will say it, IT IS A LIE - to say that a small car CAN'T handle the terrain. We live in the mountains, and our area has TONS of subcompact rentals around during tourist season, so we knew she was lieing to us.

Even though we initially turned down the upgrade, she continued with the pitch, and where we got caught was when she mentioned that the next category up included a type of vehicle we are interested in purchasing. So we decided to upgrade to test drive it.

Only trouble was, once we got down to the cars, there weren't any of those available. We were a little annoyed - although there were two rows of vehicles in that category to choose from, we assumed that she should have known whether there were actually any of the model we wanted, before pitching it to us. However, we were too lazy to go back up and deal with her again and we wound up renting a Toyota Prius, a hybrid hatchback, which was also a model we were researching for our upcoming purchase.

Renting it has eliminated it from our list because although we generally liked the car and loved the fuel efficiency, we didn't like the way it handled curves at highway speeds. So in the end, I guess we're happy we upgraded - it was useful for this purpose... however our rental wound up costing us almost double what we had planned. (Original booked through hotwire was $305 USD for ten days... that wound up going through our credit card at $375 CDN. The upgrade was another $283CDN.)

The other pitch she was relentless with was the option to have them gas up the car when we were done. She said there were no gas stations near the airport (sounded like another lie to me), but DH was keen to get away from the counter and accepted it ($38 to fill). She did let us know we had the option to change it when we returned the car, which is, in the end what we wound up doing because there WAS a gas station nearby, and it only cost us $6 to top the tank up (I don't think a Prius can even hold $38 worth of gas! And that $38 tank of gas wound up being $54 once all the taxes etc. were added in. So BEWARE!) However, that made returning the car just a little longer (not a problem), as our total had to be adjusted upon return.

So with the upgrade, our car rental wasn't the good deal we had initially booked, however, we were still glad we did it. We would have no problem booking with Alamo again - but we would be better prepared for the VERY aggressive sales pitches.

Marina, California
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for Tucson
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5. Re: Alamo-sky harbour rental advice

You should always reject the "Advanced Gas Purchase" option when renting a car. It's a big scam and the only way to really take advantage of it is to return the car with no gas in it. Personally, I also think that the insurance is also a bit of a waste unless you're from outside North America, or you plan on destroying the car while it's in your possession.

In my experience, if you're assertive with them up front and say "Return full, decline insurance" right away before they ask, they'll leave you alone with the upsell business.

Also make sure that there are no mileage restrictions on your rental.

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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6. Re: Alamo-sky harbour rental advice

We did decline the insurance - we have coverage on our own auto policy (although we raised our liability coverage temporarily because we were in the U.S.). Just a note to anyone that the prices I mentioned in my last message did not include insurance, and were for unlimited miles.

California
6 posts
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7. Re: Alamo-sky harbour rental advice

The car rental companies are pretty much all the same. Same cars, same locations and in some cases they are the same company (e.g National/Alamo).

Another area they are the same is on the upsell. Don't take insurance if already covered by your charge card. Don't go for the gas options. Take it full and return it full. Don't take a GPS (if you insist - go by one - its probably cheaper). Don't upgrade (they will probably give you one anyway if they don't have enough cars). And beware hidden charges.

Choose by price.

The only relevant differentiator is the airport location. In some airports, the cheaper companies are located in a slum miles away. Alamo in Newark is an example. It is 25 miles away with no shuttle. Even in those cases, if the savings is significant for a long rental it might make sense. You may avoid an airport tax by renting in a city location.

Enjoy Phoenix - here are some relevant sites to help plan:

tripcart.com/usa-regions/Southern-Arizona,Pl…

Winnipeg
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149 posts
47 reviews
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8. Re: Alamo-sky harbour rental advice

Just a quick report. Alamo went great. The previous comments about pressure to upgrade were almost exactly our experience. Friendly nice people, but they know their lines. When i declined the upgrade the agent asked what cards/memberships i had and played with these to make the upgrade cost a few dollars/day more.

We paid $325 US for 12 days compact. I went with every code i could find on the web and mixed and matched them.

Thanks members for your help.

9. Re: Alamo-sky harbour rental advice

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