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It pays off to keep checking car rental rates.

Vancouver Island...
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It pays off to keep checking car rental rates.

Ok, so I am now fully engaged in rental car shopping. It's getting to be a part time job. I have changed the reservations so many times now I have to keep a separate folder in my emails to keep track.

We don't arrive till 10pm on the 25th of November, but I have been check the rates each day just out of curiosity. I settled on Costco.com since they have been the lowest consistently.

Three days ago I confirmed a mini-van for the first 7 days of our stay through Alamo for $200 all in. Yesterday I confirmed an SUV for the following 12 days through Enterprise for $384 all in.

Today I checked the rates just to see if anything had changed. The exact same bookings through the same companies are now $1183. It's still more than 6 weeks until our trip.

Wonder what is going to happen next week?? LOL

ohio
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1. Re: It pays off to keep checking car rental rates.

I kept checking rates right up until 2 days before our departure for Oahu and Maui and the rates just kept dropping. I used Thrifty as they were the cheapest and I saved a couple hundred dollars by modifying my reservations.

S.F. Bay Area
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2. Re: It pays off to keep checking car rental rates.

It is indeed interesting how the car rental pricing algorithm functions! I've not a clue, but am constantly trying to pinpoint some repeated pattern; however, it's entirely random. As of a few days ago, my (now 6x re-booked..) extended stay over Thanksgiving rate had dropped to $20.40/day through Budget via Costco, but I'll plug away until departure to squeeze extra bar money from the reservation..

Please let me know if anyone figures some pattern, besides the obvious supply / demand factor, in this confounding... but always interesting part of the booking process..

Aloha, NKO

Seattle, Washington
7 posts
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3. Re: It pays off to keep checking car rental rates.

Glad to hear I'm not the only who obsessively checks rates. I have a full size for $200 and a minivan for $383 reserved for 9 days in early November. Costco rates for the minivan kept dropping, then suddenly doubled last week. Today when I checked they had gone back down to $400. I'm worried that I'll be stuck at $383 and I'll have to decide if a minivan is worth almost double the price of a fullsize with three kids.

Peoria, Arizona
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26 posts
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4. Re: It pays off to keep checking car rental rates.

I went from $220 in April for a intermediate car thru Costco/Budget to a $144 standard car Costco/Alamo currently for 7 days Oct.9-16. Only a couple days left to shop! :)

Bend, Oregon
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18 posts
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5. Re: It pays off to keep checking car rental rates.

We arrive late on the 14th for 8 days. If we pick up the car at 10:00 PM on the 14th the rate is $166 (Budget compact on CostcoTravel). If we pick up the car at 8:00 AM on the 15th instead, the rate is $215. Go figure! It's an 8 day rental either way.

The only pattern I think I see is that it is typically more expensive to reserve around weekends and the rates sometimes drop if you make your booking in the middle of the week. It's not a hard and fast rule though.

Edited: 06 October 2012, 01:33
Nanaimo, Canada
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6. Re: It pays off to keep checking car rental rates.

jcislanders, that is great! I am glad you have the time to keep rechecking. We don't travel again to Maui until February but haven't done anything at all except get the quote and reserve with Discount Hawaii. Maybe I better get busy on the car rental sites again!

Any plans to head south soon? Coffee??

Vancouver Island...
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7. Re: It pays off to keep checking car rental rates.

Actually JOan, I will likely be heading down your way next week, probably on Wed or Thurs. Are you back from your travels now?

lake forest park
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186 posts
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8. Re: It pays off to keep checking car rental rates.

I think rates are based on weeks at a time. We just got back from 15 days on Maui. The extra day over 2 weeks cost me about $60.

I check daily and for this last trip the best rate was 3 months out. I kept waiting for the rates to go down but they never did.

Morro Bay...
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809 posts
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9. Re: It pays off to keep checking car rental rates.

Nanaimo: We'll be in Maui in February, too, so I'll be keeping an eye on any posts regarding car rental rates, too....Just back couple weeks ago from Vancouver and Alaska cruise...it's beautiful up there!

Nanaimo, Canada
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10. Re: It pays off to keep checking car rental rates.

seaspirit, I think you lucked out with some great weather too. Glad you enjoyed it.

Just curious, right now with Discount Hawaii we are sitting at $287.87 with Thrifty's. That is from Feb. 3 - Feb. 12th. Have you got a reservation made yet?