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Car rental strategy

N Idaho
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132 posts
13 reviews
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Car rental strategy

Hi, am wondering if the usual strategy of reserving the cheapest car and then counting on an upgrade at the counter will work? Can I haggle for an upgrade if I buy through Priceline Bidding? Husband has his heart set on a Mustang convertible, I am looking for way to get best price. Coming August 22 till 29 to LAX, 2 nights in LA then on to San Diego. Any ideas appreciated!

1. Re: Car rental strategy

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Removed on: 31 May 2011, 05:21
Anaheim, California
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2. Re: Car rental strategy

Also check out Hotwire.com for discounted Hotel Rates, also offered by types.

Yucaipa, California
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for Anaheim
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3. Re: Car rental strategy

Haggling when in the rental location never gets you a good deal on an upgrade. If a manager is there he may offer you a "manager's special" which would be a per day quote. If you want a double upgrade it could be double that. Essentially, it is about the same difference - or more - than you would pay between car classes on line. If they happen to be out of the car class you reserve then you should be offered a free upgrade to the next available car class. However, airport locations usually have many cars and it is a gamble to think you will get a free upgrade. Mustangs are not cars that are often just on a lot without having a reservation. Are you a AAA member? If so, you get a discount with Hertz and unlimited miles. They often have special airport deals on line. Check each company's website. Compare rates and specials. Search Google for coupon codes. When you get a good quote, reserve and keep checking and change when you get a better quote.

Edited: 28 April 2011, 04:52
N Idaho
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132 posts
13 reviews
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4. Re: Car rental strategy

OK, well so was messing around on Priceline and just got an accepted bid for convertible for approx 1 week for $28/day (published rate was >$600) for a week, so my rate is $275, I am happy with that, never bid for a car before, of course will always wonder if could've got for much lower?? Oh well, that's what you get for drinking and bidding haha!

Los Angeles
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for Los Angeles
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5. Re: Car rental strategy

The only way you'll possibly get a free upgrade is if they're out of cars in the size you paid for, they might offer you the next size up for the same cost. Convertible Mustangs, however, are near the top of the "food chain" so to speak at most of the rental companies, and most of them would only guarantee you a "Mustang (or similar)" even if you tried to reserve one directly, with the "(or similar) usually being a Chrysler Sebring convertible.

6. Re: Car rental strategy

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Removed on: 31 May 2011, 05:21
Edited: 31 May 2011, 05:21
7. Re: Car rental strategy

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Removed on: 31 May 2011, 05:21
Teaneck, NJ
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for New Jersey
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8. Re: Car rental strategy

I've rented out of LAX for many years (though never for a convertable) and 28/day for a convertable sounds like a great deal to me (keep in mind that the quoted total rental charge includes taxes and fees which are pretty hefty at LAX so your actual rate just for the car is about 20-30% less!!!!). You're probably going to get a Sebring.

If they give you a chance to buy a tank of gas on pickup so you don't have to return it full you should DECLINE. These are always bad deals unless you somehow manage to return it on dead empty. With the price of gas now, even if you return it with 2-3 gallons left in the tank you'll be losing money. Thre are lots of gas stations around LAX

Edited: 28 April 2011, 15:26
9. Re: Car rental strategy

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Removed on: 29 October 2012, 02:18