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Car Rental Options

Canada
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3 posts
22 reviews
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Car Rental Options

Looking for reviews on major car rental agencies for our upcoming visit to Kauai. Notice one company is further out and have heard negative things regarding shuttle service and quality of cars. Can anyone provide any recent feedback on their past rental? Even just what company you would recommend?

Huntington Beach...
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838 posts
15 reviews
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11. Re: Car Rental Options

I have had zero problems with Thrifty - it seems to be the company I almost always get thru DHCR. As far as cleanliness, I've had dirty cars from several different companies. That red dirt is hard to get out of anything, so yeah, the car may not be sqeaky clean sometimes, but you're renting, not buying it! Usually they're not on the lot long enough for a detail, maybe just a quick hose-off if you're lucky. If it gets you between A & B and back, mission accomplished. Relax, don't sweat the small stuff, and enjoy your vacation.....

Edited: 24 September 2013, 06:54
Canada
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9,167 posts
39 reviews
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12. Re: Car Rental Options

I believe it is a reasonable expectation to receive a clean, mechanically sound vehicle and pleasant helpful customer service when picking up a rental vehicle.

If the car is not to my liking at the onset....I simply ask for something else. If the vehicle proves to be "unsound" in the day or so after pick-up....in any way, I will return to the agency to exchange it for another. This practice has served me well in literally hundreds of rentals and dozens on the Islands.

Vancouver, Canada
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213 posts
98 reviews
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13. Re: Car Rental Options

Aside from which company is best, I am wondering about fees I might be surprised with.

Full disclosure: I've never rented a car before (other than a moving truck). We tend to vacation places where we haven't needed a car, but we're visiting Kuaui next August and will need some wheels.

So, when I book on Discount Hawaiian Care rentals and I see my $487.27 quote for my car with unlimited mileage and a free second driver, are there other mandatory fees not being disclosed? Is unlimited mileage really unlimited? Thank you.

Huntington Beach...
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838 posts
15 reviews
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14. Re: Car Rental Options

No hidden fees, & unlimited mileage. Fuel is the only thing they seem to be concerned with. Since you're renting for a couple weeks, it might be a better deal for you to pay up front for gas, so that would be an added expense.

Canada
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39 reviews
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15. Re: Car Rental Options

Good question callicles....for your first experience with a vacation rental car.

The car rental agency will be clicking their heels in delight if you agree to their "Fuel Option". The "bring it back empty." ploy is one of the biggest moneymakers for the company....surprisingly, some folks still succumb and sign up for it. It matters not how long you have the car, it is a poor choice.

Aiming to bring a vehicle back empty is rather frustrating to do, and any remaining fuel in the tank is to the agency's pocketbook. You are charged for a full tank for that model type.

Picking the vehicle up Full and returning it full is best practice. The desk associates will try their darnedest to convince you otherwise. Never forget that theirs is a commission based industry....with their profits realized from all the up sells they can get you to agree to....when you are the most vulnerable....tired and weary , just off a long flight.

So, no to the fuel option, no to paid upgrades, which are actually per day, and the expensive Insurance policies sold at the counter.

We purchase a $7/day insurance rider from our provincial provider that covers collision, loss of use and most importantly liability(5Million). Any of the credit card coverages that I have reviewed are good for Collison but not liability...which could easily climb into the millions depending on the situation.

California
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16. Re: Car Rental Options

Hidden fees? Well maybe!

The one that gets me is if you bring it back over an hour late. Discount Car Rental likes you to do it noon to noon, but if your flight leaves at 4 (like mine will) I will be two hours over that time. I always tell the clerk when checking in the actual time and understand there will be some adjustment. So what I am trying to say is that price quoted won't be exact. They will also charge you extra cleaning if the car comes back too sandy, you've had an animal in it, or there is red dirt caked on the exterior.

NEVER do the "we'll fill it up" option unless you are 100% sure that you will be rolling in on fumes. Adjust your time back to the airport to accommodate 10 minutes to filling up your tank. No biggy!

Don't upgrade as many times the car companies are out of your category anyway (especially economy) and when you get to the lot they will tell you to pick any upgrade car anyway.

What I see the most is the clerks trying to upsell foreigners including Canadians. They will tell you all sorts of things about insurance, liability etc. Wunderlust has given you great advice and I would take it.

Huntington Beach...
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838 posts
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17. Re: Car Rental Options

I wouldn't call returning a car late a 'hidden fee' - you are signing a contract, and it's stated very clearly that there will be an additional charge if you are late.

Minneapolis
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309 posts
8 reviews
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18. Re: Car Rental Options

If you fill the car up before returning it be sure to keep the receipt showing how much gas you put in. And "top it off" to make sure the tank is full. Some of the car rental companies don't go by the fuel gauge indication but go by the amount of gas that is actually in the tank. And they will charge you for whatever it takes to fill it up - at their inflated prices.

Vancouver, Canada
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213 posts
98 reviews
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19. Re: Car Rental Options

I'm generally pretty practiced at saying no thanks to the upsells (anywhere and everywhere), but thanks for the heads up regarding which ones I'll likely enjoy. My biggest concern was reserving a car at $500 and finding out it's actually $800 when I show up, or that I can only drive 12 kilometres before the meter starts running. As always, thanks for the info.

wellington, fl
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171 posts
318 reviews
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20. Re: Car Rental Options

Don't know if Costco is an option for you (have to be a member to get the discount) but might be worthwhile to look into it. Having dragged my heels on this aspect of our trip, yesterday I got down to biz & got the best quote from Costco, using Alamo, for 1st 2 full weeks in Dec. ($277.40, which included all the tax & extra stuff you end up paying...so, be careful the price you are quoted includes everything)...I thought it was such a good rate that I called the toll-free # to verify!

We had a couple rates from Hertz because we can get Marriott points by using them...but the AAA discount was $383.51...and the Marriott discount that gave us even more points was $424.66...it made the Costco/Alamo rate a sure winner. This is for a full-size car because we need the trunk space.

Another thing to check out is: no matter who you rent from, unless you are going to be the only driver, the rental agency may charge $10 or so per day to add another driver...even a spouse...so one more thing to be watching out for before you arrive at the ticket counter. BTW, I signed DH up for Alamo's "insiders' club" and by doing that I can be a second driver for free. It's free to sign up.

Hope this helps.

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