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Your Favorite Rental Car Company

Discussion in 'Ground & Air Transportation' started by DisneyPrincess5, May 22, 2017.

  1. DisneyPrincess5

    DisneyPrincess5 Well-Known Member

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    What are the best companies you've used? Best price, customer service, benefits, easiest to maneuver upon pick up, discounts?
    We've used a few different companies over time and always kind of feel like we never get a good deal, or feel like we're missing out on discounts. Should we join a loyalty program or is there a way to get discount codes that I'm unaware of.

    We don't typically rent anything fancy. We typically book the lowest vehicle option. An automatic with AC are really our only requirements.
     
  2. Nemo14

    Nemo14 Well-Known Member

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    We usually book with Dollar on their website (click on City Specials on their website). Never had a problem with them and prices are reasonable. Also, once I book I check daily because the price fluctuates quite a bit. I've been known to cancel and rebook at a lower price a dozen times or more to get the best deal. Good luck!
     
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  3. 21stamps

    21stamps Well-Known Member

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    If you're renting at Disney you can sign up with Alamo rewards..

    If you're renting from the airport then go with one of the smaller rental companies. In 2015 I went on Priceline and got a 12 day rental thru Firefly for under $200 including SunPass. If you're only doing the Orlando area then you won't even need a SunPass.
     
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  4. CaptainAmerica

    CaptainAmerica Well-Known Member

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    I would only rent from a company that has their cars physically on site at the airport because I don't like to deal with shuttles with a stroller and luggage and everything else. That said, almost all of the loyalty programs are free to join so sign up for everything. You can usually get discounts through AAA, your employer, wholesale clubs (BJ's, Sam's, Costco), etc. You can also play around with one-way rentals to see if you can get a deal. For example, my August trip was showing full size SUVs round trip from the airport at $500. We ended up getting a one-way rental that we're going to pick up at the Swan and return to the airport and it was only $300.
     
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  5. rob0519

    rob0519 Well-Known Member

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    Agree that you should stick with companies that have cars in the parking garage at the airport. If you're going with Alamo, you may want to be careful about arrival time. A few years ago my wife showed up to hundreds of people in their line. It turns out Alamo at that time had specials running with people from the UK. Every afternoon two 747s landed and most of them went into the Alamo line. She walked away to Budget and was in a car in 15 minutes. Keep looking up to the last minute for better prices.
     
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  6. 21stamps

    21stamps Well-Known Member

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    What rental companies are not in the airport? I wasn't even aware of that.
     
  7. CaptainAmerica

    CaptainAmerica Well-Known Member

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    Ace, Fox, NU, Priceless, and Sixt. I've never actually heard of any of these but they come up in Priceline / Expedia / Hotwire searches so you need to be careful what you're booking. I think they're a lower-cost alternative based on their cost savings from not leasing space at the airport.

    That's another benefit of joining a loyalty program. If you're Emerald Club or Hertz Gold or whatever the other companies call it, you can often skip the main line.
     
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  8. Clamman73

    Clamman73 Well-Known Member

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    Like Nemo mentions, you have to always check because the price will fluctuate and you can apply discount codes to the pay now rate. However, check if the company allows to cancel without a penalty though.

    I'm not that big of a fan of Priceline b/c they will include a company that is not in the garage...right now it's Sixt and I don't care to deal with a shuttle to their site if by chance they pick it...also you can't just cancel a Priceline reservation.
     
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  9. 21stamps

    21stamps Well-Known Member

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    You can cancel, I didn't pay until arrival.

    I've never heard of any of these.lol. But, I'm a fan of reading fine print, so I'd catch it before booking.

    ETA- here's my confirmation email. If it was offsite would it have a different address?
    Also, there was a link to see the exact location.

    IMG_5632.jpg
     
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  10. Nemo14

    Nemo14 Well-Known Member

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    That's why I stick with Dollar's website. you don't need to reserve with a credit card, so cancelling and rebooking is easy-peasy. Dollar is also right at the airport, so no hassles picking up the car or dropping it off.
     
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  11. CaptainAmerica

    CaptainAmerica Well-Known Member

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    I think you're thinking of Priceline's "Name Your Own Price" service, which functions like you describe. You don't know what company you're getting and you have to pay in full. But they do "normal" reservations where you pick the company you want and you don't have to pay until you get there.
     
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  12. Clamman73

    Clamman73 Well-Known Member

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    Yes...I was talking about the name your price way with Priceline.
     
  13. 21stamps

    21stamps Well-Known Member

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    Yep. I always put it in what I want to pay per day.. it will tell me if I'm too low, I raise it.. then I get a list. You don't have to choose the shady option.
     
  14. anchorman314

    anchorman314 Well-Known Member

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    We've had excellent luck and experience with Alamo. Just got back from a trip at the beginning of May, and I was able to snag a 6-day minivan rental for $197. And just like everyone else has suggested, check frequently. I've even noticed rate fluctuations over the course of the day. We could've also booked at a similar price with Hertz through AAA. The benefit is an additional non-spouse driver at no cost. However, we prefer Alamo's pick-your-car over Hertz's assigned-to-you car.
     
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  15. Rob562

    Rob562 Well-Known Member

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    A couple tips for Orlando Airport:

    -Look to see if your rental company has a self-serve kiosk. I've arrived to find a full line at Alamo, but their self-serve kiosks off to the side were being totally ignored. (And of course the agents wouldn't necessarily direct you to them, since they want to try and up-sell you with extras)

    -Since there are two sides to the airport (A and B) each on-site rental company actually staffs two desks, one on each side. Most people just head downstairs from wherever their baggage claim was. If you happen to find yourself facing a long line at your rental counter and a kiosk isn't available, it might be worth the effort to go back upstairs to Level 3 and cross over to the opposite side and down to see what the line on the other side is like. (Or have someone in your group hold your place in line while you go look)


    -Rob
     
  16. thomas998

    thomas998 Well-Known Member

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    We go for the cheapest deal with the exception of using Alamo. They tried to claim damage on a car we rented from them once and I was only saved by the fact that I photographed the issues we had prior to taking the car to begin with... Never will I use them for anything.

    But if being cheap is your goal the first thing to remember if your trip is going to last longer than a couple of days is to look at pickup locations beyond the airport. The airport will stick you with a special airport fee per day of your rental and it can add up quick. A lot of rental car companies will allow you to pick a car up at a non-airport location and then drop it off at the airport for no additional fee, doing that avoid the pesky airport fee. Also know that rental car companies will set prices based on the cars they need to move at a specific location so while you might find a mid-size is the best deal at one of their locations the best deal another in the same city might be for a mini-van or SUV... Which brings up the other point different locations charge different rates, while normally we will use a taxi from the airport to a nearby rental car company we've also found that sometimes the best deal is to use Disney's bus service and then take a taxi from the hotel to a lot closer to Disney.... last but not least... never give up on finding a better deal. We often lock in a reservation 3 months out of a trip and then make more reservations and cancel the old one on a near weekly basis as we find better deals. Usually we end up with the final deal we use about 1 to 2 weeks before the trip but sometimes it changes the day before we leave.
     

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