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Rental car prices

rich1954
Active Member

I realize this post has nothing to do with SW but needed a place to vent. Anyway what's the deal with the rental car prices being so high. I have a vacation scheduled for late February in Orlando and I have never seen prices this high. In the past if I was diligent about checking prices every day on the SW site I would come across a fair deal sooner or later. This year I am paying twice what I paid last year for same times and location. I have been checking prices now for over 6 months.

22 REPLIES 22

Re: Rental car prices

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

Many of the rental agencies really slimmed down their fleet because of the pandemic and Hertz almost went belly up so they are doing everything possible to make a buck.  It's just supply and demand,... with less inventory the agencies are able to charge more to the demand they have.  As much as I like Southwest, I personally wouldn't ever rent a car through their links unless I was desperate to earn points at the end of the year for Companion Pass.  You will usually find better deals renting directly through the rental agency, especially if you have a membership in a group such as AAA or AARP.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Rental car prices

rich1954
Active Member

My last rental was June of 2020 from Alamo in LAX and they had low inventory. I ended up with a premium car for a full size price.

I know also that a lot of the companies have merged and there is not the competition there once was.

Re: Rental car prices

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

@TheMiddleSeat wrote:

Many of the rental agencies really slimmed down their fleet because of the pandemic and Hertz almost went belly up so they are doing everything possible to make a buck.  It's just supply and demand,... with less inventory the agencies are able to charge more to the demand they have.  As much as I like Southwest, I personally wouldn't ever rent a car through their links unless I was desperate to earn points at the end of the year for Companion Pass.  You will usually find better deals renting directly through the rental agency, especially if you have a membership in a group such as AAA or AARP.

 

--TheMiddleSeat


Costco is my go-to, they have free cancellation up until the pickup time, second driver is included in all states (specifically for Florida already includes spouses automatically), and choose from four major brands side-by-side, and you still get regular loyalty points with the agency. It’s usually a pretty good discount too. 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Rental car prices

dfwskier
Top Contributor

Two points:

 

1) Be sure to look at off brand agencies. I just looked at a week in Denver in Mid March

and Fox was $200+ less than everyone else. Yeah, you don't get RR points, but you do save over $200.

 

2) Look at ALL car types

Same Denver dates as above 

National Economy: $577   National Convertible: $339

Alamo Economy: $605  Alamo Convertible: $345

 

The Southwest discount would lower the above prices.

Re: Rental car prices

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

Lol, no one wants a convertible in Denver in March and Fox is horrible, even at $200 less I don't think I would rent from them.

Fingers crossed you get that one week of good weather in March. That tends to be our worst month for snow and blizzards.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Rental car prices

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@TheMiddleSeat wrote:

Lol, no one wants a convertible in Denver in March and Fox is horrible, even at $200 less I don't think I would rent from them.

Fingers crossed you get that one week of good weather in March. That tends to be our worst month for snow and blizzards.

 

--TheMiddleSeat


 

I had a convertible PT cruiser in March a few years back. Ugly as heck but it did what it was supposed to do.

 

I'll take March's snow over Dec/Jan cold. I remember waking up one January  morning in Gunnison before heading over to Crested Butte. The actual temp (not the wind chill) was -46 F. I was worried about whether or not I had enough antifreeze in the car. I did.

 

Also reference my username as to why I might visit in March

Re: Rental car prices

rich1954
Active Member

I had a bad experience with Fox in Denver last year and others I know have had ones with Payless. I stick to the major brands and never have had a bad experience.

Re: Rental car prices

gsking
Rising Star

@DancingDavidE wrote:


Costco is my go-to, they have free cancellation up until the pickup time, second driver is included in all states (specifically for Florida already includes spouses automatically), and choose from four major brands side-by-side, and you still get regular loyalty points with the agency. It’s usually a pretty good discount too. 


Agreed.  I always check Costco, and then the Budget app directly.  Just checked Florida for April and Budget was cheaper.  No need to prepay with either, so no cancellation issues.

 

I've never found a good deal through SW unfortunately.  As with the hotel bookings, you pay a premium to get the SW points bonus, and it's usually nonrefundable.  Good if you absolutely need the points and are booking last-minute, but rarely worth the cost/risk otherwise.

Re: Rental car prices

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@gsking wrote:

@DancingDavidE wrote:


Costco is my go-to, they have free cancellation up until the pickup time, second driver is included in all states (specifically for Florida already includes spouses automatically), and choose from four major brands side-by-side, and you still get regular loyalty points with the agency. It’s usually a pretty good discount too. 


Agreed.  I always check Costco, and then the Budget app directly.  Just checked Florida for April and Budget was cheaper.  No need to prepay with either, so no cancellation issues.

 

I've never found a good deal through SW unfortunately.  As with the hotel bookings, you pay a premium to get the SW points bonus, and it's usually nonrefundable.  Good if you absolutely need the points and are booking last-minute, but rarely worth the cost/risk otherwise.


I presume you access he special offers button which provides discounts above the prices shown when pricing cars? When I do that, the prices seem about equal to those offered directly by rent car companies.