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Car Rental for Oceana Palms

Phanatic

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Hi -

We will be staying at Oceana Palms the last week of October. We are researching options for a car rental and the prices are steep. Anyone have luck with Dollar car rentals - they seem the cheapest. Using the Marriott Hertz promo code doesn't seem like any savings at all.

Suggestions welcome!
 

Fasttr

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I use Dollar all the time for work and pleasure when in south FL. Always get nice clean cars. In fact, I was just there for work this past week and I rented a car from Dollar, and a co-worker rented from Hertz....we both ended up with an identical Chrysler 200 and mine was spotless and his looked like it was never cleaned (inside and out) from the last rental.

Sign up for Dollar Express (its free) and when you get to either FLL or PBI airport pick up location, you just walk past the long lines at the car rental counter, check for your name on the board by the cars, and hop in and go.

When booking, check for the City Specials as they can save you some money. Best to search all car sizes as often you can get a bigger car for less money with the City Specials. Sometimes these are great far out, sometimes they won't exist far out...and sometimes you can improve your rate within a week by going back in and checking again.
 

normab

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Have you checked out Hotwire or Priceline? I find they are the best and I have gotten mostly Hertz, Avis and Alamo cars when I'm in FL and HI (where I tend to need rentals). I used them for a dozen FL rentals last year, and got really great rates. Here's how to use them to get the best price:

Check Hotwire and then Priceline. Two sites, BetterBidding and biddingfortravel can give you ideas of what are realistic prices.

Sometimes the Hotwire or Priceline rate are not too competitive if you are looking several months in advance. If that's the case, you can make a back-up reservation with whichever company you choose, and then start pricing Hotwire or Priceline about once a week, starting about a month out. You will almost always get a really good rate if you are 2-3 days out, but having the backup reservation ensures you won't pay the full rate.

Sometimes I found Hotwire would have a crazy good rate with Budget or Dollar or Thrifty--I guess it just depends who has too many cars at that time...

The only downside of using these sites is that you can't cancel, so booking last minute is best. Good Luck to you.
 

beckster914

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Just keep checking the rates. We recently booked a trip to Marco Island for November and Enterprise wanted $450/week for a full size car, and Hertz wanted even more. I had been checking the rates every couple of days, and yesterday Enterprise dropped to $150/week for a full size car. I was shocked!! Added a coupon from Costco and saved another $20. If you have AAA, I got a better rate using that with Hertz than the Marriott discount. Interval also offers a discount with Hertz. And don't forget you can always make a reservation (as long as it doesn't say you have to "pay now") and then rebook if the price drops.
 

Phanatic

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Thanks for your helpful hints - but we solved our problem.

We have a chase rewards credit card and used our chase reward points to book the car. Got a Mustang convertible for $321 for 8 days. Used $269 reward dollars and charged the remaining $52. Never used the chase travel portal before but certainly seems like some great deals compared to booking directly. I'll post back after the reservation and let you know if there were any hiccups or changes to the booking we reserved.
 

dioxide45

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If you are a Costco member, be sure to check their rates. You can actually check their rates on their website even if you are not a member. If their rates are $55 cheaper than what you can find elsewhere, you can become a member and make the reservation.
 

Fasttr

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Just for comparison sake....I have a full size from Dollar booked (on the City Special rate) for mid August in and out of FLL for $90 full week rate...$147 with all the fees included.







.
 
Last edited:

alhanna

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I would second the Costco website suggestion for car rentals. They are consistently cheaper than other sources I have used. Also, the rates do flucuate from day to day so check often. Easy to cancel and book another car for the same trip.
 

Superchief

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I am staying at Oceana Palms beginning 10/31 and picking up my car at FLL. I booked Alamo through Costco a few weeks ago for $184 for the week, including all fees. I checked today and the rates were $285 for the same week. I noticed rates can fluctuate from week to week, so I keep checking.

I find rates at PBI to typically be higher than FLL. I would prefer flying to PBI, but the flights were cheaper to FLL and I can go non-stop.
 

ira g

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Car rentals

My go to web site is carrentals.com. I use them consistently and check back often. If a lower rate comes up I book it and cancel my previous booking. Has always worked for us.
 

jerseyfinn

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Hi -

We are researching options for a car rental and the prices are steep . . .

Suggestions welcome!

Yes, finding a car rental at a good price is often difficult, but it's sort of consistent with how airline travel etc. throws out an array of prices which don't offer much choice.

Your basic option depends upon what you want most from the overall rental experience. IOW, you can rent from a company that is located in close proximity to the terminal & offers steady pick-up/return shuttles which at PBI means a quick 3 minute drive to the rental lot. This means the "big name" companies which have higher rates. Dollar falls into this category, but it often has decent "discount" prices. The overall experience doing it this way is usually consistent and timely.

Second option are the array of off-site rental companies that offer cheaper rates. We've never tried any of these PBI vendors, but they can be a good alternative. Pick-up/drop-off experience can vary & other TUGers can attest what the PBI off-site market is like. "Off-site" at PBI is likely not very far away from the terminal.

Because PBI is itself a nice "in and out" boutique airport, I suspect you could be satisfied with either choice.

As noted, Dollar is the least expensive of the on-site rental choices. We've belonged to Dollar Express for years & as noted, you need only grab bags & head to the shuttle bus queues where they drop you at a booth which directs you to your car -- very often you can choose from a few cars sitting there.

As to rental prices. They vary according to season & specific demand periods. One of the worst PBI demand periods are Easter or President's weeks which set high rates & whose time-line "overlaps" the actual holiday period. We would always come down the week ending Presidents week and the rental car rates across the board remained jacked up until 2-3 days after the holiday ends. We found it cheaper to take a taxi to-from airport & do one grocery run & one night dining out than the cost of a rental at those inflated rates. This however is the exception & not the usual rule at PBI.

One suggestion is to lock in a rental car at Dollar & check back weekly as rental cars work like hotels. Book it, find a lower rate from Dollar or another vendor & cancel the old reservation. Rental rates vary by destination & demand no matter where you travel to.

We will travel to AZ for a multi-week hiking trip in mid-September. We rented a Dollar SUV in May & thus far, that price is the best we are finding for an SUV -- Dollar prices have actually trended upwards since then, but we keep checking rates. Once again, in our case we visit during a high season for SUV demand & hiking so we have a gauge for the prices from previous experience.

Enjoy your trip to Singer Island.

Barry
 

markbernstein

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When we went to Oceana Palms in 2012, we rented from an Enterprise location that was only a few miles from the airport. It was half the price of renting in-airport, plus a few dollars for each of the cab rides from and to the airport.
 

KarenP

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Try rentalcars.com. We got a Kia Forte for 6 nights for $285 Thanksgiving week this year for Ocean Pointe.
 

Swice

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BID

We've had great success with BIDDING on Priceline for cars.

I usually book a car with Hertz so that I have something reserved-- and a baseline price (I check my corporate rate and the Marriott rate).

Then I start "bidding" on Priceline. I always bid low and it gets rejected... then I have to wait three days before trying again. I usually end up getting a mid or full size car between $17-$19 a day. I paid $18/day when we were at Oceana Palms in June.

Keep in mind when you are looking at websites that sometimes they "display" the total cost -- car and taxes. Taxes will add a lot to the price. Of course you'd pay those anyway.
 

hangloose

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+1 for Priceline. We have also had great success with car rentals by bidding via Priceline. Start low and increase from there.
 

nstotland

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Car Rentals

The Costco survey is usually a good call. Most often Budget is the winner. The Fastbreak card will have your car ready without waiting in line. Sears Travel, at least the Canadian site is very competitive, and you can pay in our devalued dollar.
And once in a while there is pop-up from the likes of Budget with the best price of all.
 
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