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Car rental in Los Angeles

thetimeshareguy

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For our trip in early November we'll be flying into Los Angeles (LAX) and renting a car for a week. I've heard that car rentals in LA are among the cheapest anywhere. We'd like advice about the best way to get a good deal. I mean, we know about the travel sites like Orbitz, etc. and know to ask for an economy car (hoping to maybe get a bump up at no extra charge). But is that the best way to go? Or are we better off just showing up? Insights in this regard much appreciated.

(Note: We got ripped off last year in Las Vegas where the deal we got with a "discount" travel website didn't mention various extras and taxes, and they hosed us on the insurance ("We need a letter [or whatnot] from your insurance company") -- turned out we needed no extra insurance and it was a common scam.
 

CATBinCO

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We just rented a car from LAX for 8 days through Budget using a USAA coupon code (and charged it to our USAA credit card). We reserved a full size car, it was quoted (all taxes/fees included) for $150. At the counter I presented another coupon for free upgrade and we were upgraded to a Ford Escape SUV (they were out of premium cars). We waited a good half hour for them to spruce up the SUV though. I have always gotten the best rates from Budget.

Note: you take a shuttle bus to the car rental facility....we boarded the Budget shuttle bus which took us to Budget, about 5 mins. away. Not bad at all.
 

thetimeshareguy

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We reserved a full size car, it was quoted (all taxes/fees included) for $150.
Thanks for the info. It's those darn hidden fees that getcha. :eek: At least now I have a benchmark with which to compare. Congrats on getting the SUV although with the price of gas I gotta think that doubled your costs for the week. :doh:
 

AKFisher

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I got a standard size car in LA through Priceline at $142 for a week.
 

CATBinCO

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Congrats on getting the SUV although with the price of gas I gotta think that doubled your costs for the week. :doh:
We stayed in Newport Beach for the week mostly (timeshare), and the Marriott there has a shuttle which we used a lot. It really wasn't bad, plus it was a small SUV anyways.
 

CalifasGirl

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local response

deleted--timed out and posted a duplicate message upon logging in
 
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CalifasGirl

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local response

For our trip in early November we'll be flying into Los Angeles (LAX) and renting a car for a week. I've heard that car rentals in LA are among the cheapest anywhere. We'd like advice about the best way to get a good deal. I mean, we know about the travel sites like Orbitz, etc. and know to ask for an economy car (hoping to maybe get a bump up at no extra charge). But is that the best way to go? Or are we better off just showing up? Insights in this regard much appreciated.

(Note: We got ripped off last year in Las Vegas where the deal we got with a "discount" travel website didn't mention various extras and taxes, and they hosed us on the insurance ("We need a letter [or whatnot] from your insurance company") -- turned out we needed no extra insurance and it was a common scam.
I live in the area, and I'd say that sometimes LAX has the best deals--when the rental cars are running promotions--and sometimes it's best to deal with the neighborhood rental places. A good rule of thumb is to check the nearest rental place that isn't affiliated with the airport. I like the website sidestep.com for comparing rental rates. It does a decent job of checking the national rental companies.

A quick search of LAX gave me ACE as the lowest rate at $15 per day. I don't know ACE, but I checked with Thrifty which gave me $23 per day or $132 per week for an economy car. If you want an upgrade, you should check the hot deals they are currently promoting, especially for American Express cards.

I checked for Inglewood, CA as a neigborhood place, but it didn't give me a better rate than LAX, so I'd say check each car rental website for specials and deals. You'd probably get a better deal the further you get away from LAX from a neighborhood car rental location. Personally, I favor Thrifty at LAX since they usually have great rates and decent cars and service, but take that with a grain of salt. Everyone has different factors that they consider when renting a car. Some people prefer Budget or Hertz. Some people want miles or have a loyalty program that they prefer. Some people want a convenient location within walking distance or within the pick-up/delivery radius. Hope this helps. :D
 

dwsupt

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Cheap cars

1st of all if you belong with RCI they have a discount available which helps. I have been using a place called CarRentals.com. They have done a good job for me. Check back often, the prices change. I booked a car for Phoenix in July with them 8 mos. ago for $330/wk with taxes. Checked 2 weeks before we left and I could get THE SAME CAR for $224 with all taxes and fees. Good Luck!:banana:
 

massvacationer

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Just for a point of comparison: coincidently, I just rented a midsize from Hertz through my company travel agent for $23.49 per day...i'm traveling to LAX in late September. Check for AAA, AARP and other discounts, too.
 
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kjd

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For any car rental I would recommend making a reservation well in advance with your favorite rental car company in order to be assured of getting a car when you want it. After getting a confirmed reservation it is a good idea to also list your reservation on the Hotwire Watch List. They will e mail you any changes in prices. Up or down.

As a consolidator Hotwire's best prices usually come at a time close to your departure date. As an example, we have a 19 day rental starting tomorrow at SFO. We received a Hotwire e mail this morning and saved $170 after cancelling our original reservation. The Hotwire reservation is payable in advance with no refund, and usually not with the same company as the original reservation. However, I have never been offered a sub-standard rental car company and all of the Hotwire rentals have been at airport locations. (Saving on cab fare) You can always stay with the original reservation if the Hotwire quote is unsatisfactory.
 
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