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Latest savings with Costco Travel Car Rental

UWSurfer

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I've long been a fan of car rentals through Costco. It takes some tenacity to really get the best deals, checking regularly and booking better rates as you find them.

To that end I have a four day trip to Austin next week & have been working Costco for the past 3 months. Originally we booked the four days for $220 for a "standard car", which I always felt was high but know to just keep checking. It dropped to a low of $178 a month ago (which I booked) and then got as high as $330 as recently as last week.

Today it's $174 which I booked.

THEN by accident when I entered an incorrect date, I found it to be much cheaper if I broke the timeline up into two rental periods. So for the same four day period I found if I booked first a 24 hour (1 day) rental, bring the car back and immediately pickup a second rental for the next three days, I could get the entire four day period for $92. That's an $82 savings over a continuous four day period. Now some will ask if it's worth it to have to go back and turn the car in again, and for some it's not worth it.

For me though, I'm willing to spend an hour of my time to save the $$ and have booked all the rentals (4 day, 1 day and 3 day). With Costco you can cancel without penalty and I will hold these through the weekend until I see what happens with the rates. It's possible it might get cheaper...although I'd be surprised. I'm told the 3 day period falls under weekend "special" rates.

Assuming this is the booking I keep, I'll present the scenario to the counter and see if they'll let me keep it the full four days at that price without coming back.
 

DaveNV

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I did something similar last June in Washington DC. I'd booked a car for a week, but then realized I needed it one more day. I couldn't extend the week rental without making a whole new reservation, at a much higher rate. I ended up renting a car for the one day extra I needed. But when picking up the first car, I explained my dilemma to the counter agent. He did some keyboard magic, and my initial reservation was extended for the 8th day. No need to bring back the first car for the second. Then, because my first car was delayed almost an hour for pickup, he gave me a huge discount on the whole reservation. So I saved a bundle all the way around. Big thumbs up to him. I definitely received customer service that day.

Dave
 

am1

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How do the companies stay in business? What stops a group from booking hundreds of cars and then canceling last minute and possibly re renting at a lot cheaper prices. How many more cars can a location rent then it actually has cars?
 

Sandy VDH

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Like airlines, they overbook. Have you ever tried to show up later in the evening on a holiday weekend and they have NO cars left. It sucks.
 

am1

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Like airlines, they overbook. Have you ever tried to show up later in the evening on a holiday weekend and they have NO cars left. It sucks.
Thankfully has never happened to me but the last time I rented. It was for a Kia sorento or similar but the company has not had a kia sorento in years. So it is not Kia sorento or similar. It was a Rav 4. Which is smaller in every way and a cheaper car. I wanted an upgrade to the next size but they wanted an arm and a leg. The co worker gave away my car so I was offered the upgrade at $10/day which I still declined and eventually received the upgraded car (albeit dirty) for no additional charge. 2 days later I went to another location to get the car washed and in the end 1 day was refunded.

My guest is at airports at least cars can easily be moved between companies. Or free upgrades if needed.
 

jlp879

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Like airlines, they overbook. Have you ever tried to show up later in the evening on a holiday weekend and they have NO cars left. It sucks.
Watch this Seinfeld clip, it's one of my all-time favourites. Jerry shows up to pick up his reserved rental car...
 

jehb2

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One time in Hawaii they didn't have a mini van for us so they tried to give us an 18 passenger van.
 

isisdave

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One time in Hawaii they didn't have a mini van for us so they tried to give us an 18 passenger van.
Car agencies were always trying to "upgrade" my ex, for free, to a full-size car instead of the compact she reserved. But she was only 4 feet 11, and couldn't see over the dashboard....
 

Blues

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Car agencies were always trying to "upgrade" my ex, for free, to a full-size car instead of the compact she reserved. But she was only 4 feet 11, and couldn't see over the dashboard....
Usually they try to upsell you first. I love when they do that. Generally, IME, you'll then have about a 50-50 chance to get that upgrade for free if you simply reject the upsell a few times.
 

Luanne

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Car agencies were always trying to "upgrade" my ex, for free, to a full-size car instead of the compact she reserved. But she was only 4 feet 11, and couldn't see over the dashboard....
That's why it's nice to use a company where you have some kind of status and basically never have to talk to one of their agents. You just pick the car up. :)
 
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