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Car rental prices are getting weird

Exterous

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2006
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With low use due to COVID and high demand for used cars a lot of the rental car fleet was sold off over last year. With a surge in people looking to travel this summer the prices are starting to get pretty high. Was searching around today for our trip and compact cars started at $980 for 12 days, intermediates for $1100 and SUVs for $1300. Or we could rent a commercial truck for $473...

Costco travel - normally a dependable value - had terrible prices - at least 15% higher than booking through a different portal. Fortunately I can still use my corporate discount code for personal travel but shits getting weird


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Pohemi420

Diamond Member
Oct 2, 2004
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That does seem rather bass-ackwards. Especially the anecdote about Costco, they're usually pretty reliable on pricing but if it all gets determined by outside businesses, I guess I can understand. Still...higher than other outlets/avenues is unusual.
 

pete6032

Diamond Member
Dec 3, 2010
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With low use due to COVID and high demand for used cars a lot of the rental car fleet was sold off over last year. With a surge in people looking to travel this summer the prices are starting to get pretty high. Was searching around today for our trip and compact cars started at $980 for 12 days, intermediates for $1100 and SUVs for $1300. Or we could rent a commercial truck for $473...

Costco travel - normally a dependable value - had terrible prices - at least 15% higher than booking through a different portal. Fortunately I can still use my corporate discount code for personal travel but shits getting weird
What dates are you looking at? I just searched on Expedia for a compact car for 12 days in Seattle and the prices are around $50/day and up.
 
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Exterous

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2006
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What dates are you looking at? I just searched on Expedia for a compact car for 12 days in Seattle and the prices are around $50/day for a compact and up.
It was over the 4th which doesn't help but looking at anytime in July is pretty bad. I'm just glad my corporate rate is ~$40/day range at this point
 
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ponyo

Lifer
Feb 14, 2002
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I noticed that same thing before my Austin, TX, trip last month, and I posted heads up on the First World Problems thread.

https://forums.anandtech.com/threads/what-first-world-problem-did-you-have-today.2374963/post-40469351

Demand for travel is crazy high right now. Everyone wants to travel. And car rental companies sold off bulk of their fleets and didn't buy lot of replacements. And remember Hertz also went bankrupt so that's big supply that also disappeared.

Costco won't even list prices when things get crazy. They'll simply say no cars are available to rent for those dates. The other travel sites will list it but it will be crazy prices only desperate people will accept.
 

Svnla

Lifer
Nov 10, 2003
17,794
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Then - $30/day for economy with unlimited miles from Friday to Monday. Hertz and Enterprise.

Now - at least $90/day or higher for economy with unlimited miles from Friday to Monday. Hertz and Enterprise. Same vehicle but 3x or more expensive.

Oh yes, you can get a van or big truck for cheap now. Only about $35/day with unlimited miles from Hertz.
 
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Zorba

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 1999
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Thank god for my corporate code. Can get a full size for $150/WK regardless of location or dates. Has saved me thousands over the years.
 
Nov 8, 2012
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Thank god for my corporate code. Can get a full size for $150/WK regardless of location or dates. Has saved me thousands over the years.
Corporate codes are doing fairly easy to get via Google. I don't believe your corporate codes are any better than the ones through Costco travel.

I still have my Big4 accounting firm corporate codes along with other various big company codes. They have usually always sucked and even been above the Costco rates in my experience.
 

Exterous

Super Moderator
Jun 20, 2006
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Corporate codes are doing fairly easy to get via Google. I don't believe your corporate codes are any better than the ones through Costco travel.

I still have my Big4 accounting firm corporate codes along with other various big company codes. They have usually always sucked and even been above the Costco rates in my experience.
Corporate codes can be much better than Costco in my experience. Varies a bit but I'm about 50/50 between my corporate code and Costco for which is cheaper with sometimes very noticeable differences. For example my recent corporate rental rate is less than half what Costco wanted. Plus our corporate code is for National which I generally consider better than the Costco options anyway

Edit: Now that I think about it I wonder if rental agencies will be much more strict about checking affiliation. Given the disparity in pricing my guess is that there is something like an upper contractual limit to charges with certain corporate agreements so there is a significant financial incentive to make sure the person is entitled to the rate with enough demand they won't care if they piss someone off
 
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ultimatebob

Lifer
Jul 1, 2001
23,649
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I guess that this is payback for last year, where you could basically rent any car on the lot for $40 a day. When 80% of the cars are sitting there doing nothing like they were in 2020, the rental counter is pretty eager to give free upgrades just to keep the batteries from dying.
 

Zorba

Diamond Member
Oct 22, 1999
8,919
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Corporate codes are doing fairly easy to get via Google. I don't believe your corporate codes are any better than the ones through Costco travel.

I still have my Big4 accounting firm corporate codes along with other various big company codes. They have usually always sucked and even been above the Costco rates in my experience.
Like I said, my code is always $150/WK for a full size a little cheaper for the smaller cars. Plus it includes fuel @ national average price per gallon and the basic insurance.

So for my planned trip to Disney World in September, Costco is $741 all for a full size, while my code gets me a full size with insurance and cheap gas for $288. Costco is $863 for the same company.

I always check the competition and never seen cheaper.

FYI, my company has a real contract with the rental company, all our travel goes to them. Most corporate codes are just "sure, we'll give you a small discount."
 
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ponyo

Lifer
Feb 14, 2002
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So far this doesn't seem like worldwide problem. I checked couple random cities around the world and rental rates are still reasonable. This looks like mainly US problem for now.
 

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