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-   -   Why the outrageous rental car rates for later this year? (

dirtnap101 06-15-2009 01:51 PM

Why the outrageous rental car rates for later this year?
I've checked my preferred, National, for a late Oct-Early Nov trip. $285/week base rate for an intermediate :scared1:

So I've checked all the other major national chains located at the terminals...Thrifty and Enterprise are not as bad (avr of $180/week base rate) but from the last time I rented a car @MCO (admittedly it was 4 years ago, but still), these are all insane rates!

So what's going on? Are we all just waiting and checking periodically for the rates to drop? Any economic or business reasons for the rates to be this high?

rangerxenos 06-15-2009 02:08 PM

I'm wondering the same thing, I can't find anything cheaper than $300 (fullsize) for our trip in December. I booked w/Alamo at that rate, and just keep checking and hoping it'll go down.

richmo 06-15-2009 02:09 PM

I'm not really sure. My understanding is that because of the economic times we're in, the deals the rental car agencies had with the manufacturers are falling apart, so they have to pay more for the vehicles.

You're right; rates are quite high now, but sometimes there are still good last minute deals. I would make a reservation now, even though the rates are high, but then keep checking, right up to the day you leave. Chances are you'll find something better, but at least you'll have something.

TheWog 06-15-2009 02:27 PM

It is not just end of the year, it has been this way for most of the whole year. Not sure why.

blissventure 06-15-2009 02:33 PM

I agree with the advice to book something. Use Mousesavers, AAA, AARP, any discounts you might be eligible for.
I booked a car for Oct a couple of months ago. It's about 320.00 offsite/Hertz. The rate has gone UP since then, not down.
I'm still looking for deals, but if nothing better comes around (cheaper, onsite) I'm glad I have a car reserved at a price I can live with.

TooBoyz4us 06-15-2009 03:49 PM

I just checked the prices at the two options we have here in our rural area.Enterprise or Hertz.
OMG!!!! The prices have gone up a couple hundred dollars since I checked a couple months ago :scared1:

I didn't book back then because Sept seemed so far away.Now I wish I had :confused:

I am thinking about going ahead and booking now to hold this price.Do I have to pay anything now? Give CC info etc?


Michael623 06-15-2009 03:56 PM

I waited for prices to budge for my May trip and they never did. I'm waiting with the rest of you for October rates to budge. popcorn::

dirtnap101 06-15-2009 04:04 PM

Absolutely reserve something, anything, as a backup (as long as it is a reservation and not a pre-payment - they may want your credit card # for the reservation, but if you cancel more than 24 hours before the reservation the usually don't charge you anything. It's always best to check the specific policy for each rental company).

I have reserved a fullsize at Thrifty for $205 (approx. total cost) for 6 days. This is the best I can get at the moment from the companies at the terminals in MCO. It's not great, but a lot better than the $363 National is quoting me for Emerald Aisle right now.

jlewisinsyr 06-15-2009 04:17 PM

There are two main contributors to the cost increases...

1. The prices paid for the vehicles are increasing due to limited discounting by manufacturers offering vehicles for rental fleets. This is increasing the per unit/month cost of the vehicles and in turn increasing the rates that are being passed to the consumer.

2. Rental Companies have been more successful in matching demand to fleet sizes then airlines have, and have drastically cut their fleets, which means less capacity and the ability to charge higher rates.

This is also coupled with the fact that most companies are no keeping their vehicles longer, resulting in higher mileage.

The worst thing ANYONE could do right now is hold two reservations, it will further reduce capacity. Yes, rental agencies do forecast no-show volumes, but they also will be quick to increase prices. I do recommend securing a vehicle though now, rather then later as long as you understand the limitations on the reservation (ie. prepaid, cancellation penalties, etc.)

I wouldn't be surprised if you start seeing more and more cancellation/no show penalties in rental quotes/reservations.

All the above said, personally, I don't consider any of the rates people have been getting all that bad.

disneynuts777 06-15-2009 04:26 PM

I have 2 full size cars(there are 9 of us) reserved at National for the end of Aug beginning of Sept. using the costco website and a coupon and it is 203.00 for the week per car. That includes unlimited mileage and an additional driver per car.
We are picking the cars up at the Disney car care center and returning them to MCO.

Edd 06-15-2009 04:35 PM

Keep in mind less travelers to central Florida, more travelers using the DME and less inventory levels in central Florida. All contribute to higher rates.

DebbieB 06-15-2009 04:40 PM

I am at WDW right now. When I first started looking a few months ago, most codes were over $300. In the 2 or 3 weeks before my trip, they dropped substantially. My final rate for 8 days was $150 incl taxes for National Emerald Aisle. Don't give up hope.

dirtnap101 06-15-2009 06:59 PM


Originally Posted by jlewisinsyr (Post 32284723)
The worst thing ANYONE could do right now is hold two reservations, it will further reduce capacity.

Absolutely - having one reservation and watching prices to see if they drop and then replacing the reservation is the way to go.

TooBoyz4us 06-15-2009 07:05 PM

I went ahead and booked a van thru Hertz for $363.00.Thats for one full week and one day extra.I got a CDP discount thru our insurance company that saved me 10%.
There was no charge upfront to book.

I am going to kep my eyes open for a better rate and /or discount code.

dioxide45 06-15-2009 08:27 PM

The days of cheap car rentals are now gone, at least for quite a while. The demise of two of the big three have contributed to this. In the past the rental companies had great deals setup and guaranteed buy backs by the manufacturers. The manufacturers can't afford to do this any more. So the rental companies have to keep cars longer which increases the miles and reduces the trade in value. I actually saw a 2008 model Malibu classic the last time we were at MCO. We had thought they got rid of them all for 2009 models, but one was still sitting there.

The rentals car companies have also done a great job (for them) of reducing inventory to keep up with the falling demand. They are also losing money. They have to remain profitable. If they aren't they go away and we see even higher rates.

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