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Old 05-09-2012, 01:31 PM   #1
Iheoma's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Chicago
Posts: 163

Alamo Prepaid Gas- Do the Math Before You Buy -Recent (May 2012) experience

Hi Everyone,

We just got back from a GREAT trip to Universal. I wanted to share my experiences regarding Alamo and prepaid gas. Here's a little background - I reserved a standard car for 5/1/12 -5/8/12 for $99.33. This was a fantastic rate!! When we were checking in to get the car, the desk agent didn't give me the typical discussion about the car insurance but she did ask me several, several times if I would like to prepay for gas. The rate that she quoted me was for approx. $76 dollars. She stated that the gas "around the area" was about $5.00 per gallon and they could fill it for $3.67 per gallon with this option. There is no refund for unused gas.

Now, initially DH wanted to get the option. But I asked exactly what kind of car would be getting - $76 seemed pretty high to fill a standard car even if we drove it down to the fumes. The desk agent said that the typical "full sized" cars we would get (no standards in MCO) would Altimas, Malibus or Camrys. At that point, I said it seemed high for a pre-paid option. She said that it would be adjusted for the type of car . That didn't make much sense to me at all. So we declined. The Desk Agent told me what a great rate I was getting and I should really get the gas option. Now, we had been up since 3am(6am flight from Chicago to Orlando) and it was 9:45 a.m. and I was starting to get a wee bit annoyed when I told her again that we declined.

So, we ended up getting a Camry LE with 32k. We stayed at the Portofino Bay Hotel on Universal's property, drove to Sea World, down I-drive several times and round trip to Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay. The TOTAL amount we spent on gas for the 8 days we had the car as $31.78. This included stopping at the gas station and topping off before we got the airport. The only way that it *may* have been a good choice for us to pre-pay for gas would be to completely drive the car down to empty fumes- something that most responsible people don't do when they are at home, let alone when they are on a family vacation in a different state.

I'm sharing this because I know that sometimes travelers are tired and hungry and stressed and may agree to things that really don't make economic sense. I also understand the desk agents at Alamo have a job to do - which is to upsell when possible. That said, just be careful and don't feel pressured into buying things you don't need. I've read the DIS for years and consider myself pretty savvy but I would have totally wasted money on this part of the trip if I hadn't been careful.
The joy of traveling is the planning

WDW - March 2000 - offsite
WDW - May 2004 - offsite
WDW - May 2008 - Beach Club
Universal/Seaworld/Busch Gardens-May 2012- Portofino Bay Hotel
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