Renting a Car: First Time in a Long Time

Discussion in 'Transportation' started by cg1200, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. cg1200

    cg1200 DIS Veteran

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    We typically go to Disney every year and stay on-site so haven't rented a car in ages. On our next trip in June 23-30, we're doing Universal and TL, so we're thinking of renting a car. There will be 8 of us so we will need a mini-van.

    Yesterday I saw weekly rate from Thrifty for $462 (less taxes and other charges). Other places were over $600. I didn't book it because I have no sense for what I should expect to pay. I checked back today and Thrifty was up to $560 for the same week.

    I looked up the discount codes on Mousesavers but none of them seemed all that impressive, nor did they even work.

    Is renting a car like buying air fare? Do prices fluctuate significantly? Am I better off waiting a bit or booking further in advance?

    I'm also debating the need to rent the van for the whole week. I saw that I can rent it for just a few days while on site through the Disney Car Center but I thought that might actually wind up costing me almost as much as a weekly rental.

    If there are any experienced rental folks out there I could use some guidance.
     
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  3. wings91

    wings91 DIS Veteran

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    Keep your eye here on the DIS transportation boards for a thread titled something like "official June car rental...". People will be posting deals they have got and the codes that they have used.

    This far out, there aren't a lot of codes that will reduce your price much. The one code I know of is through Budget. It's been active for years, its BCD X474200 and coupon code MUWZ023. Not sure if the coupon does anything or not. The code is through travelocity although you book right on the Budget site. I entered your dates and got a returned minivan rate of $302.84.

    I usually use this code months in advance to reserve a car. I then keep watching for other codes through both Budget and other companies to see if I can get anything lower. But because this code always works, it's nice insurance to have something booked far in advance. You never really know which way rates are going to go. USUALLY they do drop as you get closer to your dates, sometimes all the way up to just a few days out, so you have to be watching all the time.

    Also, I've never had any problems with this code and the coupon is electronic, so you don't need to ever show anything the counter.

    Good luck.
     
  4. Shelly F - Ohio

    Shelly F - Ohio Disney Extraordinaire

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    Looking at rates now will result in high rates. The closer you get to your trip date the lower the rates become. We never book a car more then 2 weeks from our trip. That is when rental companies release their last minute car rates. Couple the last minute rate when say a $40 off for a weekly rental coupon and you can get a great deal!.

    In 2011 and 2012 we paid less than $100 for a weekly rental of mid size with Alamo and we did not book until a week before our trip. So keep an eye out on the boards for discount codes good for the month you plan to travel.
     
  5. lost*in*cyberspace

    lost*in*cyberspace DIS Veteran

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    Renting a car is unlike buying an airline ticket because you can make changes or cancel without penalty. There's no reason not to reserve now and then keep checking for a better price, then rebooking.
     
  6. Gumbo4x4

    Gumbo4x4 Note to the ladies who forgot to

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    Check with your rental company before you book. The majority of mini-vans are 7-passenger vehicles, not 8.
     
  7. cg1200

    cg1200 DIS Veteran

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    I noticed this as well. We have 2 children, 7 and 9 and think we can squish them in the back with my oldest (13) and my niece. I just can't see renting one of those van's like Buffalo Bill had in Silence of the Lambs. We won't be going all that far. The longest trip will be from the airport to the hotel.
     
  8. cg1200

    cg1200 DIS Veteran

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    I looked for the thread for June but didn't find one. I saw one for May and July but none for June oddly enough. $302 sounds like a decent price. What should I expect to pay for a mini-van for a week?

    Thanks for the reply.
     
  9. cg1200

    cg1200 DIS Veteran

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    Great point.
     
  10. rwdavis2

    rwdavis2 DIS Veteran

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    The Budget codes posted by a PP are still good. I booked them about 10 minutes ago for a trip in June flying to SFO. Just saved me about $400.
     
  11. gmeh1

    gmeh1 DIS Veteran

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    All children under the age of 18 need a seatbelt of their own according to FL law. There are 8 pax. vans out there. Mostly Toyota Siennas. Quite a few of the rental agencies have these, they do cost a little more, but, what is the cost compared to safety?
     
  12. Gumbo4x4

    Gumbo4x4 Note to the ladies who forgot to

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    ^^^X2.


    Although, you're still going to be presented with a space issue assuming you have 8 passengers worth of luggage.
     
  13. rpierce99

    rpierce99 Earning My Ears

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    http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2861917
     
  14. goobylal

    goobylal Mouseketeer

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    Booked a minivan through Dollar for the week earlier and got it for $371.95 which still stinks, but is better than other prices I got. I plugged in your dates and got $423.50, using corporate code oi1054. Interesting that just 1 week later is almost $52 more.
     
  15. cg1200

    cg1200 DIS Veteran

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    I was thinking that luggage is going to be a problem. We'll never fit 8 passengers worth of luggage in a standard mini-van. Hmm. I'll have to ponder that one.

    I don't see any way to specify an 8 passenger minivan vs the one for 7. Seems like my only option is the larger shuttle-like van. Do I have to call Budget and ask them?
     
  16. cg1200

    cg1200 DIS Veteran

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    Try that Budget code mentioned above. $302 seems like a good deal for a mini-van.
     
  17. soxfan11901

    soxfan11901 Mouseketeer

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    If you've got two drivers then it's usually cheaper to rent two cars, even with the extra parking fee.
     
  18. goobylal

    goobylal Mouseketeer

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    Thanks, it worked! And I checked both codes and it's just the offer/BCD code (X474200) one needs.
     
  19. Gumbo4x4

    Gumbo4x4 Note to the ladies who forgot to

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    I'm thinking a full-size van - or a pair of cars - might be a better option. The only difference in a 7-passenger minivan & an 8-passenger minivan is the center seat arrangement. They're not actually any bigger.
     
  20. gmeh1

    gmeh1 DIS Veteran

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    Not all rental companies have the 8 pax vans. I don't know about Budget, but, I would give a call and see.
    The point about luggage was right on, be it a 7 or 8 pax. van. Two cars might be the better solution, as was suggested previously.
     
  21. cg1200

    cg1200 DIS Veteran

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    I emailed Budget customer care. They could not verify if MCO would have Sienna's at that time. They said I'd have to step up to the premium SUV class. That will cost over $1,000.

    We have plenty of drivers but none are too excited about having to drive. We have 4 adults and 4 kids so we can accommodate the kids with seatbelts. One of the adults would have to get short-changed.

    I was thinking of using DME for my party and the luggage and just I would drive the van from MCO to BLT. This way our luggage will not be an issue. For the handful of times we will be driving (back and forth to Universal twice and maybe a trip to TL or mini-golf) I think we can squish into the mini-van.

    If the step up were more reasonable I'd do it but triple the price is a ripoff.
     

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