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Car hire in the USA

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Car hire in the USA

Old 6th Feb 2009, 11:19
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419
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Question Car hire in the USA

Later this year, I'm going on an extensive trip, driving around the USA with an Aussie mate of mine.
We've both been looking into prices of car hire. and for some reason the cost of this (paid in $US on car pick up) varies greatly depending on whether the primary renter is a UK or Australian resident.

For A UK resident.

Pickup: Los Angeles Intl Arpt/Shuttle (LAXT71)
Saturday, August 1, 2009
12:00 PM

Dropoff: Los Angeles Intl Arpt/Shuttle (LAXT71)
Sunday, August 30, 2009
12:00 PM

Estimated Total = $1,283.08 USD
For an Australian resident
Pickup: Los Angeles Intl Arpt/Shuttle (LAXT71)
Saturday, August 1, 2009
12:00 PM

Dropoff:
Los Angeles Intl Arpt/Shuttle (LAXT71)
Sunday, August 30, 2009
12:00 PM

Estimated Total = $1,765.00 USD
For both quotes,the car would be paid for in the same way, and the insurance coverage provided appears to be the same.
I obtained both quotes from Alamo.com, and all info entered was the same, except for country of residence.
Does anyone know why there is such a variation in the price?
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Old 6th Feb 2009, 11:37
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The obvious answer is that Aussies are crappier drivers.

But I really don't know and am interested in the answer. Won't you be sharing the driving anyway?
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Old 6th Feb 2009, 11:40
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The price will vary greatly, even with the samecompany, over time. I have had good experience with both holiday autos car hire international and netflights.com : Flights, Hotels & Car Hire Worldwide, on both price and service.
Netflights (previously known as Airline Network) have been marginally cheaper for the last couple of years; where they really scored was the time when my partner arranged the hire car, but failed to print out the voucher to collect the car. She then failed to follow their instructions on how to rectify the matter without incurring extra charges! Despite this, Airline Network managed to track all the paperwork down, and refund the extra money, when they were under no obligation to do so. They are now my first stop for hire cars.
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Old 6th Feb 2009, 11:42
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No, but I'm not shocked. I've run through the same process as you trying to rent a car from LGW several times with several different companies (usually Hertz or Europcar). I always compare the prices of being a British resident and a French resident (I have paperwork to prove either/both) and the prices are very often different - though which one is cheaper is not consistent...

Can't suss it out - there must be a system there somewhere but I'll be jiggered if I can figure out how they do the sums

p-k-b
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Old 6th Feb 2009, 13:18
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419
Just a thought, might the car hire website be converting Australian $ to US $
and for yourself, converting to US $
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Old 6th Feb 2009, 13:28
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Just an aside, I hired a car for the month of december, it was from Thrifty and cost $300. I used an English Licence for the rental.

One other aside, if you want some discount coupons for the rental get hold of a book called "The Entertainment book" for the city you're going to rent from, there's normally a good sized collection of coupons for discounts at the rental companies (book costs about $35)

No idea why the price difference.
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Old 6th Feb 2009, 14:05
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daz,

As the prices quoted are both in $US, being paid locally upon collection of the car, there are no currency conversions involved.

Even if you pick 2 countries using the same currency, () there are big differences.

Germany =$1307 (1022)
Ireland = $1740 (1355)
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Old 6th Feb 2009, 14:31
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That is a huge cost.
My cousin hired a car in SF and drove around for a week and dropped it off at LAX, apart from the fuel that he used it was a total of $387.
This was 2 months ago.
f
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Old 6th Feb 2009, 15:47
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Originally Posted by fleigle View Post
That is a huge cost.
My cousin hired a car in SF and drove around for a week and dropped it off at LAX, apart from the fuel that he used it was a total of $387.
This was 2 months ago.
f
Yours was the Huge cost if compared to the UK resident charges above:

1 week @$387 = $387
4 weeks @$387/week = $1548

4 weeks UK resident above = $1,283.08 thus is some $264 cheaper!!
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Old 6th Feb 2009, 16:29
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It pays to shop around. I've found that airlines often have deals with rental companies. You don't even have to use the airline. Just go to their website and click on "cars". You will then see the various offerings from the rental companies. Over the years I've saved a lot of dollars doing it this way.
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Old 6th Feb 2009, 17:10
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Here in the States, insurance rates are based on trends of claims processed, which is why young drivers pay more for their premiums.

I'm wondering if the insurance companies that cover car rentals have also seen certain accident claim trends of our visitors here? I can't imagine any other reason....


Just a thought.
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Old 6th Feb 2009, 17:10
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I've known this for several years now. I've lived in Canada for years but still have an "address" in the UK. Whenever I try to book car rental (for anywhere in the world) it is always cheaper to enter an address in the UK. When you come to pay for it or enter an address to get the voucher sent to you can enter any address. When you pick the car up, they again don't care where you say you live so long as you have a valid credit card and a driver's license (from anywhere).

The difference is because the rates quoted to UK residents include the usual insurances whereas rates quoted to other countries residents add the insurances as surcharges. There's no logical reason for this.

It's a loophole that I've exploited so well over the years that I've often wondered about making it more known - but seeing as this thread is the first I've heard about it in any kind of "public" domain, I think it's best kept as secret as possible.

Car rental companies have always been mysterious affairs - you just have to learn how to work the system.
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Old 6th Feb 2009, 18:50
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Recent hires in California and Nevada have cost $9 US a day for a mid size for this Canadian. Does not include insurance as our Canadian insurance covers hires and our M/card covers the deductible.

Last time round offers ranged from $9 to $24 per day so might be worth hunting around.

You can also try Hotwire (our last hire, it is a booking agent) but check the cancellation conditions as they vary.
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Old 7th Feb 2009, 06:25
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Just an aside, I hired a car for the month of december, it was from Thrifty and cost $300. I used an English Licence for the rental.

Did you have to show a paper license? ( I know we've discussed this before)

The difference is because the rates quoted to UK residents include the usual insurances whereas rates quoted to other countries residents add the insurances as surcharges. There's no logical reason for this.
I find that hard to understand...and indeed have never benefited from it. Having said that, most times I've had my own or family cars here, so not too much experience of hiring. However, the added bits can nearly double the cost of a reduced or 'bargain' charge, so having them waive it seems odd. Take care on that one...they're good at following you home!
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Old 7th Feb 2009, 06:37
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Just an aside, I hired a car for the month of december, it was from Thrifty and cost $300. I used an English Licence for the rental.
I would guess, and it's a good guess, that this didn't include third party insurance. Some states, for example California, do not insist on this being included in your car rental cost as most people's own insurance covers third party liability for car hire.

When I say most people, that means most US/Canada resident people, an UK car insurance policy will not cover you in the US. If you don't have third party liability insurance and you get pulled over by the cops it will be a Significant inconvenience. And I mean Significant with a big S. If you hit somebody and cause harm then it will be Considerably worse.
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Old 8th Feb 2009, 06:42
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Wanna get screwed by car hire!!

I,ve flown to the states around 9 times in the last couple of years and after getting screwed over by my travel agent on car hire have taken to getting a hire company,s bus to their depot, be it alamo or enterprise or whatever as I arrive in the US. They always do a wk,s rental for me anywhere from 210 to 300 a wk us$!! This is the way to go for me.Far cheaper than the t/a,s at home
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