Avis rental car "signature series" cheap prices?

I’m renting a car in Hilo Christmas week. I noticed that even the smallest compact car Avis has is around $1000 for 7 days. However, the “signature series” vehicle (Jeep Wrangler) is only around $500.

It would seem to me that a Wrangler is a much nicer vehicle than whatever tiny compact they are offering.

Anyone know what gives?

(I’m choosing Avis because Hawaiian Airlines gives me an additional 1000 air miles for doing so.)

I’m not sure what the difference is, but if you read the small print and it seems legit, go for it. Car rental in Hawaii over Christmas is ridiculously expensive and the deal you seem to have found sounds really good.

If it’s too good to be true, I’d suggest looking for an off-airport rental (if you’re not already doing that), and find a weekly deal rate (use something like Kayak) and online coupon offers. We rented from a resort outside of Kona last Christmas, and using a monthly rental deal (they had weekly too) and a 20% off coupon, we paid only $600 all in for a month vs the $3000+ it normally would have been.

I don’t know why the Jeep Wrangler is cheaper to rent than a compact car, but Hawaiian Airlines will sell you a thousand miles for about thirty bucks. So if another car rental company is cheaper by more than $30, shop around.

When we went to Hawaii in 2008 we also noticed that Jeep
Wranglers were cheaper. I don’t recall what company we chose but the Jeep was almost half the price of the cheapest car. We rented in Maui.

I wonder if Jeep somehow subsidizes the rental hoping that it will turn into a “test drive” after which the renter goes out and buys one.

And don’t forget that Avis also charges a “Frequent Flyer Program Surcharge” if you elect to receive airline miles with your rental in the United States.

Weird thing is, I had just bought my wife a Wrangler less than 3 weeks before we went.

The rental Jeep did do well on the Hana Highway. But don’t get me started on the problems we’ve had with ours at home!:mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:

I saw that, but I figure for $5.25 (75 cents a day for a week) the 1000 miles will be worth it. I go to Hawaii 2 or 3 times a year to check on the home we’re building so I need all the “miles” I can get.

I guess you didn’t see this article in Forbes on New Cars to Avoid… which includes the Dodge Wrangler.

That article came out a full 4 years after we bought ours.

And it doesn’t begin to describe the problems incurred. Google “Jeep death wobble” just for starters. We’ve had 6 major repairs on this thing which do not include the 4 recall notices we responded to for a total of 10 nasty things that happened within a very short period of time. Problem was I still owed money on it so trading/selling it would have put me in the bucket!

I’ve seen similar pricing oddities before. I think it’s just an artifact of their reservation/pricing algorithms. Just like airlines and hotels, the rental companies change the prices as reservations come in to try to maximize revenues, but they have the added complication that they don’t know for sure how many of each kind of car they’re actually going to have at a given location on a given day. That’s doubly true with some of the higher end or specialty rentals where they don’t actually have enough of them to necessarily have one at every location. For them, the reservation price has to cover the costs of potentially of having to shuttle the car to the location, but the system may give a discount if there’s already another reservation that assures there will be a car to rent on that date.

So, for example, what could be going on is that there’s already as many reservations for econoboxes as the system estimates there will be econoboxes to rent and so it has raised the prices accordingly. It might raise prices even more than normal because I assume they can’t shuttle more cars into the Hilo location. Meanwhile, maybe someone else put a reservation in for the Jeep that ends the day before yours starts and so it’s discounting that price a bit because it knows for sure there will be a Jeep to rent and wants to minimize downtime on it. So you could be seeing near the highest price for the econobox and near the lowest price for the Jeep.

Again, though, if you can beat the Avis price by more than $25, go elsewhere and just buy the miles out of pocket, if you really need to.