Holy Rent-a-Reaming, Batman! Car Rental Drop-Off slick play. Very Mild to Lame

So, yours truly finds himself heading to California on Business for this upcoming weekend. He thinks to himself, Self, I’ll rent me a car. Fine corporations such as Alamo/National, Avis, Hertz, etc. make available their offers at $20-$25 a day plus the various taxes for the four days off of LAX. Sweet.

Boss lady rings me down, says, JRD, go ahead and take a couple extra days off, it’s gonna be a dead week back here anyway. I says to self, Self, let’s make it so that last day we drive 'cross the desert to Vegas. How bad can the drop off fee be?
The various corporations make available their offers… hey, this is odd… no drop-off fee quoted anywhere… but what is this…
HUH??? Rental rate is now $110-$120 a day PLUS the various taxes, for the four days.

:eek: … the Hell you say???

Goddamn! You mean it’s a $360 drop-off fee prorrated over 4 days?

Little bit of research and guess what…?
Take a car in LA (or Vegas) and return it to the same place for the first three days and some hours… and it’s still $20/25 a day + taxes.

BUT…one minute after returning the first car, you can rent another car in LAX and drive it to Vegas the last 10 hours… and IT is $110-$120 +T for THE ONE DAY!!!

See what just happenned? Does that mean the profitable price for a repositioning is really only $90? But they charge it for EVERY DAY of the contract? Man, they’re REALLY having an inventory-in-the-wrong-places problem this season, or what?

:mad: Fuckers!! Twice! Once for NOT itemizing the drop-off charge, Twice for takign advantageof the non-itemization to be able to excuse quintupling the price for EVERY SINGLE DAY of the one-way rental.

I asked my brother and he reports he got the same ripping when he tried to one-way it from Maryland to Florida. FIVE TIMES the daily rate, regardless of how many days, rather than quoting a straight reloc fee. gah.
All I can say is that I’m sure the business models work beautifully in order to come up with this scheme. The management can just cram their business models up their rectums for all I care.

You did catch it while you were still in the planning stages, right? Well done.

How much would it be to rent a U-Haul truck for the trip?

WAG-most of the rental car business at airports would be local rentals by travelers who will be leaving from the same airport. This assures an adequate supply at all times.


[li]The rates went up because you you are crossing a state line (out-of-state charges).[/li][li]The rates went up because Vegas is a tourist spot and a dead end to the rental companies (How many tourists will drive one-way from Vegas to L.A?).[/li][li]The rates went up because you are renting from LAX.[/li][li]The rates went up because they can, as every other car rental does it, too.[/li][li]The rates went up because your rental period isn’t “standard.”[/li][li]The rates went up because you didn’t use a discount option (corporate, AAA membership, etc.).[/li][li]The rates went up because you didn’t schmooze the rental clerk.[/li][/ul]

Take a look at these tips:

In October we had relatives fly out to us for five days. We had to have a van because there were little ones with car seats and our vehicles wouldn’t work. So we canvassed all the rental companies and played around with vehicle types, rental periods, etc. We got the average rental rate down to $400 from $500-525. When came time to pick up the vehicle, it all changed. Did we fly in, they asked. Nope, we’re local. Ok, strike that charge. Hmm, cut that tax, too. Are you going to use our gas options or fill up locally, they asked. Locally. Ok, strike that charge and tax. And so it went. We walked out with a 2009 seven-passenger van, loaded, for five days at $255 flat charge that others might get for $400 and everyone else normally pays $500. Unlimited miles. No charges crossing state lines, either.

Fly from the LA area to Vegas and back. Check out Southwest, they generally have deals that would cost less than $100. Never, ever, ever leave a car even in a different part of the city than you got it from (says she from sad experience…) :mad:

Southwest has been raising prices, alas, but it might be possible to get a fly/stay deal which would work. Vegas is so crowded I’d hate to drive there unless I was going away from the Strip.

Sometimes you can luck out and want to drop off a car where they need one. It’s happened to me, but it isn’t the way to bet.

I know all the possible justified reasons to charge me more to drop off at a different location.

But fuck 'em for wanting to charge you for it four times, and pretend it’s a rise in the base rent.

Yep, better deal to hop on SWAir – or… get out of the comfort zone and use one of the*** local*** SoCal rental outfits, who just quoted the regular rate plus a single separate drop-off charge, stiff but reasonable. May be a little rattletrappy, though…

I guess the most galling part of it is the national chains’ ruse that the RATE itself went up. You only have to reposition the car ONCE, bastards. In those four days I could be in Utah for all they know, the only thing that affects their bottom line is where the car is on day one and where is it on day four.

Hitchhike. You’ll have waaaaaaay better stories. If you survive.

CouchSurf. I’m sure you can catch a car leaving LA for Vegas that day.