Car rental rates during the pandemic

antycbr

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As a non-car owner and unable to justify paying through the nose for rentals, this is changing my destination bookings. I've ruled out HBA due to lack of adequate public transport, and we cannot venture too far into regional NSW with the current prices. Did ADL last weekend with public transport only, was quite manageable in the inner city area but we could not go to the hills without it taking all day.
 

MooTime

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Got hire car in Darwin in peak June/July time for 6 days for ~$1000. That's with full insurance & 2 child seats with SixT.

If weren't going to the national parks some 90mins away, would've just taxied around town.

Did look at international website for car hire as mentioned well back in this thread. Booked direct in the end.
 

Saab34

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I have given up trying to get a 3 week rental in Cairns, the best price is about $3k for 3 weeks. The prices have not moved at all. The next option was get a free credit on the flights and take our own car.

We are now going to fly into TSV and got a hatch with Budget for $55 a day. Nearly a $2k saving. 8 hours round trip who cares. Better vs 60 hr round trip from Sydney.

So perhaps have a look into non touristy areas, TSV isn’t exactly a tourist hotspot so business as usual it seems, if your happy to drive a little bit longer and save a whole heap.
 
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SYD

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Some recent data points renting in the UK. A 2 wk rental from London to travel around Devon and Cornwall, then later a ~1 wk from Edinburgh down to Hadrian’s Wall, Lakes District and back across through Yorkshire, Durham and Newcastle.

First, I looked across a range of rental companies with various discounted rates usually available to me and pretty much nothing reasonable came up looking at “downtown” pickup/drop offs (sometimes huge quotes or just “no cars”). Plus, I discovered some regional centres had closed their offices entirely! My cunning plan to train it from London to Devon and motor from there was quickly thwarted… I was pondering giving up when I checked rates from LGW and LHR. Contrary to the usual rule that airports are more expensive for pickup / drop off, they were actually a fraction of the cost (you just need to get there if not walking off or onto a flight).

So ended up with a 2 wk hire from AVIS LHR T3 to LHR T5 for ~£500 - which I thought was ok. One of the smaller car categories but no upgrade (as AVIS Preferred) that I could tell but it did the job. Fortunately it had unlimited miles (we racked up over 900 miles). It was pretty similar pricing picking up from LGW and returning to LHR (which was my initial booking but then I realised after we arrived in London that even the slow train to LGW is now ~£18 each oneway!).

Similar problems up north. Pickup downtown in Edinburgh was $$$$ and the downtown Newcastle AVIS office had closed. So settled for EDI airport pickup and NCL airport drop off. Again, AVIS Small car category 1 wk for ~£270 (including a one-way charge). Received a modest upgrade that time. In hindsight, we probably should have done EDI-EDI. Although, the metro from NCL to Newcastle central was cheap and convenient to our hotel and then train back to London the next day.
 
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N860CR

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Good time to be using your travel agent when it comes to cars. Their wholesalers often have prebooked availability which can beat the websites.

Cars are weird at the moment. I was going to upgrade the now 5 year old LX for the new model (300 series based). I’d be lucky to get one in the next 18 months 😵‍💫.
 

Happy Dude

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Not a lot of change with the situation in CBR: very scarce and expensive. Couldn't get any vehicle for a three day rental during the week from the majors, even from the airport. Hertz and Avis also had nothing from the other locations but managed to reserve a X-trail from Europcar in the city. Oddly, the cost dropped from mid-600s (yikes!) to mid-400s (reasonable) the day after I first tried to book. Ended up being given a Prado. I'm finding it very difficult to get any car at any price to use the Amex offers with Avis and Hertz.
 

Flashback

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LHR/LGW have major car shortages - often the results I'm met with when I search for a car are "Sorry, there are no cars available" or something similar. I'm renting from Battersea next week - got that one for a steal. Quite often car rental rates drop closer to the time and I rebook, but this time the rate has increased 5x so I'll keep my original rate thanks very much.
 

theblank

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Good time to be using your travel agent when it comes to cars. Their wholesalers often have prebooked availability which can beat the websites.
😵‍💫.
what or who is a travel agent? never used one. can you drop a name?

last month or so ago i booked a small car (3rd from smallest) from DUB for 8 days $974, in comparison same car in 2016 was $200 for 9 days.
I keep checking every few days just in case it got cheaper, the same rental is now $1775, thats insane. Surely there has to be a point where people just dont go there.
 

N860CR

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what or who is a travel agent? never used one. can you drop a name?

last month or so ago i booked a small car (3rd from smallest) from DUB for 8 days $974, in comparison same car in 2016 was $200 for 9 days.
I keep checking every few days just in case it got cheaper, the same rental is now $1775, thats insane. Surely there has to be a point where people just dont go there.

Personal travel advisor or whatever they want to call themselves. Not talking about flight centre but people who work as your individual agent. I’ve got one, specializes in africa but does assist with other markets.
 

justinbrett

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The rates are starting to come down in the US. I’ve just repriced my 15 day Avis booking in New York, was A$3400, now got it through budget for A$1900. Other companies are still sky high (as was budget when I originally booked) but I think this is the start of prices going back to more reasonable levels.

Gas prices however is quite another thing (and from what I could see budget wasn’t offering hybrids in my location).
 

MooTime

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Booked SUV in Darwin for end of June, 4 days at $120 p/d.
Now equivalent standard SUV is $250 p/d.

Maybe that's just supply & demand as date gets closer.
 

Flashback

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+1 for AutoSlash, I forgot about their booking tracking service post booking. Put in my Hertz booking details ($1400 for 10 days) and it found a better rate with National for $780. I clicked through and it didn't work .. so clicked the Help? button which generated a ticket with their support team. Rapidly received a booking e-mail from Priceline, confirming the lower rate, confirmed I don't need any memberships to be eligible for that price and also set it to UK drivers licence for me - as in my experience when you change from US DL to UK DL on Priceline the cost goes up.

Happy days and that's a £500 saving for me on a car I'm picking up in less than a week's time.
 

lovetravellingoz

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LHR/LGW have major car shortages - often the results I'm met with when I search for a car are "Sorry, there are no cars available" or something similar. I'm renting from Battersea next week - got that one for a steal. Quite often car rental rates drop closer to the time and I rebook, but this time the rate has increased 5x so I'll keep my original rate thanks very much.

I just booked last night my 21 day car hire in the UK for 22 June to 13 July. A day earlier, or a day later it said for 21 days "Sorry, there are no cars available"

"Sorry, there are no cars available" was common, even when I was only looking for say 14 day options. Eventually after a lot of searching I found the duration I was after at an ok price.

The first few searches returned very high $$$, of treble or more of what we eventually booked. Especially if you wanted to commence in London, or one of the airports near it.

In the end I was happy with:
1652956257229.png
**The Rental Option was for call out service for flat battery, tyres, lost keys etc, and discounted from the normal rate.
** CDW and Theft were included.


So I started search random locations near the route I wanted to visit. On my last time in England we trained to Bath and then started our week hire after a few nights in Bath. Back in 2018 for a Renault Captur that was only 142 Pounds for 7 days!

Basically we for this trip wanted to drive through Wales, and then the SE and Southern coasts of England. Though it could have been vice-versa.

Most rental agencies not at airports has very limited stock. Some came up with maximum 3 day hire limits!

WHO THROUGH?

Last time in 2018 we ended up booking through Hertz on our UK/Scandinavia trip with car hires in Scotland, England, Ireland and Sweden.
So I started with them. But high prices and poor availability.

Off to various aggregators and booking engines. I noticed that Budget and Avis kept popping up.

In the end I discovered that Budget and Avis from Liverpool Airport had good availability for the window that I was seeking, and Liverpool is near northern Wales.

Budget was cheapest. Now in 2018 booking through the UK portal gave the cheapest price. This time booking through the Australian Portal for both Budget and Avis obtained the cheaper rate.

While we could have gone return rental car to Liverpool, that would have meant backtracking. Looking at returns to City Offices normally returned "Sorry, there are no cars available", But looking at Airports one could then book it at some locations. So presumably the rental car agencies are biasing returns to be to airports.

In the end we settled on return to Southampton airport, as that was where our initial exploration range was meant to end anyway, and so overall it will mean less "wasted" travel time for us. Plus the train trip is cheaper than if booked from say from Gatwick. Advance "Two Together" Railcard fares by train to Liverpool and from Southampton airports are very cheap.

Though Gatwick, or Luton would have gained the same car rental price.
Returning to Heathrow while bookable, saw the rental price doubling!

RETURN TIME

I noticed that for a number of locations that for different dates that I was checking that returning from noon onwards would sometimes give the dreaded "Sorry, there are no cars available", whereas changing that to 11.30am then gained availability.
 
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Maisy33

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+1 for AutoSlash, I forgot about their booking tracking service post booking. Put in my Hertz booking details ($1400 for 10 days) and it found a better rate with National for $780. I clicked through and it didn't work .. so clicked the Help? button which generated a ticket with their support team. Rapidly received a booking e-mail from Priceline, confirming the lower rate, confirmed I don't need any memberships to be eligible for that price and also set it to UK drivers licence for me - as in my experience when you change from US DL to UK DL on Priceline the cost goes up.

Happy days and that's a £500 saving for me on a car I'm picking up in less than a week's time.
Flashback, have you booked hotels with them?
 

theblank

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I have just noticed that in July 22, Dublin airport prices continue to skyrocket, now at least AUD $2000 for 8 days ( i got it for $970 a couple months ago) But on the other hand Belfast city prices have fallen to about AUD $1000 for 8 days
 

Happy Dude

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I was looking for a one day hire from CBR this week. Europcar was the only major to have a car of any type again but wanted $320 for some type of small MG. Oddly, a Benz A180 was "only" $210 but max 200km. I ended up with a Mitsi ASX, whatever that is, for $76 from Enterprise, whoever that is.
 
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