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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All these threads about Disney/Florida got me wanting to visit my grandpa in Florida. That and the fact that I looked up how many vacation days I have left to use before May. So I happened to pop on the website of an airline that flies out of our local airport (direct flights to Florida). What to my wondering eyes should appear? Flights to and from Florida from Des Moines for $29 each way!!!! And some of the available dates are over DH and my anniversary! Sooooo, we're going to Florida Feb 19 thru the 25th! We've got a place to stay, no problem, but now I need to find a reasonably priced rental car. Any hints/tricks to getting a decent deal?
 

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I don't know about rental cars so I hope someone who does chimes in soon...

I just wanted to say WOOHOO!! on your vacation to see your grandpa. That's awesome! I hope you & your DH have a wonderful time. :)

~Ashley
 

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Use Enterprise. They even have a 3 day weekend deal, that's often $10-20/day. Hope this helps. Have done the $10/day in New Jersey and Louisiana, but have heard it is $20/day in some states. ldc
 

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Hit all the websites and look for "Deals" specially weekends. Im fond of Budget . A lot of companies will pick you up too!If your renting and returning to the airport almost all of them have a shuttle.
Take the refill option on fuel.
 

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Hotwire is also a good option. Recently DH had to go out of town on business and got an economy class car from Alamo for $11 a day. He booked it through hotwire.

When he got to the rental counter they were all out of economy cars so they gave him the next "small two door" thing they had...a bright red mustang. He was so excited when he called me from his hotel parking lot. He was thrilled that he was driving a mustang for $11 a day and kept going on and on about how much better that thing cornered than our van. LOL
 

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Rental prices are set on supply and demand by each company. If the International Womens Bowlers are coming to town for that weekend, expect to pay high prices.

Want to get a great price? Travelocity will be a good starting place, and will give you an idea of availabilty.

Then get out your phone book, and start calling around the area you are staying.

Can gramps pick you up at the airport?

Airports tend to have the greatest availabilty of cars, and the best prices, but airport taxes can eat you alive. I think it is 14% in Indy.

Bottom line is you got to use the net and the phone. You got to call the local branches. You have to compare apples to apples too, including mileage and car size.

Corporate call centers rarely give you a deal.

***It will pay to wait until closer to your arrival dates to get a better deal.

Overall, Enterprise seems to be the best to rent from because their managers can make their own deals. Then again, you have to bargain hard, and often have to make the deal with the branch manager. Enterprise will also beat any other quote by 15%.

I usually call the local branch and say, with lighthearted and fun pressure:

"You have any cars to rent?"
"Yes, what kind of car are you looking for?"
"I want a deal.. What do you have?"
"I have a...."
"Do you have anything better than that?"
"I have .... for ....."
"Oh, come on, I need to do better than that!"
"I have a .... for ...."
"I didn't want to buy it, just rent it for a week. I am looking for something better than that! Even National was giving me a rate of ...."

Check your auto insurance policy too. Make sure you don't need their high priced insurance.

I have rented alot of cars in my life, and these are the true lessons I have learned.

Clove
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
All the basic quotes are about $400-$500 for a week. I went to the www.disboards.com recommended on the Disney thread and so far have: had a reservation for $160/week + tax and cancelled that reservation when I found another for $148/week. It's very easy to cancel with the company I'm with so far, so I expect I will make and cancel several reservations before we actually get there. I'm with Dollar right now and the nice thing about them is that I don't have to give them any payment information until we get there, so I don't have to worry that my card is getting charged and maybe not refunded.
 

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A comment, but not about the car rental. When looking at airline ticket prices remember that the $29 is the base price and does not include taxes and other fees. You can probably expect to pay double the $29, maybe more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
A comment, but not about the car rental. When looking at airline ticket prices remember that the $29 is the base price and does not include taxes and other fees. You can probably expect to pay double the $29, maybe more.
Yep! We end up paying $112 total round trip each ($11 each way to make sure we sit together, so it would have been $90 other wise). We are also only using carry-on bags-Grandpa has a washer/dryer we can use! Pretty cheap flying vacation anyway you look at it...
 

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Even with the add on charges those are still some pretty reasonable rates for the distance involved. Glad you found them and will enjoy the vacation to visit.
 
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