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I want to rent a minivan for an upcoming trip to Portland, Oregon over spring break. We plan to pick up the van at the airport and keeping it for ten days.

It seems no matter where I go the "out-the-door" price is $504.14 - regardless of the base rate quoted.

For example, through the airline the daily rate is $27. Hotwire has it for $39....but both totals, after taxes and fees, are $504.14.

I need a good deal on a rental minivan and am not sure how to get one.
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I need a good deal on a rental minivan and am not sure how to get one.

Do you have AAA? Sometimes they can negotiate a better rate.

Nancy
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It actually sounds like an amazingly good rate to me. $50/day? That's good. I rented a car for 10 days for work last fall and paid $1400 (granted it was in Philly and a one-way drop off, but still...).

At any rate, I agree that AAA may be the best bet.
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Try your local travel agent,doesn't cost anything and they might be able to beat your deal.
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I agree that that is a pretty good price for a mini-van.

If you rent a car at an airport there will usually be additional taxes and airport fees. You can avoid these by renting at a location away from the airport.

I have even rented a car at the airport for one day then dropped it off at a non-airport location the nexted day then at the same time picked up a rental car for a week+ trip at the non airport location. I then returned that car at the airport on my way out of town when I returned. As I recall I saved about $150 by swapping cars and it took me less than an hour.

On a diffeent trip I was able take light rail to a downtown location to pick up a rental car.

With non-airport location you do need to be careful about what hours and days they are open and it is good to get good directions to them since they can be in a strip mall or a call dealership.
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Try Priceline.
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I did try Priceline, but my bid was rejected. And I don't know what their fees are...So is whatever I bid going to equal $504.14 like every other place? It seems I can not trust a given daily rate if each entity will just manipulate it up to the same end result.

The logistics of getting the rental at an off airport location will be tricky. We arrive at 10PM...and there are five in our family.

We do have AAA. I will check them out.

Thanks for the suggestions.
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AAA price $767.

And it is non-refundable.

The $504.14 quote through the airline is refundable.
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Priceline (non bid) $504

Kayak.com $504

Carrentals.com $504

expedia $504


So I guess it does not really matter where I rent - no one is going lower than $504...I will take the airline rental since it is refundable. Then if prices drop I can switch if necessary.
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I live in NY City and we rented a car from Friday morning until Monday afternoon and paid $500. The fees are almost as much as the rental because they charged me for 3 full days. I think you are getting a good deal.
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Try Hotwire.com also.
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It sounds like they are all quoting the same underlying rental car agency.
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If your destination is a ski resort, you might want to consider something that handles better in bad weather.
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Yeah...Enterprise, I believe.

What bothers me is one company quotes a $27 base rate while another quotes a $39 rate with the same end result. Same airport - same taxes. Some are just loading the fees so the rate appears to be more competitive.
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Not a ski trip. Just driving between Portland, Seattle and Vancouver.

I wanted to save some money by renting a full size car (savings of about $180!), but my husband wants to give everyone some more space.
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What bothers me is one company quotes a $27 base rate while another quotes a $39 rate with the same end result. Same airport - same taxes. Some are just loading the fees so the rate appears to be more competitive.

Is it that some local taxes and "recovery fees" are included in the daily rate for some sites and not others? Once all of the fees and taxes are added into the lower daily price, everything evens out.
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Yeah...Enterprise, I believe.

What bothers me is one company quotes a $27 base rate while another quotes a $39 rate with the same end result. Same airport - same taxes. Some are just loading the fees so the rate appears to be more competitive.


What's happening is that you're renting for 10 days, so you're getting a weekly rate for part of it and a daily rate for part of it. Almost all aggregators I've seen only quote in daily prices, so I suspect one is quoting you an average daily rate ($27) for the whole rental and the other is quoting the single day rate without the discount for a longer rental. At least that's my guess.

The bottom line thing to understand is that kayak, expedia, etc are all just travel agents. They're telling you what Enterprise charges for a 10 day minivan rental, which is $504. If you want a different price here are some possiblities:
1) Research discount codes or corporate codes specific to Enterprise. Check here: http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/travel-discussion/790643/
2) Check another agency's price
3) Book from an off-airport location. Most airport car rental locations have significant additional taxes and fees levied to capture revenue from business travelers.
4) Check hotwire. They offer rentals without revealing which agency it'll be from, it's sometimes cheaper. More often the price is only cheaper for last minute reservations though.

Honestly, $504 all in for a 10 day minivan rental sounds quite reasonable to me. Minivans and SUVs are premium vehicles in the rental world, I'm surprised the rate isn't double that. Especially if your trip is during a popular vacation week like spring break!
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You may also have a better chance at getting a low rate if you ask for the 12 Passanger Van. I am not kidding.

Last month, we went to Oahu, HI. My wife tried to get us a normal minivan. The best she could come up with for the 10 days would have cost us about $2900 total.

She then asked for a 12 pax van and we ended up paying $900 for the 10 days.

Give it a shot, and good luck.

DHeavy
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Not a ski trip. Just driving between Portland, Seattle and Vancouver.

Make certain to check the rules regarding travel out of state.
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Make certain to check the rules regarding travel out of state.

State ? I thought she was referring to Vancouver, B.C. so out of country where the insurance requirements may be different.

Amtrak from Bellingham,WA to Vancouver was $14 one way when I checked last year. I-5 does have expected time for crossing the border as you go north.
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State ? I thought she was referring to Vancouver, B.C. so out of country where the insurance requirements may be different.

I was assuming Vancouver, Washington which is close to Portland.

If it is Canada, then out of country would also need to be checked.
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Yes, I had already checked and they are good with us driving into Canada.
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Yes, I had already checked and they are good with us driving into Canada.

Have you checked with your insurance agent to see what coverage you might need ?
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Have you checked with your insurance agent to see what coverage you might need ?

Checking is wise. Fortunately, Canada isn't like Mexico. Most US car insurance applies in Canada.
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Do rental companies get a premium for minivans over large cars? Sometimes it seemed that way to me. With 2 adults and 2 children plus luggage we usually asked fora larger car but more often than not it wasn't available e when we arrived. Good luck
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Do rental companies get a premium for minivans over large cars?

Rental car companies tend to charge more for a minivan compared to a intermediate, standard, and full-size vehicle, if that is what you are asking.
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