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USA Car Hire Extortionate

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I've been looking at car rental prices for next winter, from Denver.

In Feb 2020 we paid £650 for 3 weeks rental from there. Next year (via Holiday Autos) they are charging £1800 for the same period! Shocked Shocked

I appreciate that the pound isn't particularly strong (and we've had a pandemic) but that increase is way beyond reasonable.

And accommodation prices have also gone through the roof Sad
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
My understanding is that it's all tied in with pandemic and the supercapacitor shortage. When lockdown hit, a lot of hire companies sold off stock (because it was just costing them money sat in the lot). Now there's a supply issue with new cars it's hitting hire companies either in terms of actual supply or the cost of getting new vehicles. There's probably also an element of taking advantage of the excuse/trying to make up what was lost in 2020, plus the pound being crap.

I guess the question is, do you NEED to hire a car, or would it be possible (and cheaper) to just use Uber for the journeys you're making? Obviously I don't know what type of trip you're doing, but might be a consideration.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
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I would say that your 650 for 3 weeks was super cheap rather than the other being super expensive.

Were just back from a couple of weeks in Florida over easter (so another high demand / high season period of time) and we rented a 7 seat SUV type vehicle for 1200 for 2 weeks, inc all insurance and fuel charges.
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When I was in the US as a student I paid $99 for a month with Hertz - unlimited mileage. But that was a long time ago. I'd say £250 a week is massively cheap, and certainly far less than current prices in the UK.
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enduroaid wrote:
I would say that your 650 for 3 weeks was super cheap rather than the other being super expensive.


That's been the going rate for the last 15 years or so of our travelling to Canada and the USA, so seeing the price treble has come as a bit of a shock Shocked .

USA car hire has, in our experience, always been relatively cheap.
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Quote:

I guess the question is, do you NEED to hire a car, or would it be possible (and cheaper) to just use Uber for the journeys you're making?


Bus is also an option. Base yourself in Frisco and you have bus links to Vail, Breckenridge, arapahoe basin, keystone, and copper.
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Bergmeister wrote:
enduroaid wrote:
I would say that your 650 for 3 weeks was super cheap rather than the other being super expensive.


That's been the going rate for the last 15 years or so of our travelling to Canada and the USA, so seeing the price treble has come as a bit of a shock Shocked .

USA car hire has, in our experience, always been relatively cheap.


Denver has got particularly expensive as a result of the pandemic. I used to reckon £20-£30 per day was roughly the going rate for all in hire from a consolidator on a basic compact car with increments from there for bigger cars/4wd etc. Best to hold a booking then shop around for flash sales and specific brand promos. The days of firming up on a car booking <1 month out are over I think.

It's getting to the stage for megapass holders of research car prices ahead of flights and accomodation before settling on a destination.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I costed a trip to France in the summer - and even with just one person in the car, driving my own car all the way to Provence broke even for a week compared with flying and renting a car, and looking at 10 - 14 days driving myself became way cheaper. So I shall drive, and visit the Alps en route.

The same calculation led to the decision to drive to Ireland in May, taking car ferries - with two of us in the car 8 days broke even with Ryanair and we can throw in lots of luggage. Yes, wear and tear on my car, but as it's over 5 years old and only done 10K miles, I'm not bothered about that.

In time I imagine car rental will become relatively cheaper again - but inflation is definitely taking a grip on everything.
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Always has been very expensive in my experience and just gets pricier the closer you get. A particular low point has been when they then try to palm you off with a smaller car from the category below despite having paid for a Large SUV etc (we’re a big family). Did various road trips and with one way surcharge has always been the biggest single cost (as flights were generally air miles).
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@Bergmeister, …seems like a bargain to me…(I know you are saying that past prices were far lower) … I looked at car hire for 10 days in CH and the cheapest was well over 1000 chf. Gulp.

The global price hikes in raw materials and commodities is both feeding through and being used for profiteering…
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@Skimum1, A one way surcharge adds very significantly to the cost of US car rental. I've done many US Fly-Drive holidays, always returning to the original car hire airport location but doing a loop tour taking in interesting places on the way and only covering the same ground on the return leg for the very last few miles to the airport.
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@Alastair Pink, absolutely, although I would always compare quotes with and without one way and the hire (for 3 weeks of large SUV) was always the lion’s share unfortunately.
Much like @pamw, am going for self drive to France these days, far more economical!
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Bergmeister wrote:
enduroaid wrote:
I would say that your 650 for 3 weeks was super cheap rather than the other being super expensive.


That's been the going rate for the last 15 years or so of our travelling to Canada and the USA, so seeing the price treble has come as a bit of a shock Shocked


If prices had remained stable for 15 years I'd have spent at least 10 of them expecting the cost to go up at some point.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
For reference, I just booked a car for 12 days in Salt Lake City for £1010 - nothing to compare it to as not done this sort of trip before, but seems in line with others mentioned
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
The basic compact car rental in BC is now closer to the OP's second figure than the first.
It depends a lot on what you rent though.
I'm sure stuff's got more expensive across the pandemic.

However my own logic for this stuff is that if you go somewhere the beer's expensive,
there's zero point in worrying about the price of it: you just need to decide if you
want a beer, or not. So I don't really care what the number is, I'm not going back to
the bus anyway.

I book the cheapest horrible little car I can find and often get "palmed off"
with a bigger car... they don't always have many little cars wink

The one-way surcharge for Calgary-Vancouver was around $90 in March 2022.
From memory it used to be much more, but perhaps that depends on where the stock is when you rent.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
They sold a ton of cars during the pandemic since no one wanted to rent one, and now they can't get enough cars because they can't be made fast enough. Scarcity = price increase.

It is what it is. Lufthansa wanted to charge me $300 to check a bag and I protested. The woman said tersely "do you want the bag on the plane or not?"

One-way surcharges have always been punishing, for good reason: you are taking the car to a place where it will cost them to get it back where they want it. (And sometimes that makes for a cheap rental for the next person, a "repositioning" rental).
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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Bergmeister wrote:
enduroaid wrote:
I would say that your 650 for 3 weeks was super cheap rather than the other being super expensive.


That's been the going rate for the last 15 years or so of our travelling to Canada and the USA, so seeing the price treble has come as a bit of a shock Shocked .

USA car hire has, in our experience, always been relatively cheap.

I think you're talking about a compact CAR, whilst many others are talking about SUV. Both figures are in the right vicinity.

Double check the car class of your quote. But keep in mind what Scooter in Seattle mentioned. There's a shortage of cars in the rental fleet. You may not get what you want, and be stuck with what you can get.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Gatwick 40hrs in July 491chf WITH my UBS discount. The cheapest I found was a transit van at 260£

Taxis it is!
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@Bergmeister, perhaps also check if the prices are actually comparable? I think the £1800 will include Collision Damage Waiver, and other things. When I have hired in the US in the past, the price initially quoted has often excluded CDW, for example, and they then try and get you to add it on when you arrive.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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Consolidator prices are generally all in and often used to be cheaper than buying the insurances alone on a car ( as I discovered when offered a " free" rental on a Virgin hol years ago).
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I've used most of the big companies over the years: Hertz, Europcar, Enterprise, Avis, Thrifty, Alamo etc... as its convenient and easy. BUT sometimes I have just found small companies in the yellow pages of where I am visiting, and had great service and way better prices. Also they don't try and scam the bejeasus out of you with all the upselling, huge deposits and extra damage insurance.
I have done this in Oxford, Bournemouth, London, Ashford, Dover, Brest, Annecy, Bordeaux and Malaga (8 quid a day, for a banger which there was no damage check or fuel level check, the only rule was bring the car back Smile .
I've always used public transit in the US, but I wonder if you can do the same using local firms?
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Quote:

I'm not going back to
the bus anyway.


I quite enjoy the bus. It's a lot less hassle imo. Most of the ski towns are so small there's not much use for a car once you are there anyway. Exception might be somewhere like golden, but that's because there's no bus you are stuck hitchhiking to the resort unless you have a car. Perhaps a different story if you are basing yourself in a big city or looking to visit multiple resorts that have no public transport links.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
WindOfChange wrote:
I've used most of the big companies over the years: Hertz, Europcar, Enterprise, Avis, Thrifty, Alamo etc... as its convenient and easy. BUT sometimes I have just found small companies in the yellow pages of where I am visiting, and had great service and way better prices. Also they don't try and scam the bejeasus out of you with all the upselling, huge deposits and extra damage insurance.
I have done this in Oxford, Bournemouth, London, Ashford, Dover, Brest, Annecy, Bordeaux and Malaga (8 quid a day, for a banger which there was no damage check or fuel level check, the only rule was bring the car back Smile .
I've always used public transit in the US, but I wonder if you can do the same using local firms?


We've used https://www.rentawreck.com/ before on east coast with no complaints. They seem to network through second tier local businesses hiring out less front end ownership vehicles.
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Its not just the US, UK prices have sky rocketed too!

Best way is to be on some kind of corporate purchase fee
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One of the reasons I have just booked flights to Lyon rather than Geneva, was the car hire for a week. Last week of March 2023 was £130 v around £400.
Yes, I know it's early but I like to plan ahead.
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