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Jrazz posted 2/10/2014 23:17 PM

So I'm renting a car mid-march. 3 days.

I have a gift cert to one company, but it's not going to cover the whole rental.

I'm shopping at other brands for the heck of it, and Dollar Car Rental is dirt freaking cheap. Even after all the ridiculous taxes that double the rental cost.

Has anyone used Dollar? I know there's no such thing as a free lunch so I'm trying to figure out why their rental is less than HALF of every other company.

Pentup posted 2/11/2014 00:06 AM

If you are renting from an airport, see if they are near the airport or shuttle you to their site. That can be a big savings, it can also be a pain sometimes.

I think I have used them in the past and they don't stand out in my memory as good or bad.

Jrazz posted 2/11/2014 00:55 AM

They are the only company that doesn't shuttle, according to Priceline. Is it possible they're the only one onsite?

Pentup posted 2/11/2014 07:19 AM

Check the airport website, some list which are found in the airport.

MovingUpward posted 2/11/2014 07:34 AM

I don't remember any of the rental companies being close to the terminal and thus there was a airport shuttle bus to the rental site. Dollar is at this location. Also check for prices too.

gahurts posted 2/11/2014 09:11 AM

Looking at the map, it looks like Dollar is off-site. I think the airport has a central car rental facility so that would explain why the prices are so much cheaper.

I've rented from dollar before without any issues. The biggest concern I have with some car companies is that I have seen some run out of cars and you have to wait. I do not know if that is ever a problem with Dollar or if that ever happened at the airport. I've seen it a long time ago with National but they've since cleaned up their act.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 11:46 AM, February 11th (Tuesday)]

Bigger posted 2/13/2014 07:40 AM

Nothing to do with Dollar but car rental in general:

About 5 months ago I rented a car in France When I returned the car the representative at the office was too busy to come out and do a walk-around and told me to park in a designated place and drop off the keys. Fortunately I had the good sense to snap off some photos on my phone because a month later a +$3000 charge came on my card for damage…

I contacted the card provider and countered the claim and together we demanded a more detailed explanation from the rental company. At first we got a copy of an in-house invoice with a single item line “damage to car”. We demanded a detailed list of repairs and then we got a new in-house invoice with the line “damage to fender”.

Fortunately I had photos of both fenders and the the card provider sent the rental company those photo’s along with a letter denying the charge.
About a month later I got a letter from the rental thanking me for my business, regretting the “mix-up” and a voucher for a 15% discount on my never-to-be next rental… Don’t think I will ever use THAT company again… (Europcar – a major rental all over Europe).

So lessons learned?
1) Even if you think you are completely covered then do a complete walk-around and photo any damage before you accept the car.
2) Do the same on return.

purplejacket4 posted 2/13/2014 15:22 PM

I've used EVERYONE: Hertz, Avis, Enterprise, National, Dollar.... I really can't tell any difference except in price. Hello, if I use Hertz I won't be EATING any time soon!

lieshurt posted 2/13/2014 15:39 PM

I've never had a problem with Dollar. However, I will never, ever use Enterprise again. Story similar to Bigger's. They tried to hold me responsible for damage I didn't do. My company's attorney had to get involved since I was on a company trip when I rented the car. It was a huge mess.

ETA...I've used the Priceline bidding option to get rental cars when I travel for fun. I've gotten some really great deals as cheap as 13.00 a day for a full size car.

[This message edited by lieshurt at 3:47 PM, February 13th (Thursday)]

metamorphisis posted 2/13/2014 15:43 PM

Car rental prices fluctuate wildly. Dollar might be the cheapest right now, and then for a random 18 hour window next week it could be Avis or Alamo. Whenever we go to Orlando I watch like a hawk (starting about 4 months out I check every day, multiple times a day) and thus far haven't paid more than $200 for a 10 day rental from MCO. Trust me, there is no rhyme or reason why one is cheaper than the others. If you can confirm Dollar is onsite at the airport, or not very far away by shuttle, I'd go with it. Remember too, you can book any good price you see, and cancel and book somewhere else if you find a lower price somewhere else.

metamorphisis posted 2/13/2014 15:45 PM

Always always always with any company take a walk around the vehicle, note any damage, take pictures, and point it out to an attendant before you leave. It's a pain in the butt, but you are covered later if they try to say you caused the scratch that was there when you picked up the car.

Jrazz posted 2/13/2014 15:47 PM

Oh I TOTALLY do that. And I make them sign it.

Thanks for your help, everyone.

AFrayedKnot posted 2/15/2014 08:02 AM

Two tricks I have used with car rentals
1. Serious price breaks in week long reservations even if I am only using it for a few days.
2. Always reserve cheapest size/price. Many companies will offer $25 upgrades on check in. Get you a better car at a significantly lower price.

sisoon posted 2/15/2014 12:36 PM

Also, Priceline's prices are not always the cheapest. Often I do research on PL and do my actual reservation with the company I'm renting from - less cost, more flexibility.

Jrazz posted 2/15/2014 14:57 PM

Nice! Thanks, guys.

Kajem posted 2/15/2014 17:11 PM

I've used dollar several times -no problems! Good luck!

FaithFool posted 2/15/2014 17:25 PM

Buy the daily insurance even if you think you're covered with a credit card insurance rider.

I've heard that they can charge you for "loss of fleet use" fees even if the damage is covered.

If a car is in the shop for several days that could be a big bill.

Last time I rented for a weekend trip I parked in a tight space at the grocery store and ripped the driver's side mirror clean off.

Dropped it off and walked away without any worries because it was fully insured.

[This message edited by FaithFool at 5:25 PM, February 15th (Saturday)]

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