Budget at $96 vs. Enterprise at $114.

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Budget at $96 vs. Enterprise at $114.

Postby runner9 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:04 pm

My wife and I have only rented a car once in the past, so we don't have much experience.

We're leaving my son with my parents and an airport is close to them, so we're planning to leave early one morning, get the car from the airport and then leave our car and my son with my folk, repeat on reverse.

Though I've read that from an airport is more expensive I've priced it on multiple companies and it's been cheaper each time. Plus, returning on a Sunday; the airport rental places are all open all day.

Multiple people have suggested Enterprise which is $114 with a Entertainment Book coupon including fees and taxes.

On www.kayak.com there is a Budget ad mixed into the search results which directs to the Budget page and is $96 with fees and taxes.

Both prices are for intermediate car, unlimited mileage and no extra fees.

So, is Budget a fine and reputable company? Anything else to consider? Certainly will pay the $18 if there's a reason to.

Thanks!
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Re: Budget at $96 vs. Enterprise at $114.

Postby retiredjg » Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:32 pm

I think Enterprise will pick you up, if that would be important to you.

There is almost always a box to drop off keys, so I don't think places other than the airport are a problem for Sunday drop off.
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Re: Budget at $96 vs. Enterprise at $114.

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:46 pm

Go with the cheapest car. - they likely price that way in hopes you either buy their insurance or gas.
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Re: Budget at $96 vs. Enterprise at $114.

Postby WendyW » Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:01 pm

'
I've rented from Hertz, Avis, Budget, Alamo, National, Dollar, Thrifty and Enterprise, and still don't have a preference for one over the other.

One major way to save money when renting a car is to rely on the insurance provided with most credit cards, and decline all of the insurance that the car rental company will try to push on you. Just check which of your credit cards provides this car rental coverage.
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Re: Budget at $96 vs. Enterprise at $114.

Postby AAA » Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:32 pm

Two things -

Also check the insurance coverage from your car's policy. Usually the rental car insurance is not necessary.

Go with the agent to inspect the car when you pick it up, noting all problems including what you may think are minor scratches etc., both inside and outside the car. When you return the car, insist that they do the inspection and if everything is okay have them note that on your receipt. Too many horror stories of people receiving notices and charges for damage days after the car was returned.
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Re: Budget at $96 vs. Enterprise at $114.

Postby investor1 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:12 pm

Everyone is giving you good advice. Go with the cheaper one, and using the insurance from your CC company is the way to go. Read your CC policy. Some require that you decline any other coverage.
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Re: Budget at $96 vs. Enterprise at $114.

Postby runner9 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:44 pm

Thanks for all the advice!

We read the travel section's help column every Sunday, so we're well aware of inspecting the car, getting signatures, etc.

I spent a decent bit of time reading about insurance for car rentals yesterday. We have a Fidelity 2% AMEX which my understanding is not eligable for the $24.95 AMEX coverage plan. We also have a PenFed 5% on gas VISA card; what I'm reading for the standard secondary coverage on credit cards Visa is easier to deal with. So, right now I'm thinking of declining the coverage from the car rental company, paying with a Visa, having a copy of our own car insurance and hoping nothing happens.

Also assuming we need to just pay cash on short section that is EZ pass as our transponder is tied to our personal cars' make/model/plate.
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Re: Budget at $96 vs. Enterprise at $114.

Postby retiredjg » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:01 pm

runner9 wrote:Also assuming we need to just pay cash on short section that is EZ pass as our transponder is tied to our personal cars' make/model/plate.

Sometimes, the rental car will have it's own transponder for toll roads and it gets charged to your credit card a week or so later. However, I'd pay cash if that is an option since the rental car company will probably charge a fee. My experience with this - there was no choice to pay cash so I had to pay the service charge.
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Re: Budget at $96 vs. Enterprise at $114.

Postby runner9 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 9:13 pm

retiredjg wrote:
runner9 wrote:Also assuming we need to just pay cash on short section that is EZ pass as our transponder is tied to our personal cars' make/model/plate.

Sometimes, the rental car will have it's own transponder for toll roads and it gets charged to your credit card a week or so later. However, I'd pay cash if that is an option since the rental car company will probably charge a fee. My experience with this - there was no choice to pay cash so I had to pay the service charge.


Thanks, only tolls should be the West Virginia Turnpike
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Re: Budget at $96 vs. Enterprise at $114.

Postby WendyW » Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:00 pm

runner9 wrote:I'm thinking of declining the coverage from the car rental company, paying with a Visa, having a copy of our own car insurance and hoping nothing happens.

Free insurance coverage from your credit card seems too good to be true, but isn't:

I rented a minivan a couple years back: had no insurance myself, declined the car rental place's insurance, and relied on the free insurance offered by my Visa card to cover me.

Managed to scrape the side off the vehicle. Whoops! Thousands of dollars in damages.

I had to fill out a 1-page form, no cost to me, and Visa took care of everything else. So now I am a believer in the free insurance.
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Re: Budget at $96 vs. Enterprise at $114.

Postby runner9 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:35 am

Booked with Budget last night, going to pay at the counter using a VISA.

Now I've read their fine print and need to call, they want to see ID for my wife and I. That's no problem but our plan is for her to just drop me off at the airport and not park, so hopefully they'll just want her ID and not her. Or one of us can sit in the car while the other is at the counter and then trade so we don't have to park, walk to the terminal and lug our 3 year old the whole way.

Also sounds like I need two forms of ID such as a utility bill; not a problem at all just going to call and make sure I don't need anything that I otherwise would not bring.

Thanks again for all the advice!
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Re: Budget at $96 vs. Enterprise at $114.

Postby porcupine » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:48 am

runner9 wrote:[...]We're leaving my son with my parents and an airport is close to them, so we're planning to leave early one morning, get the car from the airport and then leave our car and my son with my folk, repeat on reverse.[...]

Looks like you got your questions answered and you're all set. However, could you explain a couple of things that I just did not get (they are probably tangential to your question anyway)? :oops:

Are you leaving your son and the car with your parents? If so, how are you getting back to the airport? Or are you driving there (and the airport is just a red herring)?

I am asking because $100 is a lot for a one-day rental, and really cheap for a one-week rental (of course, you did not specify a timeframe either)!!

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Re: Budget at $96 vs. Enterprise at $114.

Postby Bruce » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:43 am

Both Budget and Enterprise are featured rental companies on the Costco Travel website, along with Alamo and Avis.

I have consistently found the lowest car rental prices for leisure rental going through Costco compared to other sources,

You do need a Costco membership number to make a reservation.

http://www.costcotravel.com/


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Re: Budget at $96 vs. Enterprise at $114.

Postby ShowMeTheER » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:58 am

your reservation can probably still be cancelled, so I will recommend still looking at Hotwire and Priceline (name your own) for your particular airport rental locale. You already have a reservation/price locked, so check with these sites to see if you can beat it. They use only the major providers and have unlimited mileage, so no worries there versus your transparent reservation.

I've done this many times with good results - saved a considerable amount of money. Sort of a nothing to lose situation once you are comfortable with the sites.
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Re: Budget at $96 vs. Enterprise at $114.

Postby OhioGozaimas » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:40 pm

FWIW: If you have a Discover Card, you can "double" the Cashback Bonus...

You can "spend" $20 of your Bonus and get a $40 discount certificate good for any one of the Enterprise family (Enterprise, Alamo or National).

"Shop" for a car deal first. Then, if one of these cos. is the best with an extra $20 off, go to the DiscoverCard site and "buy" the certificate. Once you have the certificate, THEN go to the car site to make the actual rental reservation.

Just a thought...
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Re: Budget at $96 vs. Enterprise at $114.

Postby runner9 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 4:57 pm

Thanks, we actaully booked a slightly smaller car so it's $86 with fees and taxes. Is it really possible to get lower then this? I'll look at least a bit to see.

It's a thursday morning to Sunday evening.

Planning to leave the car at my parents, they're watching my son.

Going to drive back to my parents, load up our car with our luggage from the rental and everything we left at my parents for our son, then both drive to the airport, one in rental and one in our car. So, it should add an hour or two at the most to the rental.
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Re: Budget at $96 vs. Enterprise at $114.

Postby deanbrew » Sat Jan 19, 2013 6:20 pm

In support of what others have posted, I've used Budget many times and have had no problems. I have frequent customer cards for at least four different car rental companies and choose by price.
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Re: Budget at $96 vs. Enterprise at $114.

Postby jeffyscott » Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:39 pm

OhioGozaimas wrote:FWIW: If you have a Discover Card, you can "double" the Cashback Bonus...

You can "spend" $20 of your Bonus and get a $40 discount certificate good for any one of the Enterprise family (Enterprise, Alamo or National).

"Shop" for a car deal first. Then, if one of these cos. is the best with an extra $20 off, go to the DiscoverCard site and "buy" the certificate. Once you have the certificate, THEN go to the car site to make the actual rental reservation.

Just a thought...


But I think you lose the credit card insurance that way? I think they all say that you must pay the entire bill with the credit card to get the coverage.
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Re: Budget at $96 vs. Enterprise at $114.

Postby PowDay » Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:13 pm

I like Enterprise because they let you pick out your car, I enjoy choosing cars that might be a little more fun, or I could see myself owning someday.

The rental process is otherwise very similar, but Enterprise will give you a hard sell on there insurance by asking you for your deductible information to try to scare you, the upside is they generally have free bottled water while you wait.

I would also check and confirm both are "in terminal" at the airport, some brands might be a 5 min walk to you car, while other brands are a 20min shuttle ride.

www.carrentalsavers.com is super easy and will find great deals, I use them exclusively.
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Re: Budget at $96 vs. Enterprise at $114.

Postby jeffyscott » Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:54 pm

I think these things can vary. I rented from enterprise and they did not make any effort to sell me insurance or any other extras. They also did not say anything about choosing my car. I did ask what they were giving me.

At least at off-airport locations, when I have asked Budget and Hertz I have never had a problem getting my choice of cars from what they had available. I just assume they all would do that. Only once did I ask for something different at an airport and they said they did not have anything else, that was a Hertz in Norway and the next day we were able to exchange vehicles at an off airport location.
press on, regardless - John C. Bogle
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Re: Budget at $96 vs. Enterprise at $114.

Postby runner9 » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:52 pm

Thanks everyone for your advice. The trip was this past week/weekend (Thursday-Sunday). I thought about doing Priceline but reading the fine print about their fees made me wonder if I would still get the insurance from using a credit card, as it sounds like Priceline would be getting the rental and I would be paying them, as opposed to me paying the rental company. Decided we wouldn't save much anyway so I didn't try that.

Went with Budget for a regional airport. They asked once about insurance, then once more about liability insurance after I'd declined. Then tried to offer a larger car/larger price once. I again said, no, only wanting what I had booked. They offered a Ford Focus or some other Ford, I selected the Focus. All the car companies at that airport are right next to the terminal. I could see another company's cars from the window when I was at the Budget desk. Budget's cars were at most a 2 minute walk from the desk.

Anyway, drove 1,028 miles with no problems. Learned mountains and curves are like roller coasters: I have them. Thankfully the wife does not so she drove those parts.

Came back to drop it off and asked the guy outside to inspect it and he said no, acting like I was the first person to ever ask that. At the desk I explained I wanted it inspected because there was no damage and if they thought there was damage I wanted to know right then. I hadn't finished my request and he was on the radio asking the guy outside to look at it. He said after a couple of minutes that it looked fine.

So, a good experience. Far happier to put 1,028 miles and the wear and tear on someone else's care for $86.90. Plus, it got 31.5 miles to the gallon, which is more than either of our larger cars get.

Thanks, again for all the wonderful folks on this site! :happy
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