2 rental car reservations?

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JeanMich
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2 rental car reservations?

Post by JeanMich » Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:52 am

Once I make a rental car reservation, I continue to look for a better deal. This time when I found a better deal I kept the original reservation also, just incase. They are both at the same airport just a few feet from each other. Since "or similar" has sometimes not given me a car that I am happy with, I am wondering if I should just keep both reservations. Then if I am unhappy with the first one, I can just decline and go to the other company. Does anyone see any problems with this? I am worried that the next time I go to rent a vehicle there will be a bad mark against me or something. Has anyone tried this tactic?

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midareff
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Re: 2 rental car reservations?

Post by midareff » Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:21 am

I have a problem with it. Car rental companies plan the number of reservations they can take and while they have experience with dealing with "no shows", it just isn't an honorable way to book travel.

hmw
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Re: 2 rental car reservations?

Post by hmw » Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:23 am

midareff wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:21 am
I have a problem with it. Car rental companies plan the number of reservations they can take and while they have experience with dealing with "no shows", it just isn't an honorable way to book travel.
+1

Marylander1
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Re: 2 rental car reservations?

Post by Marylander1 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:25 am

I don't do it. It'll lead rental companies to require up-front payments, and rental cars are one of the few areas where you don't have to pay a fortune when your travel plans change (or are changed by weather, etc.)

Marylander1

MathIsMyWayr
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Re: 2 rental car reservations?

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:28 am

hmw wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:23 am
midareff wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:21 am
I have a problem with it. Car rental companies plan the number of reservations they can take and while they have experience with dealing with "no shows", it just isn't an honorable way to book travel.
+1
+1. Car rental companies do not have an infinite number of cars available to rent. Turn the table around - this applies to any reservation or appointment.

jacksonm
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Re: 2 rental car reservations?

Post by jacksonm » Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:34 am

I have never done this and tend to agree with the above poster that it might be a bit unethical.

Having said that I wished I had done it the last time I rented a car (Fox, BTW). To begin with it took the rental company over an hour to pick us up at the airport to drive us to their off-site location. Then, when I got there and stood in line for about another half hour I was told I would have to buy their insurance even though I have full coverage both through my insurance company and the Visa card I was using. They said it was simply their policy even though they neglected to mention it when I made the reservation. Being a couple of miles from the airport with no transportation and not wanting to spend more hours to rent another car I really didn't have much choice but to agree to their extortion.

That wasn't the first time something like that happened either. I remember one time I learned at the counter that a $20 daily fee would be added to the charges for "roadside assistance" or something like that. Again, it wasn't quoted when I made the reservation but it was simply "their policy".

So yes, it might unethical but ethics is a two way street.

JeanMich
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Re: 2 rental car reservations?

Post by JeanMich » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:02 pm

I appreciate the replies and you have made some good points. I will probably cancel the first reservation as I like to think of myself as ethical and I really don't want to make it more difficult for the rental companies.

Ron
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Re: 2 rental car reservations?

Post by Ron » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:07 pm

I use https://www.autoslash.com/ . They change reservations automatically depending on the better deal at the time of the car pickup.

They also make/change/delete reservations across multiple suppliers depending on the best rate (I doubt if they feel guilty :D ).

- Ron

joe3411
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Re: 2 rental car reservations?

Post by joe3411 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:09 pm

The rental company is not taking great strides to reserve the vehicle you selected. They are just going to give you whatever is on the lot. How many times have you showed up for a car rental and they don't have the vehicle? Happens all the time. One can say the customer should hold to a higher standard and not have two reservations? But is the rental company held to the same high standard?

RudyS
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Re: 2 rental car reservations?

Post by RudyS » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:18 pm

Ron wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:07 pm
I use https://www.autoslash.com/ . They change reservations automatically depending on the better deal at the time of the car pickup.

They also make/change/delete reservations across multiple suppliers depending on the best rate (I doubt if they feel guilty :D ).

- Ron
I use autoslash, and don't see it working exactly the way you describe. They give me a long list of options, and I select one. They can track rates after that, and notify me if there is something better. I get to make the change rather than have them do it automatically. And I don't see where they book multiple reservations but leave it to me to choose. I might be missing something, but that's how it worked for me last time.

MathIsMyWayr
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Re: 2 rental car reservations?

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:26 pm

joe3411 wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:09 pm
The rental company is not taking great strides to reserve the vehicle you selected. They are just going to give you whatever is on the lot. How many times have you showed up for a car rental and they don't have the vehicle? Happens all the time. One can say the customer should hold to a higher standard and not have two reservations? But is the rental company held to the same high standard?
True. That has been my experience. If they do not have a particular type of car I reserved, they usually offer me upgraded ones. Sometimes I did not want upgraded ones, i.e., bigger cars. I want a Corolla, not a Camry, especially in a congested city.

Ron
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Re: 2 rental car reservations?

Post by Ron » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:32 pm

The last time I used them (a few years ago, for a Maui trip) they did go through a couple of different suppliers and sent me notification of reduction in rental rates (around three, if I remember correctly).

If they changed their process/procedures since that time, then so be it...

- Ron

ResearchMed
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Re: 2 rental car reservations?

Post by ResearchMed » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:46 pm

joe3411 wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:09 pm
The rental company is not taking great strides to reserve the vehicle you selected. They are just going to give you whatever is on the lot. How many times have you showed up for a car rental and they don't have the vehicle? Happens all the time. One can say the customer should hold to a higher standard and not have two reservations? But is the rental company held to the same high standard?
We've tended to book one rental car, and watch the costs for that rental agency and others periodically.
If we see something better (same car category, lower cost *or* better car category, same cost), we'll typically change.
And yes, the fee-free ability to change is very nice.

But we agree with joe3411; we do not think the rental agencies take any of this very seriously. The numbers of times we've arrived and they do NOT have the car category we want and were "guaranteed"... very common.
It seems more like they have already adjusted to the "no shows" (be they double booked who rent one car and drop the other reservation, or those who are just no shows completely), and so they overbook.

Then they try to get you to take something else, which might not work at all.
We don't *want* a humongous SUV for the price of a "mid-class" car. It uses more gas; it's impossible to park... it's generally a lot harder to get used to, and by the time one does... it's often about time to return it.
Or... they have nothing else "smaller" left other than sort of tiny cars, the entry category.

We'd pay extra for a Volvo, but those are very difficult to find, as are Subaru Outbacks, our second choice (for rentals but something we almost insist on for some heavy snow areas if we can't get a real SUV with AWD and good clearance).
We usually end up with some mediocre generic sedan type, and try to bargain for something slightly more substantial.

OTOH, the last time we signed up for a "mid-size", we were just given (no asking/quibbling/etc.) a Jaguar F-Pace SUV. THAT was a surprise.
Also surprising was that we did *not* like the Jag. :(
We were expecting to be quite impressed, in at least some way(s).

RM
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ThankYouJack
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Re: 2 rental car reservations?

Post by ThankYouJack » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:49 pm

midareff wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:21 am
I have a problem with it. Car rental companies plan the number of reservations they can take and while they have experience with dealing with "no shows", it just isn't an honorable way to book travel.
I agree. Doesn't seem the most ethical thing to me and if a lot of people do it, rental car agencies may change their policy that could negatively impact the rest of us

Balefire
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Re: 2 rental car reservations?

Post by Balefire » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:52 pm

Turo.
Get exactly the car you want.
Even get the car delivered if you want.
I haven't used a regular car rental in years.

Nissanzx1
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Re: 2 rental car reservations?

Post by Nissanzx1 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:52 pm

Why not? They do it to you- trust me I was in that business for a decade.

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midareff
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Re: 2 rental car reservations?

Post by midareff » Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:58 pm

Nissanzx1 wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:52 pm
Why not? They do it to you- trust me I was in that business for a decade.
So was I and it isn't an ethical way to arrange travel.

stlutz
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Re: 2 rental car reservations?

Post by stlutz » Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:19 pm

Many rental agencies provide discounts for paying in advance, which means they charge more if you don't. So I'm not sure where people get the idea that they aren't trying to get people to pay in advance.

ArchibaldGraham
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Re: 2 rental car reservations?

Post by ArchibaldGraham » Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:27 pm

If you knew for sure you will not use the reservation the polite thing to do would be to cancel, but not end of world either way and I cant see any scenario where it causes you any issue unless you pre-payed (and even then you could probably get refunded). Car rental companies know that people's travel plans change they will have some no-shows and some people showing up without reservations. Do not overthink it. Best analogy here is probably a restaurant reservation. Ideally you are courteous and let them know if you are not coming, but no major issue if there is a no show. If the restaurant thinks it will be an issue and needs a guarantee they will take your credit card up front (I have seen this at some high-demand restaurants).

ArchibaldGraham
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Re: 2 rental car reservations?

Post by ArchibaldGraham » Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:33 pm

stlutz wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:19 pm
Many rental agencies provide discounts for paying in advance, which means they charge more if you don't. So I'm not sure where people get the idea that they aren't trying to get people to pay in advance.
Only kind of true. The pre-paid reservation may get you a small discount vs. non-paid reservation if booking in advance, but the best rate is normally hotwire or similar last minute deal shortly before picking up the car. That said the highest rates will also be last minute if inventory is scarce so my strategy would normally be to book a non pre-paid reservation well in advance as a back-up and then shop 0-1 days in advance of picking up the car.

helloeveryone
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Re: 2 rental car reservations?

Post by helloeveryone » Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:31 pm

joe3411 wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:09 pm
The rental company is not taking great strides to reserve the vehicle you selected. They are just going to give you whatever is on the lot. How many times have you showed up for a car rental and they don't have the vehicle? Happens all the time. One can say the customer should hold to a higher standard and not have two reservations? But is the rental company held to the same high standard?
+1. Sometimes it's a win too, you sign up for a small car and they don't have any so upgrade you at no cost.

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wander
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Re: 2 rental car reservations?

Post by wander » Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:24 pm

MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:26 pm
joe3411 wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:09 pm
The rental company is not taking great strides to reserve the vehicle you selected. They are just going to give you whatever is on the lot. How many times have you showed up for a car rental and they don't have the vehicle? Happens all the time. One can say the customer should hold to a higher standard and not have two reservations? But is the rental company held to the same high standard?
True. That has been my experience. If they do not have a particular type of car I reserved, they usually offer me upgraded ones. Sometimes I did not want upgraded ones, i.e., bigger cars. I want a Corolla, not a Camry, especially in a congested city.
One time they gave me a van which I didn't want but that was my only choice.
I always cancel if I don't need the car anymore. Sometimes, folks have to come in on the weekend to give you your car (I am talking places like in a city,)

DiMAn0684
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Re: 2 rental car reservations?

Post by DiMAn0684 » Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:17 pm

I am not a fan of that approach, and try to cancel all but one booking I have before my trip starts, but I know people that come to the rental places with multiple bookings and pick one with shortest line. I've also heard of people arriving to pick up their cars and being told that the company was out of cars, and couldn't offer anything.

texasdiver
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Re: 2 rental car reservations?

Post by texasdiver » Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:40 pm

I'm always surprised that rental car companies don't follow the same policy as hotels and charge for for at least the first day's rental if you cancel in less than 24 hours. That's typically what hotels do and they are basically in the same type of business. There must be some business logic to how they operate but I don't see it.

That said, for the past several years I've been using Costco Travel for all my rental car reservations and they seem pretty reasonable and have a variety of companies to chose from. I usually seem to end up with Enterprise, mostly at DFW and have never been stranded without a car available. I did one time fly into PDX with the family and had a sedan reserved through Budget. It was a holiday weekend and the only thing they had remaining on the lot as a Ford Ranger pickup. I was severely pissed. We had 3 kids jammed into the rear jump seats and our luggage in the rain in the rear bed for the 10 mile drive to my parents house. They did end up driving a car out from another location and swapped it out the next day at my parents house where we were staying.

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