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Testing Pre-pay prices for car rentals

I’m considering a big road trip in June and thinking about renting an SUV instead of putting mileage on our existing cars. Normally I used Breezenet.com as my prefered sites for booking my cars. I found some great rates in the past.  Years ago, I remember one car rental person in Gatwick asking where I had booked it as he had never seen such a low rate.

Quote for SUBV rental with Breezet rate and Enterprize

Quote for similar car with Avis but using pre-pay optionI didn’t see such screaming low rates today so out of curiosity, I decided to look at Avis’ site where I have a Wizard number and sometimes good rates with that.

Even without a Wizard number, they show better rates than Breezenet rate if you pay in advance. Same car is $110 cheaper. As a test, I plugged in my Wizard number and it made no difference.

The small print on the cancelation is $25 if 6 hours before and within 6 hours is a $100 NO SHOW fee.

There is always the priceline name your price route but personally, I like the transparency before I jump into something. I also have a good experience of AVIS where I use them a lot for business travel.

For the record, here is Priceline’s comparison (Breezenet is owned by Priceline. Unbfortunately as I seem to remember getting better rates before aquisition). Note that National are owned by Enterprize hence the Priceline/National rate is the same as Breezenet/Enterprize rate. Confusing, I agree but welcome to the world of travel brands where so many sites and companies are in fact the same company.

The SUV options from Priceline

The SUV options from Priceline

 

Budget quote for Ford Edge  (slight upgrade from Escape)

Budget quote for Ford Edge (slight upgrade from Escape)

I looked at the Budget’s pre-pay option for same type of car. Slightly higher but here again, slightly better car. Edge vs Escape where I didn’t see the Escape as an option.

By the way, the $1084 rate in Priceline is for the Escape and the $1329 is for Edge. 

Whatever way I book, seems like pre-pay directly form the car rental companies is best saving with ~30% each time. This is also what Priceline ‘name your price’ claims to offer. If so, their pricing edge (SUV pun intended),  may be changing for car rentals.