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Rental Cars - Hotwire vs Priceline

5 posts in this topic

While checking car rental prices in Palm Springs, I came across the following:

For a 3-day rental, HOTWIRE wanted $44.95 per day for a premium car. Their breakdown as follows:

$44.95 per day for 3 days = $134.85

Taxes/Fees $14.40

Total Rental: $149.25

For Priceline, the breakdown was as follows:

$38.00 per day for 3 days = $114.00

Taxes/Fees $35.97

Total Rental: $149.97

So the taxes/fees on a $134.85 Hotwire rental are $14.40, while they are $35.97 for a Priceline rental of $114.

Has anyone else ever ran into this before?

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Don't know if i've seen it that lopsided, but there have been a few mentions of similar action elsewhere on the board... where a user took a higher price because after taxes and fees it ended up being less than the cheaper price.

Just another good example to always look at total cost and not just the nightly/daily rate no matter what it is you're booking.


Please use this HOTWIRE and these PRICELINE LINKS: HOTELS, CAR RENTALS, and AIRFARE to begin your travel purchases

Check and Research Hotel Rates at: MAPS and HOTELS.com (now with WALKSCORE!)

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After checking taxes/fees on conventional car rates in Palm Springs, it would appear Hotwire isn't factoring both an 11% concession recovery charge or a 2% tourism tax. If true, Hotwire would obviously have to "eat" those costs when it came time for them to pay for the rental.

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I would just add that I prefer HOTWIRE to Priceline because Hotwire restricts their rentals to the big three - Hertz, Avis, or Budget. I have rented from them many times and have never had a bad experience. On the contrary, I have never had to wait in a long line like I have when renting from lesser companies like Alamo, Enterprise, National, etc. I've had lots of bad experiences with Alamo -- in Hawaii they tried to give us three different totally unacceptable vehicles (a jeep, and then a small convertible with little driver visability in the rear, and with nearly no luggage space, etc.) :)

Once, when we had damaged a car in the parking lot (Portland airport, where the base of the pillars was wider than the visible portion of the pillars), Budget was great in handling the matter. Our Visa card covered the deductible, and our personal car insurance covered the repair, which was only $400 vs. the two estimates we got from local repair shops for over $2000 ($2400 for one of them). We asked them why the repair was so cheap, and they said they had a low-cost contract with a local repair shop. I've heard of some horror stories from other renters who have had mishaps with other companies. For this reason alone I'm sticking with the big three and HOTWIRE! :)

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I believe Hotwire has now added Alamo and National into their stable. It can still be a significant savings over booking directly through the agencies though.

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