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Priceline now guarantees lowest Car Rental Prices


thereuare
By thereuare,
in

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Just saw on PRICELINE's website that they now guarantee the lowest price for car rentals.

Typical rules apply, such as must purchase with Priceline first, lower price must be found within 48 hours and must be with the same car rental company you recieved with Priceline and for the same dates, times, location, etc. See Priceline's website for complete details (click the Rental Car tab at the top of the page, NOT the bullet next to Rental Cars which simply changes the input box).

HOWEVER, the rate must be available to the general public and does not include rates available to groups, orgainizations, or coupons.

The guarantee not applying to rates with coupons eliminates the benefit for most of us.

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

Want to know if Rates Drop?? Get alerts at RateDrop.com

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Just wanted to add that Priceline's rules for # of days of renting are different. You pay by the day-not for each 24 hour period. If you pick the car up at 3pm Thursday and return it at 3pm Sunday, most companies charge for 3 days but Priceline charges for four because there were four days you were in possession of the car regardless of the times. Keep this in mind when bidding because you may not be getting the deal you think you are when you are probably paying for an extra day.

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lsiegel,

Welcome to BetterBidding!

Where did you get this information? From Priceline's website Car Rental 'Help'....

Rental days are calculated on a 24-hour clock - that's why we ask you to select pick-up and drop-off times.

They do give and example that perhaps is where the confusion arises:

pick-up on Friday at 9:00 am and drop-off on Saturday at 12:00 noon, it is considered a TWO DAY rental

.... but this should be expected since this example extends beyond a 24 hour period.

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

Want to know if Rates Drop?? Get alerts at RateDrop.com

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  • 3 years later...

I wanted to relay some information regarding two of my recent Priceline rental purchases.

The first was a three day rental from DFW. Hotwire showed a rental rate of $15.95 a day with a total cost for the rental of $$81.98. I bid $14 a day through Priceline not paying particular attention to the review your bid page. Priceline accepted the offer and the total cost was $87.48. That right!!! A $14 a day Priceline rental cost more than a $15.95 Hotwire rental due to the fees hidden by Priceline in the "taxes and fees not to exceed" line item.

After the above incident I reviewed a previous winning bid in Buffalo for three days. Hotwire showed $28.95 a day so I bid $24 a day on Priceline. The bid was accepted and the total cost was $116.64. I went to Hotwire and selected the $28.95 rate that was still showing and found their total cost would have been $109.21. The Priceline "taxes and fees" line was $44.64, whereas the Hotwire "taxes and fees" item was $22.36.

In summary, a $14/day Priceline car costs more than a $15.95/day Hotwire car; and a $24/day Priceline car costs more than a $28.95/day Hotwire car due to Priceline's exorbitant and hidden fees. Priceline uses a deceptive business practice in this regard and should be held accountable. I for one will go out of my way to avoid Priceline for rental cars until they at least disclose their fees.

I feel sure comparing Priceline car rental fees to HOTWIRE's has been covered somewhere in the past, but I don't remember seeing it. I hope this helps someone avoid the trap I fell into. Happy traveling all.

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Just curious, both Priceline and Hotwire will show the total (including taxes & fees) before committing to purchase, although priceline combines the taxes & it's own booking fee in a line. That said, the end total is still the same and would show an accurate price comparison between PL & HW.

Since the total cost is evident on both before you commit, how are they being deceptive? I do see your point in that they do not list the priceline commission seperatley, but that is their choice to do so and do the same on hotel bookings. I know when I book a hotel, the hotel is not getting the full amount, priceline is keeping their cut of the bid, although it is not listed seperatley.

I guess I am not seeing where you were tricked in this instance. The total amount for both HW & PL including all fees is listed before you commit (and as you stated, you ignored what priceline provided on the bid page and you can still stop at that page before committing). Now if those changed after you placed your bid (including after they provided the tax/fee totals as again, you can still stop at that point), that would be a different scenario. Please let me know if I am just missing something.

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Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Under the current system Priceline should just accept every bid and adjust the hidden fee to make whatever they want to make under the deal. Priceline would take advantage of everyone who didn't slow down and review more than just the amount of the bid and the dates when reviewing their bid. You seem to indicate that this would be okay.

It doesn't take a leap of faith to think a $24 a day car will be cheaper than a competitors $28.95 a day car. That thought process assumes you are dealing with straight-forward parties though, and that assumption in the case of Priceline rental cars does not hold. I'm sure many who rent Priceline cars are not aware of the exorbitant hidden Priceline fee. All I'm trying to do is help people make an informed choice.

If you knew of the disparity in rental fees between Priceline and Hotwire cars before my post, then go in peace. If you didn't, then my post accomplished its goal. If you don't think it's deceptive, I can live with that. It is what it is, whatever you call it.

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  • 1 month later...

FYI - my experience with regards to how Priceline counts car rental days:

I tried to bid for a car 3pm 4/11 - till 10am 4/16, it showed as 5 days. After a failing bid, I changed my drop-off time to 11pm 4/15 instead, it was still counted as 5 days, but I was able to get a free bid because the pickup date was different than my 1st bid.

Car rental agreement (with Avis) indicates that as long as we return the car by 3pm on 4/16, there is no additional charge.

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  • 3 years later...
...bid for a car 3pm 4/11 - till 10am 4/16, it showed as 5 days. After a failing bid, I changed my drop-off time to 11pm 4/15 instead, it was still counted as 5 days, but I was able to get a free bid because the pickup date was different than my 1st bid...
hey, i like that idea of changing the times. at least i can get in multiple bids in on the same day. i figure the closer to the day i need the car, the better rate i should get. i'm bidding on cars for my hawaii trip, but i still have another week. i have cancellable reservations set up as a back up though, i don't want to get stuck without a car.
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I tried to bid for a car 3pm 4/11 - till 10am 4/16, it showed as 5 days. After a failing bid, I changed my drop-off time to 11pm 4/15 instead, it was still counted as 5 days... Car rental agreement (with Avis) indicates that as long as we return the car by 3pm on 4/16, there is no additional charge.

I think this is a risky strategy since not all rental companies will 'extend' your drop-off time relative to your pick-up time and the number of calendar days of your rental... some will use the actual drop-off time of your reservation. Since you intend to return the car after your stated drop-off time, some rental companies may incur an additional charge following the strategy above.

Please use the PRICELINE and HOTWIRE links on the board to begin your travel purchases.

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

Want to know if Rates Drop?? Get alerts at RateDrop.com

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  • 1 year later...
  • 3 months later...

This is as much of a scam as Orbitz price guarantee, the chances you can find the same deal for less at public rates with no coupons or discount codes are pretty small unless you really over-bid...

It is "comforting" to people, and thats what counts. It isn't a scam, as the entire point of this is to get the best pricing. If you are getting the best pricing, then great, you don't need to use their guarantee...

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  • 11 months later...

I'm just going to quote the priceline policy about what is a "rental day."

What's a rental car day?

Rental car pricing is all about timing - when you call a rental company or visit one of their web sites, the rate you pay is based on the exact combination of pick-up and drop-off dates and times you ask for. The same goes for cars rented through priceline - the price you pay per day is only valid for the dates and times you specify when you make your request on our web site.

When you use our Name Your Own Price® rental car service, rental days are calculated on a 24-hour clock. For rental car reservations where we show you the specific rental car rates from a rental car company, the length of the reservation is based exactly on the dates and times you enter.

Name Your Own Price® Rental Car Days

Rental days are calculated on a 24-hour clock - that's why we ask you to select pick-up and drop-off times. When you request additional hours, as a convenience to you, we will reserve your rental car for the entire day in most cases to give you flexibility in your travel plans.

That means that if you request a rental car for pick-up on Friday at 9:00 am and drop-off on Saturday at 12:00 pm noon, it is considered a TWO-DAY rental. If your request is accepted, we'll reserve your rental car for pick-up on Friday at 9:00 am and drop-off on Sunday at 9:00 am.

In most cases, we will book you in 24 hour blocks when you request additional time unless we can qualify you for a better price by reserving your car until 11:30 pm on the day you requested your drop-off.

So, for example, if you request a rental car for pick-up on Saturday at 12:00 noon and drop-off on Monday at 5:00 pm, we will reserve your car until Monday at 11:30 pm. You will still have flexibility for your travel plans, but at a much better price.

In cases of delayed flights or unforeseen circumstances, rental car companies will honor reservations up to 24 hours after your scheduled pick-up time - no changes to your offer are necessary.

Priceline Pointer- Be sure to return your rental car at the agreed-upon time. If you return your car later than the drop-off date and time you choose you may be charged for additional rental hours or days at the discretion and prevailing rate of your rental car company.

It is a little confusing because of the 24 hour policy coupled with two different examples, followed by a warning that you might be charged extra.

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Car rentals are fairly standard... every 24 hours is a calendar day.

There example:

Jan 8 1pm --> Jan 9 11am = 1 calendar day (less than 24 hours)

Jan 8 1pm --> Jan 9 2pm = 2 calendar days (more than 24 hours)

Jan 8 1pm --> Jan 8 6pm = 1 calendar day (less than 24 hours)

Please use the PRICELINE and HOTWIRE links on the board to begin your travel purchases.

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

Want to know if Rates Drop?? Get alerts at RateDrop.com

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  • 2 years later...

Car rentals are fairly standard... every 24 hours is a calendar day.

There example:

Jan 8 1pm --> Jan 9 11am = 1 calendar day (less than 24 hours)

Jan 8 1pm --> Jan 9 2pm = 2 calendar days (more than 24 hours)

Jan 8 1pm --> Jan 8 6pm = 1 calendar day (less than 24 hours)

Please use the PRICELINE and HOTWIRE links on the board to begin your travel purchases.

This is exactly what I thought and noticed on many fare compare websites,

 

Jan 8, 1pm to Jan 9, 2pm is one calendar day and one hour charge. Whats hidden here, or surprise waiting at the time of pickup or drop off?

I am looking for 2.30pm to 5.30pm the next day so technically 1 calendar day and 3 hours, but it is calculating it as one day charge only !!

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When purchasing directly from a car rental company they will charge by 'X days' + 'x hours'... until the hourly charge would be more than the cost of adding an additional day. (this is usually between 2-4 hours)

So for example a daily car rental could be $25/day plus $10/hour for partial days. If renting for an extra one or two hours, the $10/hour rate would apply... once you need an extra 3 hours the daily rate would come into effect for the extra day (even though it's only 3 hours of the day). Although the search results page may show '1 day' if you drill down deeper you should see the hourly charge... or compare your 27 hour rental period to a 24 hour period and you will see that the 27 hour period is more expensive (the difference is the fee for the extra 3 hours, even if it is not broken down on the page)

When bidding on PRICELINE or buying thru HOTWIRE they don't use hourly rates, so a rental day is calculated for every 24 hour period.

You can use the 'CARS' radio button of our BiddingHelper.com tool to easily compare rates across multiple vendors in order to determine your bidding price/strategy, as well as a tab to place your PRICELINE bid.

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

Want to know if Rates Drop?? Get alerts at RateDrop.com

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