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Sciamano

PL Car rentals NOT at the Airports

By Sciamano,
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks to me that it's not possible to select downtown locations for pickup/dropoff of car rentals when bidding on Priceline. Right?

Our travel plan is as follows: my parents are flying to NYC (from Italy) and will stay three days there. They will not need nor use the car during these three days.

Then, they will rent a car, and drive across a few states. Roughly two weeks later they'll be back in NYC and they want to drop the car off, since -again- they don't want/need to use it in NYC, and don't want to pay high NYC parking fees either. Then, two days later, they'll fly back to Italy.

It looks that I can't bid for a car on PL, unless I have them go to the airport (maybe LGA which is closer) to pick up the car. Right?

I see that car rentals in NYC are very expensive, therefore I was wondering if bidding on PL and have my parents pay for a taxi to go to the airport pickup location would still be worth it (would the savings justify such a solution?).

My other option would be to have them go to NJ by taxi and rent a car there, considering that the rates are almost half than those of NYC rentals...

Any suggestions appreciated. Thanks.

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There are a few options...

Using PRICELINE or HOTWIRE to purchase a car rental at an airport location... but they need not have to take a taxi to the airport. To make the savings worthwhile choose airport locations that they can get to inexpenisvely... there are shuttles which leave from NYC to LGA (~$12/pp each way) or JFK (~$17/pp each way) or EWR (~$15/pp each way) (<-- these prices are approximate as i don't recall the exact numbers, but they're close). As well, there is Airtrain to JFK and EWR as another option. Lastly, Enterprise has rental locations in both Hoboken and Jersey City (NJ) which are easy to get to via mass transit (and Hertz has a location in Hoboken too)

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Thanks!

How easy is it to reach Hoboken or Jersey City from Manhattan, considering my parents don't really speak English well?

Also, would you believe it to be cheaper to book the car directly on the Car Rental websites (in Hoboken/JC) or to try and bid on PL for a car at EWR?

It looks to me that NJ car rental rates are much lower than NY state, and considering EWR is in NJ... or is it not true for this airport, considering it "gravitates" on NYC?

I rented an SUV in Phoenix with Priceline last august, and I managed to pay $23/day (for two weeks). I'd like to stay around that rate... is it possible or is it an unrealistic expectation?

Thanks

Thanks

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Hoboken is easy to get to (one bus, 2nd or 3rd stop, then 1/4 block walk to Enterprise rental counter... hertz is virtually at the rental counter). Jersey City would be slightly more difficult since there is more walking involved to get to the rental counter.

For a longterm rental your cheapest option is probably (but don't bid blindly) using PRICELINE or HOTWIRE for an airport location. What are the date(s) of the car rental? Where are they heading with the car... and are they simply 'seeing a few states' or is there a destination in mind? (ie- are they looking to see the states they're traveling thru or is the objective to get someplace and they need to pass thru the states in order to get there)

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For a longterm rental your cheapest option is probably (but don't bid blindly) using PRICELINE or HOTWIRE for an airport location. What are the date(s) of the car rental? Where are they heading with the car... and are they simply 'seeing a few states' or is there a destination in mind? (ie- are they looking to see the states they're traveling thru or is the objective to get someplace and they need to pass thru the states in order to get there)

The dates are from July 31st (departure from NYC) to August 14th (return to NYC). They are traveling through the States of New England (they're going to Boston on July 31st, then Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont... then down to Philadelphia, then back to NYC). It's a real "tour" not a simple point-to-point transfer.

Yesterday I checked rates on various Car Rentals websites for the dates above (for a MidSize car) and renting in NJ is ~$250-$300 less than in NY.

Cheapest option was with National: ~$700 at EWR, instead of $970 in NYC.

Then Dollar ($810 @EWR vs $1200 @NYC) and then AVIS ($825 @EWR vs $1080 @NYC).

Also checked Enterprise in Hoboken and JC (rates are the same): $650 but there was this disclaimer that worries me:

MILEAGE IS UNLIMITED WHEN VEHICLE REMAINS IN THE STATES OF: CONNECTICUT (CT), DELAWARE (DE), NEW JERSEY (NJ), NEW YORK (NY), PENNSYLVANIA (PA), MASSACHUSETTS (MA), RHODE ISLAND (RI), WASHINGTON D.C., MARYLAND (MD), AND VIRGINIA (VA). FOR TRAVEL OUTSIDE THESE STATES CUSTOMER WILL RECEIVE 200 MILES PER DAY OR 1000 MILES PER WEEK FOR FREE WITH ADDITIONAL MILES CHARGED AT $.25 PER MILE PER MILE FOR THE ENTIRE RENTAL.

As I said, they are traveling outside these states, and I really did not understand how this "200 miles per day/1000miles per week" bonus works... How can they know how many miles someone travels outside those states?? :)

Thanks for your help.

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Once the rental is driven out of those states it no longer becomes "unlimited milage" for the rental and you would pay the designated rate based upon all miles driven.

Do your parents want to drive long distances? There are some very cheap (and direct) bus services from NYC-->Boston as well as NYC-->Philadelphia. If cost is a factor, or they don't like to drive, they could take the bus, rent a car in the destination, continue their trip and return to the destination city to drop-off the car, get the bus to the next city (NYC or Philadelphia), rent a car there to continue their journey, and then return the car and take the bus back to NYC. Not sure if this is an option for them or not, but just throw it out there in case you/they are interested.

I would also see how much Priceline Car Rentals (thru their retail, not name your own price) wants for this trip as well as check HOTWIRE.

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Once the rental is driven out of those states it no longer becomes "unlimited milage" for the rental and you would pay the designated rate based upon all miles driven.
Ok, but how do they know whether the car has been driven outside those states? Are they GPS controlled or something?
Do your parents want to drive long distances? There are some very cheap (and direct) bus services from NYC-->Boston as well as NYC-->Philadelphia. If cost is a factor, or they don't like to drive, they could take the bus, rent a car in the destination, continue their trip and return to the destination city to drop-off the car, get the bus to the next city (NYC or Philadelphia), rent a car there to continue their journey, and then return the car and take the bus back to NYC. Not sure if this is an option for them or not, but just throw it out there in case you/they are interested.
Thanks for the suggestion, but my father likes to drive so that's not a problem. Also my parents don't really like buses or trains, so a rental car would be preferred.
I would also see how much Priceline Car Rentals (thru their retail, not name your own price) wants for this trip as well as check HOTWIRE.
These are the PL rates @EWR (ridiculous, they are higher than the official rates...)

Payless (near airport): $232/week - $623 total

Enterprise (near airport): $224/week - $652 total

Dollar (near airport): $285/week - $848 total

Budget (in-terminal): $407/week - $1188 total

National (in-terminal): $415/week - $1162 total

AVIS (in-terminal): $425/week - $1194 total

Hertz (in-terminal): $425/week - $1190 total

Hotwire rate: $30.95/day, total cost: $647.45

This should exclude Payless, Enterprise and Dollar, which don't have in-terminal counters. Right?

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Many of the cars have either GPS or 'sensors' which let the car rental company know when a car has been driven out of the designated boundary... all their vehicles may not be equipped with tracking technology, but it's not worth the risk (imo).

So it seems as if Payless or Enterprise near EWR offers the best rate so i would book with either of them (payless is a 'lesser' name in the industry, Enterprise is a national brand and may offer better service should something go wrong)... you can then use those rates as 'the price to beat' via PRICELINE.

Keep in mind that they'll need some way to get from NYC to EWR (train or bus), which will probably run about $12-15/pp each way... taxi at least 3x as much.

Please use these PRICELINE and HOTWIRE links to begin your travel purchases... or our Enterprise link if you go that route.

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(click here) and use promo code: WEBDEAL
(Hot Rate Hotels $100+ purchase... expires 09/25/2020)

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It looks like there is an Enterprise location at 408 Rt. 1, Newark. This looks like it is next to the Days Inn. You will want to buy Pop a GPS System, the roads around Newark are a bit confusing. :)

I don't think Enterprise can track the location of the car, hopefully the driver won't get a flat tire, get in an accident , or get a parking ticket because Enterprise will know that the car was taken to another state and charge you the higher rate. This provision keeps folks from raking up 2000 miles or so driving to Florida and back in a week.

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Thanks for the suggestions and insights.

Just another question (then we'll decide what to do): when checking rates on car rentals websites, I noticed that National includes LDW and SLI insurance coverage in the quoted rate:

Base Rate - Midsize (USD)

(1) Time & Distance ($79.22/Day) $79.22

(2) Time & Distance ($373.80/Week) $747.59

Upfront Fuel ($3.97/gal) $63.52

Contract ID 5005946

Inclusive Rate Items

Loss Damage Waiver Full Included

Supplemental Liability Insurance Included

Sales Tax (13.3750%) $72.57

Guaranteed Base Rate Included

Unlimited Miles Included

Subtotal $962.90

Taxes, Surcharges and Fees Help Info Sales Tax (13.3750%) $8.50

Subtotal $8.50

Estimated Total $971.40

Estimated Total in EUR

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The above is something i would confirm with each rental company, as each often uses different terms to designate various coverage.

However, this service has been mentioned on the site before, although i know nothing regarding their reputation or reliability, but they offer '3rd party' coverage which an cover you for car rentals, which may be cheaper than paying the car rental company whatever they charge: insurance4carhire.com as well as help if your parents intend on traveling often in the next year.

Also notice on their website their is another insurance mentioned besides CDW/SLI which is called 'excess' and i'm not sure what that covers or if you would need it in addition to the above insurance provided by National above.

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This is what National's website say about those coverages:

Full Value LDW -

if elected, waives the renter's and authorized driver(s) responsibility for loss or damage to the rental vehicle up to the full value of the vehicle including administrative and loss of use fees. LDW does not cover unauthorized drivers and is void if the Renter or Authorized Driver(s) engage in any of the Prohibited Uses and Violations as described in the Terms and Conditions. See the Terms and Conditions for additional Exclusions.

Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI)

Most National locations provide either secondary liability or no liability protection from claims by others against you resulting from an accident in your rental car. Some locations provide primary protection under the Rental Agreement; however, this protection is limited to the minimum financial responsibility required by state law.

(Note: The product described below is offered at National corporate locations. Other National locations may offer a similar SLI product but the coverage and the carrier will vary from this product.)

Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI) is an optional insurance protection. If SLI is selected and paid for, National provides you (renter) and authorized drivers with third party liability protection in an amount equal to the minimum financial responsibility limits applicable to the vehicle (the Primary Protection). SLI also provides third party liability protection, through an excess liability policy, with limits of the difference between the Primary Protection and a combined single limit of $1million per accident for bodily injury, death and/or property damage to others arising out of the use or operation of the National rental vehicle by you (renter) or an authorized driver, subject to the terms and conditions of the policy. SLI also provides Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist (collectively UM/UIM) for bodily injury and property damage, for the difference between the statutory minimum underlying limits and $100,000 (or state mandated UM/UIM limits, whichever is greater)* to you (renter) and any family member related by blood, marriage or adoption, who while occupying the National rental car sustained bodily injury or death caused by a negligent uninsured/underinsured motorist. SLI does not include any additional UM/UIM coverage above $100,000 (unless mandated by law).

*NY UM/UIM is $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident.

Applicable to U.S. only.

Note: Any UM/UIM benefits paid are included in the $1million combined single limit SLI coverage and in no way increases the combined single limit referenced above.

I used insurance4carhire last summer for my trip to Arizona/Utah, but since (thank God) we did not have any problem, I can't say how their service is in case of actual need. Anyway their annual policy rate is certainly cheaper than buying insurance at the rental counter, for people who rent often.

My parents probably won't rent any other car during the next 12 months (especially in the USA), and after a few calculations, I think it's easier (and even cheaper) for them to buy insurance at the rental counter.

That's why I was asking if what National states in the paragraph I quoted is true... because I can't think of any other car rental company that includes CDW/LDW and SLI in their rental fees.

If this is true, their rates are way cheaper than those of other rental companies, considering the total they quote is cheaper than other companies AND it includes coverage, which other companies don't...

But there's something that bothers me: every time I check a rate on the National's site, even though I don't write anything in the provided space for Contract IDs or special rates, when I complete the process to have a price quote, it always shows up a line that says "Contract ID 5005946". Is this normal?

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Insurance it such a 'clause' business that I would contact National regarding what's covered and what additional coverages are available (as this often gives you a clue as to what may not be covered).

I'm not sure what the contract ID is... could be a general "internet code" or it could be some group rate which includes the coverage you're refering to above.

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Not that i'm aware of (but things change quick in the travel industry)... National and Alamo are the same, but i haven't heard anything regarding Enterprise being under the same umbrella.

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Well, this is pretty strange then! :o

I filled the online form for 'reservations questions' on National's website ( http://www.nationalcar.com/resForm.do ).

Check the first line of their reply:

Thank you for contacting Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

Yes you are correct. This contract ID #Europe Web will provide the SLP and LDW. The SLP will cover 1,000,000 protection for 3rd party claims. It covers death, bodily injury and property damage to the other party. With LDW there are several tiers of protection--tier 1 covers the whole damage including loss of use, tier 2 covers $3000 of the damage, tier 3 covers $5000 of the damage. I am unsure which tier you have available with this promotion. It does not specify in the reservation which level you have available. Did you book on our website or another website?

Thank you for your inquiry. Have a great day.

Thank you,

Enterprise Help Desk Team

Even the link to reply to their reply :) points to Enterprise's website. I'm confused :)

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This is probably more complicated than it needs be, but in summary, it appears they're all related now (from wikipedia):

National is owned by Vanguard Car Rental USA Inc., which also owns Alamo Rent A Car.

On August 1, 2007 Enterprise Rent-A-Car assumed control of Vanguard. It was purchased from Cerberus Capital Management, L.P.

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