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kstrom

Does "car reservation" guarantee a car?

By kstrom,
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We will be visiting Puerto Rico from 12/25 to 12/31. We plan on touring the island, so a car is a necessity. Our flight arrives very late (12:15 AM on 12/25). Some of the major rental car places seem to close at 11 PM or earlier.

Does anyone know which rental car agencies are open all night? Can we count on getting a cab at midnight Christmas day? (We can always go back the next day to pick up the car?)

Any suggestions on hotels very close to the airport? I am ASSUMING than guaranteed late arrival for hotels includes arrival at 1 AM.

Many thanks,

Kstrom

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Both Dollar and Avis appear to be open to at least 1am.

If you use PRICELINE or HOTWIRE they will only give you a hotel that is open at the time you list as your arrival (i'd list at least 30 minutes after you actually arrive to provide a cushion in case of a flight delay or time to get your checked baggage)

Your hotel would be guaranteed, but you should call them to let them know that you're arriving late, it's not uncommon for hotels to assume some guests are a "no show" at certain time and re-sell the rooms (even those which are pre-paid)

I can't speak from experience, but i'd think you should be able to get a cab at that hour, although you dont' indicate if you're actually arriving 12/25 at 1am or 12/26 at 1am, both of which may be considered to be "arriving on Christmas Day"

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(Express Deals or PrePaid Hotels / 3+ stars / 2+ nites... expires 09/30/2020)

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Sorry for the lack of clarity .. we will be arriving at 12/25 at 12:15 AM. My befuddled brain tells me that means we need a room for 12/24.

I'm a bit nervous about cutting it that close with respect to the car rental closing times. Also, what with different PRICELINE-participating car rental places closing at different times (I saw one with an 11 PM closing), it seems unwise to use PRICELINE or HOTWIRE's opaque sites.

I think I have come up with a plan that is, in theory, do-able. When we arrive in the wee hours of 12/25 (if we are lucky 12:15 AM), we will go straight to a San Juan hotel where we will stay for the night of 12/24 (i.e., the night we arrive) and the night of 12/25 Then on 12/26, we will pick up a car and leave the San Juan region.

So -- now to

1) bid on a hotel for the nights of 12/24 & 12/25. Hotwire has a 3.5 star @ $96 for this period. It appears to match the Radisson Ambassador, so I am going to treat that as the priceline price to beat.

2) bid on a car rental for 12/26 - 12/31

I'll use the BB links and keep you posted! Kstrom

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...with different PRICELINE-participating car rental places closing at different times (I saw one with an 11 PM closing), it seems unwise to use PRICELINE or HOTWIRE's opaque sites.

To clarify for future users, PRICELINE and HOTWIRE take the rental desk operating hours into consideration when determining what companies are 'available' for your search/bidding.

EXCLUSIVELY at BetterBidding:
5% OFF HOTWIRE COUPON
(click here) and use promo code: HELLOFALL
(Hot Rate Hotels or Cars / $100+ purchase... expires 10/04/2020)
OR
5% OFF PRICELINE COUPON
(click here) and use promo code: BBSEP20
(Express Deals or PrePaid Hotels / 3+ stars / 2+ nites... expires 09/30/2020)

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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To clarify for future users, PRICELINE and HOTWIRE take the rental desk operating hours into consideration when determining what companies are 'available' for your search/bidding.

Important information! I checked some of the priceline participating rental car agencies, and some are closed on Christmas day (12/25) and/or close early on New Years Eve (3 pm). It's great to know that I don't have to worry about closing times when making my rental car bids.

Best,

Kstrom

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I very rarely rent cars, and when I do rent them I always go through PRICELINE or HOTWIRE (using the BB links, of course). My question is very naive. These days, what does it mean if you make a reservation directly through one of the car rental agencies and are given a confirmation number, but aren't asked for a credit card number? Does having a confirmation number mean that there will actually be a car available when you go to pick it up? Or is having a car reservation like having a health insurance company "pre-approve" something and then not covering it?

Here's the scoop: I need to rent a car in Puerto Rico (San Juan) for 12/25-12/31. I have had no luck with Priceline (bidding up to $45 for a full-size and $42 for a mid-size), and, right now, Hotwire's rates are the same as going directly through the companies (but not refundable). In the mean time,I have made a reservation directly through Avis's website (>$450).

I would love suggestions on how to rent a car for less. The $450+ price tag is killing my budget.

Thanks,

KStrom

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It's more like renting a hotel room... 99% of the time you won't have any problem, but occaisionally the hotel will overbook. No sense in worrying about this aspect as there really isn't much you can do about it.

Once, with a car rental direct booking, i had to wait about 20 minutes for them to 'prep' a car which was just returned in order to make it available for me to drive.

Puerto Rico is a fairly religous island and i imagine many locals (as opposed to tourists) rent cars during this time period to visit family who live in other parts of the island, and that is probably at least one explanation for the high rates you're seeing.

Enterprise has a midsize car available for your dates for $358 'all-in' (6 day rental... please use our Enterprise link if you go this route)

EXCLUSIVELY at BetterBidding:
5% OFF HOTWIRE COUPON
(click here) and use promo code: HELLOFALL
(Hot Rate Hotels or Cars / $100+ purchase... expires 10/04/2020)
OR
5% OFF PRICELINE COUPON
(click here) and use promo code: BBSEP20
(Express Deals or PrePaid Hotels / 3+ stars / 2+ nites... expires 09/30/2020)

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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Thanks for the Enterprise suggestion. Though we are only keeping the car for 6 calendar days, we will be 6 days + 4 hours, so we have to pay for 7 days. Once I add in the 7th day, Enterprise is pretty much the same price as Avis, and Avis has longer hours.

-kstrom

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Using BetterBidding's link to CarRentals.com, I got the following for a full-size car from Avis

12/25 10:30 AM pickup at the Intercontinental Hotel at Carolina

12/31 4:30 drop-off at San Juan Airport

Total price (for 7 days): $287

I had to fiddle with the pickup location. When I did round-trip San Juan Airport, the price jumped to $475 total.

Perhaps because the Intercontinental Hotel is listed as being in Carolina, when I went directly to the Avis site, they did not list the Intercontinental as a pick-up spot, so the best price I could get was $475.

Given our budget, saving $200 is a big deal. Let's hope that this isn't one of those cases where a price is too good to be true.

KStrom

PS I called Avis to make sure that I actually have the $287 reservation and they say I do and gave me the same confirmation number that I got when I went through CarRentals.com

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Please keep all your posts for the same stay/rental in the same thread.

Glad you got it settled and are happy with the results.

EXCLUSIVELY at BetterBidding:
5% OFF HOTWIRE COUPON
(click here) and use promo code: HELLOFALL
(Hot Rate Hotels or Cars / $100+ purchase... expires 10/04/2020)
OR
5% OFF PRICELINE COUPON
(click here) and use promo code: BBSEP20
(Express Deals or PrePaid Hotels / 3+ stars / 2+ nites... expires 09/30/2020)

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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