Joined: Jun 22, 2011
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August 24th, 2013 at 1:33:03 PM permalink
I am considering renting a car the next time I go to Vegas, but I would like to know a few things first:

1. When is the best time (i.e. days in advance) to make the rental?

2. Is it better to go directly through the company, or through, say, Travelocity? (In my case, I might be able to get a $20 discount (that's over the entire rental, not per day) through Discover Rewards, but I would have to go directly through the company.)

3. Are there any preferred companies, or, for that matter, any companies I should stay away from? (I can get discounts from National, Enterprise, and Alamo.)

4. If I only need a car for one or two days, is it better to rent from a lot near my hotel (let's say I'm downtown), or should I always go to the McCarran lot?
Joined: Oct 8, 2010
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August 24th, 2013 at 1:56:00 PM permalink
1) It really depends, but based on #2 just rent when you see an acceptable price and check back every now and then if it changed. I've booked 6 months out, and 2 weeks out.

2) Don't go through the travel sites unless you are getting an amazing rate and have no intention of canceling. Booking through the company directly usually means it is 100% refundable if they even take a deposit. So simply rebook if you see the price go down.

3) The 3 you mentioned I think are all fine. The ones I try and stay away from are fox and advantage. They aren't necessarily bad, I just think they try and upsell you a lot more. Go for more name brands in my opinion. 99% of the time it won't matter. It is that 1% where I feel going with the name brands will deal with you with better service.

4) Just look at prices to see if this makes sense to you. Include taxi fare to and from the airport if you aren't renting from there. More than likely it will be better to just rent at the airport. Prices for the places within each hotel are significantly more expensive when I have looked.
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
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August 24th, 2013 at 1:56:19 PM permalink
If you book direct, they don't charge you until you pick up. So you can check prices daily and modify the booking as often as you want, locking in the lowest price you see.

I often modify my rental reservation several times.

Thanks for reminding me. I haven't checked for my G2E reservation lately....
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Joined: Jul 30, 2012
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August 24th, 2013 at 2:06:00 PM permalink
A buddy and his wife flew to Vegas earlier this year and rented a car with Payless. It was like $25/day. (I think they booked it in advance over the Web) They said everything went fine.
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Joined: Oct 19, 2009
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August 24th, 2013 at 2:51:31 PM permalink
Quote: ThatDonGuy

If I only need a car for one or two days, ...

The way some posters on this forum discuss their drinking and long hours at the tables ... I would first consider if a taxi wouldn't be better than a DUI citation.
Joined: May 11, 2011
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August 24th, 2013 at 4:20:10 PM permalink
I'm an Ace at renting cars.

The rental car is generally the 1st thing I reserve. The reason for this is I can check back weekly and make another reservation if I find a lower price. Of course I cancel the previous reservation. usually has the lowest prices of the travel sites. They tend to push the off brands. Advance will hold 2x the rental plus 300 so I will never use them again. Once you find a low price and I once got an enterprise for 9 bucks a day there, check the Enterprise or Budget website they are less most of the time.

Paying for the rental in advance can save you 20%. I saved 60 bucks on my current reservation using the pay in advance option. Be warned, there is no refund policy should you end up not going. The pay at desk price was 218 and I paid 158 in advance for 5 days. I paid back in April.

I like having a rental car in Vegas because I like driving off into the desert. I am one of few people that will use Vegas as a base camp to see the National Parks in the area. Bryce Canyon, Meteor Crater, Joshua Tree, Zion, Natural Bridges, Death Valley, etc. Even if you spend a tank of gas per day, it can save your bankroll.

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