Rental car reserved but how do we actually get a car?

Travel Forums General Talk Rental car reserved but how do we actually get a car?

Page
  • 1
  • 2
Last Post
1. Posted by rdy4trvl (Budding Member 5 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

We have a Hertz reservation (via Booking.com, not Hertz, unfortunately) for a full week at what is now a bargain price. Today, hoping to add a day to our reservations, I see absolutely no cars available for our destination. Not one. Not even for a day. Nothing on Kayak.com, Booking.com, etc...

There are likely more reservations than cars available. Is there anything that can be done to improve our chances of actually getting a car, even with a reservation?

What makes this difficult is we'll have $2k+ of hotel, tours, etc reservations which may be lost if we're unable to get a car.

2. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 3231 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

"What makes this difficult is we'll have $2k+ of hotel, tours, etc reservations which may be lost if we're unable to get a car."

-

Have you checked with your hotel to see if they have local advice on car rentals? (Wherever this destination is located.)

Do your tour providers pick you up at your hotel or force their customers to drive themselves?

"Booking.com, not Hertz..."

What does Booking.Com say??

3. Posted by goodfish (Full Member 256 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

rdy4trvl, more details might be helpful, such as.....

Are you hoping to add the extra day on the front or back end of your trip?

If the front end, what city will you be arriving at? Do you NEED to be at a different destination by that evening?

If on the back end, do you NEED to be in a different city than your city of departure (what city?) the night before your flight?

My point is that other options might be available to manage that single, additional day depending on the situation.

4. Posted by rdy4trvl (Budding Member 5 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

Thanks for the ideas! This is a self-guided tour of Alaska....at peak season. I do have some flexibility at this time but have to start committing. I did check the next nearest city (8 hrs away) and amazingly (or not!) there were cars offered (at 5x!! our reservation cost).

I will call Booking for their comments but Hertz can only confirm the reservation.

We will see. At least we have time to prepare, find Plan B,C .

Thanks!!

5. Posted by goodfish (Full Member 256 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

Hey back -
What you might be running into with scarcity of rentals is happening in other cities as well, even to people who'd already rented well in advance. Nothing like showing up at the rental counter only to be told they've run out of wheels, eh? From what I hear, companies sold off part of their stock during the worst of the pandemic + more people are getting out and about right now so demand outstrips supply. That also accounts for some of the sky-high pricing.

What I was getting at is that if you are trying to add a day to the front end, could you just overnight at your city of entry and pick up the car the next day? Same on the back end: return it on the day originally scheduled to do so and stay overnight?

[ Edit: Edited on 25 May 2021, 16:20 GMT by goodfish ]

6. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1511 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

Suggest you sign up for the rental company's loyalty program and make sure the membership number is attached to your reservation. This might help to avoid potential lines at the rental counter.

Also suggest you explore other transportation alternatives such as traveling by Alaska Rail from Anchorage to Denali National Park; and from Denali to Fairbanks. If rail tickets are sold out, consider the bus.

I'm taking the Alaska Ferry June 16 from Bellingham, Washington, to Juneau. After spending a couple days there, I'm flying to Anchorage to take a Katmai Air flight to King Salmon, transferring to a float plane to Brooks Lodge in Katmai National Park. Then it's a return to Anchorage to take a bus to Denali National Park, followed by Alaska Rail to Fairbanks, etc.

You might need to switch dates around to accommodate your priorities. We had to do this to make sure transportation was available to the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes in Katmai National Park. Also, we originally wanted to take Alaska Rail from Anchorage to Denali, but now are taking a bus because rail tickets no longer are available on the date we wanted.

Three major cruise lines have announced plans to resume Alaska voyages this summer. If you haven't already booked accommodations and tours in Denali you should consider doing so sooner rather than later.

https://apnews.com/article/canada-alaska-lifestyle-travel-cruises-3bec530bb3a6b2f0d1a758c7cafc78c8

7. Posted by rdy4trvl (Budding Member 5 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

Working on reservations now. Train and bus are plans B & C. And at this point, I can (and almost expect) to spend another day waiting for a car so there's some flexibility built into the front and back end. I really don't expect to get a car a day early...it simply isn't going to happen. But I remain hopeful I can get one on the day reserved. We'll see!!

[ Edit: Edited on 25 May 2021, 16:35 GMT by rdy4trvl ]

8. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1511 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

I had reservations for a car last fall that was not honored (none were available for me and six others). The agents at the site where I was to pick up the vehicle weren't helpful. Happily, I had made the reservation through a major U.S. warehouse company (starts with a C) that has dedicated phone links to four rental companies. I called and was able to secure a car later that day.

Last month, I reserved car to be picked up at 10 a.m. at Union Station in Los Angeles. To make sure I had a vehicle for a Southwest road trip I made a cancellable reservation with another company for 1 p.m. at Los Angeles International Airport. The car was ready for me at Union Station, so I canceled the one at LAX via the warehouse company's travel Web site. The cancellation was instantaneous and was confirmed by e-mail.

9. Posted by rdy4trvl (Budding Member 5 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

I tried to get the loyalty # attached to the reservation but it's not possible. Hertz did offer to cancel the reservation (under Booking.com) and set it up on Hertz but the cost difference (just a couple of weeks later) was over $1k higher.

I wonder if there is any benefit to the loyalty membership if it was booked on a third-party site. I know I can't "skip the line" but can I line up in the Hertz Gold counter line?

10. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1511 posts) 4w Star this if you like it!

Stick with the reservation you have and get to the counter as quickly as you can. I suggest you not use the Gold line because you might be sent back to the other line and discover that, oops, you're too late and the vehicles have all been claimed.

On the warehouse travel Web site that I use there is a space where you can enter your rental-car loyalty number. I do that. I usually book rental cars through the warehouse club travel Web site. I find the rates attractive; and I'm eligible for 3 percent cash back.

I continue to use Booking.com and other hotel reservations Web sites. But I find that I'm more inclined these days to book directly. That's also the case with airlines worldwide.