Van rental rates skyrocket?

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Van rental rates skyrocket?

Postby golgotha-a-go-go » Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:44 am

Hello Burning Family,

Is anyone else experiencing a dramatic increase in van rental rates in the Bay Area or other areas? Last few years we rented a minivan for around $350 for around two-weeks time. Now, the rates are running about $1100!!?? Even cargo vans are going for $700-900 for 11 days. I heard that rental companies were forced to reduce inventory of surplus vehicles due to the economic downturn hence, lower supplies. Anyone corroborate this or have suggestions?
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Postby Cooky » Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:57 pm

We're currently holding a reservation for 12 days out of Reno for around $700 for a minivan. It's about the same as I've paid in prior years.
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Postby danibel » Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:06 pm

I reserved a cargo van in April for 11 days (August 30 - Sept 9th). $41 a day is my rate. I heard as you get closer to the burn, the bay area seems to have higher rates so I booked early.

Then again - My mom was recently trying to rent a car in Vegas and the rates were at least double what she had paid a year ago. She heard the same story - less inventory/same demand = higher rates. It sucks.

I usually check expedia to get an idea of who is cheapest, then I go the rental agency websites and book direct. I have saved a bit that way. Also - renting from a rental place located at an airport can be a better deal.

Good luck.
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Postby Dustdevil » Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:42 pm

I haven't seen that in the Bay Area. There is a Budget dealer listed in the BM Resource guide that offers a big discount if you tell him you are going to BM and he has a really reasonable clean up offer. His prices are actually lower than what he charged me last year by 12%.
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Postby Igneouss » Thu Aug 06, 2009 7:42 am

Ryder in SoCal seems to have trippled rates over last year for 24 foot-ish box trucks. Shop around though, there are other, much less expensive options. One person I heard got a deal from Penske.

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Postby Bold » Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:00 am

Box truck prices have definitely gone up. Everyone's per-mile rate seems to have increased, which is a killer if you're driving 1,000+ miles. You can usually negotiate better mileage rates in person or on the phone. Online mileage rates are almost always the highest.
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Postby Dustdevil » Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:04 am

Just as an FYI, I rent 6-8 large one way rental trucks each year. I know when I will be driving so I start watching prices in November. You can make a reservation up to a year in advance. Winter is the slowest time and the prices change weekly. I book my trucks unually early January and sometimes as early as November, the year before I am traveling. Also, if you cancel the truck with 48 hours notice, there is no fee.
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Postby peachandpapa » Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:07 am

In SoCal, I'm forking out $22 per day + .85 a mile for a Budget 17' truck. It was exactly the same last year....expensive. I have found cheaper, but the convenience of this particular outlet opens my wallet up more. How much can you haggle the per mile price down?
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Postby Bold » Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:04 am

Penske is something like $0.79 per mile. I told the guy we had a long haul and that miles would really kill our wallet, he brought it down to $0.29.
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Postby peachandpapa » Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:46 pm

Bold, you rock! You got them down .50 a mile! Nice negotiation! I'm on the horn as I write this post. Thanks for the information!

Have a safe drive to BM!
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Postby Homiesinheaven » Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:58 pm

those prices are good! where did you find cargo vans for $700-900 for 11 days?! i reserved mine (Ford E-350) for $1130 for 10 days and i thought i had looked all over.
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Postby Bravetiger73 » Thu Aug 06, 2009 4:36 pm

I just booked a pickup truck for $388 for 10 days unlimited mileage. When I looked cargo vans with same terms are around $500

My gift to you

http://www.bargainist.com/deals/2009/07 ... f-rentals/

20% off enterprise
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Postby Homiesinheaven » Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:09 pm

i appreciate the gift Bravetiger73 but when i enter that coupon i get $1250 for a 15 passenger van. without the code it's $1417. i'm picking it up at LAX so the offer might not work at that location. :(

thanks though!
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Postby Bold » Fri Aug 07, 2009 12:04 am

Bold, you rock!

Yes and no. The first time I tried to rent I got a guy who was willing to bring it down to $0.14 per mile. I said "Great, email me the quote!" After a few days I called back wondering where my quote was. The guy I had talked to had gone on vacation.

The guy I was talking to now was different and very cagey, he asked a lot more questions. I was elusive but he finally parsed it out. "You're taking this truck to Burning Man." At that point I wasn't going to lie. He said no way, because apparently the last group of Burners who rented there had returned a truck - in his words - "blown up."

So I found an out-of-the-way rental franchise off the beaten Burner path. I was truthful but not forthcoming about our intentions for the truck. I didn't get as good a deal, but I wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth. And I guarantee you I will return that truck in pristine condition.

I went in to the place in a baseball jersey (decidedly non-burner). I asked a lot of questions. I engaged the guy behind the counter - I was forthcoming but not TOO forthcoming - and he was genuinely helpful. If things go well this year I will go right back to them next year. And if we do it a few years in a row, and then they discover we go to Burning Man, by that point they won't care because they'll know me and know we're responsible, paying customers. But ultimately, I want our camp to do enough fundraising to buy a beat-up box truck and avoid this hassle altogether.

And to those Burners who 'blew up' the rental ruck: You cost our camp an extra 500 bucks because we had to go somewhere else and pay more. Thanks a lot A-holes...
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Postby akmojo » Fri Aug 07, 2009 12:40 am

Ryder had a great deal for 14' moving trucks but has blacked out the dates for the Burn and prices trippled !!!
I ended up with a 10' Budget moving truck out of Sacto for 12 days, $323 + 575 miles@.75=$431..
last year I rented a smaller cargo van in Seattle thru National for about the same total cost...
I'll have to see if I can work a per mile price reduction....
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Postby JulzQ1 » Fri Aug 07, 2009 11:12 am

I got a Cargo Van through Enterprise for 9 days. I'm a "family member" of someone that works there and get a 50% discount.

Without the discount, I got it for $40 a day. With the discount I only pay $20. WOOHOO.

I'm renting it in the Phoenix, AZ area.
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Postby epic_elite » Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:25 pm

hey, look at that! i found this thread via the nifty search engine that every one seems to talk about and no one seems to use.

l checked a few options as per my specs @ about 1138.22 miles round trip.

Uhaul 10ft box = about $1025 for 12 days
budget 10 ft box= about $1048 for 12 days
enterprise 1ton pickup = about $600 for 15 days

your guys options seem a lot cheaper.

any one from Oregon/NW area have any other options/suggestions?
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Postby epic_elite » Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:27 pm

Bravetiger73 wrote:I just booked a pickup truck for $388 for 10 days unlimited mileage. When I looked cargo vans with same terms are around $500

My gift to you

http://www.bargainist.com/deals/2009/07 ... f-rentals/

20% off enterprise



Promotion Has Expired
We apologize, but our records show that this promotion has expired.

If you have any questions or comments, please Email us, or call one of our Customer Service Centers:




lol, it was worth a shot :P
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Postby trystanthegypsy » Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:13 pm

Seems like the kind of purchase that would pay for itself in 1-3 years if you have a place to store the thing.... hmm... as mentioned in the other thread.
THen you could rent it out during the year to all your friends that are moving and break even or even make a profit!!! lolol.

*i has a plan now... heeheheee...*

*runs off muttering about insurance and doing math on an abacus...*
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Postby Lord Of Ruin » Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:37 pm

For SoCal and MidCal folks....

You might want to give some thought to telling people you are renting it to go to an offroad race at Glamis/the "desert".

Tell them the truck itself will not be offroad, but will be used to haul all the gear to help run the race.

Since BurningMan isn't so widely known down here, that tends to cover it nicely. I've had them give me handy tips for how to clean the sand out before return.

YMMV.

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Postby Homiesinheaven » Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:49 am

i dont see what the big deal is with telling people where you are going. it's none of their business! maybe with the smaller mom and pop rental companies but when i deal with Thrifty to rent my van they never ask me where i'm going nor do i tell them. just make sure you clean it thoroughly (i pay to have it cleaned) and you're fine.
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Postby Lord Of Ruin » Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:06 pm

Homiesinheaven wrote:i dont see what the big deal is with telling people where you are going. it's none of their business! maybe with the smaller mom and pop rental companies but when i deal with Thrifty to rent my van they never ask me where i'm going nor do i tell them. just make sure you clean it thoroughly (i pay to have it cleaned) and you're fine.



Well, I appreciate that. But one returned vehicle left in playa trashed condition will forever set their alarm bells. That is generally all it takes.

Glad to hear you've had good luck. As I mentioned, the further we are down south here, the easier it tends to be for us.
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Postby Dr. Pyro » Mon Apr 12, 2010 1:25 pm

The AVIS dealership in Sacramento (Downtown) is very burner-friendly and has gone so far as to offer discounted rates to burners. I would call them (actually ask for the manager Steve Gatkin) and say in no uncertain terms that you understand that burners are welcome here and what is the best you can do for us. Also time was (this may have changed) that if you had a CostCo card they gave a discount as well, but as always YMMV.
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Postby CdnChick » Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:46 pm

Homiesinheaven wrote:i dont see what the big deal is with telling people where you are going. it's none of their business! maybe with the smaller mom and pop rental companies but when i deal with Thrifty to rent my van they never ask me where i'm going nor do i tell them. just make sure you clean it thoroughly (i pay to have it cleaned) and you're fine.


Generally you need to at least tell them in or out of state travel as that usually affects the deal they give you.

Here, it's unlimited travel in province. But if out of province, they cap it per day and charge for the extra travel.

You could lie, but then if you have an accident, your insurance won't cover you.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:50 pm

Don't some of them get pissy if you take it off road? Or is that auto rentals?
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Postby gyre » Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:14 pm

You can get your own insurance.
Always cheaper.
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Postby skibear » Fri Apr 16, 2010 11:04 am

Rental car prices have gone thru the roof in most places.

I first noticed this on a ski trip to Colorado springs 2 years ago.
A sub compact was $400 a week but a last minute(Alamo) premium
car or SUV was $ 169. Totally insane.

Vegus, SLC, Reno are much lower than others (this year).

Wierd stuff is happening to rental car companies. They are merging.

Enterprise now owns National and Alamo etc.
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