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Car rental in Florida over XMAS break

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  • Jan 6th, 2018 9:14 am
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Jan 30, 2004
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Car rental in Florida over XMAS break

Anyone know any good deals for renting a car in Ft. Lauderdale over the Christmas break. Seems the prices are through the roof.
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Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
17595 posts
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When we visited Florida during Christmas / New Years we found the best prices on costcotravel.com
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May 24, 2008
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King of Car Rentals

Yes, I know - cheesy name and cheesy website, but the guy will give you the absolutely best deal. He deals exclusively with National, which is neat, because you get to choose the car you want from the Emerald Aisle. We used him for the first time this summer on a trip to California and it was way cheaper than anything else. We've been travelling and renting cars for many years, using a variety of rental firms and third party booking sites, but he will be our go-to guy in the future.

You can contact him for a free quote, and if you want him to go ahead with the booking, he charges a small fee. I had a bit of an issue because I was trying to get instantly upgraded to Executive status through my credit card. He was constantly in touch with me throughout and dealt directly with National on my behalf to sort it out. This kind of personalized service you just don't find anymore.
Out with the Glazers!
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
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Little Tim wrote: King of Car Rentals

Yes, I know - cheesy name and cheesy website, but the guy will give you the absolutely best deal. He deals exclusively with National, which is neat, because you get to choose the car you want from the Emerald Aisle. We used him for the first time this summer on a trip to California and it was way cheaper than anything else. We've been travelling and renting cars for many years, using a variety of rental firms and third party booking sites, but he will be our go-to guy in the future.

You can contact him for a free quote, and if you want him to go ahead with the booking, he charges a small fee. I had a bit of an issue because I was trying to get instantly upgraded to Executive status through my credit card. He was constantly in touch with me throughout and dealt directly with National on my behalf to sort it out. This kind of personalized service you just don't find anymore.
That's a very interesting service.

Did you compare his prices to that through traditional channels like Costco? I just find it hard to believe that in the days of the internet with sites like Flyertalk there is an individual that can provide even further savings to justify the fee.
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May 24, 2008
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TrevorK wrote: That's a very interesting service.

Did you compare his prices to that through traditional channels like Costco? I just find it hard to believe that in the days of the internet with sites like Flyertalk there is an individual that can provide even further savings to justify the fee.
Yeah, it baffled me too. I definitely checked a number of other sources (including Costco) before booking through him. I even had a booking set up with Avis using a very good discount code I found on FlyerTalk, but I cancelled it when I found this guy.

I always check a lot of sources before booking a rental car: Hotwire, CAA, Costco, Aeroplan, etc - this guy beat them all. Mind you, I've only used him once, but we're planning another trip for Christmas, so I'll soon be able to see if he can do a repeat performance.
He was recommended to me by a family friend who has used him for years.

One thing I must say though, I only ever book with the top tier agencies: Avis, Hertz and National. I'm sure there are further savings to be had with the more budget oriented agencies. I just don't want the hassle. Not saying the big three are perfect, but in my experience you're less likely to be yanked around with unnecessary insurance and dinged for minor damage if you stick with those three.
Out with the Glazers!
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May 24, 2008
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TrevorK wrote: That's a very interesting service.

Did you compare his prices to that through traditional channels like Costco? I just find it hard to believe that in the days of the internet with sites like Flyertalk there is an individual that can provide even further savings to justify the fee.
Just wanted to follow up on this because we're doing another booking through him, and I'm now in a position to directly compare to other booking sites.

Arizona for one week during Christmas: $303 USD fees and taxes included.

That is with National Emerald Aisle, which means you have a choice of cars up to full size. There's also intermediate SUVs easily available (Rav4, Tucson, Santa Fe, etc). Through Costco, the cheapest I can get a full size for is $333 USD through Budget, which is not a top tier rental agency. The cheapest top tier option is Avis at $536 USD. Furthermore, if we were to get an intermediate SUV, the price through Costco jumps to $523 USD through Enterprise (non top tier) or $1,164 USD through Avis (top tier).

Directly through Avis, the Aeroplan discount rate for full size (Pay Now) is $517 USD.

Through CAA, I can get a full size with Hertz for $379 USD.

I did find a discount code on Flyertalk, which would give me a full size through Avis at the same rate - $303 USD, but I'm always wary of using those codes in case there's suddenly a question about showing ID of some sort. Also, that would lock me to a full size, while with National I have a choice from the aisle.

So, I think I'll stick with King of Car Rentals - cheesy as it sounds! :)
Out with the Glazers!
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
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Eastern Ontario
The biggest issue here is timing...

The last 2 weeks of December is maximum load for this State... Snowbirds + Tourists. Pricing is set by demand. Highest Deand = Highest Prices, and honestly with just 2 months to go until Christmas, it's getting long in the game for Reservations / Bookings. Lots of folks book up to a year in advance for this timeframe.
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Aug 2, 2001
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Little Tim wrote: Just wanted to follow up on this because we're doing another booking through him, and I'm now in a position to directly compare to other booking sites.
Thank you for following up - I really appreciate it! Next time we need a rental in the US I think I might also give them a try.
Deal Guru
Mar 20, 2003
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New-Brunswick
I'm late to the party but check out Alamo, we've used them twice where they have the best deals by far at the Airport.
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May 24, 2008
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TrevorK wrote: Thank you for following up - I really appreciate it! Next time we need a rental in the US I think I might also give them a try.
Just to add to my experience, I've also done lots of back and forth with him with quotes for different timeframes and for different cities, one-way rentals, etc. He's usually very quick in responding and he's always very willing to find solutions. For some of the one-way rental quotes, he admitted that National would be expensive, so he gave me quotes from some other companies (which I then could have booked directly without going through him). He just seems like a great guy.
Out with the Glazers!
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
17595 posts
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Little Tim wrote: Just to add to my experience, I've also done lots of back and forth with him with quotes for different timeframes and for different cities, one-way rentals, etc. He's usually very quick in responding and he's always very willing to find solutions. For some of the one-way rental quotes, he admitted that National would be expensive, so he gave me quotes from some other companies (which I then could have booked directly without going through him). He just seems like a great guy.
You have me sold - I know there are some actual nice people who just like helping others and this person sounds like one of them. We are thinking of going to the US for 2 weeks next year and with two little ones we will definitely be renting a car (before kids we used to walk virtually everywhere).
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Nov 9, 2007
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Little Tim wrote: Just to add to my experience, I've also done lots of back and forth with him with quotes for different timeframes and for different cities, one-way rentals, etc. He's usually very quick in responding and he's always very willing to find solutions. For some of the one-way rental quotes, he admitted that National would be expensive, so he gave me quotes from some other companies (which I then could have booked directly without going through him). He just seems like a great guy.

Thanks for sharing! Just messaged him. We're doing 10 days in LA in Feb and need a SUV rental. Hoping I don't have to shop around too much and he provides the best price. :)
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May 24, 2008
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mmhassa2 wrote: Thanks for sharing! Just messaged him. We're doing 10 days in LA in Feb and need a SUV rental. Hoping I don't have to shop around too much and he provides the best price. :)
Great! Let us know how it goes.
Out with the Glazers!
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Oct 23, 2017
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GTA West
Thanks for that tip, I will look at the King for our next trip to compare.

I find that for going to Florida in December, you have to start looking in the summer. I usually end up with Costco, booking the best deal I see in early August and then checking back every week for a lower rate, as they really bounce around. There is no cost to cancel and rebook when something better comes up. Last year we got an Impala for US$211 all-in for two weeks. (Last week of Nov, first week of Dec). This year we got a Nissan Rogue SUV for US$171 for one week only. I have never seen a better rate than Costco, once I have determined their best rate offer. I usually see the best deal by booking before Labour day, with rates generally increasing for bookings after that.

If I don't see a good rate, I look at rates for off-airport sites for pickup, while still returning to the airport. Sometimes you can save $100 or more by taking a $15 cab ride from the airport to a rental location a few miles away.

BTW you now get the Costco 2% Executive Member rebate for rentals. And of course the second driver is included at no extra cost with them.
Deal Fanatic
Jun 3, 2009
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Montreal
That period of the year is always in high demand so I would try Googling for discount codes with Avis.
Newbie
Jun 12, 2012
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Burnaby, BC
Just completed a rental with the King of Car Rentals and wanted to echo the earlier posts about their good experience.
Prior to travelling within Canada, I had compared rentals over a bunch of aggregate sites (Costco, Hotwire and Priceline) as well as individual companies. Read about the King on RFD and decided to give it a shot.
I ended up getting a cheaper rate by about $100 bucks less than the next cheapest rate... over the Christmas travel season!

I was initially a bit concerned that my CC insurance wouldn’t cover me In the event of an accident but I was put at ease when I found out that the actual rental charges are charged via national directly to my CC. I had a separate bill via PayPal for the commission he charges for the booking.

I will likely go through the King again in the future.
Sr. Member
Aug 15, 2013
839 posts
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Guelph
Dealmaker1945 wrote: BTW you now get the Costco 2% Executive Member rebate for rentals. And of course the second driver is included at no extra cost with them.
Are you sure about the additional driver in US? Am looking for a rental in Tampa right now. Costco website clearly states the additional driver fee is waived for rentals in Canada. Can someone confirm if the fee is waived for US too.

As for Bob aka King of Car rentals.. I contacted him too. 1st.. i found him slow to reply, took him 3 days to send me the quote. I guess maybe due to holidays. And though his rates @ US$420+$28 were indeed cheapest for National (Over US$600 elsewhere).. Costco and Expedia had much better rates (US$220) for other top tier agencies like Alamo, Avis, Hertz. I conveyed him the same and asked him 3 days ago if he can get me a rental thru a different agency, but haven't received a reply yet. I guess he is good if you are looking exclusively for National, but if you dont mind other agencies.. definitely look elsewhere.
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Feb 7, 2017
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dundeal wrote: Are you sure about the additional driver in US? Am looking for a rental in Tampa right now. Costco website clearly states the additional driver fee is waived for rentals in Canada. Can someone confirm if the fee is waived for US too.

As for Bob aka King of Car rentals.. I contacted him too. 1st.. i found him slow to reply, took him 3 days to send me the quote. I guess maybe due to holidays. And though his rates @ US$420+$28 were indeed cheapest for National (Over US$600 elsewhere).. Costco and Expedia had much better rates (US$220) for other top tier agencies like Alamo, Avis, Hertz. I conveyed him the same and asked him 3 days ago if he can get me a rental thru a different agency, but haven't received a reply yet. I guess he is good if you are looking exclusively for National, but if you dont mind other agencies.. definitely look elsewhere.
Bob aka King of Car Rentals is of course a 3rd Party Provider (aka middle man / travel agent / consolidator)
As such provides an AS IS Service

And hence there can be pitfalls... if you run into any issues you’d have to go thru Bob

Costco is acting as a 3rd Party as well (travel agent)
But at least with Costco via your Membership you have some guarantees
And as a bigger group, they have more pull if something should go wrong

Personally, we book direct.
Most Travel Providers will price match
If they don’t of these 2 options i’d opt for Costco
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Oct 23, 2017
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The following is from a recent booking confirmation:

Know Before You Go

•One additional driver fee will be waived for Costco members at locations in Canada, U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands and Spain.

•Should you wish to make a change to your reservation, book a new reservation with the updated information and then cancel your original reservation. There are no penalties to cancel at any time.

•The renter must present their Costco membership card at the time of pickup.

•Automobile insurance, optional equipment and other services may be added for an additional cost at the time of pickup.

•Please carefully review your rental agreement at the counter prior to signing to ensure all information, charges and changes, if any, are correct.
Sr. Member
Aug 15, 2013
839 posts
415 upvotes
Guelph
Dealmaker1945 wrote: The following is from a recent booking confirmation:

Know Before You Go

•One additional driver fee will be waived for Costco members at locations in Canada, U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands and Spain.

•Should you wish to make a change to your reservation, book a new reservation with the updated information and then cancel your original reservation. There are no penalties to cancel at any time.

•The renter must present their Costco membership card at the time of pickup.

•Automobile insurance, optional equipment and other services may be added for an additional cost at the time of pickup.

•Please carefully review your rental agreement at the counter prior to signing to ensure all information, charges and changes, if any, are correct.
Is this YMMV? Coz i did this booking thru Costco and mine says only Canada, see pic. Damn.

Image

http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=33ou1wx ... lBPSd-nHIU

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