Full Size Car Selection - Chevy Impala or Similar? Fit 5 People?

 
Old Apr 24, 13, 4:45 pm
  #1  
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Full Size Car Selection - Chevy Impala or Similar? Fit 5 People?

Hi - just wondering if anyone knows what the 'or similar' cars are for full size vehicles? We're renting for 2 weeks in June from TPA and will have 2 adults and 3 children in the car. Kids are small enough to all fit in the back, I am sure, but I want to get an idea of trunk space that will be available. The website says 2 large suitcases, 1 medium and 2 small.

I'd love a mini van or an SUV, but they are $250-$500 more for the rental and I don't think it would be worth it - esp. for the smaller size SUVs that have even less cargo space.

Any advice to get the most bang for your buck for a 5 passenger rental?
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Old May 6, 13, 9:26 pm
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Hey Pokee, sorry if you have already rented. Being originally from TPA and there a lot the best advice I would give you is to go ahead and keep your rental of the full size and try to upgrade for a per day fee when you get there. Also, keep checking websites liek carrentalsavers and hotwire etc on a multiple times a day basis, rates can change by huge amounts in short periods of time. Full size to them is like Impala, altima, sometimes a stripped down taurus or charger. Premium in FL is often times a Grand Marquis. A lot of people hate htem but they ride nice on the highway and the trunk is HUGE. hope this helps!
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Old May 7, 13, 12:13 pm
  #3  
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Thanks for the advice! I am not renting until late June, so plenty of time to plan!

I am really leaning towards the minivan option, even though the best deal I can find for 11 days is $550 all in with Budget ($350 for full size). I think the extra $200 for the rental will be well worth it. It's just that I've never really driven a minivan before, so I am not sure I'll like it. I know the kids will love it and it'll make our vacation more fun - esp. if we get a dvd player included. Usually with Fastbreak you get a better pick of cars, right? We'll be arriving around 7-8pm on a Friday night, so I fear we'll get stuck with some crappy leftovers, but if TPA is as well-stocked as people say, maybe I have nothing to worry about?

I am going to keep checking for deals right up until we leave. It's my mission to get the biggest car for the cheapest price!!!
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Old May 8, 13, 1:04 am
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I take it you already have both reservations made to lock in the price?

at $550 for 11 days I agree, if your budget can handle it you should prob lean this way for sure. with 5 people and 11 days worth of clothes/luggage you would be way more comfortable in a minivan.

I am not sure what you normally drive but the minivans are pretty much based on the full size car's same chassis and engine with a different body.

If you dont mind providing your exact dates, return location, any coupon code #s and what htey are associated with and what your trip details will be (if youre just staying in TPA or doing 2 days there n going somewhere else etc) id be more then happy to try some of my tricks to see if you can get a better deal.

Part of the fun is getting the best deal possible!
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Old May 9, 13, 4:02 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by bmw745ion19s View Post
If you dont mind providing your exact dates, return location, any coupon code #s and what htey are associated with and what your trip details will be (if youre just staying in TPA or doing 2 days there n going somewhere else etc) id be more then happy to try some of my tricks to see if you can get a better deal.

Part of the fun is getting the best deal possible!
Thanks! That's very nice of you!

Picking up at TPA June 28th 7pm
Returning to TPA July 9th 6pm

I got the minivan deal using a public travelocity code that is used quite actively by folks on the Mousesavers website. If you could do better - fantastic!!!

I've locked in both reservations (one full size car, one minivan), but thinking of signing up for FastBreak and doing a reservation there. My only concern with Fastbreak is if I cancel any reservations made under my Fastbreak account, will they charge my credit card on file a cancellation fee?
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Old May 11, 13, 10:12 am
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Alamo was on my least favorite list until a year or so ago (although their new Web site might put them back on it ).

I've been getting some fantastic rates from their insider deals. My last trip to Colorado in April, I was toying with many of the same issues you were.

I could rent a full-size for four days for about $50 (tax included), while a minivan was $88. With Alamo insider, wife was included as an additional driver for free.

Also, at Alamo, they point you to the lot and tell you to pick any minivan you want. I grabbed a nearly new Town&Country with the full Satellite radio/DVD player, etc. although we never used them

All the others (Thrifty, Enterprise, etal) started at $140. Costco was $104. Bidding through Priceline (which might be an option), was nowhere close.

The coupon I used was highlighted on their insider pages and I was able to stack that with the standard 10 percent off for insider members. Unfortunately, the coupon, which gave a hefty discount for minivan/SUV rentals held over a Saturday nights, expires on June 15, or something like that.

Also, Alamo's rates varied from $320 to the $88 I finally paid over a period of weeks. First look early March was $300, price then rose and fell, hitting $101 for a few days, and then one moment in time it was $88. Few hours later it was $104. So pays to check early and often.

So, my point, is that if you have not joined Alamo's insider you might go ahead and look. YMMV.

Also, you are right about the SUV's, unless you grab a "premium super deluxe," the cargo space is abysmal.
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Old May 24, 13, 1:51 pm
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Originally Posted by pokee View Post
Hi - just wondering if anyone knows what the 'or similar' cars are for full size vehicles?
I had a choice of the Impala or Sonata.
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Old Jun 1, 13, 8:23 am
  #8  
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We requested full size the last two visits, but received camaros. Works for the two of us, even though both were canary yellow and we're wayyyyy too old for that color. However, they also offered Hyundai's smaller SUV. My impression on full size cars is that they work with you when you get there quite a bit. Those SUVs are kept on for people who need them but it seems like if nobody signs up for them, they put them out for full size reservers. I never want them, but I would say they are offered about half the time. TPA has always had an abundance of cars with all companies when we have been there, although not usually mouse time.

I would also consider getting a fast break account. Just saved a good 45 minutes in line last weekend at PHX, which was packed for the holiday. It would seem that if they could help you that being a frequent renter would assist your cause.

Finally, check for updated Wendi deals. Right now, intermediate SUV for $22/day. They had that same special at Christmas too for several months, so it reoccurs frequently and/ or gets extended.
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Old Jun 3, 13, 11:03 am
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Originally Posted by wcj View Post
We requested full size the last two visits, but received camaros. Works for the two of us, even though both were canary yellow and we're wayyyyy too old for that color. .
hahaha...I hear yah!

Originally Posted by wcj View Post
Finally, check for updated Wendi deals. Right now, intermediate SUV for $22/day. They had that same special at Christmas too for several months, so it reoccurs frequently and/ or gets extended.
That deal is only good until June 15. I have a June 28 pick-up. There's been some really good deals coming through lately for SUVs and minivans, but only up to June 22...hoping more will come up for end of June pick-up!!! I'll keep my eyes open!

And YES, I will probably register for fastbreak...
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Old Jun 13, 13, 11:42 am
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I was able to get a full size car with Alamo for $240. Still have the reservation with Budget for the minivan for $550. Still trying to decide if it's worth it for $310 more to rent the minivan. I think I'll keep both reservations and then just decide at the last minute what to do. I have a feeling the minivan will win!

It's very, very difficult to get any deals for minivans in July. In fact, my searches in Budget aren't even showing minivans (like they're sold out at TPA?). And most of the deals right now are only 10-15% off for SUVs...no minivan deals.
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Old Jun 20, 13, 4:31 am
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If your budget rental support free cancellation...

if you don't mind taking a chance and possible extra leg work you can try national Emerald Aisle. TPA location seem to have minivan stocked in their Aisle section. with your reservation date + national's website special 25 dollar / week off it will end up 198.81 total.

You can have both national and budget rental reserved and when you arrived check national first to see if they have minivan(go alone without the kids). If they do then cancel budget and run with it. If they do not have go to budget(cancel your national).

Last edited by Belinik; Jun 20, 13 at 6:29 am
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Old Jun 20, 13, 3:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Belinik View Post
If your budget rental support free cancellation...

if you don't mind taking a chance and possible extra leg work you can try national Emerald Aisle. TPA location seem to have minivan stocked in their Aisle section. with your reservation date + national's website special 25 dollar / week off it will end up 198.81 total.

You can have both national and budget rental reserved and when you arrived check national first to see if they have minivan(go alone without the kids). If they do then cancel budget and run with it. If they do not have go to budget(cancel your national).
This is a great idea, but considering a whole lot of the other car rental agencies at TPA are sold out of minivans (Alamo, Avis, Budget), I'd say this is pretty risky business. It's a popular time of year. If it were a less popular time of year, I'd do that no problem!

I think I am just going to go with the $500 rental and be done with it.

Thanks anyway for the suggestion!
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Old Jun 23, 13, 12:03 am
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Originally Posted by pokee View Post
This is a great idea, but considering a whole lot of the other car rental agencies at TPA are sold out of minivans (Alamo, Avis, Budget), I'd say this is pretty risky business. It's a popular time of year. If it were a less popular time of year, I'd do that no problem!

I think I am just going to go with the $500 rental and be done with it.

Thanks anyway for the suggestion!

hey pokee, I keep trying your dates and I think you have about the best rate possible. the other member was suggesting that you just breeze by with the national emerald reservation and if they have a minivan youll get it for the fullsize price. if not keep on walking and get the minivan reservation you have.
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Old Jun 24, 13, 9:05 am
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Impala is not bad. Could be tight for 5 people, especially with bags, but doable. But you may want to phone the specific location from which you'll rent and see what they usually have in stock (no guarantee, but may give you an idea). Some places consider a Chevy Malibu full-size, though it's smaller than an Impala. I'd consider the Malibu mid-size.

I thought a Camaro would be even tighter for 5 people. Canary yellow? My wife would love it, regarding it as more visible to other drivers whether during the day or night (i.e., safer). Gas mileage might be lousy, however.
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