Renting a Mini Van from Dollar in SFO

 
Old Mar 21, 11, 6:09 am
  #1  
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Renting a Mini Van from Dollar in SFO

We have a reservation for a mini van in mid-May from the SF airport. We're renting for over 100 days, and our agent here told us we're marked as VIP customers for that. Not sure what this means, but she did say they may upgrade us on the spot (not that we want anything but a minivan, actually).

Any idea as to what we might be getting? I've been told common minivan models include Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan, but would they be the more upscale models, with DVD screens and all that? Just curious, more than anything else, and trying to pump up the kids here

Any tips as to what to ask for or check when renting? I'm not worried about them trying to sell us insurance, as we buy insurance anyway (have to, since we're from overseas).

Thanks in advance!
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Old Mar 21, 11, 6:21 am
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I thought you reserved a minivan from National a while ago. What made you change your mind?
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Old Mar 21, 11, 6:27 am
  #3  
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Oh, I have such a long post about this, but it's in Hebrew, so I'll recap -
I contacted National more times than I can remember. Their phone reservations center people couldn't give me any definite answers about the length of the contract (i.e. when would we have to check in to renew the contract) and couldn't give me a very attractive price either (even though our rental was a long-term one). I ended up writing to National HQ and they were very nice and basically told me I should contact the local branch directly. So, for over two weeks I tried getting a quote from the sales manager at the National branch in SFO... and he finally came up with a quote which was just as expensive as anything the phone center had given me.

Dollar had a much much cheaper offer. I'm talking a $1500 difference over the three months long rental. I really had hoped National would try to match the offer, but obviously they didn't want our business that badly. I have rented with National in the past and was happy with the service, so had they wanted $200-$300 more, I would have rented with them, but $1500 was just too much.
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Old Mar 22, 11, 4:02 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by IsraeliMom View Post
Any tips as to what to ask for or check when renting? I'm not worried about them trying to sell us insurance, as we buy insurance anyway (have to, since we're from overseas).
Whichever CSR helps you out is going to truly LOVE you (they're commissioned on coverage sales). Capitalize on that love and ask for the nicest variant on the lot.

Rental coverage is NOT cheap. 100 days of rental coverage is a small fortune. Have you tried booking one of the all-inclusive deals from http://www.dollar.co.uk?

Also, try the following other options:
http://worldwide.thrifty.com
http://www.alamo.co.uk/

There may be others who do these all-inclusive deals, and there are countless resellers online who will be happy to book you an all-inclusive rate, too. These usually end up saving overseas travelers thousands of dollars on coverage costs.
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Old Mar 23, 11, 12:04 am
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Sorry, I probably wasn't being clear enough. We did buy an all-inclusive deal, which is why I'm not worried about any insurance sales - we already bought it. We're paying ~$42 a day including full coverage, and yes, bought it through a UK reseller
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Old Mar 23, 11, 8:37 am
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Originally Posted by IsraeliMom View Post
Sorry, I probably wasn't being clear enough. We did buy an all-inclusive deal, which is why I'm not worried about any insurance sales - we already bought it. We're paying ~$42 a day including full coverage, and yes, bought it through a UK reseller
Ah, good. That's the way to go.

Don't expect any love from the rental agent, though, as you'll actually be hurting their commissions. Hopefully you can still get a nice vehicle.

There tends to be less variety in the minivan class, though. Few locations have anything nice with DVD screens and the like.
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