Additional driver fee

 
Old Feb 17, 09, 10:53 am
  #1  
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Additional driver fee

Does anyone have a suggestion on how to reduce or eliminate the additional driver fee? We're picking up a full sized car at the Orlando airport and would usually put both myself, and DH on it...however with the additional driver fee increasing the cost by 45%, it does make you think twice. Any suggestions on how to reduce this?
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Old Feb 17, 09, 5:28 pm
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Dollar and Thrifty appear to have the same rates at MCO (I don't know if they're officially dual-branded there--i.e. in the same building--or still maintain separate operations), so you might want to try booking with Thrifty and using the Orlando Magicard discount code, which waives the additional driver fee. (Technically, you'll also need to order the free Magicard itself from the Orlando/Orange County Visitor's and Convention bureau here.)

That same page mentions that the Magicard also has a code for Dollar, but it doesn't mention waiving the additional driver fee, and I can't tell you definitively if it does or doesn't.
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Old Feb 19, 09, 10:57 am
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Thank you very much for the Magic card suggestion. I investigated it as an option, but unfortunately it won't work as it doesn't waive the additional driver fee for Dollar rentals. I'm sticking with Dollar as we got a good price through expedia, and cancelling and rebooking elsewhere isn't cost justified. I'm still hoping for some way to reduce this high fee.......any other suggestions are much appreciated.
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Old Feb 19, 09, 11:45 pm
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Dollar and Thrifty appear to usually match rates at MCO, so if the Dollar rate hasn't changed, you should be able to get the same rate at Thrifty. Of course, if the Dollar and Thrifty rates have both gone up, then there's not much you can do.

Also, you can usually save $1-2 per day over the Expedia price by booking directly at dollar.com and/or thrifty.com (or directly at any agency's website).

How much is this "high" additional driver fee? It can't be much more than the $5 per day that I'm used to.
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Old Feb 20, 09, 9:35 am
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I booked on expedia.ca and paid $265.(canadian$) for 9 days.

Booking directly on Thrifty or Dollar's websites would have been $427.-$459. U.S. for the same vehicle....plus exchange and credit card fee......would be approx. $547.-$574. canadian$$.
A substantial savings.
Additional driver fee is $9.95 per day.....if I could get it down to $5., I'd be happy.
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Old Feb 22, 09, 2:26 pm
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At our Dollar Location a spouse as an extra driver is free. I have had men claim to be married to each other to avoid the charge, then it gets interesting when they return with their wives later!!

JudyJFLA
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Old Feb 23, 09, 8:34 am
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Thanks for the tip. The Dollar reservation agent says that some locations do not charge, but most do, incl. MCO. I will try to get try Dollar to price match at the counter. I printed off a Thrifty rental (for my dates, vehicle size, etc) that shows the magic card waiving the additional driver fee. Hopefully this will work.
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Old Feb 23, 09, 4:08 pm
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Originally Posted by sea3kids View Post
Thanks for the tip. The Dollar reservation agent says that some locations do not charge, but most do, incl. MCO. I will try to get try Dollar to price match at the counter. I printed off a Thrifty rental (for my dates, vehicle size, etc) that shows the magic card waiving the additional driver fee. Hopefully this will work.
Since rental agents work on a commission system, it might help to try bribing them. Tell them that you'll do something like buy a tank of gas or upgrade to a larger car if they waive the additional driver fee. At the worst, you'll end up paying the same (e.g. with a $10 per day upgrade), but you'll walk away with something to show for it (a nicer car or a tank of gas or something).

One thing to note--apparently the Fastlane computer system used at corporate stores is locked down pretty tightly. Even though she knew a friend of mine and she was trying to be helpful, she couldn't outright waive the underage fee. She ended up giving me a promotional credit of some sort that offset most of it, but she couldn't just click "no" and remove it. As much as your agent might want to, he/she might not be able to remove the additional driver fee.

Franchises typically have a lot more leeway on stuff like this.
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Old Feb 23, 09, 4:25 pm
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Originally Posted by sea3kids View Post
Thanks for the tip. The Dollar reservation agent says that some locations do not charge, but most do, incl. MCO. I will try to get try Dollar to price match at the counter. I printed off a Thrifty rental (for my dates, vehicle size, etc) that shows the magic card waiving the additional driver fee. Hopefully this will work.
Since rental agents work on a commission system, it might help to try bribing them. Tell them that you'll do something like buy a tank of gas or upgrade to a larger car if they waive the additional driver fee. At the worst, you'll end up paying the same (e.g. with a $10 per day upgrade), but you'll walk away with something to show for it (a nicer car or a tank of gas or something).

One thing to note--apparently the Fastlane computer system used at corporate stores is locked down pretty tightly. I rented from a corporate store once, and even though the rental agent knew a friend of mine and she was trying to be helpful, she couldn't outright waive the underage fee. She ended up giving me a promotional credit of some sort that offset most of it, but she couldn't just click "no" and remove it. As much as your agent might want to, he/she might not be able to remove the additional driver fee.

Franchises typically have a lot more leeway on stuff like this.

Last edited by jackal; Feb 27, 09 at 5:30 pm
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Old Feb 27, 09, 10:12 am
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Thanks jackal that's a good suggestion. Do you know if the MCO location is a franchise or a corporate store?
We also signed up for Dollar Express, hoping to avoid a lengthy line at the counter. I understand we should have a shorter wait (or none?!), and will not be sold to at the counter.....is this correct?
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Old Feb 27, 09, 5:32 pm
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Originally Posted by sea3kids View Post
Thanks jackal that's a good suggestion. Do you know if the MCO location is a franchise or a corporate store?
We also signed up for Dollar Express, hoping to avoid a lengthy line at the counter. I understand we should have a shorter wait (or none?!), and will not be sold to at the counter.....is this correct?
MCO is a corporate store. It's actually probably the largest Dollar Thrifty location on the planet--a fleet of something like 30,000 cars.

You're correct on Dollar Express (if they're running the program as it is designed).
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