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"Pay Now" option - higher chance of class of vehicle available?

"Pay Now" option - higher chance of class of vehicle available?

Old Jul 3, 19, 1:08 pm
  #1  
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"Pay Now" option - higher chance of class of vehicle available?

I think I know the answer to the question, but thought I'd ask on here as well. I did post a similar question on another subforum a couple of weeks ago, but this concerns Hertz specifically.

The justification for rental car companies overbooking, and thus running out of cars on occasion, is that there are no consequences for a no-show. Once the reservation has been prepaid in full, one would think that things should be different, but I still kind of doubt there is a guarantee that the class of vehicle that was booked would be available on the specified date and time.

This is for the LAS location July 4th weekend (pickup July 5, 8:00 pm). Must have a minivan, or at least something that can accommodate 6 people and at least one large suitcase.
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Old Jul 3, 19, 1:11 pm
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Originally Posted by bambinomartino View Post
I think I know the answer to the question, but thought I'd ask on here as well. I did post a similar question on another subforum a couple of weeks ago, but this concerns Hertz specifically.

The justification for rental car companies overbooking, and thus running out of cars on occasion, is that there are no consequences for a no-show. Once the reservation has been prepaid in full, one would think that things should be different, but I still kind of doubt there is a guarantee that the class of vehicle that was booked would be available on the specified date and time.

This is for the LAS location July 4th weekend (pickup July 5, 8:00 pm). Must have a minivan, or at least something that can accommodate 6 people and at least one large suitcase.
Short answer: no, doesn't really make a difference. If they don't have the car, they don't have the car. If you have a Pay Now, and they don't have the car, then you're entitled to a refund, but that's about it. If you really must have a minivan/three row SUV, then I'd book one with Hertz and a backup with another company (both non-prepaid reservations), and then cancel the one you don't use.
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Old Jul 3, 19, 2:08 pm
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Yes, choosing a prepaid rate does not guarantee a vehicle. You are basically in the same boat as someone who booked a pay later rate. That said, booking a Minivan or a Fullsize SUV is not like booking a Range Rover or something. Even on a holiday weekend, the rental companies usually have enough of these vehicles on-hand. Minivans are somewhat more prevalent than Fullsize SUVs but if you need room for 6, either would work and if you don't care about the vehicle type, just book what's cheapest as one can always be substituted for the other if they run out of what you booked.

While you could book a backup reservation with another company, that sort of exacerbates the problem of vehicle availability/no shows/etc. so we tend not to recommend that. What we do recommend is to book with one of the 3 major companies (comprising 8 or so brands) and stay away from the discount companies as they don't have the breadth of inventory to pull from when things get tight.
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Last edited by AutoSlash; Jul 6, 19 at 4:08 pm
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Old Jul 3, 19, 5:04 pm
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Thank you all.

After a very unpleasant experience around Christmas in San Diego, I have become quite nervous about vehicle availability. Will hope for the best, but also make another reservation just in case.

Interestingly, Enterprise show no availability whatsoever for that date and time. That makes me a little more nervous.
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Old Jul 4, 19, 12:10 am
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Originally Posted by AutoSlash View Post
That said, booking a Minivan or a Fullsize SUV is not like booking a Range Rover or something. Even on a holiday weekend, the rental companies usually have enough of these vehicles on-hand.
You can always count on the dreaded Grand Caravan being around...
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Old Jul 5, 19, 7:02 am
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Just out of curiosity I did a search this morning for the same time I have a reservation (tonight, 8pm), and Hertz says they are sold out, completely, of all vehicles, except a large passenger van which is not available for my one-way rental anyway. Should I be worried? 5-Star status any benefit in these situations?
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Old Jul 6, 19, 1:18 am
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Originally Posted by bambinomartino View Post
Just out of curiosity I did a search this morning for the same time I have a reservation (tonight, 8pm), and Hertz says they are sold out, completely, of all vehicles, except a large passenger van which is not available for my one-way rental anyway. Should I be worried? 5-Star status any benefit in these situations?
No, you have a reservation.
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Old Jul 6, 19, 3:52 pm
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"Sold out" status and actual vehicle availability are only loosely correlated. I've arrived at "sold out" times to almost full lots and I've arrived when they would still let you reserve a car but had none in the lot and 20 people waiting. So, I wouldn't be any more concerned than a normal rental.
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Old Jul 6, 19, 4:11 pm
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And yes, 5-Star status can make a difference. It's not guaranteed, but if you and a non-Gold (or even regular Gold) member show up around the same time and there is only one larger vehicle the location should take into account your status and give it to you. OTOH, if they have mismanaged their inventory and have sold out of larger vehicles yesterday, then probably not a lot they can do except to favor you over the non/lesser status renter when the next one is returned.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 3:12 pm
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Originally Posted by AutoSlash View Post
And yes, 5-Star status can make a difference. It's not guaranteed, but if you and a non-Gold (or even regular Gold) member show up around the same time and there is only one larger vehicle the location should take into account your status and give it to you. OTOH, if they have mismanaged their inventory and have sold out of larger vehicles yesterday, then probably not a lot they can do except to favor you over the non/lesser status renter when the next one is returned.
As long as the location staff values status over non-status. At DCA, they could care less about your status when they have inventory issues.
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Old Jul 10, 19, 5:00 pm
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Hi all, been too busy driving the extended family around AZ, NV and CA to update you.

When I arrived at the rental center, my name was not on the big board, which was worrisome. Was told my vehicle was being cleaned, so that was a relief. There was a couple waiting for their Grand Caravan who had got there some time before me (walk-in/ups). My vehicle pulled up 5 minutes later, before they got theirs.

I felt super special.

When I dropped off my van at SAN, the following message was written on one of its windows: "stop retail blocked by distro". Any idea what it means?
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