LAS Experiences

Old Mar 15, 16, 8:44 pm
  #1  
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LAS Experiences

Prices are high, fees are absurd (about 30% of the base rate). Every review I've seen of a rental in Las Vegas pretty much says "stick with the majors." Reports are mostly for long waits at the counter, not having the type of car you reserved (and sometimes charging higher than the reserved rate for a more expensive car), and long waits for off-airport "second shuttle" pick up.

Does anyone have anything good to say about any of the lower priced rental companies, preferably ones that have cars at the official rental car facility? Thrifty has been my preferred cheap rental at LAX, but some days when I've checked, in LAS, they're more expensive than Hertz, and Thrifty was one of those mentioned in a few bad reviews.
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Old Mar 16, 16, 2:43 pm
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I use Dollar whenever I go to Vegas. I have a "Dollar Express" membership so I always skip the long lines and head straight down the stairs to pick up my vehicle. If I arrive late at night I might have to go to the Dollar counter but by then there usually aren't any lines. All in all, I've used Dollar numerous times at LAS and I've never had a problem. And they've always been by far the cheapest (at least of any that are worthwhile dealing with). As an example, I've booked a car at LAS for 11 days this coming June and the total all in cost is $280 for a mid-size vehicle.

Note that once I book a vehicle I will check back often to see if rates have gone done. They often do, in which case I rebook the car at the lower rate.
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Old Mar 16, 16, 4:46 pm
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Originally Posted by Gogie View Post
I use Dollar whenever I go to Vegas. I have a "Dollar Express" membership so I always skip the long lines and head straight down the stairs to pick up my vehicle.
Well you know how people are about complaining on line. Dollar was one of those that I saw a lot of complaints about. I guess there's some connection between Thrifty and Dollar. At LAX, they use the same bus, though the rental locations are different. I see that at McCarran, they're adjacent counters, or maybe the same counter. I wonder if my Thrifty Blue Chip works with Dollar Express. Probably not. I did compare their rates with Thrify a few days ago and they were essentially the same, though the example standard size car was different.

On March 10, a standard car at Thrifty for 8 days was $432.98. This morning it was $278.68, which almost sounds fair, so I made that reservation. I can't imagine how they come up with rates that change so quickly and by such a large amount. I have a month to go before the trip, though, so I'll keep checking.

At least car rentals haven't gone the way of "non-refundable" reservations unless you save the relatively trivial amount by paying in advance. And I'm keeping Hertz in my back pocket (today $361.70 down from $432.22 5 days ago) since I have a couple of $75 vouchers I can put toward a Hertz rental, and there's a small chance that I'll get a better car from Hertz than Thrifty, a good thing since I'll be doing a lot of driving this trip.
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Old Mar 17, 16, 6:39 am
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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers View Post
Well you know how people are about complaining on line. Dollar was one of those that I saw a lot of complaints about. I guess there's some connection between Thrifty and Dollar. At LAX, they use the same bus, though the rental locations are different. I see that at McCarran, they're adjacent counters, or maybe the same counter. I wonder if my Thrifty Blue Chip works with Dollar Express. Probably not. I did compare their rates with Thrifty a few days ago and they were essentially the same, though the example standard size car was different.

On March 10, a standard car at Thrifty for 8 days was $432.98. This morning it was $278.68, which almost sounds fair, so I made that reservation. I can't imagine how they come up with rates that change so quickly and by such a large amount. I have a month to go before the trip, though, so I'll keep checking.

At least car rentals haven't gone the way of "non-refundable" reservations unless you save the relatively trivial amount by paying in advance. And I'm keeping Hertz in my back pocket (today $361.70 down from $432.22 5 days ago) since I have a couple of $75 vouchers I can put toward a Hertz rental, and there's a small chance that I'll get a better car from Hertz than Thrifty, a good thing since I'll be doing a lot of driving this trip.
Dollar and Thrifty have been essentially the same company for many, many years. They are sister companies. It used to be called the Dollar/Thrifty Automotive Group (DTAG) until Hertz bought them a few years ago, and now they are both part of Hertz. Renting from one is like renting from the other. There is essentially zero difference between the two, except in situations where in a specific city, one brand is franchised and the other is a corporate location, but that is not the case in Vegas.

Generally speaking you will receive better service from the majors than the discount brands. For best service we usually recommend Hertz, Avis, National, and of course, sign up for their frequent renter programs to skip the counter entirely. They can appear pricier at first, but often once coupons and discount codes are taken into account, they can very competitive with the discount brands, but of course each situation is different.

Budget (which is owned by Avis) follows a close second to the "Big 3" just mentioned and signing up for Budget FastBreak certainly helps to speed you on your way. Same for Alamo Insiders program (Enterprise owns Alamo and National), and you can use the kiosk there instead of standing on line, but I would still give Budge the edge on service.

Next up would be Enterprise, followed by Dollar and Thrifty. Then comes E-Z and Advantage (both part of the same company).

Fox and Sixt are off-site, so you need to take a second shuttle bus there, which can be quite inconvenient. Sixt tends to be better than Fox. Both can be very aggressive with rates.

Payless (which surprisingly is owned by Avis) is at the bottom of the heap. Avoid at all costs even though they are in the main rental center, the customer service is horrific.
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Old Mar 17, 16, 4:21 pm
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Originally Posted by AutoSlash View Post
Fox and Sixt are off-site, so you need to take a second shuttle bus there, which can be quite inconvenient. Sixt tends to be better than Fox. Both can be very aggressive with rates.
Sixt in LAS is DIRECTLY across the street from the LAS Rental Car facility. I was shocked at how close it was. Sure, there's a van to take you there, but why wait. The walk from the RCC to Sixt is shorter than the baggage claim->garage walk at most airports.
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Old Mar 18, 16, 6:31 am
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Originally Posted by AutoSlash View Post
Generally speaking you will receive better service from the majors than the discount brands. For best service we usually recommend Hertz, Avis, National, and of course, sign up for their frequent renter programs to skip the counter entirely. They can appear pricier at first, but often once coupons and discount codes are taken into account, they can very competitive with the discount brands, but of course each situation is different.
There are gotchas around every corner, and, as expected, there are fewer of them for the renters who aren't penny pinchers. For example, when I charge too much on my AAA Visa card, they send me a $50 certificate which, among other things, can be exchanged for a $75 Hertz voucher. But when using those vouchers, although I can get the AAA discount rate, I can't use an AAA promotional discount ("$50 off for a weekly rate" for example). Also, my Gold reservation turns to lead as I have to stop at the counter and give them the voucher before picking up my car. I can still use the Gold counter if there's one, but they have to find a car for me rather than having one ready to go in the lot. But, of course, when someone else was paying my travel expenses, I booked at the corporate rate, went right to my car, and drove away a happy boy.

Budget (which is owned by Avis) follows a close second to the "Big 3" just mentioned and signing up for Budget FastBreak certainly helps to speed you on your way.
The last time I rented from Budget (and the first time in many years) I had a very bad experience, both picking up the car at LAX and dropping it off at LAS. I went with Budget for that trip because they had a significantly smaller penalty than other companies for dropping off the car at a different location than where it was rented. I had a FastBreak reservation, but had difficulty in finding an acceptable car at LAX, and when I returned the car at LAS, they looked it over with a fine tooth comb - it took them nearly 10 minutes before they found a tiny ding in the rear bumper, made me fill out an accident report, and eventually billed me $160 or so for a repair (which I'll bet they never did). I will not rent another car from Budget.

Fox and Sixt are off-site, so you need to take a second shuttle bus there, which can be quite inconvenient. Sixt tends to be better than Fox. Both can be very aggressive with rates.
Indeed I did find the lowest rate at Fox but since I eventually found just about the same rate from Thrifty, I decided to leave Fox on my "haven't used them yet" list.

I'm retired and sometimes have too much time on my hands. I can afford to fool around with this stuff, but it's really annoying. Thrifty went down by $2 since yesterday, but I think I'll wait until the next price drop before changing my reservation again.

Originally Posted by IAHtraveler
Sixt in LAS is DIRECTLY across the street from the LAS Rental Car facility. I was shocked at how close it was. Sure, there's a van to take you there, but why wait. The walk from the RCC to Sixt is shorter than the baggage claim->garage walk at most airports.
Have you had good results with Sixt in LAS? They show you interesting cars and sometimes the rate is good, but this is one of the companies for which I saw several complaints that they didn't have the car, or even the class of car, that was reserved.

I wondered about walking there from the rental car center since indeed it looked close enough. I thought that perhaps there was no safe walkable path.
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Old Mar 21, 16, 8:18 am
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I'm so sick of the shuttle bus and the queues in the rental car center that I now get a taxi from the airport to my hotel and get a car from the rental desk in the hotel. It is far more convenient for me to do this. I used Hertz at the Palms and the Wynn earlier this month for short term rentals and the service was perfect. The rates were the same as the airport and I got the class I booked.

Even if I wasn't staying at a hotel on the strip, I'd be tempted to reserve a car at somewhere close to the airport, like Mandalay Bay or Excalibur or somewhere and come straight out of the baggage hall into a taxi, pick up my car at the hotel and drive off......
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Old Mar 22, 16, 7:50 am
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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers View Post
Have you had good results with Sixt in LAS? They show you interesting cars and sometimes the rate is good, but this is one of the companies for which I saw several complaints that they didn't have the car, or even the class of car, that was reserved.

I wondered about walking there from the rental car center since indeed it looked close enough. I thought that perhaps there was no safe walkable path.
Walking there shouldn't be an issue. There's a (maybe 4 lane) road in between, but it's not typically too busy. If it is busy, just walk up to the light & cross.

I've never rented from Sixt so I can't comment on service/cars. However, when I was at the gas station, I saw a TON of very nice cars (Audis, BMWs, Mercedes, etc) and wondered why they were all in the gas station lot. Then I realized that they were the Sixt cars sharing the same lot. The week I was there: Avis lot was nearly depleted and Sixt was full, for what it's worth.


Originally Posted by fourspoons View Post
I'm so sick of the shuttle bus and the queues in the rental car center that I now get a taxi from the airport to my hotel and get a car from the rental desk in the hotel. It is far more convenient for me to do this. I used Hertz at the Palms and the Wynn earlier this month for short term rentals and the service was perfect. The rates were the same as the airport and I got the class I booked.
And hopefully you saved some of the crazy airport fees/taxes by renting off-airport!
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Old Mar 23, 16, 9:23 pm
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I had given some thought to an in-town location, but unfortunately none are sufficiently convenient to where I'm staying. Hertz had an office at the Hard Rock which is right across the street from my hotel, but apparently it's been closed permanently, and when they were open, they weren't open in the evening, which would be when I'd want to pick up the car. Dollar has a location about 10 minutes walk from my hotel, but they're only open from 8 AM to 5 PM which wouldn't work for me.

I did take a look at the non-airport rates for the Dollar location. For the same period (8 days) it would save me about $30 over the best rate I found at Thrifty at the airport. The saving isn't worth the inconvenience, though.
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