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Need one-way rental and cars all sold out. Am I out of luck?

Need one-way rental and cars all sold out. Am I out of luck?

Old Nov 6, 18, 11:07 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 92
Need one-way rental and cars all sold out. Am I out of luck?

Had a really difficult time getting a rental for a work trip to ELP. All rental car agencies in the whole city were showing as sold out. Managed to pick one up from the airport as a walk-up, but now my work has told me I need to drive to TUS and fly out from there. I'm hitting the same issue though - all rental car companies are telling me their cars are sold out so & that I can't book this as a one-way rental or else I'll be charged $1k.

I'll try again in the morning and see if I get lucky, but I need to head out mid-day tomorrow at the latest.

My questions are - Are there any tricks or tips to getting a rental even if they say they are sold out? Are there any rental car companies that are better for last-minute one-way rentals? Or are more lenient with their one-way drop off charges? Is it better to try to get a one-way from an airport location or local office? When is the best time of day to check out if there are cancellations or cars that become available?

If I have to, I'll just suck it up and drive the 5hrs back to drop off the car, but am hoping to avoid it. (All locations within commuting distance of ELP are also sold out right now.)

I don't have any frequent renter status at any of the rental car companies (I do belong to their loyalty programs). But I am very nice and polite.
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Old Nov 6, 18, 12:26 pm
  #2  
Company Representative - Autoslash
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: New York, NY
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Yes, we have a solution for you. You need to make it at least a 5-day and 3-hour rental which puts you on the weekly rate plan instead of daily. Use the link below to get a discounted rate quote. You should be able to get it down to $315 or less depending on memberships and affiliations.
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Old Nov 6, 18, 7:39 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New York suburbs
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But how long does the OP really need the car? If the car is returned early, and thus no longer meets the rate conditions, there could be some serious penalties.
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Old Nov 7, 18, 11:07 am
  #4  
Company Representative - Autoslash
 
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Originally Posted by Auto Enthusiast View Post
But how long does the OP really need the car? If the car is returned early, and thus no longer meets the rate conditions, there could be some serious penalties.
Yes, full disclosure, returning early could potentially cause issues with the original rate plan (which would be a weekly rate plan), but in our experience, this generally doesn't trigger a super-high penalty. While we can't guarantee the actual price when returning early, in our experience, the price could just as easily be lower than the originally quoted rate as it could be higher. There is a certain element of uncertainty here, but given the other options which are all crappy, it seems to be worth taking a chance here, at least in our opinion.
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Old Nov 7, 18, 12:13 pm
  #5  
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I would simply collect the options and call or email your employer and ask which one is the approach the employer prefers.

For what it's worth, Option A for me would be to fly. Not exactly the best routings in the world, but a lot nicer and a lot cheaper than the drive.
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Old Nov 7, 18, 4:50 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
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Some stations at ELP might be independent licensees that don't like one-ways. I think National at least is. That could be a contributing factor to reduced baseline availability and higher prices for the fewer agencies that are corporate.
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Old Nov 7, 18, 6:47 pm
  #7  
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Join Date: Jul 2018
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Solved

Well I successfully made it to Arizona in my one-way rental. Thought Iíd offer an update for those who may need to do something similar in the future.

A small bit of background- I was told by a Budget agent that rental car availability gets tight in November in El Paso. He mentioned thanksgiving. Seems fishy as itís still pretty early in the month and everyone I talked in ELP was shocked that there were no rental cars available to book.

I took the advice of Autoslash and looked at weekly rentals and that opened up more availability. (Unfortunately Autoslash search didnít turn up anything other than a Priceline link that then told me there was no availability, so I wasnít able to book through Autoslash - but I do have a separate rental coming up on Saturday booked via Autoslash!)

The cheapest one-way weekly rental was Alamo. I booked it online and was actually able to adjust the dates at the counter to pay only for 2 days rather than a week. The counter agent assured me that I would face no other charges/drop fees/penalties so Iím hoping thatís actually true. The rate was $53/day before taxes and fees which seemed decent for a one-way rental for 2 days.

Iím pretty ecstatic about not having to drive back the 5+ hours to ELP. Flying was out as the flights were connecting through Phoenix or LAX.
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Old Nov 7, 18, 6:52 pm
  #8  
Company Representative - Autoslash
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Awesome, glad it worked out! Next time if you have an issue with the rate or availability, just reply to our quote email a bad one of our super-experienced team will get things worked out for you. It sounds like it ended up just fine and happy to have saved you money on your next rental. Safe travels!
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