4 Days + 4-5 Hours

 
Old Feb 11, 09, 5:05 pm
  #1  
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4 Days + 4-5 Hours

Does anyone know what Thrifty's policy is for renting a car for 4 1/2 days? My flights are scheduled as such that I will need a car for 4 days and then 4 to 5 hours. When I called Thrifty and asked, the girl I talked to said that I'd get charged a week, which is more than double the 4 day rate. When I called a different rental company, the guy told me to reserve it for four days (not add on the extra hours), and then bring it back late. He told me I would only get charged the daily rate for an extra day. Would Thrifty do the same for me or would I get a stuck with a weekly charge when I take the car back?
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Old Feb 11, 09, 5:18 pm
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Originally Posted by jengrad View Post
Does anyone know what Thrifty's policy is for renting a car for 4 1/2 days? My flights are scheduled as such that I will need a car for 4 days and then 4 to 5 hours. When I called Thrifty and asked, the girl I talked to said that I'd get charged a week, which is more than double the 4 day rate. When I called a different rental company, the guy told me to reserve it for four days (not add on the extra hours), and then bring it back late. He told me I would only get charged the daily rate for an extra day. Would Thrifty do the same for me or would I get a stuck with a weekly charge when I take the car back?
Hi Jengrad, welcome to FlyerTalk! Some rental companies click over to a weekly rate after 99 hours. Thrifty typically calculates the weekly rate as being 5.5 times the daily (or 6x on some corporate accounts). I would go online and price it out for the time you need it, and see what the computer does. If it gives you a weekly rate, it means that 5x the daily rate would've been more expensive (e.g. 5 x $40/day vs. $185/week). The other alternative is to book 4 days and then call them to ask casually what the overtime charge is. Usually it should be no more than your rate you're booked at, but watch out if you manage to get something like a weekend rate.

Best of luck!
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Old Feb 12, 09, 5:42 am
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Another welcome to FT!

As Tuneman1984 indicated, it depends on how the rate plan that you get assigned when you book the reservation is set up. And the rate plan that you get is determined both by the times and dates you put in as well as manual or automatic yield calculations. Perhaps the location is forecasting being short on cars for that last day, causing your rate to go up if you push the drop-off time back.

However, once the Thrifty location receives a given rate plan from the reservations system, it's more or less immutable regardless of actual vehicle availability forecasts (though some corporate locations are reportedly charging an extra fee for early and late returns on top of the actual rate). So the workaround is to book for a shorter time, avoiding the sold-out conditions but then keeping the car through them at the lower rate. As Tuneman said, what you will end up being charged will depend on how the rate is set up in the system.

If you are given a rate plan with just a daily rate, then you will be charged that daily rate every day for as many days as you rent the car, whether it's 1, 3, 6, 7, or 21. If you are given a rate plan with a daily and a weekly rate, the location's system will charge you the lesser of the daily rate times x days or the weekly rate for the actual number of days used, so even if on your given rate plan the weekly rate is higher than the daily rate times six or whatever (though I've never seen that happen), the location's computer system will only charge you for x number of days since it would be cheaper. If you are given a weekend rate, typically the weekend days will be at one rate and any extra days will be at a higher weekday rate, but there will not (as far as I've ever seen) be a fallback weekly rate code loaded in.

Unfortunately, it's not always easy to tell from your reservation whether your given rate plan includes a weekly rate, though it's a good bet that if it doesn't specify one or specify a different rate for any "extra days," you'll just be charged your daily rate for any extra days. If you call the location directly after booking (give the system a couple hours to download the reservation into the local system), they should be able to tell you exactly what they see for daily and weekly rates.

As Tuneman said, Thrifty weekly rates are usually (but not always) 5.5 times the daily rate.
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Old Feb 12, 09, 12:14 pm
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Thank you for your insights! I'm still a little nervous about it since it quotes me at 4 days @ $16/day for a compact car. When I change it to the more accurate times, it jumps to a week quote of $175/wk, which is more than twice what 5 x the daily rate is.
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Old Feb 12, 09, 2:33 pm
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Originally Posted by jengrad View Post
Thank you for your insights! I'm still a little nervous about it since it quotes me at 4 days @ $16/day for a compact car. When I change it to the more accurate times, it jumps to a week quote of $175/wk, which is more than twice what 5 x the daily rate is.
It sounds like you're on a weekend rate plan. Weekend rates are low to snare in lots of leisure travellers, whereas during the week it's higher for the business travellers who write-off their expenses anyways. My recommendation would be to book it for 4 days end-to-end and then call to ask what happens if it's kept later. My guess is it would be an extra day charge somewhere in the $45-50 range. Still cheaper than paying the weekend rate.

In general, I always try to avoid using part of a day, either by picking up the car a little bit later at the airport and/or getting there ahead of time. It's not always possible, but if you could squeeze an hour on either end of the itinerary (easily by going for a bite to eat at the airport) then you could cut yourself down to an hourly rate for just a couple of hours overtime.
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Old Feb 13, 09, 12:27 am
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Originally Posted by Tuneman1984 View Post
then you could cut yourself down to an hourly rate for just a couple of hours overtime.
Note that the hourly rate would be the full daily rate of the non-weekend day divided by 3. So two hours is 2/3 of the weekday's daily rate. Not a lot of savings.

Most locations (but not all) have a 59-minute grace period (though a press release was issued by DTAG recently that corporate locations will no longer offer a grace period at all!), so you can take that into consideration.

Also, since agents usually work on a commission system, you can attempt to bribe them: say you'll buy a tank of prepaid gas if they can bump your pickup time back a bit or, if they'll be working the day of your return, can backdate your return time. The savings actually could pay for a good portion (or all!) of the tank of gas...but that may backfire if the manager suspects the employee of gaming the system to pay for a value-added option to line their own pockets, so they may not want to do that for you.

That's how I usually get the underage fee waived, though!
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Old Mar 3, 09, 8:39 am
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I decided to take my chances and reserved the vehicle for 4 days. I had the car for 4 days plus about 5 hours and they did only charge me the daily rate x 5, which ended up being less than half of the weekly rate, so I was really happy with how it turned out. Thanks again for your inputs!
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