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Tips And Tricks For Scoring The Best Priceline Rental Car Rate

August 14, 2009 at 10:24 AM | by | ()

Priceline is dicey for some things, good for others, and fantastic for a very few. There's an anti-Priceline argument to be made for airlines because flying is enough of a hassle without adding in unpredictability. Hotels are much better, since if you're flexible on location you can pretty much control everything else. Rental cars, however, are all the way at the great end of the "Priceline is awesome" spectrum, since car companies are functionally interchangeable and for the purposes of a short trip, a car is a car is a car.

Name-Your-Own-Price car rentals come with the usual Priceline disadvantages. As always, bids are non-refundable and changes are unavailable. Car rentals specifically also come with the caveat that you can't bid on one way trips.

That said, car rentals also come with the usual array of advantages. Just out of the box, you're likely to get 20%-30% off the discount price. You can push the price down even more by using the usual array of insider Priceline strategies.

As always, you should begin by using Travelocity and Hotwire to get a sense of price points. Especially with cars, you're going to have to hover just below the Hotwire price. Then check for successful bids on Better Bidding just in case there's something screwy going on in that market that you can take advantage of. Finally, remember to bid weeks in advance if you're renting at a peak time so you can slowly work your price upward after letting failed bids expire.

If you bid smartly, let alone avail yourself of the boards, you should be able to lock in the lowest available rate for the car you're looking for. But on the slim chance that doesn't happen, Priceline's Name Your Own Price price guarantee also applies to cars: if within 24 hours you find the same car at the same place going for a lower rate, they'll refund 100% of the difference and give you a $50 voucher.

[Photo: Priceline.com]

Related Stories:
· Priceline Coverage [Jaunted]
· Car Rentals Coverage [Jaunted]

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