When All-Inclusive Isn’t A Good Deal

Horror stories from another “all-inclusive” California car rental company

So, you’re looking to save money on your upcoming California vacation. After weeks of researching various accommodation and travel options, you’ve come to the conclusion that all-inclusive is the most affordable option. Booking a holiday can be a tiresome task, after all. Between arranging flights, organizing accommodations and budgeting for food and travel, coordinating quality time away can be an exhausting undertaking.

The convenience of all-inclusive holiday bookings, whether it be a cruise, a vacation resort, or a car rental, simply makes sense. Plan your booking, submit the request, and voilà – you’re presented with a firm and final price. Confirm your reservation and you can forget your cash back at the hotel – all of your costs were covered when you placed your payment online.

Except when that’s not the case. 

When it comes to booking an “all-inclusive” car rental, it pays to be careful There are many California car rental companies that advertise an “all-inclusive” rate, only to slap you with unexpected charges when you arrive at the rental desk.

The following is a true story of an “all-inclusive” rental rip-off. Please note, we’ve changed the names of the clients to protect their privacy. The pricing, on the other hand, has been left completely unaltered.

The Trip

George McKay contacted one of our SuperCheap Car Rental offices back in May of this year inquiring about a long-term California car rental for his wife’s sister-in-law, Margaret, who would be visiting from New Zealand with her family. The family was scheduled arrive at LAX airport on Sunday, May 20th at 10 a.m. Margaret would be in California for 49 days with her two young children and her husband, Allan.

The Drivers

Avid travelers, Allan and Margaret were familiar with American driving practices and defensive driving techniques. Both had spotless driving records and were fully licenced. In fact, Allan owned a company in New Zealand that, among other things, taught drivers emergency driving maneuvers and skills.

The “All-Inclusive” Price Quotes

While searching for rates, George came across the following price quotes on a competitors website:

  • Chevy Malibu (Full Size) for $1,148.93 total; $23.45 per day (including taxes/fees).
  • Hyundai Elantra (Intermediate) for $1,084.74 total; $22.14 per day (including taxes/fees).

At first glance, either one of these rentals looked like a great deal to George. He forwarded the quotes along to his wife’s sister, noting that both were “all-inclusive” prices (as such, he believed there would be no possibility of additional charges once the reservation was made). Little did George know, this “all-inclusive” price didn’t cover any insurance premiums. Since Margaret didn’t have an American driver’s license, she would need to purchase collision and liability coverage in order to be able to drive the rental during her visit.

Surprise, surprise, the price quote didn’t account for this.

The True California Car Rental Cost

Skeptical, Allan asked George to contact SuperCheap’s California car rental customer service office for a second opinion. What he learned nearly knocked him off his feet. According to our calculations, our competitors “all-inclusive” price was off by nearly $21 a day. Had Margaret and her family booked the advertised “all-inclusive” rental rate from our competitor’s website, they would have been hit with an staggering $1,029 in additional fees and coverage charges.

SuperCheap’s All-Inclusive Offer

Rather than send Margaret and her family down this expensive rental road, our customer service department suggested our unlimited mileage Travel Car option. The price quote for this vehicle was as follows:

  • Toyota Corolla / or Hyundia Elantra (Intermediate) for $1,792.00 total; $36.57 per day
    • The pricing breakdown was $949 per month (4 weeks), $299 per week, and $49 per day.

Unlike our competitors quote, this price included:

  • All taxes
  • Collision coverage for damages over $400 to the rental vehicle
  • Liability coverage for damages to another vehicle or occupants of another car
  • Unlimited miles in two states (SuperCheap also offers more affordable City Car options for travelers who wish to stay within a specified geographical area).

The Moral of the Story

As convenient as all-inclusive pricing can be, it pays to be skeptical. Whenever you see an all-inclusive price quote on a California car rental website, be sure to read the small print closely. More often than not, there’s a catch noting an unnamed fee or charge. Before you book, call and ask the rental rep to explain exactly what your all-inclusive rate includes. If it doesn’t include the taxes, insurance, and unlimited mileage, you could be in for trouble… and an expensive rental charge.

Why risk being hit with an unexpected fee? Check out SuperCheap’s website today for guaranteed all-inclusive pricing. Our prices include everything, every time! That’s the SuperCheap promise.