Don’t believe everything you see
Comparison shopping is an important part of any vacation planning process. Whether you’re torn between two hotels or determined to find the most affordable car rental price, comparison shopping is the easiest way to assess your options and make an educated decision.
Or at least, it should be.
When it comes to comparing car rental rates, especially online, you need to be careful. Looks can be deceiving and prices can often be problematic. If it looks too good to be true, that might just be the case.
The Secret Major Rental Companies Don’t Want You to Know
Have you ever been hooked by a car rental company advertising an unbelievable daily rate? It’s ok; you’re not alone! Major car rental companies are famous for promoting bargain basement daily rates in order to drum up business. There’s just one small problem: these rates are rarely all-inclusive. Major car rental companies can’t provide all-inclusive pricing because they’re focused on presenting and promoting the lowest possible price. It’s the old “bait and switch” technique, and it’s one that’s costing California rental car travelers hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.
Hidden Fees and California Rental Car Frustrations
What you see isn’t always what you get when looking at California rental car rates online. Even though some major rental agencies advertise their rates as “all-inclusive” that’s not always the truth. While they might include taxes in their quote, many car rental companies will conveniently leave out other fees, like facility charges, mileage allowances, and insurance coverage, in order to keep the quoted price as low as possible.
So even though you reserved your California rental car for a steal online, you’re only looking at a portion of the fee you’ll ultimately have to pay. Once you arrive at the rental counter, get ready for the up-sell experience.
Coercion at the Counter
The car rental industry revolves around up-selling: the act of enticing customers into upgrading their original rental reservations through the addition of “extras”. It’s a time consuming practice, and one that takes advantage of customers who might be too tired from their travels to question any additional fees or surcharges.
Consider the following situation:
You’re in the process of planning a trip to San Francisco. You’ve got a tight budget, so you’re determined to find a California rental car that’s reasonably priced. You search a number of websites, pulling up what you assume are “all-inclusive” quotes. After a bit of research, you decide to lock in what appears to be a great rate with a major national chain. You reserve the vehicle using your credit card and pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
When you arrive at the rental counter, you expect to grab your keys and go. You’re tired after a long flight and there’s a long line up behind you at the counter. As the agent pulls up your reservation, he or she notes that you don’t have any insurance coverage included in your rental. This catches you off guard – you don’t want to drive a vehicle without any coverage, what if you were to get into an accident? You agree to add the additional coverage to your rental without thinking twice. This song and dance continues for a good five or ten minutes as the rental agent suggests a variety of other extras to add to your rental; by the time you receive your final bill, you’re exhausted. What’s more, your final charge is twice that of the original price quote you were anticipating! Your budget is completely blown and you’re vacation is off to a terrible start.
Now, consider this rental scenario with SuperCheap:
While searching for a low California rental car rate, you stumble upon the SuperCheap website and notice our all-inclusive price guarantee. When comparing prices with our competitors, you notice that our rates are slightly higher. On closer inspection, you notice this is because our price quotes include unlimited mileage, basic and collision insurance, taxes, and facility fees up front. Happy with this convenient feature, you book your rental using our online reservation system.
When you arrive at our rental counter you’re greeted with a smile rather than a barrage of sales speak. There’s no up-sell, because there’s nothing left to sell you – your rental agreement already includes all of the necessities. In and out in just a few minutes, you’re favorable experience with SuperCheap sets the tone for the rest of your vacation.
Which scenario would you prefer?
Enjoy honest, upfront pricing when you book your next California rental car. Contact SuperCheap today to learn more about our all-inclusive pricing pricing promise.