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Saving on your American Car hire

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Murphy_The_CatMurphy_The_Cat Forumite
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This idea will only be suitable for people travelling with smaller children, and does include a bit of faffing around, but the savings can be considerable.

This is my own situation. The Cat family (Daddy Cat, Mummy Cat, MTK1 aged 4, & MTK2 aged1) are off to America later in the year and we're hiring a car for 22 days. On the online booking form, they ask for any child seat requirements and they will charge us $7 per day, plus tax, per seat, which is $308 + tax for the trip.

To get around this, we're taking MTK2's own car seat with us for her to fly in and for use in the car, and for MTK, we're going to buy a booster seat from the nearest Walmart (check walmarts store locater for closest to your arrival airport before departing). So, whilst one of you is in the Car Hire lounge plugging through the paperwork (can take ages) the other one hotfoots it in a taxi to the closest Walmart to pick up a car booster.

& the size of the saving ?
Walmart booster seats cost from $13.57 + tax upwards, plus your taxi fare to get it (or, if you are prepared to take the chance, drive direct to the Walmart and save the taxi fare).

So for us, its either $308 + tax to Mr DollarAlamoHertz, or $13.57 to Mr Walmart (or $19.98 for a high backed booster).
hmmm, descisions, descisions.

use it for the duration of your holiday and then leave it in the car when you're done.

bish bosh.

blackcat.gif


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Replies

  • eslickeslick Forumite
    2.1K posts
    just a watchout on this we thought about this last year for our two little one similar age as yours. You need a car seat to leave the car rental place, one company said they wouldnt let us leave without the seats. Its also against the law to travel with a baby in a car in most states without a seat so you would need to go to walmart and then back to pick two of you up. (sorry hadnt read the part about a taxi)

    Also check with the airline and ask for the width of the seats, we were told by KLM that our 18mth olds Britax seat would fix but it wouldnt have.

    In the end we put in our 4yr olds high back boster in a case took that on part of our luggage allowance (you will be supprised how light they are) and hired one for the 18mth old. Car seat hire can cost as little as $5 with Budget and Avis, we book through fifteen02.com and they are the cheapest we can find and have a free upgraded with Budget/Avis
  • Nordictat2Nordictat2 Forumite
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    Eslick....that's why Murphy mentioned the taxi fare...to the nearest Wal-Mart you would take a taxi to pick up the booster seat ;)
    :D *If you like the advice I give...let me know by clicking the THANKS button* :D
  • Murphy_The_CatMurphy_The_Cat Forumite
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    Nordictat2 wrote: »
    Eslick....that's why Murphy mentioned the taxi fare...to the nearest Wal-Mart you would take a taxi to pick up the booster seat ;)

    But its a point thats worth mentioning again.

    Depending on you arrival airport/time of arrival/speed of car check in people, you can be kept hanging around for a wee while anyway - so utilise it to save a few $$$$$
    eslick wrote:
    Also check with the airline and ask for the width of the seats, we were told by KLM that our 18mth olds Britax seat would fix but it wouldnt have.

    In the end we put in our 4yr olds high back boster in a case took that on part of our luggage allowance (you will be supprised how light they are) and hired one for the 18mth old. Car seat hire can cost as little as $5 with Budget and Avis, we book through fifteen02.com and they are the cheapest we can find and have a free upgraded with Budget/Avis

    a good point about check with the airline, but one that should be completely unneseccary ! If it helps anyone, the Britax Duo Plus Isofix seat fits a AA Boeing 767 & a AA MD80/83 without any problems at all. So, our 18 month old is covered. Given the length of time that we are away for, taking MTK1's full size car seat with us is a complete non-starter.

    Our arrival airport is Las Vegas, where we are going to be car free for the first couple of days. On our checkout day, whilst Mrs Cat is packing, I'm going to collect the car, detour via a walmart enroute back to the hotel , buy the seat and return to pick up the rest of the folks.

    There is a touch of faffing involved, but for $300, IMO, its worth it.

    blackcat.gif


  • eslickeslick Forumite
    2.1K posts
    Nordictat2 wrote: »
    Eslick....that's why Murphy mentioned the taxi fare...to the nearest Wal-Mart you would take a taxi to pick up the booster seat ;)

    I reread the message and then saw the part about the taxi, edited but it mustnt have been quick enought.

    was doing two things at once and as a a typical man cant do two things at once. Totally agree with the saving its a disgrace how much they charge for the hire.

    One point to note the companies have a max amount they charge just checked avis/budget $9 per day is max $45 a week, $60 per month, when we went last year it was cheaper. Tried to find the details on the other sites and cant see it, it used to be on Dollar and if I remember correctly I needed to email alamo to get their price before we decided which one was the most cost effiective.

    http://www.avis.com/AvisSearch/SearchMain.jsp search term infant seat

    Not an issue if you get just a boster but if anyone is getting anything else the seat may not fit the car, similar to those in the UK
  • Murphy_The_CatMurphy_The_Cat Forumite
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    eslick wrote: »
    I reread the message and then saw the part about the taxi, edited but it mustnt have been quick enought. no worries :beer:

    One point to note the companies have a max amount they charge just checked avis/budget $9 per day is max $45 a week, $60 per month, when we went last year it was cheaper. Tried to find the details on the other sites and cant see it, it used to be on Dollar

    Not an issue if you get just a boster but if anyone is getting anything else the seat may not fit the car, similar to those in the UK

    I've just had a quick look on Dollar and couldn't find a mention - so I emailed my UK car hire broker and they said that Dollar will charge for each day of the rental :eek:

    blackcat.gif


  • lily_the_pinklily_the_pink Forumite
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    Does anyone know if none-high backed booster seats are ok in Florida for a five year old.

    I was planning on taking our spare seat which is a simple booster with no back - I can find websites stating the law but nothing on the type of seats that are necessary to comply with it. We arrive on Christmas day so searching for a walmart is not going to be an option :p .
  • Murphy_The_CatMurphy_The_Cat Forumite
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    Does anyone know if none-high backed booster seats are ok in Florida for a five year old.

    I was planning on taking our spare seat which is a simple booster with no back - I can find websites stating the law but nothing on the type of seats that are necessary to comply with it. .

    By this, you should be OK, with a backless booster seat.

    blackcat.gif


  • could i add that if you are travelling with a scheduled airline you would easily be able to accommodate a booster cushion within the generous luggage allowance ....the test would be whether you could fit a car seat in a bag that comes in under the allowance...this all applicable to the States..what do you think ?
  • Murphy_The_CatMurphy_The_Cat Forumite
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    could i add that if you are travelling with a scheduled airline you would easily be able to accommodate a booster cushion within the generous luggage allowance ...

    With your child paying for a seat - absolutely.

    But for the return trip, when you've taken advantage of the excellant $/£ exchange rate (being careful of course not to exceed the £145 per person duty free limit :beer:), hmmm...........................

    blackcat.gif


  • eslickeslick Forumite
    2.1K posts
    Maximum charges for the big rentals

    Alamo charge [URL="javascript:openChargeItemHelp('ADI', 'CSI')"]Infant Seat ($9.99/Day; $49.95/Max Amt)[/URL]
    Avis / Budget $9 per day is max $45 a week, $60 per month
    Dollar isnt on their website, we are planning to go again in Sept so I have emailed to ask their costs to compare will add it to the post once they respond.

    some info on child car seats on planes for anyone who doesnt have the seat mentioned below, our britax first class was far to large for the seat even though when I asked KLM for the sizes they said it would fit.
    Acceptable Seats:
    • The car seat must be designed to be secured by means of a normal aircraft single lap strap and face the same direction as the passenger seat on which it will rest. The UK CAA requirements differ from the FAA requirements which allow rearward facing car seats. The CAA does not permit rearward facing car seats.
    • The seat must be a purpose-designed children's car seat with a 5-point restraining harness and must not exceed the dimensions of the aircraft seat.
    When we went last year we used a holdall type bag with wheel, £10 from tesco loads of space for high back booster and cloths and because we were scheduled and paid for 4 seats we had lots of space for all of the purchases.
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