Car rental options at PDX?
November 18, 2012 6:13 PM   Subscribe

How soon should I book a small car in advance for a 7-day trip to Oregon beginning Dec 1 in Portland?
posted by parmanparman to Travel & Transportation around Portland, OR (10 answers total)
posted by amaire at 6:35 PM on November 18, 2012 [2 favorites]

posted by J. Wilson at 6:36 PM on November 18, 2012 [2 favorites]

Book as early as you like. Most rental car reservations are not binding ( unless you prepay online ). You can also make a backup reservation. This blog has some interesting info on the rental car biz.

Check with you auto insurer ( if you have one ) and the credit card company you use - they probably provide all the insurance you need.
posted by ecorrocio at 6:41 PM on November 18, 2012

Yep, now. And when you get there, ask if there are any specials you can take advantage of - the price they quote you isn't binding and helpful agents have giving me a deal more than once.
posted by something something at 6:45 PM on November 18, 2012

Now is already late (not too late, but do it right away).

Also, you probably won't get a small car unless you're a member of a frequent-customers club; with high (for the US) gas prices, the non-VIP reserver usually gets stuck with a midsized sedan because the VIP club members snap up all the compact and economy cars.
posted by Sidhedevil at 6:49 PM on November 18, 2012

When I was in PDX last I did an online rental thru Budget, and in reality, the kind of car I asked for online vs what was available seemed to be totally unrelated to reality. I'd asked for some kind of reasonably regular car, and of course they were all takend when I got there - but I got a fancy car for nothing more per day ( I guess I needed nothing special, and everyone else in line seemed to have 1,000 different requirements. YMMV.).
posted by Medieval Maven at 6:55 PM on November 18, 2012 [1 favorite]

Book early. My experience with car rental is that if you make a booking in advance you generally get a good upgrade at no charge (this has happened every time for me).

If you book a basic car in advance, the rental company will hold your booking, but the walk ins on the day tend to want the low end cars not the expensive SUV's or sports cars so the company gives the basic cars up which leaves you with a free upgrade.
posted by mule at 8:12 PM on November 18, 2012

Yes, the "free upgrade" policies really stymie people who want a car that's more fuel-efficient or just smaller. It's frustrating.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:55 PM on November 18, 2012

Thanks everyone! I found a toyota camry rental for $159 a week.
posted by parmanparman at 5:25 AM on November 19, 2012

Rates constantly change. Since you are not locked into anything, book now but keep checking back for a better deal if you have time.
posted by Dansaman at 4:03 PM on November 19, 2012

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