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Old 05-01-2008, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Sun Diego, CA
521 posts, read 1,492,005 times
Reputation: 325

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Im going on a 3 day trip in Utah to visit a couple of family members. I'll be renting a car throughout the time. I was wondering if there is a way I can find out the exact type of car I can rent from a car-rental-company.
If so, how?
Is there a website where customers review car rental companies based on their fleet?
Is it best to book my rental now? Or on the week of my visit?
Call the car rental company? Any suggestions?
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Old 05-01-2008, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Jollyville, TX
3,851 posts, read 9,447,257 times
Reputation: 4407
Some car rental companies have the fleet on their website, but I've found it varies greatly from location to location. It's best to call the location directly (not the 800 #). Ask them what types of cars they have in the class/size you are considering. I've never had them guarantee me a particular type of car, but at least you can get an idea of what your options are. It also depends on the location - if it's not a popular destination, their fleet may be very limited but they also might be more amenable to letting you reserve a particular type of car.

I'd book sooner than later just to have the peace of mind. You don't incur any costs until you actually pick up the car, so having the reservation in advance can only help.

Also, check to see if they have a preferred program (Avis has one called Avis Wizard). It's not like the airlines where you have to have miles to get a status. Just sighning up on their website gets you access. Sometimes that will get you better options as well.
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Old 05-01-2008, 06:22 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
39,553 posts, read 47,780,182 times
Reputation: 110432
Just call the rental cars 800 number and they'll tell you the cars they have at the destination you're going and you can choose/reserve the vehicle of your choice. Very simple procedure.
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Old 05-01-2008, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Jonquil City (aka Smyrna) Georgia- by Atlanta
16,248 posts, read 21,333,046 times
Reputation: 3587
Just cause you ask them for a car does not mean they will give you that car. I always ask for a Toyota Corolla (because I am familiar with it) and few times I get it.
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Old 05-02-2008, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Euless, TX
44 posts, read 101,476 times
Reputation: 30
Avis and Hertz both offer specialty vehicles where you can reserve a specific make/model, but those are generally more expensive than regular cars. So aside from that option, the short answer is no, you can't reserve a specific car. No rental company will guarantee you a certain model when you book the car, so the best thing to do is simply ask what is available when you arrive at the rental counter and choose from what they have on hand. Also, I don't recommend enlisting in a frequent renter program for just one rental. Those rentals are preprinted and you are "assigned" a car before you arrive, where as with a normal reservation you get a chance to talk with a counter agent and have them look up their ready line inventory on their computer. If there is a certain car you have in mind, many agents will make the effort to locate one on their lot if they can. I worked for a major rental company for several years and am very familiar with the policies and procedures they have in place, so I hope this helps.
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Old 05-02-2008, 08:02 PM
 
Location: Lakeland, Florida
6,973 posts, read 12,496,612 times
Reputation: 8734
I work for Avis Budget, the two companies have merged. There is really no way you will be guaranteed a specific car. There may be some leeway in a small city, but at a large airport it is next to impossible. Best thing to do is when you arrive at your destination, do as the above post mentioned, ask what cars are available. You can also at that time ask for a specific car and then if you are willing to wait abit many locations will try to get one ready for you. That is what most people do. Lets say someone wants to rent a camry and all we have ready is a Taurus or a Sonata. Many locations will just look in their stock for a Camry that is not rentable yet and put it thru the system and get it ready for a customer. I can tell you last year I flew to Jacksonville and booked thru priceline for a compact. All they had when I arrived was one vehicle a Ford explorer I had no choice but take it, even though I wanted something smaller and had a res for a compact. If you arrive at your destination late in the evening you will find there are slim pickings on what you get to rent. Even if you have a reservation for a small car and all they have left is a big SUV that is what you will be offered. The only consolation on that is you will still be charged the rate that a compact went for. Bad side is you have a big SUV you need to gas up.
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Old 05-03-2008, 08:19 AM
 
5,273 posts, read 12,425,646 times
Reputation: 5773
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevK View Post
Just cause you ask them for a car does not mean they will give you that car. I always ask for a Toyota Corolla (because I am familiar with it) and few times I get it.
Good advice. It's also a very reliable vehicle and gets good gas milage.

Also, the poster who stated that each local rental agency has different vehicles is correct. You have to call the specific erntal location and inquire. Also, be prepared to not get what you asked for and have a plan B. Especially now that gas is so very expensive. I hear that more and more they don't have the compact vehicle as promised, but will update you to a SUV at no charge, but you spend a fortune on gas.
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Old 05-03-2008, 08:10 PM
 
Location: Euless, TX
44 posts, read 101,476 times
Reputation: 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimrob1 View Post
You can also at that time ask for a specific car and then if you are willing to wait abit many locations will try to get one ready for you. That is what most people do. Lets say someone wants to rent a camry and all we have ready is a Taurus or a Sonata. Many locations will just look in their stock for a Camry that is not rentable yet and put it thru the system and get it ready for a customer.

That's a good point. Generally speaking, Avis RSAs will go above and beyond to find a specific vehicle for you. I've rented with them before and they often will try and dig up special requests somewhere. Other times I've had no luck. It just depends on who you get at the counter for the most part, but after renting from several different companies I found Avis is usually willing to help you get the make/model you're after.
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