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Need car rental advice

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
A group of four of us will be going to Utah on Feb. 7th and staying through the 14th. We already booked (a month ago) a condo in Eden, near Snowbasin and Powder Mt (not refundable, otherwise we would be changing our plans). We will need to rent a car, but are not sure what kind of vehicle we will really need as this is our first trip to Utah. I know a 4WD SUV would be optimal, but we are really hoping to spend less than $450 not including insurance. So I guess my question is, for you Ogden locals out there, do you feel like you need 4WD to get up to Snowbasin and Powder Mt.? If we went with a "full size car" we could save over $200, which would be pretty helpful. My concerns about the car vs. the SUV are, 2WD vs 4WD and if the car will have enough room for 4 pairs of skis and all of our other gear.
I found a Dodge Charger at Thrifty for $250 total for the week, nice big car, plenty of room, but rear wheel drive.
Any thoughts or suggestions would be very much appreciated.
post #2 of 10
Thread Starter 
post #3 of 10
Sounds like you think an SUV would be best. Try Rugged Rental in SLC for a rental of an SUV. They should be able to rent you an SUV reasonably.

I don't think an SUV is required in UT because the snow tends to stay at higher elevations but the extra room is nice and both Powder Mtn and Snow Basin have steep access roads..
post #4 of 10
Get the SUV, with 4 people skiing, you will need the room for luggage and skis. We reserved an SUV this past trip and they "upgraded" us to a fully loaded Infiniti SUV. That was bogus. It was a car not an SUV. We wish we would have taken the Xterra because for 4 adults/1 child it was tight travelling, especially to Alta with our skiis in the back. As we didn't load them on the roof. IMO, spend the money or try hotwire or priceline.
post #5 of 10
I have been using priceline to rent cars lately. I have gotten some good deals. Just go to travelocity to find the lowest price, go the that rental companies website to verify the lowest price, then go to priceline and name a price 25% lower.

I rented a really nice chevy trailblazer (leather, XM radio, fully loaded) from Alamo using Priceline for $280/week, including taxes, using priceline. The cheapest price otherwise was $350.00
post #6 of 10
Good Information from others:
Be careful.....The car rental companies are very sneaky! If you know how they work you can do very well against thier published prices. I just rented an SUV in Denver for six days unlimited mileage $for 258 USF all taxes in, no insurance from Priceline.

Try this:

First use a credit card that covers Insurance on rentals. If it doesn't get one. They don't cost a dime more and in some cases you'll get the added bonus of reduced interest rates on your balance for changing banks! Check your personal car policy, alot have it build in, if not get a rider adding it. And last don't let the guy at the counter talk you into anything, (their good at it). Pay only what is on the confirmation!

(To get the cheapest rate you have to pay up front and eat the bullet if you can't go. It's a gamble. Work maybe..... but who misses ski trips?)
As stated in other post Priceline seems to be the best. Hotwire isn't bad either.

Get the cheapest pure weekly rental cost (no taxes etc) you can find from any company for a week. Divide it by 7 to give you a daily rate. Take 70% or 75% of that number and multiply it by the number of days you will actually need the car. (Don't put dates in for a week if you are only going to us the car for six days. Only for days you will use the car (SUV)
Enter this daily rate into the bid. Nine out of ten times you will be a winner.

Let me know how you make out!
post #7 of 10


forget the SUV.

I just got back from utah. No need at all for a high priced suv. Go cheap (compact...) and then take the uta ski bus if the canyon is closed because of snow.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the good posts. Believe it or not, the best I was able to find was $395 for an SUV. Tried priceline, did what was suggested, offered a little more than 75% of the lowest published price and my offer was not accepted. They countered with an offer that was about 95% of the lowest price I could find on the net (except hotwire). Oh well, it was worth a shot. The price of $395 was through hotwire and was about $50 or so less than most other sites. I've already spent way to much time on this so I just went ahead and went with hotwire.
Now I just hope were going to need to engage the 4WD to get up the mountain .
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Hey asland, I didn't see your post until after I booked the hotwire reservation. Thanks for your 2 cents though.
post #10 of 10
no problem. I saw that you were from hawaii after I psosted. The extra stability of 4wd on those roads will treat you well.
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