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New Report: Holiday 2011 Rental Car Rates Up

Summary of a new report showing significantly higher 2011 holiday rental car rates. The report compares 2010 and 2011 holiday rental car rates for popular U.S. destinations. A separate summarizes a new survey of major rental car search sites for rates during the upcoming holiday period. The study used numerous popular holiday itineraries to determine which search site found the lowest rates.

Boston, MA, September 24, 2011 --( Despite largely holding at 2010 levels through August of this year, rental car prices for many popular Thanksgiving and Christmas destinations are significantly higher than in the same period of 2010. This is according to the recently released Holiday 2011 Rental Car Report from Rental Car Magic.

The report looked at 10 identical holiday itineraries priced in September of 2010 and again in September of 2011. The Thanksgiving destinations included Fort Meyers, San Francisco, Phoenix, Maui and Portland, Oregon. Christmas destinations included Seattle, Jackson Hole, Orlando, Tampa and New York City. With the exception of Phoenix, all of the itineraries were priced higher this year than last. The Seattle and Portland, Oregon rates were almost double last year's rates. Fort Meyers, Maui and San Francisco showed slight to moderate increases, while the remaining cities had rate increases of several hundred dollars.

The Portland, Oregon itinerary was for a Fullsize rental, from 12/23 through 12/28. In September of 2010, Alamo's total price (including taxes, fees, etc.) for this rental was $291. In September of 2011, Alamo's quote was $497. Similarly, a Premium vehicle rental in Seattle for 12/28 through 1/1 was priced by Thrifty at $447 in 2010 and $704 in 2011. Phoenix, on the other hand, showed the only decrease among the selected cities. For a Fullsize rental from 11/20 through 11/28, Alamo's price in 2010 was $514 and in 2011 it was $376. In general, Florida holiday rentals appear to be significantly higher this year. The full report is available at Rental Car Magic's website.

A separate, but related survey of travel search sites for popular holiday itineraries offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of rental car pricing and the ability to find significantly discounted rates on-line. The study, conducted in mid-September, looked at four web based search companies rate quotes for identical U.S. airport rentals during the upcoming holiday period. The search sites surveyed included Travelocity, Orbitz, Rental Car Magic and AutoSlash. Each company's website was queried for the same ten holiday itineraries in Orlando and Fort Meyers, Florida; Honolulu, Hawaii; Denver, Colorado; San Francisco, California; Boston, Massachusetts, and New York City. With the exception of the New York City search result, the study revealed a dramatic range of results for all of the holiday itineraries.

Of the ten itineraries examined, Rental Car Magic found the lowest price for eight of them, often beating the second lowest search service by hundreds of dollars. For example, the survey searched all of the sites for a fullsize vehicle rental at Fort Myers, Florida from 12/17/2011 to 12/24/2011. Rental Car Magic found a total price (including all fees, taxes, etc) from Dollar of $260.64. None of the other search services quoted anything less than $917.

In another example, the survey looked at a midsize SUV rental in Denver over the Thanksgiving period (11/22-11/27). Rental Car Magic found an Avis total price of $212.08. Travelocity found the second lowest price at Thrifty for $1,138. The remaining surveyed itineraries showed similar results, with the exception of the New York City search. In that case, all four search services found very similar rates.

"Our search results speak for themselves," said Steven Ellis, President of Rental Car Magic. "Our search experts customize each search to best match the renter with available discounts and promotions."

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Rental Car Magic
Steven Ellis

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