Hotwire's pricing, like many online travel companies, is dynamic (read: fluctuating). By the time you read this, the starting price may well indeed be a little higher or lower, and it won't necessarily be the same as the Hotwire car-rental deal (www.hotwire.com) that we test-booked.
Rental prices are down by 5% in comparison to last year and as much as 15% in some larger markets such as San Francisco, Tampa, Boston and Orlando, according to Hotwire Group's President Clem Bason. "Business and travel demand is making a comeback, but not as quickly as many suppliers hoped," Bason says. "So, unlike last year, that means many car rental agencies actually have plenty of cars to rent -- and that means good deals on sites like Hotwire."
What's that mean for you? You'll have a wider selection of cars to rent at varying price points, plus you'll have more options to upgrade.
In case you've never used Hotwire before, here's a reminder: you don't find out the rental agency until you go through with the reservation. The company guarantees that you will rent from a nationally-known, major car rental agency and promises that you'll get the car as advertised (in terms of space and seating). Hotwire also guarantees the car class you select, but cannot promise the specific make or model -- it's all based on availability.
If you're willing to be flexible, you can take advantage of the deals and walk away with a rental for less.
Trip Type: Car Rental
What the Quoted Price Gets You: A mid-size car rental from Allentown, PA; and unlimited mileage
What Else You'll Have to Pay: rental car protection ($9 per day), which can be purchased through Hotwire. City and state taxes, along with any recovery fees and facility charges, will vary based on where you rent.
Book By: As soon as possible to ensure availability and low prices
When: Early December and onward; at press time, there was availability for a variety of dates -- Dec. 6, 9, 10, 13 -- and a number of different vehicle sizes (economy, compact, and mid-size cars).
Other Details: The mileage is unlimited most of the time, but read the details carefully for the car you choose.
Talk with fellow Frommer's travelers on our Car Rental Forum.