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Old 07-18-2008, 11:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Help me convince GF to pay $150 more to rent a Prius

Hey all,
Doing a trip around Labor Day where we fly to SEA on free Southwest tickets, then drive up to Vancouver and stay at a hotel there. I'm looking at rental discounts through Costco, and it looks like for a 4-day rental a Chevy Aveo from Alamo would be the cheapest at a base of $100 for the period, where a Prius from Hertz would be about $250 for the period. I've figured out a few things:

1. Prius will probably double the mileage of the Aveo, and save about $30 figuring $4.50 gas - we plan to fill up with good old red white and blue gas before we cross the border and that should last us.

2. We'll save more if we drive more - 310 miles is just straight from SEA to Vancouver round trip.

3. Prius is roomier and has eco street cred. I've always wanted to drive one and try out some of the Prius-specific hypermiling techniques.

Anyone have any helpful arguments to convince her we should pay $60 more per person (or less, if we drive more and save more $ on gas) on the Prius? I might just spring for it myself (hopefully she doesn't read this ) but I could use a little convincing too.

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Old 07-18-2008, 11:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I wouldn't. Sry. I'm just not that hardcore about this stuff. I do this to save money, not the planet.
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Old 07-18-2008, 11:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Eh, spend the money on a scangauge and you'll end up saving a whole lot more gas.
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Old 07-18-2008, 11:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I would get the cheaper car. You aren't going to drive enough to save $150 on gas. Though it would be cool to drive a Prius. Probably cheaper to ask someone you know who drives a Prius to let you try driving theirs.
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Old 07-18-2008, 12:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If I were in your situation, I would just drive what my girlfriend wants and I'd just HM the heck out of whatever I was driving with that SGII (assuming you have one). Not sure which version of the Aveo you're looking at (hatch vs sedan) or the Prius (std, base, touring).

But I'm not sure if the Prius is really that much roomier than the Aveo in terms of cargo or personal comfort. Looking at the specs there isn't that much of a difference (thought Prius is bigger in nearly all inner dimensions except height) -- if you're tall you might not like either car.
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Old 07-18-2008, 12:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Don't waste too much time planning this stuff out because you might not get the car you reserved. I've flown 8 times in the past year for my job to give/receive training. Each time the corporate travel office reserves the cheapest car at the cheapest rate they can find. Not once have I gotten the car that was reserved for me and was "upgraded" to a larger car. I've been upgraded to:

Ford Explorer
Jeep Liberty (2X)
Ford Taurus
Lincoln Town Car
Ford Crown Vic (2X)
Lincoln Navigator

I don't pay the bills for these trips so I don't really care, but if I was counting on a small car to save money on gas I'd be pissed big time.
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Old 07-18-2008, 12:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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^Very good point. I've ended up with a Magnum once. Yeah, I didn't know what to do with that much power.
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Old 07-18-2008, 02:12 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Probably stick with the subcompact

yeah, I'm starting to lean back toward the little Aveo, or whatever they stick me in. Overinflate the tires slightly just after I get it off the lot. I seemed to remember from reading about renting a Prius that they are pretty good about sticking you with that model, but the Aveo is probably the better bet - pocket the savings or use it to soothe the pain that comes from 15% sales tax.
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Old 07-18-2008, 02:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Go to each website for the rental agencies at SEA. The last time my Dad flew into BWI he found a city-specific rate at the Dollar website for $12/day!!!

He reserved a sub-compact and wound up in a Dodge Stratus.

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