Renting a Car in Florida

TRAVELLER’S USA NOTEBOOK’s parent company, Topquark, is dedicated to delight, edge and chaos...perhaps that’s why travelling feels like home to us.

And it is getting harder to believe in cosmic order these days, especially after seeing all the recent photographs coming down from the Hubble Space telescope, terrifying scenes of galaxies moshing and gobbling up little baby star systems.

No comforting cosmic order seems to be around when you’re shopping for a good rental car deal, either. Fortunately for tourists, there is nothing logical about the coo-coo, up and down, bobbling prices of car rentals from week to week.

So before setting out, we check out the odd, often delicious last-minute deals on plane tickets, hotels and car rentals at . Always go there first.

Skinny pickings? We often end up at Travelocity next, to get big lists of hotels, car rentals, plane tix, etc, and a full overview of what things are costing that week, at .

But Travelocity can let you down, big-time, if you book on the Internet, and you can still be stranded at the airport with no wheels available. And the big companies--- Avis, Hertz, National, Dollar, Payless, etc., even if they had a car for you, would cost you between up to $800 a week. That’s what happened to this reporter.

When I landed in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Holiday Rent A Car told me I could just go swivel..No cars available. They would not honour my reservation. No help, no referrals, ideas, nada. Spooky.

Fortunately, we crashed into a honey of a car company, with fantastic deals and warm-hearted, first-rate employees and the cheapest rates of all.

By luck I had brought my Travelocity page printout and I called their "vehicle provider", Continental RAC at 954 524 0054. And begged. A woman named Mildred sent the shuttle for me and managed to "squeeze out" one car. The staff are superbly caring...and I got a spiffing white whale of a drivin’ machine, a Nissan Sentra, with only 25 miles on the clock and all the bells and whistles. Why are these people more sensitive, generous and caring, giving a myriad of little extras and friendly, personal, customer service? No say, amigo. But whatever you do, don’t pop $800 for a stinky Geo from the big name car renters. Call Continental RAC yourself and see or go to their website at , but just to play it safe, it’s best to phone as well:

To rent a car in

Fort Lauderdale, Florida: Tel. 954-764-1008 Fax: 954-463-5823

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