SIXT rental car Citroën
Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

What Is a Supplier’s Choice or Manager’s Special Rate?

Sometimes, not knowing what you will get can be good — but other times...

A reasonably comfortable seat, adequate space for you to transport your belongings, a climate control system of some sort, and reliability are the basic necessities you expect when renting a vehicle — and you expect to get a certain amount of value for the money which you spend on the rate which you have chosen.

What Is a Supplier’s Choice or Manager’s Special Rate?

Green Motion car Morocco
Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Moreover, rental vehicles vary wildly — from a basic economy class car with a stick shift to a pick up truck to a minivan with plenty of seats for passengers to a speedy sporty convertible to a luxuriously appointed sport utility vehicle. Would you rather performance or save on fuel? What about the amenities which are included in the vehicle? Do you prefer having access to all of the latest gadgets and technology or just need something rudimentary to get you from your origination to your destination?

Most importantly, how much money are you willing to spend — or save — on the rate of renting a vehcile?

For some customers, money is no object with regard to comfort and convenience — but what if you want to try to save as much money as possible?

You might encounter something called a supplier’s choice or manager’s special rate, which is offered by some rental car companies. This vehicle rental rate affords you the opportunity to pay for the rate of a basic economy car — but you do not get to select the type of vehicle, as the actual vehicle will be determined and assigned to you by members of the staff at the rental car facility, as they have complete discretion over which vehicle to assign to you.

So what do you get when you pay a supplier’s choice or manager’s special rate? Anything from the basic economy car for which you are paying to possibly scoring an upgraded vehicle such as a sport utility vehicle, minivan, or — well — who knows?

However, if you have a family of six who needs room to sit for a long trip, do not be surprised if you wind up with a car which can barely fit four people with a supplier’s choice or manager’s special rate.

Advantages of Supplier’s Choice or Manager’s Special Rates

Procar Iceland
Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

The advantages of a supplier’s choice or manager’s special rate include:

  • Usually the lowest rental rate of any vehicle at the rental car facility
  • Could possibly be assigned a significantly more expensive vehicle than what is the original rate
  • Good for customers of which requirements are flexible
  • Ideal at a rental car facility whose least desirable vehicle is still a viable option which is well equipped
  • Most ideal for a solo traveler who wants to save money and whose taste is not discriminating

Disadvantages of Supplier’s Choice or Manager’s Special Rates

fleet of Porsche cars
Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

The disadvantages of a supplier’s choice or manager’s special rate include:

  • Uncertainty and risk as to what vehicle will be assigned
  • No choice of amenities or options for the vehicle
  • Not ideal at all for customers who have specific minimum requirements
  • The rate might not be refundable without a penalty

Final Boarding Call

SEAT car Hertz Spain
Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

If you do not mind the risk and uncertainty of what type of vehicle you may be assigned — and if all vehicles seem to be the same while you get from point A to point B — supplier’s choice or manager’s special rates can potentially save you a significant amount of money…

…but if certain aspects of a vehicle are appealingly important — or, worse, a definite deal breaker — you might want to avoid paying the supplier’s choice or manager’s special rate and seek out other discount rates, promotions, or coupons which could potentially save you money.

Either way, ensure that you do your research before committing to reserving your next rental vehicle. As one example, you can find out about supplier’s choice or manager’s special rates from specific vehicle rental options simply by using your favorite search engine to find reviews and discussions in forums — many of which include photographs.

All photographs ©2016, ©2018, and ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

  1. It seems this article did not actually give any insight into what a manager’s special is. It basically wrote, in many more words, what it actually says what you click on “details” under manager’s special.

  2. One of the biggest issues is being given a pickup truck. The problem is most credit card rental benefits don’t cover pickup trucks.

  3. Bigger problem- Hertz made us take an electric car….. Chevy Bolt . Refused to give us a gas car.
    We spent our week vacation trying to find charging stations. Takes 6 hours to charge!
    Stay away from Hertz!
    After a few days we went to 2 othe Hertz locations begging to change to any gas car.
    Denied again. They wouldn’t even let us use their charging station!

    1. I remember not too long ago when customers were curious about renting an electric car, Dr. Bill Smith — but for the reasons which you mentioned, that curiosity seems to have died down.

      I have yet to rent an electric car. If I do, I will certainly report about my experience here…

  4. Don’t take the manager’s special if you have a long trip. Like Dr. Bill Smith, Hertz forced me to take an electric car for a one day 400 mile trip. They said they had no gas cars. I had to recharge three times, each time for 30-40 minutes. When I tried to find the last charging place, the chargers recommended by the car app were either broken or locked up or non-existent. I had to call a tow truck to tow me to a charger. The 7 hour gas powered trip took 12 hours.

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