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I'm looking for a car rental company in San Diego airport that would have a specific model which is usually rare for rentals to have (Mazda CX-5). Anyone knows if any company holds them? Otherwise what is the biggest rental company in the airport so I can maximize my selection?

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    Use a travel/rental aggregator where you can put in your requirements and see what results it provides. San Diego airport has a rental car center where all the rental car companies are found (there are shuttles from the terminal to the rental car center) so you'll be going to the same location at the airport to pick up the car no matter which company you book from.
    – Midavalo
    Jul 2, 2023 at 18:37

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Almost all major rental chains will NOT guarantee a specific model. One exception is Hertz, who offer this as a special service and typically at a very steep price. link

You may not even get a car in the same category that you booked. It's fairly common that they are out and need to give you something different, which is often combined with an upsell attempt. Never accept a downgrade, never pay for an upgrade.

You may have better luck with a "broker" company like turo.com. They basically offer privately owned cars that people rent out on occasion. They have plenty of availability at San Diego Airport. Make sure you read the rules carefully and make sure you are ok with it. Many owners put trackers in their car to protect them from abuse. Pick up process can also be different from a regular rental, so, again, read the listing carefully or just ask.

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  • thanks, I prefer a rental company. I know a model is not guaranteed, I want to see which company would maximize my chances (e.g. generally have this model, have a large fleet in SAN etc). Jul 2, 2023 at 20:29
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    @YaronNaveh: all major providers at SAN will move hundreds of cars per day. There is little predictability of which car you will get and I don't think that this changes with vendors.
    – Hilmar
    Jul 2, 2023 at 21:09
  • They don't even guarantee that a car will be actually available. Jul 3, 2023 at 1:34

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