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#19 - Renting cars from dealerships is less expensive than

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Complete Question Explanation

StrengthenX. The correct answer choice is (E)

The author's conclusion is that renting from car dealerships rather than national rental firms is more worthwhile for local residents than for tourists. She supports her position by noting that (1) tourists must determine which local dealership offer rentals, and (2) they need to pay for long cab rides between the airport and those dealerships.

The argument has many weaknesses. For instance, if tourists find it is relatively easy to find which dealerships offer rentals, the author's first premise is no longer an issue. Likewise, if the amount of money tourists save by taking advantage of dealership rates outweighs the money spent on cab rides, they may be better off renting from dealerships instead of rental firms. Lastly, if many dealerships are located in non-residential areas, local residents might end up paying as much money to get there as the tourists who rent taxis from the airport.

Because this is a StrengthenX question, thinking of ways to weaken the argument will be tremendously helpful in eliminating the incorrect answers: virtually any answer that closes a gap in the author's reasoning will strengthen her argument and will therefore be incorrect. The correct answer will either weaken the conclusion or have no effect on it.

Answer choice (A): If car dealerships provide free drop off and pick up for local residents, it makes sense for these residents to rent there. This answer supports the author's conclusion and is therefore incorrect.

Answer choice (B): If rental firms provide tourists with free rides to and from the airport, tourists may be better off choosing rental firms over dealerships. This answer supports the author's conclusion and is therefore incorrect.

Answer choice (C): If tourists encounter difficulties in finding information about which local car dealerships offer rentals, this would strengthen the author's first premise.

Answer choice (D): If the local residents know which dealerships offer low-priced rentals, they may want to explore this option before resorting to rental firms. This answer supports the author's conclusion and is therefore incorrect.

Answer choice (E): This is the correct answer choice. If local residents pay as much for taxi rides to local car dealerships as they do when renting from a firm, it is unclear why they would choose to rent from dealerships. The special rates might still make it worth their while, but we cannot be sure. Because this answer provides no support for the author's conclusion, it is correct.
rameday
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Hello,

For the life of me I can't understand why E is correct. I selected B the two times I did this question.

A
Steve Stein
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Hi,

Thanks for your question, It would be helpful to know a bit more about your assessment of this question. Since it's a Strengthen Except question, the four incorrect answer choices will all strengthen the author's argument, and the correct answer choice will be the one that does not Strengthen the autho'r's argument.

Are you saying that answer choice (E) seems to strengthen the argument? and that answer choice (A) does not?

Let me know your thoughts--thanks!

Steve
Steve Stein
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rameday
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Hello,

I felt that AC B is the correct answer. So for this question since it is an except question I pre phrased that it was better for (more worthwhile for) tourists than for residents to rent from dealerships than ntl firms or that it was just as worthwhile for tourists as it was for residents to rent from dealerships than ntl firms

SO i thought B matched that pre phrase because it eliminated one of the problems that makes it difficult for tourists to rent from dealerships. But now that I think about it. B makes no sense because it says renting cars from national firms as opposed to local dealerships. If it had said dealerships then I think B would have been a correct AC.

Does that make sense.

A
Steve Stein
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Hi,

Thanks for your response. First, it would generally be pretty tough to prephrase the right answer to a Strengthen Except question--you might prephrase various ways that you could strengthen the argument, but it would be pretty tough to prephrase a choice that doesn't strengthen the argument.

Does that makes sense? Please let me know whether this is clear--thanks!

Steve
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albamolina
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How does answer choice B. Tourists renting cars from national rental firms almost never need to pay for taxi rides to or from the airport STRENGTHEN the conclusion "renting from dealerships rather than national rental firms is generally more worthwhile for local residents than for tourists" ????

I think it does nothing to the argument, thus "strengthen except"
Francis O'Rourke
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Hi Alba,

The speaker's conclusion is that renting from dealerships rather than national firms is more worthwhile for locals than it is for tourists. Put into slightly different terms, "go to a dealership, not a national rental firm" is better advice for a local than it is for a tourist.

This conclusion is comparative, so anything that tells us it is good for a local to use a dealership will strengthen the conclusion, and anything that tells us tourists should go to a national firm will strengthen the conclusion

Choice (B) Strengthens this conclusion in the second way: by telling us that tourists get to save money (taxi fare) by going to national firms while locals likely will not (since they are less likely to come from airports).
mglander
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So, I selected choice E, because none of the other answers seemed right to me. However, I still have a question...

If the taxi rides are the same price for local residents, wouldn't that (slightly) strengthen the argument because renting cars from deanships is less expensive than renting cars from national firms?

-Megan
Jonathan Evans
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Hi, Megan,

Good question. Just to be clear, you're asking, "If taxi rides for local residents to car dealerships are the same price as taxi rides for local residents to national rental firms, does this slightly strengthen the argument?"

The answer to this question is no. Even if these taxi rides are the same price, we do not achieve any meaningful change in the validity of the conclusion because the conclusion concerns a distinction between what is good for local residents and what is good for tourists. If these taxi rides for local residents are the same price, we have neither conferred an advantage to them nor subjected them to any disadvantage relative to tourists.

In fact, one would have to make an additional assumption, that these rides are the same price for local residents but not for tourists for this statement to have an effect. Further, we would need to know what this distinction is between local residents and tourists (Are taxi rides for tourists to national rental places more expensive than they are for local residents? Are taxi rides for local residents to car dealerships less expensive than taxi rides for tourists to such car dealerships? Etc.)

The importance here is in a distinction between what is good for residents and what is good for tourists. Since answer choice (E) doesn't make this distinction, it doesn't offer support for the conclusion.

I hope this helps!
Tyler
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So should we still always take time to prephrase a strengthen except question? I was under the impression we should prephrase ALL question types.