Car rental in the US

BenDover

Diabloii.Net Member
Car rental in the US

Hi guys

I have a question about the prices of car rental in the US. I'm a resident of Denmark who's going to rent a car in San Francisco on the 16th of July and return it in Las Vegas the 28th of July.

I've tried checking the prices from Avis, Hertz and Alamo for a Ford Impala and they offer me deals between $630-720 for a Chevrolet Impala for those 12 days! I think that sounds a tad expensive, but it might be prices are like that because the insurances are mandatory when I'm from Europe/EU. But since I have a Platinum creditcard that already cover my needed car insurances I'm not really interested in those deals.

Does anyone know anywhere I could get better offers than that, especially ones that don't include insurance, even though I'm not a US resident?
 

Steve_Kow

Banned
A chevy impala is a fairly large car--it might be cheaper to go with a Ford Focus or something along those lines. Also I believe you can save money by returning the car to the same place you rented it.
 

SelfBaisResistor

Diabloii.Net Member
My roommate used to work for Enterprise and they are, well, your female dog, when it comes to price. They will take a reasonable price if they are trying to rent out that last car, maybe even an Impala that you are looking for. As for damage waiver (the insurance), you don't technically need it unless you are under 25 years old or is it 21?
 

giantpinkbunnyhead

Diabloii.Net Member
Dude, you don't need a car in San Francisco! San Fran has the best public transportation system in the country. You can get from anywhere to anywhere almost instantly between the BART, the buses, and the trolleys... not to mention, the peninsula is only several miles wide.

Also, if you rent a stickshift, be prepared for some MASSIVELY steep hills. Further, if you've never driven in (or been to) San Fran, the roads are usually quite congested; street signs are difficult to read; parking is very expensive and difficult to find. A lot of the streets can get very confusing as well. I would strongly recommend skipping the rental car, unless your plans call for travel outside and beyond the city limits.

Just my $.02.
 

adamfgt78

Diabloii.Net Member
How old are you? If you're under 25, they tack on some stiff penalties. As was stated, an Impala is a pretty big car and more in the upper range of the classification of cars they rent out. Actually, $50-some a day doesn't seem that off base.
 

Oscuro

Diabloii.Net Site Pal
I rented a van several months ago from Avis, and it was $625 for 6 days. This was with one additional driver and unlimited mileage (which is good, because we put about 2800 miles on it). You might be able to save some money by going with a limited mileage plan if you can complete your trip within the limit.
 

BenDover

Diabloii.Net Member
Thanks a lot for all the nice answers, guys. I don't post here that often, but it's always nice to see how helpful people are when I have a question :)

Steve_Kow said:
A chevy impala is a fairly large car--it might be cheaper to go with a Ford Focus or something along those lines. Also I believe you can save money by returning the car to the same place you rented it.
Yeah, true, it is probably a bit big car, but I just wanted to give it an extra notch :D

There didn't seem to be any difference between returning in San Francisco or in Las Vegas. As I understood it the extra fee isn't added unless it's 2 states or more away.


SelfBaisResistor said:
My roommate used to work for Enterprise and they are, well, your female dog, when it comes to price. They will take a reasonable price if they are trying to rent out that last car, maybe even an Impala that you are looking for. As for damage waiver (the insurance), you don't technically need it unless you are under 25 years old or is it 21?
I'll try out Enterprise then. Thanks for the tip.

I'm 27, but I still like to have my insurances covered, thought I don't want to pay for them twice (both from creditcard and car rental company).


giantpinkbunnyhead said:
Dude, you don't need a car in San Francisco! San Fran has the best public transportation system in the country. You can get from anywhere to anywhere almost instantly between the BART, the buses, and the trolleys... not to mention, the peninsula is only several miles wide.

Also, if you rent a stickshift, be prepared for some MASSIVELY steep hills. Further, if you've never driven in (or been to) San Fran, the roads are usually quite congested; street signs are difficult to read; parking is very expensive and difficult to find. A lot of the streets can get very confusing as well. I would strongly recommend skipping the rental car, unless your plans call for travel outside and beyond the city limits.

Just my $.02.
Well, as I said we are going from San Francisco to Las Vegas (via LA), but I think we are staying in San Fran for 4-5 days before leaving. I have heard before that San Fran has nice public transportation, but on other hand driving there, might be nice "training" before going to LA, which from I've heard, is much worse traffic wise.

Perhaps we should have a few days without car in San Francisco and then take the car for the last days before moving on.


adamfgt78 and Oscuro, perhaps the prices I'm getting isn't that bad. I just think when I was in Florida with my parents some years ago, we didn't pay that much. Perhaps prices just increased a bit, or it varies between the states.
 

giantpinkbunnyhead

Diabloii.Net Member
BenDover said:
I have heard before that San Fran has nice public transportation, but on other hand driving there, might be nice "training" before going to LA, which from I've heard, is much worse traffic wise.
L.A. isn't that hard to drive in, certainly not compared to San Fran. San Francisco is almost entirely surface streets, and traffic backup for the toll bridges can be a living hell. In LA, surface streets are generally laid out in a more friendly manner, plus there are a couple dozen freeways criscrossing the place. LA has a lot of traffic on certain freeways at certain hours, but there is always a faster way to get from anywhere to anywhere. I grew up in LA... lived there for 20 years. I can give you advice on directions if you tell me what you plan to see there and where you plan to stay. Plus, there are others here who live in the L.A. area... I think Ash is one of them, as is Ev_. I'm sure we can be of help on specific LA-area questions if you have any.
 

BenDover

Diabloii.Net Member
giantpinkbunnyhead said:
L.A. isn't that hard to drive in, certainly not compared to San Fran. San Francisco is almost entirely surface streets, and traffic backup for the toll bridges can be a living hell. In LA, surface streets are generally laid out in a more friendly manner, plus there are a couple dozen freeways criscrossing the place. LA has a lot of traffic on certain freeways at certain hours, but there is always a faster way to get from anywhere to anywhere. I grew up in LA... lived there for 20 years. I can give you advice on directions if you tell me what you plan to see there and where you plan to stay. Plus, there are others here who live in the L.A. area... I think Ash is one of them, as is Ev_. I'm sure we can be of help on specific LA-area questions if you have any.
OK, I will certainly take what you say into consideration. It might be a good idea to wait with the car till we move on from San Francisco then.

Regarding LA, I think we are only there for 2 days, and stay in the Hollywood area. I really want to see it, but this time we decided to concentrate on other cities, so it's just a quick visit.

So generally I think we'll be seeing stuff in the Hollywood area. I'm open for suggestions for any must-sees.
 

giantpinkbunnyhead

Diabloii.Net Member
BenDover said:
OK, I will certainly take what you say into consideration. It might be a good idea to wait with the car till we move on from San Francisco then.

Regarding LA, I think we are only there for 2 days, and stay in the Hollywood area. I really want to see it, but this time we decided to concentrate on other cities, so it's just a quick visit.

So generally I think we'll be seeing stuff in the Hollywood area. I'm open for suggestions for any must-sees.
For Hollywood, you'll want to definitely check out the Walk of Fame. It's on Hollywood Blvd, and crosses Vine St. Hollywood and Vine is arguably the most famous intersection in Hollywood. Also there, you can see the Laugh Factory for some comedy; The Wax Museum, Ripley's Believe-it-or-not... Then of course, there's the famous Capitol Records building (which isn't really open for tourists but it's a cool building to see from the outside). If the timing is right, there may be some live performances happening at the Hollywood Bowl, which is on Highland just off the 101 Freeway.

Hollywood tends to be a little wierd these days... some say scary, but I don't think so. There's an abundance of homeless people and sometimes they can be a little assertive with the panhandling, but otherwise I wouldn't say it's unsafe. Just keep your street-smarts about you.
 

AeroJonesy

Diabloii.Net Member
My dad and I navigated the LA freeway system and never got lost once. The farthest we drove was to Malibu (from Fullerton) and we put like 600 miles on the car in 5-6 days. If you've got a navigator with an LA freeway map, it's pretty easy to get around. It's more frustrating than difficult though when you hit those pockets of nasty traffic.
 

Dirty_Zulu

Diabloii.Net Member
In parts of San Francisco, it's easy to drive but where you gonna park?

Btw gas (aka petrol for some of you) is ~$2.40/gal. The Impala may get you 24 mi/gal.
 

Dacar92

Moderator: Community, D2 Zon, DH, Inc Clan Officer
Try Thrifty, too. I just searched on their site and found a "standard" sized car (Ford Taurus or similar) for $23/day or under $300 total (plus tax and other airport charges) for the time you mentioned. That is for dropping off at the same place you picked it up.

I travel for work quite a bit and I use them a lot.
 

BenDover

Diabloii.Net Member
giantpinkbunnyhead said:
For Hollywood, you'll want to definitely check out the Walk of Fame. It's on Hollywood Blvd, and crosses Vine St. Hollywood and Vine is arguably the most famous intersection in Hollywood. Also there, you can see the Laugh Factory for some comedy; The Wax Museum, Ripley's Believe-it-or-not... Then of course, there's the famous Capitol Records building (which isn't really open for tourists but it's a cool building to see from the outside). If the timing is right, there may be some live performances happening at the Hollywood Bowl, which is on Highland just off the 101 Freeway.

Hollywood tends to be a little wierd these days... some say scary, but I don't think so. There's an abundance of homeless people and sometimes they can be a little assertive with the panhandling, but otherwise I wouldn't say it's unsafe. Just keep your street-smarts about you.
Thanks for the tips. I'll keep that in mind.


I'm quite convinced now, that we won't rent a car for use in San Francisco, only for when we go to LA and Las Vegas. That's about a week then, and should lower the cost a bit.

My parents just told me about Thrifty and they do indeed seem a bit cheaper, so maybe I'll go with them.
 

BenDover

Diabloii.Net Member
Just to give you guys an update:

I ended up reserving an intermediate size car (class C) with Avis for 287,10$ for a week! It wasn't really cheaper with many of the other companies since many of them had more expensive insurance, that I was already covered by, or had drop-off fees.

Also I have a coupon from Avis that allows me to upgrade to a bigger size car for free.

So we decided not to have a car for the 5 days we have in San Francisco, based on the advice from many people.

Thanks to all those that helped here :)
 

Steve_Kow

Banned
Dirty_Zulu said:
In parts of San Francisco, it's easy to drive but where you gonna park?

Btw gas (aka petrol for some of you) is ~$2.40/gal. The Impala may get you 24 mi/gal.
I believe that Chevy advertises the Impala as a fuel efficient vehicle--getting 32 MPG.
 
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