Car hire USA - coast to coast
Replies: 24 - Last Post: Jun 25, 2013 4:13 PM Last Post By: luigi_coello
Jan 26, 2008 9:50 PM
15I just plugged in a pickup in Boston in May and drop off at LAX in July for a UK resident for 8 weeks and got a rate of just over US$2000 including tax and drop fee from Budget (for a compact - bigger is more, but not all that much.)
Note the cost will vary considerably depending on pick-up point - higher at airports and in NY state in general (e.g. about $400 more if picked up at JFK or LGA.) It's also higher going east to west than the opposite.
Certainly a wiser move than buying a beater. One thing that's the same around the world is the character of car salesmen.
Jan 26, 2008 11:20 PM
16I have rented as long as four months at a time with Avis. What they want you to do is to return the vehicle about every four weeks for another car so that 1) they can perform maintenance and 2) you do not "mile up" a single vehicle (I once put 15k on a car in four months.).
Personally, if I was going to rent a car long-term from a major agency, I would go OFF-AIRPORT to one of their local locations. For example, if you rent a car at Hertz at Chicago-O'Hare, you will pay almost 25% in taxes. If you take a ten minute cab raide to neighboring Park Ridge, you pay about 7% in taxes.
Jan 27, 2008 5:20 AM
17One thing I forgot to mention in relation to your “hidden fees/extras”
When I was researching prices I noticed that if you use a UK based website it gives you an inclusive price with tax and insurance. If you use a US site it will give you a headline price with tax and (expensive) insurance to be added on. I’m not telling you to avoid the American websites, just make sure you account for the extras in the price.
I have also just done a few more searches as far as having two separate rentals. The price doesn’t seem to change much if you change the city and a two week/four week spit works too!
By the way bzookaj I have not come across the nickname “flyover states” before which states are they?
Edited by: Fandango2008
Jan 27, 2008 1:13 PM
Jan 27, 2008 2:10 PM
19Forget all this silliness and buy a couple of motorcycles! You'll save on gas and just think -just like Easyrider!
Take camping gear and stay at a hotel every 3 or four nights. Time your trip to hit the Northern areas later in the spring or summer. Do get a gps at bestbuy or walmart. When picking bikes consider something like a BMW RT100 or older KZ engine model Kawasaki -engines are bullet proof and need little maintenance.
Jan 27, 2008 2:36 PM
20I don't think Enterprise is in the one-way rental business. I could be wrong about that, because Enterprise has been widening its past focus on local loaner-car style rentals to people who've been in car accidents and need wheels while their vehicle is being repaired. But I think I've recently seen a posting on the TT to the effect that you can't get a one-way rental from them.
OP, as I wrote above, I think you'd be best off if you re-examined your need for wheels during that portion of your trip that'll be in the Boston-Washington corridor. In those cities themselves, you really don't want to have a car, but if you're taking a side trip from one of them -- say, from Washington to Annapolis, MD or the Eastern Shore of Maryland -- then a short-term rental is in order.
Once you're off of the East Coast or outside of the big cities there*, you'll want a car. You'll be on a long trip, so you have the time to explore. It is preposterous for people to advise you to take the train anywhere other than the Northwest or a few regional hops (Chicago-Milwaukee, Seattle-Portland come to mind) elsewhere.
You will miss all kinds of sights if you do that. Same goes for flying. Generally speaking, you take long-distance trains if you have a hankering for the train experience. It's a form of recreation in itself; some people like it, but the charm escapes me. But even if I did like it, I wouldn't do it on your trip because, as I wrote, you miss a whole lot along the way. A month and a half in the U.S. is all about the distances, and if you can afford it, there isn't anything that comes remotely close to having your own wheels.
Flying? That's strictly a time-saving measure, and time is not something you'll have a big need to save. So, with the exceptions I've noted, rent a car. You won't be sorry.
*By the way, even though I advise against having a car in New York City, Boston, or Washington, it's certainly possible to do it. Parking will cost a lot of money, and the drivers in Boston are honorary Italians, but with a GPS navigator it won't be as difficult as I or others here will usually portray. I'd put driving in those places roughly on a par with driving in London or Florence, both of which I have done. It's irritating and occasionally scary, but you'll live.
Chances are you'd wind up parking it somewhere while you're in those places, but if the exigencies of your rental contract and/or your desire for spontaneity in your travel plans make it difficult to break it up into separate rentals, don't worry too much about taking a car into the big cities of the East. Just be sure to have a GPS receiver, either hand-held or one that the rental agency installs in the vehicle and charges $5-$7 a day for. I drove in Florence without one, and I was literally sick for the better part of the following week.
Jan 27, 2008 7:41 PM
Jan 29, 2008 6:58 AM
May 27, 2010 12:12 AM
23Try www.elephantcarhire.com a car hire broker based in the UK
Jun 25, 2013 4:13 PM
24Me and a friend took rail New york to Washington then rented an old buick from rent a wreck we did all of the eastern sea board southern states new orleans and gulf of new mexico, i recommend you do that, then take amtrack west and do the same on the western sea board, theres a whole bunch of nothing but desert road between texas and las vegas that will take days to drive though and simply isn't interesting.
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