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Tricks for off airport car rental?
Old 04-12-2012, 04:40 PM   #1
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Tricks for off airport car rental?

I need to rent a car for about 2 weeks in Portland. It looks like renting off the airport site would save me about $150. Any tips on the best way to pull this off? Simple as paying a $20 cab fare?
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Old 04-12-2012, 04:49 PM   #2
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I need to rent a car for about 2 weeks in Portland. It looks like renting off the airport site would save me about $150. Any tips on the best way to pull this off? Simple as paying a $20 cab fare?
call the off-airport local office directly. They may have a shuttle or may have suggestions for getting to their office inexpensively. Some offices will even give you credit towards cab-fare.
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Old 04-12-2012, 04:50 PM   #3
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All off-airport car rental agencies we have used have had shuttle service to/from the airport. This assumes a relatively close proximity to the airport. Same with car parks.
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Old 04-12-2012, 05:13 PM   #4
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All off-airport car rental agencies we have used have had shuttle service to/from the airport. This assumes a relatively close proximity to the airport. Same with car parks.
You need to disguish in-city rental agencies from off-airport agencies. If it's 30 miles from city center to the airport a shuttle is unlikely.
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Old 04-12-2012, 05:23 PM   #5
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Some places will come and pick you up if you are close enough....

When I had my car in the shop to have it fixed (a truck hit me), the rental company drove to pick me up since it was very common for them... said they would do it IIRC within 5 miles or so...
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Old 04-12-2012, 05:29 PM   #6
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All off-airport car rental agencies we have used have had shuttle service to/from the airport. This assumes a relatively close proximity to the airport. Same with car parks.
I was thinking of using Enterprise, which has an off airport site about 4 miles away, as well as an airport location. I've gotta believe they don't let the off site undercut the airport site directly?.
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:01 PM   #7
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Last vacation my son's car was in the shop due to an accident. We just used the voucher provided by the insurance company for rental coverage to rent a car out of town. I did take a cab away from the airport to the hotel as rentals were more reasonable.
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:08 PM   #8
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I have had good luck using Priceline for car rentals. I start with a low bid and increase it by a couple bucks a day until it gets accepted. I usually can get a pretty good price and the convenience of getting the car at the airport (or just off-airport using the car rental company's free shuttle).

If you do this keep in mind that you're locked in and the penalties for changing are severe. One time I did this I made a mistake and the rental began the day after I arrived at the airport (about 10:30 pm) and they wanted to charge me an arm and leg for that first day. Luckily, I was able to walk down the hall and get a more reasonable rate and then went back to the airport to pick up my Priceline rental the next day.
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:53 PM   #9
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We looked into this for an off-airport rental for a trip to PHX....it was a major rental company.
They had locations 7 to 10 miles from the airport and they provided shuttles. However, they clearly stated that if you arrived in town from the airport, they were unable to pick you up. It appeared to me that they probably would ask how you got to PHX and of course your ID shows that you are not local. The wording of the terms led me to believe we would get charged the taxes anyway.
Perhaps if you go further from the airport the extra charges would go away, but then the cab fare would go up.
We found a good special for this rental and the taxes and fees will actually cost more then the car.
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:39 PM   #10
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One time I rented a car from a rental agency (Alamo) near the Houston airport. However, because we (my mother and I) had flown into Houston via corporate jet, we did not use the Alamo shuttle bus to get to the rental office bcause we were provided a lift from the jet's hangar to the office. After I mentioned this to the woman at the checkout counter, she removed the 10% fee for using the airport shuttle bus.
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:46 AM   #11
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I flew into PHX about a year ago and rented from a major brand off site. I took a cab for about $15. The savings were huge. I don't have the invoice handy but I recall 30 to 40 % savings over renting at the airport. I did not have to pay the large fees that are imposed on visitors when you rent at the airport. (I didn't really want to pay for their new stadium!)
I would definitely do it again. It didn't take any more time or hassle than riding the shuttle to the rental agency's on-airport site.
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:50 AM   #12
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It looks like I can take the Max to a hotel in Portland that rents Hertz and save nearly $200.

Now all I have to do is convince DW that it is worth the extra hassle.
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:07 AM   #13
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I flew into PHX about a year ago and rented from a major brand off site. I took a cab for about $15. The savings were huge. I don't have the invoice handy but I recall 30 to 40 % savings over renting at the airport. I did not have to pay the large fees that are imposed on visitors when you rent at the airport. (I didn't really want to pay for their new stadium!)
I would definitely do it again. It didn't take any more time or hassle than riding the shuttle to the rental agency's on-airport site.

Yes... that is one of the crappy things about traveling.... paying for everybody else's stadiums etc... it is easy to tax people who have no vote in the tax...

It is the same with airline tickets... the gvmt fees etc. can be half the total cost... those hidden fees....
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:14 AM   #14
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We too are renting in Portland! Have to confess to a first time car rental- which will be in July. Do we have to bring proof of car insurance when we pick up the car??
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:28 AM   #15
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We just rented a minivan for a three day trip with the grandkids and found the opposite. The airport Enterprise (1/2 hour drive) had by far the lowest price, at least 1/3 less than the locations closer to home. I suspect there are lots of dynamics and not many people look for options. For travelers the real hassle is getting back to the airport after returning the car. If you can find a sure way to do that without having to add idle hours in the airport, go to the least expensive option.

Related to this - the rental I referred to above was 2 months ago. I reserved about 3-4 weeks in advance. A week before the trip I went to change the pickup and dropoff times, and the rate went down. I checked twice after that and each time it fell. The final rate was 1/4 less than the rate I booked at.
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:32 AM   #16
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Just as an aside.... be careful when you rent in Hawaii....

A couple of years ago when I booked a flight to Hawaii.... Expedia gave me some cheaper options... I picked one that looked good... when I got there I found out the office was on another island ... what was their site doing giving me that option

It cost me more money and a couple of hours of time to get it fixed... the funny thing is that the counter people said it happens all the time...

Since I was paying more, upgraded to a convertable... best thing I did...
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:21 PM   #17
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One option you can explore, getting car at off airport location and drop at airport. This way you have to pay cab fare only once. Sometime there is charge for that and sometime not.
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:37 PM   #18
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When ever I take a shuttle for my rental pickup, I try to sit in the front. Ms G and are were in SF on the way to the rental agency, when I clearly heard the agency ask the driver how many were on board, because they only had 2 cars available. I see 6 on board and told Ms G to block the isle when we stopped, so I could get off first. It worked, but didn't help the flat tire in the rain with no spare at my favorite winery in Napa.
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:27 PM   #19
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.......... It worked, but didn't help the flat tire in the rain with no spare at my favorite winery in Napa.
And you thought God wasn't watching.
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:29 PM   #20
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........Do we have to bring proof of car insurance when we pick up the car??
I've only been asked to show proof of insurance once. I didn't have it with me so I left and came back in a few minutes to a different agent, who did not ask for proof.
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