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Best car rental company

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by Jennylove59, Jul 18, 2014.

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  1. Jennylove59

    Jennylove59 Well-Known Member

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    Hello everyone! My family and I made our first and "only" trip to Vegas by car last September. Well of course we have been bitten by the Vegas love bug and are planning to return next September. Since we drove out from Michigan last year we had a vehicle with us. This time around we will be flying into San Francisco and then plan to drive from there to Vegas. Not only is this our first flight, but it will also be our first time needing to rent a vehicle. So with all of that said how do we know which company to choose? Are there rentals right at the airport that we can drop off once in Vegas (we plan to use taxi service once there). Any information will definitely be of great help and appreciated! Thanks in advance all!
     
  2. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

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    Whoops... sorry... I now see you'll be renting in San Francisco... NEVER MIND (in my best Gilda Radner voice)


    McCarran Airport car rental companies are all at one-(1) location, which is a few miles away from the airport and is served by a fleet of large shuttle buses that run continually and are located just outside of door 10 from the baggage claim area at Terminal 1. I only fly Southwest, so I only use Terminal 1, but am quite sure Terminal 3 has a program for getting travelers to the rental facility as well. Detailed info can be found here:

    https://www.mccarran.com/Go/RentalCars.aspx

    As to which, rental company is the best? Yikes... that ought to get you a wide array of responses. I'm a business traveler and LOVE National! Though it's not particularly inexpensive, I always get very, very low milage, new vehicles. Last trip I had a Yukon with 18, yes, 18 miles on it!

    Before anyone else says it... there may still be one or two "no name" car rental agencies NOT located at the center, but utilizes that same shuttle bus to get you to the center and then transports you to their offsite location. Also, I indicated the rental center buses run "continually"... so before the usual nitpicker jumps in to say they had to wait 10 minutes for a bus, that is very, very rare and only happens when there are large conventions/conferences in town. I rent a vehicle in Las Vegas 15-20 times a year and 99% of the time the wait, if there is a wait, is less than a minute or 2... they're very efficient.
     
  3. NandJfrmNJ

    NandJfrmNJ High-Roller

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    We have rented from all of the biggies at one time or another and really haven't had any major problems. I wouldn't rent from Payless or any of those smaller companies but that's just me. However, I do want to warn you that a one way rental may cost you a lot more than renting and returning at the same place (i.e. SFO). You will, of course, need to check prices but you may find that it's cheaper to rent and return to the same location.
     
  4. Jennylove59

    Jennylove59 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for this info, I was not aware that it will cost more. We will be sure to factor that into our searches. Time wise it will not be possible to return it to San Francisco as we plan to spend 1 day in Napa, 2 in San Francisco, then proceed down to Laguna Beach before heading to Vegas. The 7 hour drive back to S.F wouldn't be worth the hours we would lose on our first day. However, you do now have my brain spinning as to whether it makes more sense to return the vehicle to LA airport and fly to Vegas and gain a few hours...hmm so many possibilities.
     
  5. JWBlue

    JWBlue VIP Whale

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    Avis ...hands down.

    Good rates, good cars, good customer service.
     
  6. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Unless you rent all the time, remain a free agent. Like hotels and restaurants and toilet paper brands, your mileage WILL vary across agencies across locations. We have some level of status with two of the big names and yet we still almost always beat "member" prices by going through a third party, usually Costco.
     
  7. sconnie

    sconnie Downtown Kinda Guy

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    I've had good results with carrental8.com Absolutely no financial interest in the company, but they seem to always beat direct rates, esp in the Ft Lauderdale/Miami area.

    JW


     
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  8. symbols

    symbols Low-Roller

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    The answer to this question for me really depends on price. Price being equal or even a few bucks more per day I will always take National. The biggest factor when renting at LAS is to make sure you don't pick an off site company. No one wants to take a shuttle to the shuttle.
     
  9. JerryVO

    JerryVO Low-Roller

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    The answer is whichever one you join their express club (usually free). I love Dollar Express. Bypass the counter look on the board for your assignment jump in the car and drive away. All of the majors have their version of this program and it is great.
     
  10. lotso-bear

    lotso-bear VIP Whale

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    My preferences are Herz, Avis, and National since I'm a member of their loyalty programs.

    If you're driving from San Francisco and plan on using taxis in Vegas then take a look at how much it costs to drop off the car at your hotel. Do you know where you're staying at? I used to drop off rental cars at Aria (AVIS), Cosmo (Hertz), and Flamingo (Hertz). This is more convenient than driving to the rental car facility near the airport and taking a cab into the Strip. However, dropping off the car at the hotels tend to be more expensive than the rental car facility so take a look at the price difference and determine how much more you'd be willing to spend to make things easier for you.
     
  11. Jennylove59

    Jennylove59 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for that information! I was not aware of the price difference for dropping it off at our hotel. I also wasn't sure which rental company would be at our hotel. We will be staying at Cosmo. Though I have been doing some research on Ballys and Caesars as well. Do these properties have vehicle drop off capability?

    Again thank you all for your great information! You are all awesome!
     
  12. lotso-bear

    lotso-bear VIP Whale

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    I'm not sure if Ballys and Caesars has a rental car company at their properties. If you're staying at Cosmo then take a look at Aria as well since it's right next door. The main downside with Aria is that the parking garage is on the other side so you have to walk quite a bit to get from the drop off location to the Cosmo. However, if you're willing to walk from Caesars then it's not too bad...
     
  13. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    Avis? I hardly rent from them anymore in any city, usually their prices are one of the highest around.

    In vegas I usually rent from Budget or Alamo (and sometimes Thrifty) most times. I usually can get good deals through the Costco site for Budget. Sometimes I rent from Advantage or Payless if the price is right, usually they along with EZ have the lower rates IMHO but no selection of cars (you get whatever they have on the lot IMHO).

    Jenn, if you want, gives us your rental dates and we can check rental sites for prices for you. Of course the price fluctuates regularly so best to check them regularly. As others have mentioned, the cost for a one way dropoff in another city could be steep. I once wanted to rent a car at SFO and drop it off at LAX, the dropoff fee was $350! I decided to change my plans instead (flew into LAX).

    I just checked a hypothetical rental, 1 week from Aug 18 - 25, SFO to LAS. prices are very high, starting in the 650's for the smallest car (economy) going up to the 900's and higher for a larger car.

    I rented cars at SFO before, I don't think you can go wrong with the national chains IMHO but not sure about dropping the car off in vegas and how the different agencies are.
     
  14. AnAmericanTexanInVegas

    AnAmericanTexanInVegas Tourist

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    I've never rented from San Francisco, but I've rented from Alamo in Las Vegas, Baltimore, Minneapolis, Houston and have always been satisfied.
     
  15. Cinwhim

    Cinwhim Low-Roller

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    Price it out one way or round trip and take in account any changes in your airfare pricing. To add to the confusion if you check round trip, check out of Orange County (John Wayne) or Ontario airport as well. If you are driving back to LA, either would be accessable from Vegas and depending on the airline, could actually save you some money. However, I have a feeling that Vegas needs so many cars that a one way rental might not be that much more than a round trip.

    All the top companies seem to be good. We have used Alamo out of Vegas and have been happy with them but we will use anyplace we can get a good deal. :) If price is an issure, a good way to check several companies is look at Priceline or another booking site and then you can compare to the less expensive on their own websites. Finally, check your airline website and see if they offer discount air travel miles in return for booking with them.

    We were in Laguna Beach last year and I LOVED it. We flew in to Vegas, drove from there to Redondo Beach and down the coast to San Diego then back to Laguna and flew back to Ohio out of Orange County. It was was much cheaper to fly that I didn't even price it out to return to Vegas with the rental. I want to do the drive from LA to San Fran someday soon :) - with a stop in Vegas first of course.

    Have fun planning and on the trip!!
     
  16. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    BRILLIANT!!

    Fly to Vegas. Do Vegas. Rent car. Drive through Death Valley, up along the east side of the Sierra and take in Mammoth. Cut over through Yosemite or head up to Tahoe, then across the valley to the City. Make sure you take in Monterey. Cruise down Hwy 1. Head back toward Vegas when you get to Santa Maria, going over the coast range, across to Bakersfield and up Tehachapi and on to Vegas. Or you can continue down to Santa Barbara and Ventura then cut across through Santa Paula to Santa Clarita and on to the high desert and return to Vegas. You've already done LA. :thumbsup:
     
  17. Cinwhim

    Cinwhim Low-Roller

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    Yep, this is the way we have gone before, almost. We came across 18 out of Victorville to Palmdale and down. We stumbled across Charle Brown Farms the first time and now have to stop every time. It's just south of Palmdale on 18. :banana: We will be taking an overnighter in September to drive my mother in law to the coast from Vegas as she has never been. :banana::banana::banana: Not much to see in the desert, but I love the drive into LA from there. :)

    Cin
     
  18. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    I salute your excitement at getting to LA!! :nworthy: I have to go through there a couple times a month and after I leave the cost at Ventura I start thinking about the many special joys awaiting in the valley, along the 201, the 405, the 10, the 5. lol
     
  19. Cinwhim

    Cinwhim Low-Roller

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    Oh those joys! The first time we did the whole Rt. 66 back thru part of the city. It was a Saturday afternoon and we still were in a couple of back-ups. The kind we only see morning and afternoon here. We had done our research and were prepared, but our midwestern hearts did a flip as we didn't -really- believe it happend. :-D I am of the sort to accept it, as it is what it is so it didn't affect the luster of LA for me. My husband is a different story, he would travel an extra half our to save 15 minutes of sitting in a jam - He still enjoyed LA for the most part though. Enough to take me back. :)

    Sorry to hijack the thread but it is a bit pertinent as traffic could become an issue traveling from the cost to Vegas. Just take your time and you'll be fine. :)

    Cin
     
  20. ken2v

    ken2v This Space For Rent

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    Jenny, if you've not done so, go to a booking/search site, at this point doesn't really matter which one, and just put in your different destinations for getting the car and where you can drop it so you can get a big-picture handle on which agencies are where, the various prices and also the so-called penalty for dead-heading (one-way rental) and how that varies across agencies, pick-up point and where you drop it in Vegas.
     
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