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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Nr Brighton, England
    Posts
    8

    Default 3 month Roadtrip - long term Car Rental

    Hello folks, here's my first post to Roadtrip America...

    I live in England and I am saving up for my first ever trip to the USA next year. I plan to be there for three weeks My planned trip so far is:-
    - London to Chicago, where I will stay with my Cousin for 4 days
    - Chicago to Denver (internal flight), where I will stay with a friend for 2 days
    - Denver back to Chicago (return internal flight)
    - At Chicago I want to pick up a rental car and take 7 to 10 days driving to New York
    - Stay in New York for the remained of my 3 weeks then fly home to London

    As I say it will be my first trip to the USA as well as my first time driving on the right-hand side of the road so it will be a steep learning curve... especially asI will be travelling on my own.

    Anyhoo, first (of many I'm sure) question is, what kind of car to get? I drive a Convertible here and hope to rent a Convertible there too. I'd also like it to be "Stick Shift" rather than Automatic if possible.

    So, does anyone know if any Rental companies offer Manual, Convertible cars for one-way hire? It might be a long shot, but worth asking.

    Thanks


    Dee

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default difficult

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Manual Tranmission rental cars are virtually non-existant in the US.

    Mustang Convertables will generally be available, but it will be considered a specialty car. That means you'll pay a premium price for such a vehicle, and there is a very good chance that it would not be available for a one way rental.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Nr Brighton, England
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Thanks for the Welcome Michael.

    Well, I am figuring on spending maybe 2 or 3 times the basic cost to have a premium car so the price doesn't put me off... I guess it could be out of my hands though if a convertible can't be rented one-way.


    Dee

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Should be O.K.

    Hi Misty,

    A small world, I am from near Worthing, just along the road from you in good 'ol Sussex by the sea!

    If you are not looking for a "specialists car" as such, then a convertible with one way rental shouldn't pose to much of a problem, my in-laws just done this.
    I have not dealt with this company, but my first search came up with this as an option, with one way rental# The link hasn't held,so click on "show all types" and it will show you convertible choices. I continued and one way drop off from Chicago to New York was available#
    I would search through the various company's and compare what is on offer, any special deals on one way fees e.t.c.

    As Michael says, it's unlikely you will find a manual, but it is very easy to adapt to an auto as it is to drive on the right. If you have not driven an auto before it might be worth checking out some friends who may have one and give you the basics, or even let you have a go. The problem most people have to start with is left foot braking which is a no! no! After years of using a clutch it isn't as sensitive and tends to perform an emergency stop when not intended, LOL!
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 09-19-2008 at 09:04 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Nr Brighton, England
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Hi Dave, yes small world... but I wouldn't like to have to paint it!... thanks for the tip.

    The price looks high so I'll have to decide how determined I am to have an open top. I put some dummy dates in for June next year and the total came to about $1,300 for 10 days in June 2009 which included a one-way drop fee of £350.

    I'm going to email the rental company to see if they do any manual transmission cars. If not, I might just have to settle for a Dodge Charger or Chrysler 300 instead.

    My next thought is Sat-Nav and do I want / need it?


    Dee

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,749

    Default Sat-Nav with maps.

    Hi Misty,

    Yikes ! I hope that should read $350 or that is steep [steep enough either way].
    Yes you do tend to pay a premium for any thing other than the "norm.

    My next thought is Sat-Nav and do I want / need it?
    Whether you decide you need one or not,[ I'm not a fan myself] I would still carry paper maps with you. The Sat-Nav can be a handy tool, especially as you are driving alone and won't have a map reader with you, but it will choose the most direct route and won't point you to any nice little detours and scenic wonders that you may pass by without knowing they are there. This is when the paper map will come in handy.

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    Manual Tranmission rental cars are virtually non-existant in the US.
    They're getting to be difficult to BUY too! Last year I had an awful time finding one, and the salesman did his best to talk me out of it -- actually asked me if I knew how to drive it! He kept telling me all the good points about automatics, kept telling me that the only straight drives were in the back lot, weren't clean, not nearly so nice as the shiney automatics out in front. Finally after he hemmed and hawed, I told him point blank, "Buddy, I've paid to replace a transmission, but I've never worn out a clutch. Someone is going to find this car for me -- will it be you or your competition?" He admitted the truth: He didn't know how to drive a stick himself, and he didn't want to admit that he was unable to bring it around from the back lot! We walked to the back lot, and -- against his company policy -- I drove the car off the lot myself.

    Many young Americans don't know how to drive a stick shift. It's a shame. My daughters will be learning to drive soon, and I intend to make sure they can drive anything. We're starting them out on a tractor -- my mom's fields always need mowing.

    Back to the point. I suspect you have no chance whatsoever of renting a manual shift car.

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    Whether you decide you need one or not,[ I'm not a fan myself] I would still carry paper maps with you. The Sat-Nav can be a handy tool, especially as you are driving alone and won't have a map reader with you, but it will choose the most direct route and won't point you to any nice little detours and scenic wonders that you may pass by without knowing they are there. This is when the paper map will come in handy.
    I like to have both. My Garmin -- though a great little tool -- died unexpectedly, leaving me in the lurch. Paper maps never do that!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Nr Brighton, England
    Posts
    8

    Default 3 month Roadtrip - long term Car Rental

    Folks,

    I've posted before, but for various reason's my trip did not happen when I had planned it to.

    However, thanks to a reasonably generous redundancy package, my first ever trip to the USA is back on... and is considerably bigger than I originally expected it to be.

    I'm sure I'll have a bunch of questions, but foremost in my mind is the Car Rental situation. I have spoken to a Travel Agent here in the UK and they are having trouble finding a rental package which fits.

    Here's what I am looking for:
    Pick up a rental car (I have a *very strong* preference for a convertible) in L.A. in mid-August, then drive it up the West Coast, across the northern states, down the Eastern Seaboard and drop it off around 2 and a half to 3 months later in New York / Boston.

    Does anyone have a recommendation for a company which will
    - A) allow this length of rental and
    - B) not charge too much for the one-way rental

    Any help appreciated as the best my Agent can offer is a 56 day rental which would potentially mean paying TWO fees for one-way rentals.

    Thanks in advance,


    Dee
    Last edited by AZBuck; 06-04-2009 at 04:28 PM. Reason: Merged with previous posts, also about car rental. Link to personal blog removed.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Hard question to answer

    All the major car rental agencies like Hertz, Avis, Budget, Dollar, etc., are going to have roughly the same kind of service and add-ons. However, prices really vary depending on date and location. The agency that is cheapest for one trip might be the most expensive for another.

    I suggest you begin by visiting their websites to see which one has the type of convertible that will appeal to you and then plug in your dates and locations to get a quote. Make sure the quotes are like-for-like, meaning that they each include all the extras you want and need. Also make sure you select your country of residence as this will often yield a less expensive price.

    Many international visitors have reported that they can get cheaper rates booking from agents in their home countries. If this happens to you, it may very well be less expensive to get two rentals, even if you have to pay two drop-off fees.

    But the only way to know is to get those quotes.

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