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  1. Default Car rental companies?

    Hi everyone,

    My friend and I are going on a 3 week roadtrip in California and I really need to book a car, but I have some questions about this:

    - Is a full size (like Chebrolet Impala) a good choice? We need a big trunk, an easy to drive and economical car that can handle driving through Yosemite & Kings Canyon. Or would an intermediate be enough?
    - Why is there so much difference in pricing between rental companies for what seems to be the same service (unlimited mileage, insurance, etc.)? I've checked Hertz, Avis, Alamo, etc.
    - I can't seem to find my way in the different types of complementary insurance.

    Thanx so much in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
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    10,059

    Default Insurance Explained

    Quote Originally Posted by MissT2 View Post
    - I can't seem to find my way in the different types of complementary insurance.
    Here is a short overview about the various kinds of automotive insurance.

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
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    13,063

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MissT2 View Post
    - Is a full size (like Chebrolet Impala) a good choice? We need a big trunk, an easy to drive and economical car that can handle driving through Yosemite & Kings Canyon. Or would an intermediate be enough?
    If you've only got 2 people, then I would think that an intermediate would be plenty big, and it might be a little easier to drive. What you currently drive might play a role in your comfort too. If you are used to driving a big full sized car, then you might rather stick with a big car. If you are used to driving an econ-box, then an intermediate could be closer to what you are used to.

    - Why is there so much difference in pricing between rental companies for what seems to be the same service (unlimited mileage, insurance, etc.)? I've checked Hertz, Avis, Alamo, etc.
    Good question. Different companies offer some different perks, especially for frequent renters, but there is no specific reason for it. Much like airfare, prices can change dramatically between companies, when you want the service, and even when you are making a reservation.

  4. Default

    First of all, thanx for the quick responses!

    Quote Originally Posted by Midwest Michael View Post
    If you've only got 2 people, then I would think that an intermediate would be plenty big, and it might be a little easier to drive. What you currently drive might play a role in your comfort too.
    My fear with an intermediate is that the trunk might not be big enough to store our luggage. I've checked out the Pontiac G6 many of the rental companies refer to and reviews indicate that the trunk is rather small. Some rental companies mention 1 big suitcase and 2 small ones and that will not be enough.
    Is a full size a very massive car? Are they hard to handle? How big are parking spaces in California? I assumed that since cars are bigger than the ones in Europe, parking spaces would also be bigger.
    Am I mistaken in thinking that intermediates don't have a lot of trunk space?

    Regarding complementary insurances and gas prices:
    On websites car rental companies only give an estimated price (without taxes, insurances, etc.). Has anybody have an idea how much extra cost I should budget for per week? Can anyone tell me how much our gasoline will cost us app. per 100 miles?

  5. Default

    My 2p's worth.

    We hired an intermediate car and had a pontiac G6 and I (about 5 10ish) could lie down in the trunk and have a sleep if I wanted to! It was massive and 3 of us had all our luggage in it no problems at all!!! Very comfortable and easy to drive.

    I have the same booked when 2 of us go travelling around for a month for comfort.


    National car do good rates for foreigners I am from the UK and they give you a good price with insurance and a full tank of fuel included. Hope this helps a little bit.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
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    Green County, Wisconsin
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    Default should be fine

    A G6 sized car should have more than enough trunk space for 2 people, even if you pack fairly heavy. If you can fit all of your things into 2 checked bags and a carry on, then I don't think you'll have a problem with the trunk size. Worst case, you might have to put something on the floor of the backseat, but if after you go to pick up the car, you shouldn't have a problem upgrading, if you decide you need something larger.

    Most things in the US are designed to accomidate larger cars, so you shouldn't have any problem if you go that route. However, a smaller car will be a little more manuverable, especially if you are in some national park areas that were built before huge cars. Its not a huge difference, though, and I wouldn't let that be the single factor in your decision making.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
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    Default

    California parking spaces are a little tighter than in other areas of the country.

    If you are familiar with European cars, an intermediate such as the Ford Fusion is the same size as your Ford Mondeo. A full size such as the Ford Taurus is based on the Volvo S80.

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