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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    26

    Default West Coast with Yosemite and Las Vegas

    A big hello from Oslo, Norway

    First of all let just say what a great forum this is. Have been reading lots of good stuff the past week!

    Myself and a friend is planning a roadtrip from Seattle to San Diego. Kind of spur of the moment thing, but it has always been a dream for the both of us.

    As many others, I probably had a million questions starting out. Fortunately most of them have allready been answered in earlier threads.

    We have not made much plans yet, and may keep it that way just to see where the road takes us. Besides from booking plane tickets, there is just one other thing we want to have bolted down before we leave:
    The car

    As we are both quite the car enthusiasts, we would like something a bit special when we set out on this epic journey :)
    Now, a Dodge Challenger might not be that special over in the US, but that is the car that seems like the best option considering coolness, availability and prize. Here in Norway they don't even import it, so it would be a treat for us.

    So here is my question:
    How do we get us a Dodge Challenger or any other specific model? The problem sitting in Norway trying to use the web pages, is that they all come up with "or something similar". "Something similar" could be catastrophic for a cople of guys like us :)
    And how about prize and availability? Is it the same for a region (i.e. Seattle) or do we have search down to the local dealerships to find the right car?

    Any other hints or tips about car rental be greatly appriciated, even though I feel I am pretty much up to speed on taxes and one way fees etc from reading my way around this forum...

    Thanks and best regards
    Halvard

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    8,280

    Default Special request, perhaps.

    Hello and welcome to the R.T.A forums.

    It appears to be standard practice for most companies to rent cars out in categories and as such don't offer guaranteed models.

    I would have thought the best option is to find the rental company that suits you best for value and one way fees e.t.c. and contact them requesting a guarantee of that model, and work your way through a list untill you find someone that will accommodate your needs. Or just mail-shot various co's and see what comes back.

    With a one way drop off you are likely to need one of the bigger companies but it doesn't hurt to search for 'car rental in Seattle' for instance and see if any local co's come up with good rates.

    Good luck with your search and if you need further help with your trip planning be sure to ask.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,805

    Default a premium to pay for

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The "or similar" is an unfortuant reality of the majority of the rental car market. The best way to increase your odds of something like this is to contact the rental agency office directly and see what their fleet typically consists of and what the odds of getting that specific model are. That wouldn't be a guarentee, but its probably your best bet with a standard rental.

    Now there is one other option where you actually can reserve specific models. Some agencies have started specialty lines where you can reserve a specific make and model of car. Hertz, for example has "green," "fun," and "prestige" lines. If one specific car is important to you, then this would be the best way to ensure you get that model. The downside is that you will likely pay a higher rental rate, and one way rentals might not be allowed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    26

    Default

    Hey,
    that was quick response. Thanks a lot.
    It looks like we just have to start sending mail out to all the larger companies and see of som of them bite. If not, I guess we can go for "or similar" and maybe shop around/upgrade when we get over there.

    Unfortunatly, not many has as good setup as Hertz, but even more unfortunatly Hertz is either too expensive (Corvette/Prestige) or it is just not for us (Mustang). For some reason, not quite sure why, I don't want a Mustang. Would have made everything much easier though :)

    And again, thanks

    Halvard
    Last edited by Halvard; 09-11-2008 at 12:05 PM.

  5. #5

    Default

    Don't know whether you'll see this message in time, but you can always find out which national rental company carries most of the models you want, then if they don't have the right model when you arrive, you can switch your car later. Just call the nearby rental office in whatever city you're in later, and they will accommodate you if they have the model. If you want to do this, this might be a good way to try various models. If you do this without switching car class (depends on size / sportiness), you can keep paying the same rental rate.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    26

    Default

    Hi there.
    Not a bad plan at all. But one question; Would I then get a one way drop off charge each time I swap the car?
    We have allready made reservations for a Dodge Charger or similar trough Thrifty. As I understand it, these reservation can be canscelled at any time? The plan is that if Thrifty is not able to give us a good car, we will have a look around the rest of the rental companies at the airport, and see if any one can come up with something better...

    Halvard

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,805

    Default check the fine print

    If a company will allow to swap your car, you shouldn't have to pay a drop fee. You wouldn't be changing the terms of your rental, so there wouldn't be an additional cost. The swapping idea isn't a bad one, but you'd probably want to check with the individual company to see what their policy would be for that, especially on a one way rental.

    Reservations can usually be canceled without penalty, but again, you need to make sure that is the policy when you make your specific reservation. There may be companies that charge a cancellation fee, especially if you are booking through a third party or at a discounted rate.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    26

    Default

    Thanks for the advice.

    Luckily no third party or discount. We may even end up in Seattle, as we have decided to skip San Diego, and break of at Sacramento, doing Yosemite, Death Valley, Las Vegas, LA and up to SF instead. Then we are just 2 days of I5 away from Seattle, if I have understood earlier threads correctly...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,319

    Default 2 days is right

    It's about 800 miles from San Francisco to Seattle. Easily done over 2 days.

    I would suggest doing the bulk of your driving the first day and spending the night near Portland, OR. This leaves a short drive the second day and gives you time to stop at Mt. St. Helens...one of the most amazing places to visit. At Castle Rock, along I-5 go east about an hour to view the crater, volcanic dome, and the devastation from the 1980 blast. Well worth it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    26

    Default West Coast with Yosemite and Las Vegas

    Hello.
    We are two frends who has come over from Oslo, Norway to take a trip down the West Coast starting in Seattle, with a detour to Yosemite and Las Vegas. We have a total of 3 weeks, and plan on ending up back in Seattle.

    Our prelimenary plan is:
    Cannon Beach
    Portland
    Newport
    Port Orford
    Berry Glenn
    Sacramento
    Yosemite
    *somewhere on the other side
    Las Vegas
    *somewhere
    LA
    *somewhere
    *somewhere
    SF
    Two days along the I5 ending up in Seattle, spending a couple of days there before heading home.

    The list is open for changes, and any hints and tips are welcome. We plan on spending two days in LV, LA, SF and Seattle.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 10-02-2008 at 12:12 PM. Reason: typo in the title

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