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  1. Default San Francisco to Washington DC

    Hi. I'm a first time poster from London
    My son and a few friends [all under 25] will be flying to the States, and then undertaking a road trip from Washington DC to SF over several weeks during July and August. They are hiring a 7 seater and propose flying back to London from SF, for which privilege they are likely to be charged a substantial premium.
    I had the notion of myself flying to SF to then drive the car back to Washington, saving them some money and giving myself a taste of America.
    Good idea? Bad idea? Do'able in a week?
    Your thoughts would be appreciated
    Many thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    First, your son and his friends are likely to be hit by slightly different "premiums": under-25 are often charged a fee by the car rental agent, $25 per day, per driver! That adds up. If they are successful in renting the vehicle from an overseas consolidator and getting those fees waived, there's a second issue: making sure that you are on the contract as yet-another-driver. Most car rental agencies put 2 *related* drivers on a contract, and then they charge another premium per extra driver. Then there is the premium that a 7-seater will cost. (I recently rented a van that seated that many: over $120 per day. If I'd have needed it for a week, the week was going to cost $675, and that was with my husband and I both listed as drivers. We are over 25.)

    But to answer your final question, if your son is successful in figuring out all of the above, coming back in 7 days is definitely doable.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Pros/Cons

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Your idea isn't a bad one, but it might not work out as well as you are hoping.

    If you are doing this under the idea of saving money, then I'd drop the plan completely. Yes, your son will be charged a one way drop fee for leaving the van across country, and that fee could be quite a lot of money, but that fee is still going to be cheaper than you paying for plane tickets, and the cost of driving it back across the country. You should also keep in mind that you would have to be listed as an extra driver, which could add an additional fee for every day of the rental, and even though you would be driving, you'd still be paying your son's underage fee for every day you are driving it back, which alone can be a significant cost.

    Actually, how far has your son gotten in the planning process? Being under 25, it's quite possible that no rental company will even allow him to take a large van. Many companies limit underage (under 25) renters to regular sedans, and don't allow them to take specialty vehicles, which a 7-passenger van likely would be considered.

    Now, if you're looking for a reason to drive across the U.S, you could certainly still do it. 7 days isn't a lot of time for the trip - most of your sightseeing would have to be done out the window - but it's still a reasonable timeframe to cover the miles. However, it wouldn't surprise me if it would actually be cheaper to do that as your own trip, renting your own vehicle and paying your own drop fee - especially when you factor in all the fees, along with the costs of being in a very large vehicle.

  4. Default

    Thanks Donna

    The second answer is welcome, though the costs in the first answer seem so large! Still, I'll pass your valuable information on

    Thanks again


  5. Default

    Thanks Michael

    That's really useful as you've highlighted things that I suspect haven't been thought of before



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Plenty of time for a loop trip.

    As they are doing a trip over "several weeks" why do they not drive both ways, taking a different route each direction and see more of the country. Quite often it's the case that to see all you want to see, it actually doesn't add as many miles as you may think, as it cuts out the zig-zagging up and down the country. It wont help with the young driver fees, though flights will be cheaper and no one way fees.

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