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  1. Default Best Car/Van Rental Company?

    Hey Guys!

    My girlfriend and I are starting to plan a roadtrip NYC to SF and we are just looking for advice on the best Rental companies? We are Irish so we're not really familiar with US rental companies, or actually renting cars at all...

    We looked up enterprise and hertz and all seem to be charging us an absolute fortune for picking up and dropping off in different places. are there any companies that specialize in this sort of thing? Any and all advice is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks so much


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Welcome to RTA!

    All the major companies are going to charge you a substantial fee to drop off a car on the other side of the country. You will probably find the best rates by booking through a European consolidator such as

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Car Rental in the US

    Céad Míle Fáilte! Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There really aren't that many car hire/rental companies in the US despite the plethora of brand names. Hertz also owns Dollar and Thrifty; Avis owns Budget and Payless; and Enterprise owns National and Alamo. Various members of the same group cater to different customers such as business vs. vacation travelers, or offer different levels of service, but there really isn't as much competition as the number of different 'companies' would seem to indicate. That said, prices can fluctuate wildly depending in when/where you pick up the car; how far in advance you make your reservation; what class of car you book, etc. So there are a few things you can do to minimize your cost.

    First and foremost, remember that there is typically no penalty for canceling a reservation more than 24 hours in advance when you book directly with the rental company. So feel free to reserve a car at the best rate you can find during any search, but then keep searching and cancel when you find a better deal.

    Second, it is often worth your time and effort, particularly on longer rentals, to rent from an off-airport site. Picking up your car at the airport, even if you have to take a shuttle bus to the car lot, means that you will be hit with some pretty hefty local taxes and 'convenience' fees. Local governments love to impose such costs on transients who can't vote them out of office. Look instead for branches of the same major companies a few miles from the airport and take a bus/subway/cab to get your car.

    Third, check out consolidators. There are minor advantages to booking directly with the car rental company, but they are often not worth the extra expense. There are also bidding sites like Priceline and Hotwire that basically rent in bulk from the major companies and then sell those rentals to you for a lower price than you could get on your own. Your deal is still with the car rental company but you typically won't be able to change or cancel the reservation. Another similar option is to book your rental through a European consolidator such as or Booking through them you can often get the one-way drop off fee waived.


  4. Default

    Thanks so much for the info guys!

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