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  1. Default One way car rental San Francisco to Portland, OR

    A friend and I are planning to travel up Route 101 from San Francisco to Portland. We're coming from NZ and most of the rest of the trip will be probably be by public transport.

    So we want to hire a car but I'm coming up again two problems

    a) really hefty daily hire rates (which I presume are because the hire is one way?)
    b) or the online booking facility says they are "sold out", which I presume may just mean they don't do one way hires.

    So a couple of questions... Is there a company that does one way hire without charging astronomical rates? And if its not possible to do the trip by rental car is it the sort of trip you can do by bus or shuttle? We were planning on taking 4 days to get from SFO to Portland up route 101.

    Many thanks for any help anyone can offer!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default look some more

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    A couple things you do need to keep in mind.

    Yes, renting a car one way will nearly always be more expensive than renting round trip. If you are under 25, you will pay a significant additional fee, and if you are under 21 you won't be able to rent at all. You also need to know that rates can change significantly depending a lot of seemingly small factors. For example renting at the airport vs. in the city, or a date. Even doing a trip in reverse can often be a big saver.

    For your specific trip, there is no public transportation option to follow the coast. Amtrak does have a route that runs from SF to Portland, and I'm sure there are bus options too, but these are going to be inland routes (I-5), that won't let you enjoy the scenic views of the coast.

    You didn't mention if this is the only leg of your trip, but in general public transportation in the US will be very limiting for a major trip. SF and Portland are two cities that do have excellent intercity bus service, but they are the exceptions, and as in this example, when traveling across the country, you'll be pretty much limited to visiting cities, as most national parks and similar areas simply aren't served by bus/train service.

    I think the key will be to continue looking around for the best prices. While one or two places roll a one way fee into a daily rate (hertz in particular), most places list the one way drop fee as a seperate line. I'm not sure what you are considering to be a "hefty" rate, but I would simply suggest you keep looking, and adjusting the variables including all the different car companies, pickup and drop off locations, dates, etc.

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