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Old Apr 29, 11, 5:48 pm   #1
 
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Car Rental LAX - SFO vs SFO - LAX

We are planning on either flying into LA and out of SF or vice versa - after reading posts here I was hoping to start our trip in SF and end up in LA.

However car rental prices (including taxes) are approx $350 /week LAX - SFO and $650 /week SFO - LAX. Does any one know why there is such a big difference?

B.
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Old Apr 29, 11, 7:32 pm   #2
 
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...- after reading posts here I was hoping to start our trip in SF and end up in LA.

...
because you are not the only one

check hertz - i think they have some no dropoff fees promos
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Old Apr 30, 11, 8:41 am   #3
 
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Thanks azepine - I checked Hertz and they are a little cheaper (about $450 at the moment). It's funny the car rental tool on Southwest shows Hertz as being $815. I usually use this tool as a guide on prices and which company has the best rates. Our trip is still in the early stages and the car rental discounts for August probably won't be out for another month.

The only thing is I've got to finalize is whether our trip will be LA - SF or SF - LA to book our flights.


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because you are not the only one

check hertz - i think they have some no dropoff fees promos
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Old Apr 30, 11, 8:51 am   #4
 
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Well if you really want to take advantage of the no drop off fees from Hertz. Fly into PHX, rent a car from Hertz, and return it at either LAX or SFO, no drop off fee and the rental is $5/day.
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Old Apr 30, 11, 10:16 am   #5
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Well if you really want to take advantage of the no drop off fees from Hertz. Fly into PHX, rent a car from Hertz, and return it at either LAX or SFO, no drop off fee and the rental is $5/day.
That's great if true, but PHX probably has the highest rental car taxes in the country.
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Old Apr 30, 11, 1:32 pm   #6
 
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That's great if true, but PHX probably has the highest rental car taxes in the country.
Hey somebody has to pay for those Cactus League stadiums . But if you could find a Hertz Local Edition near the airport.....
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Old Apr 30, 11, 1:35 pm   #7
 
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There are lots of discount codes for Avis listed in the Avis forum. Try them out - you can often save 50% or more.
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Old May 4, 11, 3:03 pm   #8
 
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Note that drop-off fees aren't always listed separately. I have found cases where a rental from City X and taking it to City Y simply had a higher base rate than for a rental starting and ending in City X.

-I typically check the major rental companies, including Budget, Avis, Hertz, Enterprise, etc., using any discount codes I can use, including those from Costco, my credit union, airline frequent flyer programs, and AARP, to see which will give me the biggest discount. On one recent trip, I used both AARP discounts (for Enterprise) and American Airlines frequent flyer discount code (for Avis). One friend said he got a great rate for San Jose-San Diego using the Southwest Airlines Web site.

-It can also be worthwhile to check cosolidator sites such as Hotwire, Priceline, etc. Some have reported that rates go down as the date of the rental gets closer. I haven't found that to be true, but they could be right in some cases.

-In many, though not all, cases, you can save some money by renting at an off-airport rental location.

There's always the train.
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Old May 5, 11, 9:18 am   #9
 
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I just rented a minivan from Anaheim, drop off at SFO later in the day for $120. Seemed like a decent deal. I found that trying non-airport locations sometimes yielded better results.

Last edited by johndunn2; May 5, 11 at 9:25 am..
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Old May 8, 11, 10:49 am   #10
 
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Appreciate that it may not fit your itinerary so well but if you have time look at a downtown location to rent from in San Francisco

We recently rented an SUV for 5 days San Francisco O'Farrel St to LAX from Hertz for $180 plus gas

The taxi from SFO to downtown is about $50 and takes about an hour so you should be able to make a big saving if you can spare a couple of hours

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Old Jun 10, 11, 1:20 am   #11
 
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A similar question...

We are planning on renting from LA and returning to SF. We would need a car for 15 days... and our second last day will be in LA before driving up to PCH to finish in SF. With drop-off fee's, would it be cheaper to rent and return in LA for 2 weeks, and re-rent another vehicle for 36hours dropping this off in SF? Hope that makes sense... not really sure how rentals above 14 days work & how different drop-offs work either.

We would be looking for an SUV for 14/15 days in late Aug, if anybody could recommend the best rental comprany or promo to shoot for that would be much apprciated also.
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Old Jun 10, 11, 11:20 am   #12
 
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Originally Posted by pazza2000 View Post
We are planning on renting from LA and returning to SF. We would need a car for 15 days... and our second last day will be in LA before driving up to PCH to finish in SF. With drop-off fee's, would it be cheaper to rent and return in LA for 2 weeks, and re-rent another vehicle for 36hours dropping this off in SF? Hope that makes sense... not really sure how rentals above 14 days work & how different drop-offs work either.

We would be looking for an SUV for 14/15 days in late Aug, if anybody could recommend the best rental comprany or promo to shoot for that would be much apprciated also.
Usually yes but check all possible options.
It's too early see good specials for late august but book the lowest (cancellable) rate you can find now and then rebook later. Hotwire and priceline may become a great option within a week or so of your trip if nothing else pops up and you are 100% certain of your plans.
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Old Jun 11, 11, 1:59 am   #13
 
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Originally Posted by azepine00 View Post
Usually yes but check all possible options.
It's too early see good specials for late august but book the lowest (cancellable) rate you can find now and then rebook later. Hotwire and priceline may become a great option within a week or so of your trip if nothing else pops up and you are 100% certain of your plans.
Yes 100% certain of our plans. 15 days car rental required, day 1 & 14 will be in LA, 15 in SF (would fly but want to drive up PCH).

Shall take your advice & book the cheapest cancelleable for now. Priceline & hotwire I am not familar with all all, although would like to be so will do some research. We are from the UK so need a full cover rate when it comes to insurance.

Thanks
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Old Jun 11, 11, 3:55 pm   #14
 
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Yes 100% certain of our plans. 15 days car rental required, day 1 & 14 will be in LA, 15 in SF (would fly but want to drive up PCH).
Then I STRONGLY advise you to revise your plans.

Why? Because no one in their right mind does the PCH (Highway 1) from LA to SFO in one day. Why? Because its scenic stretches are both slow and demanding driving.....and unless you & your party enjoy spending all day in your rental car, you won't make it between the two on PCH in one day. The three scenic portions in question are Santa Monica to Oxnard (1.25 - 2 hours depending on traffic), Cambria to Carmel (2.5 hours), and Santa Cruz to Pacifica (1.5 Hours) add to that the 3.5-4 hours you'll spend on less demanding portions of Highway 1 and US 101 (since 1 doesn't fully go between those points), and the trip is going to be 8.75 -10 hours of driving...unless accidents or road construction slow it further.

Sure, I regularly commute to SFO from Los Angeles for work and recreation on one day trips. But in doing so, I take either I-5 (5.5 -6 hours) or US 101 (6.5-7 hours).....not the PCH.
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Old Jun 12, 11, 4:46 am   #15
 
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Then I STRONGLY advise you to revise your plans.

Why? Because no one in their right mind does the PCH (Highway 1) from LA to SFO in one day. Why? Because its scenic stretches are both slow and demanding driving.....and unless you & your party enjoy spending all day in your rental car, you won't make it between the two on PCH in one day. The three scenic portions in question are Santa Monica to Oxnard (1.25 - 2 hours depending on traffic), Cambria to Carmel (2.5 hours), and Santa Cruz to Pacifica (1.5 Hours) add to that the 3.5-4 hours you'll spend on less demanding portions of Highway 1 and US 101 (since 1 doesn't fully go between those points), and the trip is going to be 8.75 -10 hours of driving...unless accidents or road construction slow it further.

Sure, I regularly commute to SFO from Los Angeles for work and recreation on one day trips. But in doing so, I take either I-5 (5.5 -6 hours) or US 101 (6.5-7 hours).....not the PCH.
Sorry, I should have said we would be doing PCH over 2 days stopping off for the night en route. We would be returning our 2 week rental & re-renting another on day 14 in the am & returning our second car on day 15 in the pm (at SF).... or we would would simply rent 1 vehicle for 15/16 days dropping it off in SFO if it is cheaper.
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