Enterprise or Alamo for ANC

 
Old Jul 9, 14, 12:17 pm
  #1  
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Enterprise or Alamo for ANC

Hey All:
Planning a week and half trip in early sept. to alaska spanning visits to ANC, seward, DNP and FAI. There will be four of us + 3-4 carry ons.
I see comparable rates for Enterprise and Alamo, but yelp has bad reviews on the latter. From your experience, which agency/class would you go with? Which agency has a higher chance of upgrade?
Also, since it early fall, planning on renting not an SUV/4X4.
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Old Jul 9, 14, 9:45 pm
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Originally Posted by krisk13 View Post
Hey All:
Planning a week and half trip in early sept. to alaska spanning visits to ANC, seward, DNP and FAI. There will be four of us + 3-4 carry ons.
I see comparable rates for Enterprise and Alamo, but yelp has bad reviews on the latter. From your experience, which agency/class would you go with? Which agency has a higher chance of upgrade?
Also, since it early fall, planning on renting not an SUV/4X4.
All Enterprise stores are corporate. They are reasonably consistent across the country, although much depends on the local management.

Alamo/National in ANC is a franchise owned by the local GM dealer. I have never heard a complaint about nor experienced problems with them or their service, and knowing the staff that work there, I can't imagine there would be any reason to avoid them. With them, it's very straightforward. You'll get the car you reserved quickly and with a minimum of hassle (they have probably the fastest rental process of any agency at the ANC airport), and the car will be reasonably new and in good condition.

There may be complaints about them, but trust me, the same complaints exist for all other agencies in ANC.

I don't know if you're renting in FAI, but Alamo/National in FAI is under different franchised ownership. I didn't have any issues with my rental through them awhile back.

Having had extensive experience with all of the major agencies in ANC, I would not hesitate to rent with any of them. For the most part, cars in Alaska are a commodity--none of the agencies offer any real benefits for elite members of any rental programs or anything, so I would just pick the lowest price and go with it.
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Old Jul 10, 14, 8:27 am
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Thank you, jackal!
I am planning on renting the car in ANC. Read else where that some rental companies have *restrictions* on the kind of roads you can drive on? Not planning on travelling a lot on gravel, but my itinerary does include the first few miles into DNP(the free shuttle route) and cleary summit in FAI. ANC-FAI is all paved and highway, so shouldn't be a problem?

Also, would you recommend renting an SUV? Was planning on a compact or economy to keep the cost down.
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Old Jul 10, 14, 1:06 pm
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Originally Posted by krisk13 View Post
Thank you, jackal!
I am planning on renting the car in ANC. Read else where that some rental companies have *restrictions* on the kind of roads you can drive on? Not planning on travelling a lot on gravel, but my itinerary does include the first few miles into DNP(the free shuttle route) and cleary summit in FAI. ANC-FAI is all paved and highway, so shouldn't be a problem?
That's not a problem. They just don't want you driving to McCarthy or Deadhorse or across the Denali Highway (Cantwell to Paxton, no relation to the Denali park road).

Originally Posted by krisk13 View Post
Also, would you recommend renting an SUV? Was planning on a compact or economy to keep the cost down.
Only if you want the room/visibility/accompanying fuel guzzling. Absolutely no NEED to rent an SUV for summer travel in Alaska on any of the major routes. (Or minor ones, for that matter; I've taken a 1984 Toyota Tercel on all the roads the rental companies restrict you from driving on without issue.)
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Old Jul 10, 14, 1:36 pm
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or driving to barrow? is that even possible?

Thank you again!
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Old Jul 10, 14, 1:46 pm
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Originally Posted by krisk13 View Post
or driving to barrow? is that even possible?

Thank you again!
No road there. Deadhorse (Prudhoe Bay) is as close as you can get.
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Old Jul 14, 14, 1:54 am
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
No road there. Deadhorse (Prudhoe Bay) is as close as you can get.
Would you recommend driving there, on a rental car? Are the roads paved all the way?

Thank you again.

Edit: Read elsewhere this drive would result in at-least 2+ flats / windshield damage for road condition. Is that still the case?
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Old Jul 18, 14, 9:00 pm
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Originally Posted by krisk13 View Post
Would you recommend driving there, on a rental car? Are the roads paved all the way?

Thank you again.

Edit: Read elsewhere this drive would result in at-least 2+ flats / windshield damage for road condition. Is that still the case?
Most rental car contracts prohibit driving on unpaved roads. This is one of the ones they don't want you to go on.

If you go, you do so at your own risk. If you encounter any mechanical difficulties, you're responsible to get the vehicle back at least to paved road if not all the way to Fairbanks. If you have purchased the rental company's coverage, it will be voided, and since you are technically in violation of the rental agreement, you may face difficulty getting your other sources of coverage (your credit card and/or personal insurance company) to agree to cover you.

That said, I did it in a 1984 Toyota Tercel with one spare (albeit a full-size spare crammed into the donut spare's tire well) and survived without incident. YMMV.
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