Airport vs Off-Airport Car Rentals

Old Jan 14th, 2005, 11:16 AM
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Airport vs Off-Airport Car Rentals

We are renting a car for two weeks-flying into Tampa airport. Is there a difference in rental costs if you rent at a location other than the airport? I thought you couldn't pick up many car rentals right at the airport anyways and had to be shuttled. Is this what they mean by off-airport or does it mean totally away from the airport?
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Old Jan 14th, 2005, 12:16 PM
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Hi, usually rental cars that are at the airport (although you are shuttled to the rental desk/cars etc.) are usually more expensive than if you get your rental car once you are in the city. Believe it is due to higher taxes at the airport. Am sure some Florida poster can advise you about Tampa.
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Old Jan 14th, 2005, 12:27 PM
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LoveItaly is correct. The benefit of airport rental are usually better selection of vehicles and you avoid taxi fares. (The shuttle from the airport to a nearby facility is still considered an airport rental). I'm not so familiar with Tampa, but I'm sure there are downtown locations for rentals. But you'd have to factor in transport to get to the downtown location. Doesn't usually make sense for most people.
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Old Jan 14th, 2005, 01:46 PM
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Unless you save five hundred dollars (no, that isn't a mistake) on a two week one way rental by picking it up in Downtown Seattle as opposed to the Seattle Airport. I couldn't believe the difference. I think we can get a taxi or shuttle from the airport to downtown for less than $500? Don't you?
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Old Jan 14th, 2005, 01:55 PM
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I ck orbitz.com,smarterliving.com,travelzoo.com and some others for prices...there are quite a few rental car companies across from baggage claim..other wise the shuttles pick you up out the end of baggage claim..I go w/the best price....some are located over on Spruce ST which is not far at all...some like ezrental might be a trek but they pick you up...look at the airport website and see the rental co. there....
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Old Jan 15th, 2005, 08:58 AM
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Off-airport means rental locations in the city. If they shuttle you from the airport to the location a couple miles away -- that's still considered airport. My experience has been that the off-airport locations usually have the better rates and less additional fees -- however, as the previous poster said, you have to take into account the taxi ride there.

Check out a couple rental companies (we've found Dollar and Budget usually have the best deals and occasionally Avis) and price the difference between the airport location and a location in the city -- perhaps near your hotel. The other thing to check -- many times the off-airport rental places have shorter hours, especially on the weekends. Some are not open on Sundays. That is another advantage to airport locations -- they are open everyday, many 24 hours a day.

Good luck! Do a bit of research and see what deals you can come up with!!

Cindy
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Old Jan 15th, 2005, 09:26 AM
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We've used E-Z Car Rental in both Orlando and Fort Lauderdale with no problems at all - we actually have reservations for Miami in a couple months. My point is that they have pick-up at the airport and their locations so far have been very easy to get to/from. I guess that isn't the answer to your question, but maybe a hint to check them out. Good luck!
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 09:16 AM
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I am resurrecting this post b/c we just flew in/out of Tampa and rented a car.

On airport in Tampa means you walk to the rental car counter, and then walk to your car--the distances aren't great, and you save having to climb in and out of a shuttle.

Off-airport in Tampa means the offices are about 1-2 miles from the airport, but not in the city--they're on a boulevard just outside tha airport. You'd have to take a shuttle, but it didn't look like a very long ride.

There may be downtown rental offices as well, but those aren't called "off-airport", they're called "downtonwn".
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Old Feb 25th, 2005, 09:43 AM
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I rent cars at TPA frequently. I always use Priceline and pay $15-30 per day. Sometimes I "win" a non-shuttle company, such as Hertz, sometimes I win a company that requires a short shuttle ride.

I usually avoid off-site rentals, but in Tampa it's no big deal and I wouldn't let the possibility stop me from using Priceline.

Tip: If you arrive late or when TPA is not busy, call your rental company from the courtesy phone at baggage pickup and the shuttle will be waiting for you.
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Old Feb 26th, 2005, 05:55 AM
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regardless of price, be aware that off airport agencies are rarely open 24/7 like most airport locations. you need to check operational hours to see if pick up and drop off times fit with your plane schedules. also you should go to the airport web site, find out who rents out of there and go directly to the website of the car company, they are almost always cheaper than orbitz.
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Old Feb 26th, 2005, 06:23 AM
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At TPA, the shuttle-required rental agencies are on the airport property and keep the same hours as the in-terminal agencies. I've never had a problem when I've arrived late.

Again, try Priceline. Last time I bid $20 for a mid-sized and won Hertz.

Gekko is offline  
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