Boston to Cape Cod Car Rental

Aug 16th, 2009, 01:43 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 19
Boston to Cape Cod Car Rental

Hi...We are planning a vacation in Boston and Cape Cod in September. We would like some info on the easiest and most efficient way to rent a car for three days to travel from Boston to Cape Cod.

Our itinerary :
Train from Buffalo to Boston South Station
Staying at Club Quarters for 3 nights to tour Boston
Renting car to tour Martha's Vineyard and Cape Cod for 3 days
Train from South Station to return to Buffalo

We are looking for advice. From reading Fodors tips it seems the best plan is to rent a car outside of downtown area. It was suggested to take the red line to Cambridge or an outlying area, rent a car and drop it off and take the red line back to South Station. It was also suggested to leave Boston mid-day to avoid traffic and travel to Woods Hole to get the ferry to MV. Does any one have any experience, advice or trips for us?

Thank-you for your help...Ter
ter is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 04:37 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Although I usually advocate renting outside the city of Boston for longer rentals, I think it might take too much time from your already brief schedule.

There are plenty of offices in the city. Look for one in the Financial District or Waterfront.
Ackislander is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 06:39 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I agree with Ack: It's not worth the extra trouble to rent outside of town. Especially not in Cambridge, since it's north of the city and you'll be heading south.

One potential exception is the Enterprise rental office in Quincy near the Wollaston station on the T's Red Line; it's south of Boston and relatively handy to the southbound highway. You might want to see if their rate is better than you can get in Boston (which has some extra taxes).

To avoid rush-hour traffic, head south out of Boston before 2:30 PM or arrive back in the city after 10 AM but before 3.

If you plan to take the car on the ferry to MV, that's a whole 'nother layer of planning.
Anonymous is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 06:42 AM
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On second thought, the Enterprise office in West Quincy might be a better choice: it isn't as handy to the T, but it's closer to the highway so might work out better in the long run since they will pick you up at the T station anyway.
Anonymous is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 10:47 AM
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Where did you read that it's best to rent a car outside of the city? And why? I don't think it costs much more to rent from a downtown location; so the only reason I can think of is to avoid driving around in downtown traffic?

Most DT locations are convenient enough to get on the highway quickly, so I really would NOT make a trip out of the city (and definitely NOT Cambridge) to rent a car for the Cape.

Club Quarters on Devonshire is close to the rental locations @ Govt Center. From there, it's pretty straight forward to get on I-93S to head to the Cape.
yk is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 01:12 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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If you are planning to take the car on the MV ferry - do you have reservations yet? You may or not not get one at this point in time. Personally, I wouldn't take it at all, they have a great little bus system, small roads, and it can be a hassle. You can also rent a car there if you feel you must have one.
charli is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 01:55 PM
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A spot-check of rates from Hertz at the Park Plaza vs in Quincy gives rates that are $12 per day higher in Boston for the same car and date; Enterprise rates are $2 to $12 higher at Government Center than in Quincy, depending on the model. For a 3-day rental that's a small savings, especially when you factor-in the T fares and extra time.
Anonymous is offline  
Aug 16th, 2009, 02:13 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 437
Hi, we just returned from Boston, Cape and RI. We stayed 3 nights in Boston , picked up our rental from Hertz at the Sheraton in the Prudential Centre(we were at the Fairmont Copley so this was convenient) and drove on to the Cape.
We dropped off the car at Boston Logan.

Driving thro the city on the Monday morning at 10.30 was easy, it was a straight drive down Boylston and onto the
highway. We did have GPS. Returning the car on Saturday at 3.30pm at the airport(we drove in from Newport) was no problem either.We did choose to spend the weekend in Boston and midweek on the Cape in order to avoid peak traffic flow and it worked out great.

Try using coupon codes from your FF program etc to see if you could save on your car hire. We used an aeroplan code and saved 10% off the cost. Have fun.
DOCK is offline  
Aug 17th, 2009, 04:05 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 19
Thank-you Everyone for all your advice.

We do have reservations for the ferry. Everything has been prebooked except our car rental.

Here is our purposed intinerary:
Monday,Sept 7 - Buffalo to Boston - Amtrak
Sept 7 to Sept 10 - Staying in a suite at Club Quarters, tour Boston
Thursday, Sept 10 - Leave Boston around noon to drive to Woods Hole. We have reservations for the 3:45 PM ferry to Oak Bluffs on MV. We are staying at The Garden House in Edgartown, booked through Kelley House, a sister hotel with Harbour View Resort. We will tour the island and leave late the next day for Hyannis.
Sept 11 and 12 stay in Hyannis at the Best Value Inn and Suites. We will tour Hyannis, Provincetown, beaches etc.
Sunday, Sept 13 - Leave after breakfast to return car and depart at noon, from South Station for Buffalo.

After reading all your car rental advice it seems it would be best for us to rent from a downtown location and avoid the T fares, the extra time and the hassel of dragging our luggage on the transit system (although we are traveling light). I actually got the tip to rent in the Cambridge area on the Fodors site for Tips for Boston (but I may not have realized that they were traveling north the opposite direction that we are going). We will have our GPS and we will try to travel away from rush hour times.

Thank-you again for taking the time to look up car rental costs etc and sharing your advice and experience with us. It is much appreciated.

We are looking forward to discovering Boston and the Cape.
ter is offline  
Aug 18th, 2009, 04:28 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I just checked out the "Tips for Boston" pages. I didn't notice any reference to renting in Cambridge, but I did find info that's at leats 2 years out of date, on topics ranging from subway fares to Big Dig project effect on traffic (it's over, folks). IMHO, it's irresponsible to set up a web page and not keep it updated. Don't say you're providing (for instance) info on subway fares or construction projects if you're not going to make the effort to stay current or at least note a posting date on your report.
Anonymous is offline  
Aug 18th, 2009, 04:34 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 19
Thank-you for pointing this out Anonymous. Somewhere in a Fodors article on car rentals in Boston I found this info.
ter is offline  

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