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Boston with rental car?

Old Apr 1st, 2016, 05:07 AM
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Boston with rental car?

We plan to visit Boston this fall and then continue up the eastern seaboard. We plan to fly into Boston and rent a car but would prefer not to drive in Boston. We would appreciate any input or insights you have on hand to handle this issue such as park outside the city and take the subway in but where? Thank you!
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Old Apr 1st, 2016, 05:10 AM
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I would not rent the car until you plan to leave Boston. That is, do not rent at the airport on arrival. It will just add to your expense and hassle. You'll have to pay to park except in distant suburbs, and then it's rather inconvenient to take the T into the city. But there are many more experienced Boston posters who can give you more specific advice. There are some hotels near T stations that offer free parking; I just don't think that's a good idea in Boston. What I would do is stay in the city, and then take a train out to a suburban station that's near a rental office.
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Old Apr 1st, 2016, 05:15 AM
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Great suggestion! I'll do some research. Thank you!
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Old Apr 1st, 2016, 05:36 AM
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OK ... so what I said doesn't make complete sense. Since you are flying into Boston, I'm assuming you are also flying out of Boston, so renting at the airport makes more sense unless you can rent at a suburban location and still drop-off at the airport without a fee. You can always take public transit (or a taxi) to and from the airport and pick up your rental car there.
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Old Apr 1st, 2016, 05:55 AM
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We are flying out of Bangor, Maine. In looking at the Boston train map Rockport looks like a good place to pick up a car. Any thoughts?
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Old Apr 1st, 2016, 06:16 AM
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The Amtrak Downeaster leaves Boston North station at 9:05AM every morning. Take it and then rent a car in Maine.
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Old Apr 1st, 2016, 08:07 AM
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I hated driving in Boston when I lived in New Hampshire. Used to park at Alewife and take the T in. You will be much happier without a car there.
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Old Apr 1st, 2016, 09:18 AM
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You're smart NOT to drive in Boston. It's so much worse than any city we've ever driven in, including L.A. Street intersections are confusing, and local drivers have no patience.
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Old Apr 1st, 2016, 09:39 AM
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I've driven in Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, New York, Washington, Philadelphia, Boston, and just about every other major U.S. city.

Boston is ABSOLUTELY the worst US city for driving.
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Old Apr 1st, 2016, 09:41 AM
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The last time we were in Boston, we took a cab from the airport to our hotel out of sheer laziness; stayed in the city for a few days; rented a car at a downtown, or central, Boston location; and returned it at the airport about a week later. This was last May, and there was no extra fee for dropping off at the airport.
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Old Apr 1st, 2016, 09:55 AM
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It really isn't difficult to drive North out of Boston in your rental car after your visit. You'll enjoy your Boston time more if you're not commuting back and forth and you definitely don't need a car in the city.

Besides the airport there are lots of in-town rental agencies, especially on Atlantic Ave. and around Copley Square and the Prudential Center. Both areas are near the roads you will take to go to Maine.

I'm not sure you can rent a car in Rockport, but you can in Gloucester but it makes more sense to get it in Boston. To get to Gloucester, you would have to take the commuter train out of North Station.

Despite the dire warnings above, many of us drive daily in Boston and live to tell the tale but the fewer people who drive here, the better!
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Old Apr 1st, 2016, 11:58 AM
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I largely agree with the suggestions to simply not rent a car while in Boston and pick it up before heading north. The only exception would be if you were looking to do a day trip to some place like Lexington/Concord or Salem. Those are more easily done with a car.

As to where to rent the car... Normally, I would just recommend picking up in Boston and driving out of the city. As long as you leave after 9:30 and before 4pm, it really isn't that bad. However, if you are returning in Bangor, there is a chance you might save some money by taking the train to Portland or somewhere and renting there. Worth pricing out, at least. However, I think renting in Boston and driving would be the most convenient option, and I would choose that, barring a huge price difference.
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Old Apr 1st, 2016, 12:58 PM
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We left Boston on a weekday at 9am ish and it was fine, traffic-y, but not hair raising.
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Old Apr 1st, 2016, 01:38 PM
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I was going to say consider taking the train to Portland, but then thought you probably wanted to explore the North Shore of Mass., N.H., and Southern Maine, so that wouldn't make sense to take the train past these other places.
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Old Apr 1st, 2016, 05:12 PM
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Research rental locations in the city - driving in Boston is a nightmare for those who don't know the city. But driving north out of the city is easily accomplished and getting to 93north is fairly easy to do.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2016, 03:13 AM
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In addition to the train, there is excellent bus service from Boston (South Station) to points north. Portsmouth NH or Portland ME. I use Concord Coach Lines from NH to Logan and return. The bus from Logan stops at South Station on the way north.

With a one way car rental, it might be cheaper to rent in Portland ME for a Bangor drop off but renting in Boston or close to the city would allow you to stop off on the way north. You don't want to miss Portsmouth NH.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2016, 06:23 AM
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Thank you everyone for the input. We appreciate your assistance and look forward to the trip!
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Old Apr 2nd, 2016, 09:01 AM
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In Boston, we always rent on Atlantic Ave, National Car I think, much cheaper than the airport rate and easy access to highway out of town.
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