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Rental car for Santa Fe, NM?

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Feb 5th, 2014, 06:12 AM
  #1
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Rental car for Santa Fe, NM?

Right now car rentals seem very high for May, but of course I realize they may go down. They do seem much cheaper rented downtown rather than at the airport. But I'm kind of curious anyway. We arrive at SAF at 1:30 in the afternoon on Friday and our flight out is Tuesday at 8 AM. How much is a taxi to and from downtown? Would it make sense to simply rent a car downtown for one or two days and otherwise take transportation to and from the airport? I'm not even sure if we pay for parking at La Fonda, but for at least two of the days I'd assume we wouldn't even be using a car, so it might make sense not to rent a car for the full four days -- just one or two.

Just looking for someone to help me make the decision and at the same time avoid having to return a car so early in the morning on departure.
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Feb 5th, 2014, 07:28 AM
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"weekend rates" often end on Monday at midnight, so maybe it's the Tuesday return that's bringing the rate higher?
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Feb 5th, 2014, 08:48 AM
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When we were in Santa Fe, we tended to spend about half of each day driving out of town and the other half walking around in town, mainly because distances are rather great out there, and spending an entire day in the car did not appeal. Obviously, this is a matter of personal preference. I would weigh the cost of two days' rental against the overall cost of the vacation, and then consider whether more flexibility is worth the price. Just my two cents.
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Feb 5th, 2014, 09:15 AM
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Well I saw a taxi from the airport is around $50 so that will probably equal or even top the other two days rental.
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Feb 5th, 2014, 09:47 AM
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Is this your first trip to Santa Fe?

I went to Santa Fe for a day-trip from ABQ via airport shuttle - first timer. For such a short visit and for the main purpose of visiting the historic plaza and surrounding area, I didn't regret the lack of a rental vehicle.

However, if and when I do ever go back for multiple days - and I sincerely hope I have that opportunity, I'd definitely get a rental for those activities I missed. I would like to visit an Indian pueblo, petroglyph sites along the Santa Fe River, protected nature areas, a side-trip to Taos or a drive along the Turquois Trail National Scenic Byway.

Of course, those are personal preferences. Perhaps you've already done them, if you've gone before, or don't feel the desire.
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Feb 5th, 2014, 04:27 PM
  #6
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I've been before, Peter has not. But I imagine we'll use a car two days. Add in cost of a taxi to and from the airport the other two and it looks like having a car is the best option.
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Feb 5th, 2014, 05:19 PM
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Parking is $15 plus tax a night.
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Feb 5th, 2014, 05:21 PM
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Best check the parking situation first..sometimes the rates are ridiculous!! Can't remember if La fonda has parking. You will want to wander around a bit so a car is a good deal if the numbers work out.
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Feb 6th, 2014, 06:00 AM
  #9
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OK, here's a problem. Our flight out on Tuesday is at 8 AM. Avis (snd apparently all the other agencies) don't open until 7:30. I'll try to call, but hopefully there is a way to do a drop off when they aren't open.

But by the way, I am now finding cars for the four days for just under $50 a day, so it does seem like getting one for the whole time is the best way to go, even adding in the cost of parking.
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Feb 6th, 2014, 08:22 AM
  #10
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OK, not an issue to leave the car before they open. And Debit was correct (why am I not surprised? -- LOL) that parking at La Fonda is $15.
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Feb 6th, 2014, 09:33 AM
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I tried to negotiate the parking fee at the St. Francis away, or at least down, but the very nice front desk person said that their lot is often at capacity and that parking is very tight downtown, as is enforcement. So no dice. Just FYI. I hate paying for parking, but it is what it is.
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Feb 6th, 2014, 01:28 PM
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Neo, the Santa Fe airport is up and running early so it should not be a problem to drop off your car before 8am. There are two flights departing there in the mornings before 8am and saw someone dropping off a rental this morning when I was there before 7am.

Also, you may have checked but does La Fonda offer airport service? Other hotels in Santa Fe do offer this to their guests. That's awful Capital Cab charges that much for service into town.

In May a 4-wheel drive isn't important so renting a small car would be perfect for getting around the area and day trips.
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Feb 6th, 2014, 01:37 PM
  #13
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La Fonda suggests a shuttle which I believe she said was $18 a person.

I checked with Avis and they said they don't open until 7:30, but you simply leave the car with keys in their lot, and give them your email and they'll even mail you a receipt. So far they are the cheapest.
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Feb 6th, 2014, 09:28 PM
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I think that will be a shared ride with others in town which would make stops at other hotels along the way = earlier departure for you. But, it beats $50 one-way to the airport.

I do think you would enjoy having a car for sight-seeing around and outside of Santa Fe.
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Feb 7th, 2014, 04:48 AM
  #15
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Personally I'd prefer a $50 taxi direct to the hotel over a $36 shared shuttle (2 people) that makes other stops. But car for the four days it is.

Part of my original thinking was based on the idea that cars are about $20 a day less rented downtown, so if we only wanted one for two of the days and not to get back and forth to the airport. . .
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Feb 8th, 2014, 08:50 AM
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SAF is a very small airport and it is so easy to rent and drop off your rental car unlike larger airports where you need a shuttle. Very easy and you don't need to allot much time before your flight to drop off your car. Since you will be dropping off your car before the counter opens getting there an hour before your flight should suffice. There is a small food counter there to get a snack if you'd like. I will say don't push arriving for your departure time too much as they will close the security line at 30 minutes before your flight. I've seen people turned away.
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May 1st, 2014, 07:02 AM
  #17
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We settled on Avis for the full four day rental -- total price $126. Seems the best option.
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