San Francisco to Seattle...rental car blues

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Jul 19th, 2010, 08:30 AM
  #1
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San Francisco to Seattle...rental car blues

My husband and I want to visit my cousin in San Fran in August. We were hoping to get a rental car at SFO and then drive up the coast to meet some friends in Washington, eventually returning the car to Seattle on our way home. We were ready to book our flights until we saw that the rental car will cost almost $1K not counting gas! Almost all of the rental places we looked at jack up the price if you pick up the car in one city and then drop off in another. Does anyone know a way to avoid this? We were hoping to get a rental under $500. Or, does anyone know of any other options to ride up the coast? Thanks!
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Jul 19th, 2010, 08:44 AM
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Try priceline.com.
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Jul 19th, 2010, 08:49 AM
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thanks! we did look at that - are trying to do the "name your own price" option but our bids keep getting rejected.
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Jul 19th, 2010, 08:53 AM
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Wow, $1k is very high. How many days does that include?
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Jul 19th, 2010, 08:56 AM
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Does Priceline do one-way rentals?
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Jul 19th, 2010, 09:07 AM
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One-way drop-off fees are pretty expensive in the northwest. But you have many different options for transport if you aren't stuck on the idea of a car.

You could take Amtrak's Coast Starlight from Oakland to Seattle. It's a very long trip (about 36 hours), but it does pass some nice scenery. And you can fly and rent a car in Seattle to visit the immediate area. It might also be possible (and cheaper) to fly to Portland, OR, and do a one-way rental from there to Seattle. That would enable you to enjoy some of the scenery at a more leisurely pace and get your costs down. But you're still going to pay a hefty drop-off fee.
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Jul 19th, 2010, 09:36 AM
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If you rent from a "local edition" office of hertz you can do it for under $500. There is a Hertz in Burlingam (Putnam) that would be a $15 cab ride from the aiport. Closes at 6pm however and closed on Sundays, so it depends on your arrival time. There are also Hertz offices in downtown San Fran.
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Jul 19th, 2010, 10:52 AM
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Thanks to you all! We just found out priceline only does round trip rentals. We were planning on 6 days from Fri pm and returning on a Thursday morning. divineMissM we will definitely have to check out what you suggested!
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Jul 19th, 2010, 11:00 AM
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try downtown sf car rental offices instead of the airport. it'll still be expensive, but not as much as renting from the airport. but yes, one way rentals are much more expensive as a rule because of the cost of getting the car back to the starting point.
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Jul 22nd, 2010, 08:49 AM
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I will tell you we checked into getting the hotel outside of the airport, and you can save CONSIDERABLE amounts of money. thank you for the tip! We are thinking about going with National rental center, they were hundreds cheaper although we're not quite sure why. thanks again.
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Jul 22nd, 2010, 08:49 AM
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I meant the car, sorry.
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Jul 22nd, 2010, 12:18 PM
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National probably just has a need for a car to be delivered where you will drop off, or at least it doesn't cause them hardship. One way fees can vary wildly from city to city and agency to agency--it just depends on whether you are causing them to have to get the car back to the original city, or whether you are actually doing them a favor by moving it.
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Feb 9th, 2011, 05:05 PM
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My husband and I need to rent a car from March 24 - April 1 to go from Seattle to San Fran. You wouldn't happen to be going then, would you??
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Feb 9th, 2011, 08:46 PM
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"My husband and I need to rent a car from March 24 - April 1 to go from Seattle to San Fran. You wouldn't happen to be going then, would you??"

If you are asking the OP, it's sort of doubtful since the thread is from July '10 and their trip was last August (and driving in the opposite direction) . . .

(It is often better to start a new thread instead of tacking on to really old ones because your question(s) is different and could get lost in the shuffle)
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