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San Franciso to Mendocino - Rental Car Question

San Franciso to Mendocino - Rental Car Question

Jun 23rd, 2019, 12:30 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 44
San Franciso to Mendocino - Rental Car Question

Hi All - My husband and I arrive SFO Thursday, July 18, 8:10am, from Houston. Tickets are already purchased.
We have also have a rental in Mendocino, checking in on the 18th.
This trip is for relaxation, seeing the beautiful coast at our own pace and escaping the Texas heat.
We would greatly appreciate any advice regarding a rental car. Specifically the most convenient and budget minded options. Is it best to rent a car at the airport? Can we drop it in the city when we're done with it?

We arrive SF Thursday morning and will then drive to Mendocino which will be our base camp for a few days.
Arrive Mendocino 7/18, departing Monday, July 22 and will start making our way back to SF for one night before departing on the 23rd at 4:00pm. (Still need to find one night lodging in SF)

Thinking we would drive back to SF early Monday, use the car a bit before turning it in later that day. Will take Uber to airport the following day.

Any recommendations welcome! Thank you so much!

beckster is offline  
Jun 24th, 2019, 09:54 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 12,104
Alamo at 299 per week looks like the best deal right now, you can book with no obligation then continue your search, rates could go up if you don't book it now. It's VW Jetta or similar size. Same price if you keep it the extra day and just returned at the airport... Youd then want a hotel such as Columbus Motor Inn or the Mayflower in SF, they include parking in the room rate.

clarkgriswold is offline  
Jun 24th, 2019, 11:36 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,162
  • Renting at the airport will be the easiest, since your plan is to immediately hit the road to Mendocino. You take the AirTrain to the rental car location and from there it's very easy to get on the highway north.
  • Returning in the city is easy as there are in-town locations for all the major co's. Be sure to specify drop off at a different pick up when you look for cars. Whether it's cheaper or not (including parking costs for your last night and transportation back to the airport) will depend a lot of factors so you'll have play around in your searches.
  • Consider using a 3rd party rental co such as AutoEurope.com. If you don't have a discount rate plan (eg AAA, Costco, or corporate) you may find AE gives you a better rate than via the car co themselves.
  • You might find that a 1 week rental (meaning min 5 days or so usually) is cheaper than a per-day rate for a shorter period, which may mean that hanging on to the car for an additional day works out to be a wash.
J62 is offline  
Jun 24th, 2019, 12:17 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 64,932
That will be a long drive - at least 4 hours -- possibly longer since commute traffic will still be busy for the SF / general Bay Area bits. So I wouldn't mess around with going off airport - even if it were to save a few $$. Make it as convenient as possible and get the car at SFO.
janisj is online now  
Jun 24th, 2019, 04:34 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 12,650
I agree that getting the car at the airport is the best way to go. Even if an in-town rental is cheaper, it probably won't be cheap enough to outweigh the hassle.

Arriving at 8:10 am, you'll probably be out of the airport with your car in an hour, putting you on the road between 9 and 9:30. You will probably encounter some commute traffic, but it shouldn't be too bad, and it will only be along your route into SF - one you are heading out of SF across the Golden Gate Bridge, if there is any commute traffic, it will be going the other way.
november_moon is offline  
Jun 24th, 2019, 07:53 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 44
Thank you !
beckster is offline  
Jun 24th, 2019, 07:53 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 44
Thank you....will take a look at AutoEurope
beckster is offline  
Jun 24th, 2019, 07:54 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 44
I agree...airport rental sounds like the way to go
beckster is offline  
Jun 24th, 2019, 07:56 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 44
That's what we were hoping. We will be taking our time getting to Mendocino so there's no rush.
beckster is offline  
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