Where do I get a rental car in dwntwn SF?

Jun 24th, 2008, 07:00 PM
  #1  
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Where do I get a rental car in dwntwn SF?

Hi....we're arriving into SFO around 11am on a Sat.in Aug. We'd like to take a train to a car rental agency in dwntwn SF. For the next 6 days we plan to sightsee: the coast, wine country, etc. The Fri after, we want to return our dwntwn rental, stay at a dwntown hotel & do a little shopping, drinking, eating.... and then train back to SFO for our Sat. noon departure. Does this make sense? I read somewhere that this was a good idea because you avoid paying the overnite hotel parking fee. It seems to make sense to me....except I need a little help: how do I get from SFO to a dwntwn rental agency? Is it fairly ez to do? Are there car rental agencies available dwntwn....& where are they? And if I take the train back to SFO (on a Sat. a.m.), how long does that take? We'd like to do this not only to save the overnight prkng fee, but we'd like to spend our last nite dwntwn rather than at the airport. Thx to all of you who are "in the know"! Colette
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Jun 24th, 2008, 07:11 PM
  #2  
 
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Hertz has offices at the following locations:

241 10th Street
San Francisco, California,
Phone: 415-703-0205

3928 Geary Boulevard
San Francisco, California,
Phone: 415-387-0136

Amtrak
101 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, California,
Phone: 415-546-4480

Fairmont Hotel
950 Mason Street
San Francisco, California
Phone: 415-398-3944

J W Marriott
500 Post Street
San Francisco, California
Phone: 415-771-2200




beth_fitz is offline  
Jun 24th, 2008, 07:29 PM
  #3  
dmlove
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BART to the airport is about 35 minutes. You'll probably then have to get from the BART station (which is at the middle of the three terminals) to whatever terminal your flight leaves from, but that won't take more than 10 minutes.

Your plan makes a lot of sense, especially if you stay near Union Square (lots of shopping, drinking and eating!), because the BART station is easy walking distance from most of the Union Square hotels.
 
Jun 24th, 2008, 07:43 PM
  #4  
 
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We took BART from airport to Union Sqare and it was really very easy to do - even with luggage.

When we were ready to leave SF proper, we rented from Dollar at their downtown location on O'Farrell Street, just a couple of block from Union Sq. We returned the car to the airport the morning of our flight home.

We paid a very low daily rate and there was no drop off fee at the airport. I found a discount code online and paid $22 day [in March].


Even though a night of parking at hotel for the last night is $$, it would let you drive to the airport which might be easier than using BART to go to airport.

Deb
DebitNM is offline  
Jun 24th, 2008, 07:44 PM
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OK - please clarify -- do you mean that you are NOT staying in SF until your last night? That you are going to leave SF after picking up your rental car to head up or down the coast?

If so, IMO it really doesn't make too much sense to travel into the city to pick up a car to turn around and immediately leave again. I'd get the car at SFO.
janisj is online now  
Jun 24th, 2008, 08:02 PM
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You might even find that there are rental agencies that will allow you to pickup at the airport and drop off downtown without an additional charge.

I'd check Hertz at a minimum. They seem to be better about drop off charges than some others, and have city locations.

Of course if you get a really good rate from an off-airport low rate agency then it might be worth while to pay for one night's parking. By the time you add in the four BART tickets you aren't saving all that much, especially if you find that the city rental agencies are going to charge more.

You might also find some garages that charge less than your hotel for overnight parking.
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Jun 24th, 2008, 08:10 PM
  #7  
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Thx so much for all of your replies! The rental and BART locations helped a LOT 'cus we'd planned on staying in the UnSq/lower Nob Hill area. and yes janisj, we're planning on only staying in SF on our final night...we hope to get to SF fairly early in the day on that final Fri. for a little sightseeing.....but we'd like to stay in a more upscale place for our last evening....and it seems that the hotel parking in the nicer hotels is quite pricey: $50 and up.....So do you think we'd still be better off money-wise paying the high parking? It's probably hard to judge 'cus I don't know if we'll get any kind of break on the rental car by returning it on the 6th day rather than the 7th. I can't imagine that the train is very expensive? I was also remembering our last trip to CA, and it was really slow getting from SFO to the GGbridge....so I was thinking that maybe time-wise, it would be a horse a piece if instead we got our luggage, got on the train, got the car dwntwn and headed north from there???? Wow, lots of ????s thx again for your help (and patience!)
Colette is offline  
Jun 24th, 2008, 08:33 PM
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No matter what the traffic is like - And you are not arriving during the morning commute - it will be faster and more convenient to collect you car at SFO instead of schlepping into the city and then picking up the car there. By the time you got in to SF on BART and walked or taken a cab to the rental agency, you will already be in you car and on your way.

Then on your return to SF for your last night - drop the car off at a downtown location of the rental agency. There is seldom a drop off fee.
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Jun 24th, 2008, 08:41 PM
  #9  
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Thank you janisj!!! I'll go with your plan! (it does sound easier)
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Jun 24th, 2008, 08:49 PM
  #10  
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mlgb.....I just read your post.....thank you also!....I think I'll get the car @ the airport, drive out of town, come back Fri and either drop off the car @ the dwntwn Hertz and BART back to SFO in the a.m., OR... park it at a cheaper garage (if it's convenient) and drive it back to SFO on Sat. THANK YOU SO MUCH!! (I'm not yelling....just excited).
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Jun 25th, 2008, 07:52 AM
  #11  
dmlove
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Janis is absolutely right - for some reason, I thought you were also spending a few days in SF at the beginning of your trip.
 
Jun 25th, 2008, 11:41 AM
  #12  
 
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After you decide on a hotel, if you need a parking lot recommendation come back and ask. I know there is one on Jones (uphill from Union Square) that charges about $20 for a day's parking with in and out.
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Jun 25th, 2008, 06:38 PM
  #13  
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yes, sometimes my mind and my fingers and my thoughts get a little jumbled......and even I don't understand what I'm saying! (The "preview my reply" tab was made specifically for me). Anyway, thank you all for taking the time to translate my post, and also for all of your suggestions.....and if I need a parking lot rec, I'll be back mlgb! Thanks much! Colette
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Jun 25th, 2008, 06:55 PM
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Colette:
Before you make arrangements check the rate at SFO and then at the downtown locations. We did this last year and found almost $400.00 difference for a ten day rental. Sounds unbelievable I know but it is true. There are airport fees and concession fee etc. which add up to a chunk of change. Took a cab to the off-site location and paid under $10.00 for a So. San Francisco office. Just look into it.
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Jun 25th, 2008, 08:59 PM
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Thank you ediemay!......who would have guessed that? One never knows when to stop checking for the best price.....Interesting thing: last year before traveling to Cape Cod, I was searching(online)for small to mid-sized vehicles.....and was underwhelmed with the prices the different agencies were offering.....when I happened to click on the bigger-sized vehicles and SUVs, there were unbelievable bargains! Even tho gas was still high last summer, we were still money ahead by renting a larger vehicle......Thanks again for the tip!
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