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Renting a minivan from National/Alamo in SF

Israel
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Renting a minivan from National/Alamo in SF

The website says it would be a Dodge Grand Caravan or similar. Any idea what the similar might be? I'd like to do my homework and compare cars online rather than let the kds pick their favorite color in the aisle.

Any recommendation about where in SF I should pick up the car? There are several locations in the city and I wonder if some branches may be bigger and offer a better choice?

I'd love to hear from people who rented a minivan from National lately - what kind of car did you get and were you happy with it?

Washington State
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1. Re: Renting a minivan from National/Alamo in SF

The SF forum is pretty active and the best place to get info about renting a car there. Be sure to let them know if you're visiting The City first or just leaving directly from SFO. (Most folks don't want or need a car while they're visiting San Francisco and prefer to pick it up on the morning of their departure.)

Israel
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2. Re: Renting a minivan from National/Alamo in SF

Thanks - will do! I figured car rentals would be the same everywhere but I guess different locations may have different fleets.

Washington State
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3. Re: Renting a minivan from National/Alamo in SF

They do! Although cars are moved between locations (lots of one way trips in the summer), each location seems to have "usual" cars. At the Las Vegas Airport last April, we laughed when the National rental agent told us to choose any full size car. Every car in the line was a silver Grand Marquis.

Uden, The...
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4. Re: Renting a minivan from National/Alamo in SF

Why do you want to rent a minivan (nothing 'mini" about them though). Why not a standard SUV?

Uden, The...
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5. Re: Renting a minivan from National/Alamo in SF

Maybe I'll explain a little more...

This year thru september, 344.000 mini vans were sold in the USA and 2.5 million SUV's. Ford and General Motors don't make minivans anymore. Only Chrysler and some Japanese brands, and Kia.

General Motors and Ford have replaced the minivan by big crossover SUV''s, as least as large as a minivan and, imo, more attractive.

Next year there's a new Dodge Durango, a big car, like the one we have right now, a GMC Acadia AWD Slt and believe me, this 8 seater, with the 3rd row stowed in the floor is big enough to carry 4 of the largest suitcases you can imagine plus 4 trolleys and then there's still space left.

Minivans sometimes are called soccermom cars. We have rented a minivan in the past (Ford Windstar) but never again and always preferred SUV's after that. Just mho.

Tet

Sydney
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6. Re: Renting a minivan from National/Alamo in SF

Tet,

As far as SUVs go, I understand that most of them are 2wd, not AWD/4WD. So does that mean that people have them for space, not off road capability?

Would most people living in snowy areas have SUVs that are 4wd or just the standard 2wd?

Uden, The...
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7. Re: Renting a minivan from National/Alamo in SF

Yes, most rentals are 2wd. Even if you order an AWD always check if they give you one. In winter I always would want to drive an AWD combined with what we call "snow tires" In summer no need for an AWD unless you want to go off road (not allowed by the rentalcarcies). I also think most people have SUV's for space, esp. for bootspace. never seen a sedan that holds 4 large suitcases, even not the huge Lincoln Town car we rented several times. Even with the best fitted SUV it can be possible you'll need chains in winter in mountainous areas and rentalcarfirms have their terms for chains also...

Washington State
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8. Re: Renting a minivan from National/Alamo in SF

Some folks have the 4WD version of the SUV because it looks "cool." But around here, I think that there are many more 4WD versions on the car sales lot, and many folks just buy what's available.

It seems like more 4WD versions are sold than 2WD. I don't have any statistics to back up my opinion, but I know what I see on the road.

Washington State
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9. Re: Renting a minivan from National/Alamo in SF

I think that what you find on the car rental lot will vary with location. In Reno in the winter, expect lots of 4WD or AWD cars.

We love our AWD Subaru Outback wagon. That car can go anywhere in any season. On snowy roads, we prefer to drive this over the 4WD truck.

The Mercury Grand Marquis trunk is huge. Absolutely huge. We easily fit our six duffle bags for our camping trip last spring. I probably should have measured it, but it was like a Mary Poppins carpetbag. When we started emptying the trunk at a new campsite, other folks would stop to watch what else we'd take out.

About chains... in some places, like Yosemite, you are required to carry them. But if you need to put them on in addition to the M/S (Mud/Snow) tires on your 4WD vehicle, you probably shouldn't be driving. I put chains on our 4WD truck once, and it was a very challenging & scary drive.

Tet ~ where are you tonight?

Uden, The...
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10. Re: Renting a minivan from National/Alamo in SF

We're in Montrose Co now and tomorrow at Far View Lodge, Mesa Verde NP. No TV or wifi there. Time to read a book -sigh-

Btw, ever tried to get 4 big samsonites in a Grand Marquis' boot? And Town Car is even bigger.......

It's cold out here right now and we had some snow on 11.000' Monarch pass but with the sunny skies and the fall colors, Colorado this time of year is to die for. Tomorrow million $ highway again!

Sleep well.

Tet