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Economy Lot at DCA

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Saint Paul...
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Economy Lot at DCA

Thinking of staying at L'Enfant hotel (yes, I've done all the research and know what we'd be getting for the $100 deal that I've found), but we can't afford to pay their $50 parking fee for 3 nights.

Was thinking of parking at DCA's economy lot, which shows $14 for a 24-hour period, and then taking metro to hotel. Is it permitted to leave a car there for several days? And is it safe (since it will be a rental car)? I know Union Station is another option for $22 each day, but it doesn't seem as easy to get from there to the hotel with luggage and 3 of us on the metro, as it does from DCA.

Any reasons to choose Union Station that I'm not thinking about?

Fairfax County...
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1. Re: Economy Lot at DCA

Let's go over the details - After you park at the economy lot, you have to drag your luggage to the shuttle stop, carry them onto the shuttle, being driven to airport, unload at the airport, then carry them to the Metro station...

If you drive into DC, you can drop off the luggage at the hotel front entrace first. Perhaps let most of the passenger off as well, and let only the driver to park at Union Station. (Of course, you can drop off the luggage first even if you plan to park at DCA economy lot. It just involve one more trip out to DCA)

I assume you already have the rental car for some other reason, otherwise, paying for the rental car while you are not using it, and then paying additional for parking sound wasteful.

Saint Paul...
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2. Re: Economy Lot at DCA

Thanks for your explanation of what is involved.

DC is 3 days in the middle of a 7-day trip and we are flying in and out of BWI, so yes, the car is necessary and not just crazy wastefulness on our part.

Arlington, Virginia
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3. Re: Economy Lot at DCA

Can you start or end your trip with DC, and not keep the rental car the whole week? You have public transit options to get into DC from BWI (see the top questions thread to the top right of this page). It could save you a great deal.

Washington DC...
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4. Re: Economy Lot at DCA

I agree $50/nt for parking is too much to pay. If you don't mind having your car 20 miles away, you could leave your car in Greenbelt MD. It is on your way from BWI. Parking at the Greenbelt Metro lot is $4.50 a day then take the metro in to DC if you don't intend to use your car once you're in DC. But personally, I like to drive around so I'd want to keep the car close by.

The Greenbelt Metro has a limited # of spaces for overnight parking.

wmata.com/rail/parking/parking_detail.cfm…

Take into account the additional expense of the Metro tickets x3 which is not cheap. If you're staying over the weekend you could try to score some free street parking, we always manage to find some when visiting the Smithsonian but it could take a while. Be sure to read the meters, they can be conf using.

Washington DC...
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5. Re: Economy Lot at DCA

Can you return the car to the rental car company at DCA and pick up another 3 days later? Saving you the rental car and parking expense?

Saint Paul...
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6. Re: Economy Lot at DCA

No, we are not able to return the car and no, we can not change our timing since the entire purpose is to see friends south of Richmond the weekend we arrive and the few days in DC are just a side trip before we go back North to BWI, not the focus of the trip The car is a one week rental at a very low price ($175 for the 7 days). It was almost twice as much to rent two cars during the same trip.

But we've worked out accommodations, so we're all set. Thanks.

Arlington, Virginia
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7. Re: Economy Lot at DCA

While we offer free parking to our guests, we also have daily parking available for non-guests for $8. Just give us a call at 703-979-3772 if you'd like more information, and best of luck with the rest of your trip planning!

Washington, D.C.
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8. Re: Economy Lot at DCA

I've parked at the Economy lot at DCA many times. No worries leaving a car there. That's why economy lots exist. Yes, hauling the luggage to the bus and then the Metro is a pain. BUT, it is much cheaper. The buses in the lot are usually pretty quick (less than 20 minutes between buses). Walking from the bus stop at the terminal to the Metro at the terminal will take a few minutes (depending on your spend, slowest person in your party, and luggage). Metro to L'Enfant is a pretty short ride. Don't know the regularity of Metro trains. I like the idea of dropping people and luggage at hotel, then parking at DCA and commuting back on your own. Avoid rush hours if at all possible.

9. Re: Economy Lot at DCA

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