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car rental question

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Fremont, ca
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car rental question

Hi

We are flying to IAD on Apr 19th morning. From there we are heading to N.C for two days and will stay in Dupont circle for 5 days after our NC trip. We will fly back from DCA on Apr 26th. I was trying to find car rentals for three days with pick up at IAD and drop off at DCA. It shows 70/day for standard car. I can get car for 45/day if I pick up and drop off at IAD, but picking up at DCA and drop off at DCA costs only 25/day. I appreciate your help in deciding best way to rent the car, so that I drop off at DCA. I am sure many of you might have gone through this..

Edited: 24 March 2014, 06:54
Olney, Maryland
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1. Re: car rental question

Why do you want your car during your 5 days in Washington? You will pay $35 per day to park it and you will probably never use it!

So just get your car at IAD, return it to IAD when you are done, and then you can save money by taking either a MetroFlyer bus or the 5A bus to a Metro rail station, enjoy your trip without worrying about a car, and take the Metro to DCA, a 25-minute trip if even that long.

Or to save money as you described: immediately go from IAD to DCA by bus and train, get your cheaper rental car, and return it to DCA when you come back from NC (or keep it and waste $300).

Here are the two bus schedules:

www.wmata.com/bus/timetables/dc/05a.pdf‎ (goes to Rosslyn Metro Station for $6)

www.washfly.com/flyer_bus_schedule.htm‎ (goes to West Falls Church for $10)

And the Metro Train map:

wmata.com/rail/docs/colormap_lettersize.pdf (there is a station called "National Airport")

The Metro Rail system has escalators and elevators everywhere, and has an extra wide turnstile at each entrance for luggage. Washington is a lot like San Francisco in crowdedness; why would you want a car for you five days in DC?

Edited: 24 March 2014, 16:53
Fremont, ca
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2. Re: car rental question

NorthofDC,

Thanks for your input. I only want to rent the car for 3 days. We stay in a hotel near union station, so we don't need car for the DC stay. We are family of 3 flying to IAD, want to pick up car and head straight to North Carolina. When we come back, I can drop off my family in the hotel, drive to IAD and drop the car and come back to the hotel. I am more concerned about driving all the way to IAD just to return the car considering the traffic and distance.

Picking up car at DCA is tempting, but looks like it is not practical, given the fact that we need to leave DC soon for NC.

Has anybody negotiated with rental car company to pick and drop off at different airports within the same metro area, without paying huge rental rates?

Edited: 24 March 2014, 22:30
Fairfax County...
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3. Re: car rental question

Why is picking up at DCA not practical? For the money you save in rental fees, you can take a taxi at IAD and go directly to DCA. That should take only an hour.

Edited: 24 March 2014, 22:36
Olney, Maryland
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4. Re: car rental question

And are you sure there is a drop-off charge? I have rented cars in W. Palm Beach and returned them to Miami with no extra charge, just as an example.

Same with Oakland and SF, and Los Angeles and Burbank.

Montreal
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5. Re: car rental question

We recently rented a car in DC - we wanted to do the Udvar-Hazy Center near IAD and did not want to spend money on a cab going back and forth. So we planned our rental so that it would be on the day before we left. I got a terrific rate through Costco (Avis) and picked it up on M Street near Dupont Circle, not far from our hotel. We visited the Center, stopped by the Iwo Jimo statue and Arlington Cemetery on the way back, and then parked the car to walk the rest of the day. Next morning, the rental was our transportation to the airport - we dropped off the car at the airport. We travelled in March so perhaps that was part of what made the rate good, but check out whatever discount may be out there - Costco, AAA, etc. Good luck and have fun!

Fremont, ca
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6. Re: car rental question

Thanks for all the suggestions. I am still looking for good deals for one way rental. I don't know why rental companies don't treat all airports in the same metro location as one destination.

Olney, Maryland
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7. Re: car rental question

But in my experience they do treat them as one location. Check other companies.

Fairfax County...
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8. Re: car rental question

Some do and some don't. If you try to do a dummy booking on any major travel website (such as Expedia.com) with a pickup at IAD and a drop off at DCA, you can quickly identify which one does.

Using an April 19 pickup at IAD and an April 20 drop off at DCA to do a dummy search, I see that Dollar only charges $35 per day for a compact, or $86 for 2 days including taxes.

East yorkshire...
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9. Re: car rental question

I am planning to hire a car with almo pick up union station drop the car off at dulies airport 12days later will i be charged extra for the differant drop off. Thank you

Fairfax County...
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10. Re: car rental question

You can go through the exercise I mentioned in the post right above yours and find out yourself. If Alamo does not, there may be others that do. It really depends on the dates.

Edited: 03 August 2014, 02:50