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hire car

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Brisbane, Australia
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hire car

Can I hire a car in Merced to drive one way to Las Vegas?

6 replies to this topic
Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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1. Re: hire car

Yes, you can rent a car in Merced and pay a one way drop fee to leave it in Las Vegas. I know there is a Hertz and an Avis office in Merced, but I don't know about others.

It might be cheaper to fly, depending on the size of your group.

Santa Cruz...
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2. Re: hire car

If you go through an Australian broker, such as is it called jigsaw? Then I believe that you, as a non US resident ,will not be charged a drop-off fee and all of the necessary insurance will be included in the price.

The UK site is carhire3000. You may be able to book through them as well.

I would book from your own country and not wait to go through the hassle of doing it here.

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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3. Re: hire car

Other Aussie visitors haven't paid the one way drop fee when driving between major cities: San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Phoenix. The drop fee is charged for other trips.

Hertz usually charges a higher price per day rather than a lower price + drop fee. I don't know what the situation will be for Hertz in Merced as this is a smaller town (about 80,000 people.)

Definitely follow Puter's suggestion and have the rental arranged in advance. I doubt the Merced Hertz office rents many cars to drive to Las Vegas.

If you'd like help with your overall itinerary, pleas make a new thread on the California state forum page. My guess is that you're using Amtrak + YARTS to travel from San Francisco to Yosemite, and then you want to go to Las Vegas. Depending on the time of year, you might be happier renting a car for the entire drive or traveling back to the Bay Area and flying out of OAK to LAS or continuing with your rental car plan.

Brisbane, Australia
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4. Re: hire car

Thank you all.

PacificNWFamily, we are travelling in December 2013 so I thought we couldn't rent a car from SF to get to Yosemite as rental cars don't allow snow chains on the tires; hence I thought we would have to Amtrak + YARTS in, and try to stay the night since it looks like a long day of travel. Then I wasn't keen on taking the time to backtrack several hours from Merced to SF to spend time organising hire car collection then driving back south if it wasn't necessary as it adds quite a number of wasted hours to the trip. Hence the question about hire cars in Merced, but I am wondering if getting off the YARTS bus at Modesto is a better bet for getting a hire car as it appears to be a bigger place. We would be driving from there across to Monterey and down the coast before heading across to Bakersfield and Las Vegas.

Does this sound right?

Would Modesto have more hire car facilities?

Many thanks!

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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5. Re: hire car

I don’t think YARTS goes to Modesto.

I think it would be much easier to rent a car in San Francisco in the afternoon and drive to Mariposa or to El Portal. Leave your car there and take YARTS into Yosemite Valley the next morning. When you’re done with your tourism, go back to the car/motel for the night. The next day, drive to Las Vegas.

If you really only have one night, then taking Amtrak + YARTS really doesn’t work well. You’ll get there too late.

With limited time, leave SF early in the AM and drive directly to Mariposa or El Portal. Check the YARTS winter schedule so you’ll arrive at the right time to catch a bus. Take YARTS into the Valley and enjoy the afternoon. If you can stay in the Valley, that would be ideal. But if not, take YARTS back to the town where you left your car and stay the night. The next day you can drive on to Las Vegas.

If you have a few nights, that would be even better. The Yosemite NP forum page has more information.

Brisbane, Australia
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6. Re: hire car

sounds like good advice, many thanks.

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