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Going from Atlanta, GA to Dayton, OH: A car rental thread.

Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS regular
edited December 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
So, here's the deal. I've gone by planes, trains, and my own automobile on multiple occassions. What I need right now is some solid advice on renting a car so I don't have to front about $1k on getting my car tuned up and secured for the trip. It's just me, my girlfriend, some luggage, and our Wii going from our college town in GA to her home in Ohio, so a small car is all that's needed. I've got some basic questions:

What kind of rates can I expect, and who should I be renting from for the most ideal price?

Do rental companies have some kind of scaling rate that decreases the price per day the more days you have it, or anything like that?

What should I do about gas? I'm not fully aware of all the options a company might offer, but I've been given conflicting advice on this issue from just about every person I've asked.

Other than those basics, what should I watch out for when doing this? We're staying for 11 days, so I'm thinking the best plan is going to be taking one car up and dropping it off the same day, and having another car scheduled for the trip back down when we're ready to leave.

Any help offered is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Wonder_Hippie on

Posts

  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    http://www.budget.com/budgetWeb/home/home.ex

    Budget is what I used when I rented a car here in Dayton (where I currently live). Really good rates and you can drop it off day 1. Not sure where the closest Budget place is where you're going to be, but the major airports have it. Normally a 15 minute drive, and a taxi can get you places around here.

    Gas is pretty easy for them too. You just have to fill the car back up to where it was when you got it. Take a picture before you drive off, so you know where it was, and so they don't rip you off for using "too much gas".

    urahonky on
  • Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2007
    Hrmm. Budget really doesn't like renting between two different locations, it seems. Maybe I just need to pick bigger offices.

    Wonder_Hippie on
  • saint2esaint2e Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Hertz is what we use for our company. They charge you about $100 for dropping off a car at a different location, and their average cost is $40/day for a rental. So if you went with hertz it's probably worth you while to drop off and pick up later as you're staying 11 days.

    saint2e on
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  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I was just going to reccomend Hertz. Also, be upfront with them about exactly where you're going with it, and get in writing what they plan to charge you for mileage, since it's such a long drive.

    Finally, get the insurance. I know it seems stupid to pay an extra $25, but when you're talking about driving from GA to Ohio, the chance of something going screwy on the interstate isn't all that low.

    amateurhour on
    are YOU on the beer list?
  • saint2esaint2e Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Agreed with the above poster on insurance.

    However, whenever I've used Hertz, they've offered unlimited mileage. Now this may be because I'm a business user, I have a special deal, but that's something to inquire about, definitely.

    saint2e on
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  • DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2007
    Check with your credit card company if you are going to use one to pay for this. Sometimes they will pay for the insurance.

    Doc on
  • GdiguyGdiguy San Diego, CARegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I was just going to reccomend Hertz. Also, be upfront with them about exactly where you're going with it, and get in writing what they plan to charge you for mileage, since it's such a long drive.

    Finally, get the insurance. I know it seems stupid to pay an extra $25, but when you're talking about driving from GA to Ohio, the chance of something going screwy on the interstate isn't all that low.

    I'd have to go back and check exactly, but I think I used Thrifty when I drove from San Diego to San Francisco, and I don't recall there being huge charges for dropping off there (though maybe it was closer... I also picked up and dropped off at airport locations, which I think may have helped significantly)

    Also about insurance - it's probably worth it, but first check whether your credit card gives you rental car insurance anyway (I want to say my Discover card did, but I make no promises)

    With gas you pretty much always want to fill it up right before you bring it back (usually it's fill it up back to what it was at when you got it) - they'll almost always charge you more than what the gas actually costs to do it themselves

    Gdiguy on
  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    They charged roughly $5 a gallon at the uhaul place last time I had to rent one. They didn't tell me that at the time of renting, and I refilled before I returned it, but out of curiosity I asked them how much it would have been if I hadn't filled up the tank to where it was.

    Also, regarding filling up the tank to where it was, floating guages lie, so if you get the car with half a tank, just pony up the extra ten or twenty bucks to fill up the tank. They're going to round down, and if they see that needle lower than it should be you're going to end up paying for three or four gallons regardless, so just avoid it and save the headache for something else, like getting out of atlanta on the interstate without wanting to shoot yourself ...(from the south, been through atlanta too many times)

    amateurhour on
    are YOU on the beer list?
  • Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2007
    Doc wrote: »
    Check with your credit card company if you are going to use one to pay for this. Sometimes they will pay for the insurance.

    Now that's news to me. Nifty.

    Wonder_Hippie on
  • saint2esaint2e Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    They charged roughly $5 a gallon at the uhaul place last time I had to rent one. They didn't tell me that at the time of renting, and I refilled before I returned it, but out of curiosity I asked them how much it would have been if I hadn't filled up the tank to where it was.

    Also, regarding filling up the tank to where it was, floating guages lie, so if you get the car with half a tank, just pony up the extra ten or twenty bucks to fill up the tank. They're going to round down, and if they see that needle lower than it should be you're going to end up paying for three or four gallons regardless, so just avoid it and save the headache for something else, like getting out of atlanta on the interstate without wanting to shoot yourself ...(from the south, been through atlanta too many times)

    Yeah, UHauls operate differently (I know this because I'm moving to a new apartment after Xmas, and am renting a UHaul to haul all my stuff). Usually car rentals are unlimited mileage.

    As well, don't go for the "buy a tank of gas from us and save the hassle of filling up the tank before you return the car" nonsense. Just endure the "hassle" and fill up before you get back to the drop off point. Otherwise, you get overcharged for gas.

    saint2e on
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  • ASimPersonASimPerson Cold... and hard.Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Also, if you're under 25 there will be an additional surcharge.

    ASimPerson on
  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Hrmm. Budget really doesn't like renting between two different locations, it seems. Maybe I just need to pick bigger offices.

    Ah yeah, I didn't think about that. My apologies!

    urahonky on
  • Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2007
    saint2e wrote: »
    As well, don't go for the "buy a tank of gas from us and save the hassle of filling up the tank before you return the car" nonsense. Just endure the "hassle" and fill up before you get back to the drop off point. Otherwise, you get overcharged for gas.

    Yeah, that seems superfluous, especially since my girlfriend's familiar with the area.

    As for the renting between locations from Budget, it seems to basically come down to airports, which is odd. Presumably, you're already in the city you want to be in if you're renting from that office. Either way, it looks like Hertz is going to be my best bet just from scanning over various options.

    Thanks for the input, everybody!

    Wonder_Hippie on
  • necroSYSnecroSYS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2007
    Doc wrote: »
    Check with your credit card company if you are going to use one to pay for this. Sometimes they will pay for the insurance.

    Now that's news to me. Nifty.

    Also, check with your auto insurance. Some cover you in rental cars. State Farm, for example, does (at least the policy I have, anyway).

    necroSYS on
  • GdiguyGdiguy San Diego, CARegistered User regular
    edited December 2007
    ASimPerson wrote: »
    Also, if you're under 25 there will be an additional surcharge.

    This also varies from company to company - some won't rent at all for under 25 going between states, some (I believe) don't have a fee at all, and some may even waive the fee depending on how busy they are/god knows what other random criteria

    Gdiguy on
  • Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2007
    Alright, the age thing is a problem now. Does anybody know for sure which companies aren't going to care about age/will simply charge an additional fee for it? Everything I'm finding is completely restricted to people under 25.

    Wonder_Hippie on
  • ReitenReiten Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Try some travel sites about age limits. I'd think Google searches should turn up something (try 'rental car age restriction') Also, adding extra drivers (your gf, for example) can cost extra. I'd recommend using Priceline.com. I've usually found the cheapest prices there. Whatever you do, don't get gas from the rental company. It's much more expensive. Fill it up yourself right before returning it. As others said, check with your auto insurance to make sure you're covered for a rental. Otherwise get the one from the company.

    Reiten on
  • nethneth Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    I'm relatively certain my friend was able to use Enterprise car rental when she was 22 just by paying the surcharge. Not sure if they do inter-state oneway rentals

    With gas prices the way they are and the mileage charge why not fly from atl to dayton airport?

    neth on
  • saint2esaint2e Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    Looks like Hertz charges you $37 a day if you're 21-24.

    saint2e on
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  • DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2007
    Something else you should know about car rental places is that their prices/specials/extra fees can be largely arbitrary based on what they have on hand.

    Doc on
  • Wonder_HippieWonder_Hippie __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2007
    Thanks everybody for the contributions and advice, but through twist of fate has given me back my Acura, so my sole mode of transport is no longer a 40-year-old Mustang that wouldn't possibly make the trip. This happened basically as I was about to enter CC information and secure the rental, so fortunate is me.

    Wonder_Hippie on
  • Lord YodLord Yod Registered User regular
    edited December 2007
    neth wrote: »
    I'm relatively certain my friend was able to use Enterprise car rental when she was 22 just by paying the surcharge. Not sure if they do inter-state oneway rentals

    On the topic, I can tell you for sure that Enterprise doesn't do interstate one-way rentals. A lot of rental companies don't. (Getting your car stolen in Vegas = teh suck D:)

    To OP: Awesome!

    Lord Yod on
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