US Car Rental in Seattle

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by serfty, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. serfty

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    Nov 16, 2004
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    I will be in Seattle for a couple of days. This will be in three months time.

    There is a limited time frame, but I intend to check out the Museum of Flight and the Boeing Factory in Everett.

    My research indicates the easiest way may be to rent a car for a day.
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    Does anyone have any useful tips about LOTFAP car hire, especially in WA?
     
  2. Damien

    Damien Member

    Aug 29, 2005
    300
    2
    BNE
    I normally just book with Hertz before I leave. The whole process works the same over there. Ask for a small car or you'll get a tank.

    I've never driven in WA, but my experience in other states has shown very wide lanes. Once you get used to driving on the 'right' side, you'll be fine.
     
  3. Davos

    Davos Junior Member

    Oct 19, 2005
    13
    0
    Sydney
    I would recomend hiring with Hertz paying the extra $10usd per day and getting a car with the Never Lost system, makes navigating you way around a snap, the last thing you need when driving on the right hand side is worrying about trying to read a map. The only thing is they tend to only fit the systems to the meduim (Commodore,Falcon) sized cars, and above. Also not available in the soft top Mustang (Damn it i really wanted to hire one last trip) I guess due to the theft factor..
     
  4. andyjinoz

    andyjinoz Newbie

    Mar 1, 2006
    1
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    Hire car from SeaTac

    I've done the rental car thing in Seattle a couple of times. I concur: do the Hertz thing; web bookings are a breeze, and if you're a Gold member, easy on the pick up as well.

    The Museum of Flight is south of downtown; I visited it on the way to the airport when I'd knocked off work early, but that was a mistake as it didn't leave me anywhere near enough time to see it all.

    Oh, and the NeverLost is worth it, especially if you're heading out to Redmond (Microsoft campus northeast of town) or driving downtown (a few confusing one-way streets). But be prepared: traffic jams in Seattle are the second only to Los Angeles as the worst in the US.
     
  5. NM

    NM
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    Aug 27, 2004
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    I also recommend the Hertz Neverlost of you are travelling alone and don't have anyone else to navigate. Its well worth the extra cost! Its normally available with the Ford Torus, which is what they call a Full Size rental.

    Check your insurance options when you make the reservation on the net so you are not under pressure to make an on-the-spot decision at the pick-up desk. Know what your travel insurance covers and what you expect the rental car agreement to cover.

    Stick with the major rental companies such as Hertz, Avis, Budget as they tend to be reliable and ethical.

    An International Drivers permit is not essential. You can rent a car and drive in the USA with an Australian Drivers Licence. However, I did once have a run-in with a Maryland Law Enforcement Officer who (incorrectly) told me I did need an International Drivers Permit unless using a US, Canadian or Mexican drivers licence. So I now carry one whenever I drive in the USA just to be sure I don't have another threat to throw me in the slammer. They are available from your local motoring association such as RACV. You must carry your Australian drivers licence on you at times while driving, and its a good idea to have your passport handy too. In my Maryland episode, having my Aus DL, passport and airline ticket available to prove I was not an illegal immigrant allowed me to drive away with a "I will let you off this time, but next time I will impound the car and you get downgraded accommodation for the night" warning from the ill-informed cop.

    As with any rental, check the car for damage before leaving the rental car lot. And don't leave your valuables locked in the car in a public car park as such theft is not covered by most insurances.
     
  6. Maca44

    Maca44 Established Member

    Sep 2, 2005
    1,249
    186
    Sydney
    I rent cars at SEA each year, and even though Alamo are often the cheapest, don't use them. Apart from long cues at the airport (if that's where you intend to hire a car) they also tried to hit me up for slight damage to the car "before" I had even driven out of the carpark. I went back for a map and noticed it as I walked away.

    Try and book your tour of the Boeing factory as early as you can. See http://www.boeing.com/companyoffices/aboutus/tours/ It takes a couple of hours to do, and if you are staying in downtown Seattle get to Interstate 5, go north and exit west on WA-526. Its only about 30 miles from downtown and should take about 45 minutes.

    You can book and pay for your tour on line to ensure you get the time you want. Don't just turn up as they are usually booked out, and you have to wait several hours.

    http://www.washingtongasprices.com/index.aspx
    http://www.seattlegasprices.com/
    these sites are good to calculate how much fuel is going to cost you and at the moment gas is between US$2.09 to US$2.48 per gallon around Seattle.
     
  7. serfty

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    Nov 16, 2004
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    Best Car company to use

    Thanks for that information people; I could have posted on FlyerTalk, but I seem to get more Oz Related answers here. :D

    Now I have a Hertz #1 Gold, but haven't used it for 5 years. I do have status with Thrifty Blue Chip (as I use them here 10-20 times PA). (Can't use my Z number to book in LOTFAP, but advice is I can get a free upgrade if I show card). Also have an Avis one along with 2000 points but never used it.


    To save time, which companies have their offices/depots closest to the actual airport terminal? Elsewhere I have experienced being bussed seval miles to collect the car; same with dropping off then get taken to Aiport.
     
  8. NM

    NM
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    Re: Best Car company to use

    That is the normal process at most airports in the LOTFAP. At some places, like DFW, all rental car companies are at the one location and there is just one b*s, but at most places there are separate b*ses for each rental company. In my experience, the biggest companies have more regular b*ses, so that generally means Hertz, Avis and Budget in the USA. Not sure how SEA operates.

    For a single day rental, I would forego the Thrift upgrade and pay the extra for the Hertz Neverlost. It will make your life so much easier. You will still get the 700 QF FF points.
     
  9. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    Re: Best Car company to use

    That's right - cant have convenient transport connections at a transport hub - thats too logical. Someone might want to drive a car right to the terminal.
     
  10. serfty

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    Nov 16, 2004
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    Ok, A "Dodge Neon or similar" with Thrifty has a base rate of USD19.99, morphing into USD30.32 when other mandatory charges are added.

    With Hertz, the cheapest (without "neverlost") is a "Hyundai Accent or Similar" for USD38.99 as the base totalling USD55.33. Can't get ICN with that one; the cheapest with "Neverlost" appears to be a "Chevrolet Classic, Toyota Corolla or Similar" USD43.99 base and USD75.01 total. The "NeverLoat" is charged at an extra 9.95 added to the base rate. Take it out and the cost drops to USD61.91.

    So is "NeverLost" really worth another AUD60?

    (BTW, all rentals are unlimited milage and no insurances are included).
     
  11. Damien

    Damien Member

    Aug 29, 2005
    300
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    BNE
    I have never used it. I normally just go to mapquest.com before the drive and print whatever I need.
     
  12. drron

    drron Enthusiast

    Jul 4, 2002
    15,642
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    Sunshine Coast
    I have never used neverlost and drive regularly in states.Their signposting and road numbering system make navigation easy.As I have said before try www.globalcars.com.au and compare.Hertz is always one of their options.Miss out on some perks but often a substantial saving.
    Also remember in Washington state there is a local law that if you are at the head of a line of 5 cars you must pull out and let them by.Most of the minor roads have pull out areas.Would love this law in QLD when all the mexicans come up for winter!
     
  13. BlacKnox

    BlacKnox Active Member

    Jan 29, 2005
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    If you want at least a mid-range model, then in the States I often find it cheaper to book a small model and up-size/ upgrade on-site (sort of like at McDonalds with the value meals :wink: )(as compared to booking the larger model upfront). Of course if you do this, there is always the possibility that no better models are available to upgrade to, but with large reputable dealers I have never found this.
     
  14. NM

    NM
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    That is up to you to decide. How much driving will you be doing? How confident are you about finding your way around with other navigation methods? Mapquest is great and is what I generally use since our corp car rentals use Avis or Budget and not Hertz.
     
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