5

I'm going to Palm Springs in March for a conference for 1 week. Then, I will do a small road trip to California.

I need to rent a car. I arrive at Palm Springs on the 3rd but I only want to rent a car from the 9th.

Most of the car rental companies are at the airport. Are these rental car companies accessible if I come from outside the airport? I know some places where the rental companies are in the terminal and only accessible for the people who just took a plane.

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    For what it's worth, I am not aware of any airport in the U.S. where rental car counters are accessible only from behind a security checkpoint. – choster Jan 29 '18 at 22:13
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    I bet it's...Esri Dev Summit! If I were there on Friday, I'd give you a ride, but I'm only working on Thursday. Enterprise famously will "pick you up" but tends to be more expensive than the cheapest companies. – mkennedy Jan 30 '18 at 0:36
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    Yes indeed, it's the Esri Dev Summit ^^ – Snote Jan 30 '18 at 8:28
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Yes, the rental car companies at Palm Springs Airport are accessible even if you did not arrive by air (speaking from experience of having rented from PSP before)

In fact, I can't think of any airport in the US where this would not be possible.

There are also numerous rental locations around Palm Springs that are not at the airport.

6

Rental car companies have desks in the airport because that's a big source of business for them. They will quite happily do business with anyone, and their yards are usually outside the airport boundary. Most will have offices and pickup arrangements in the city centre too.

Get some quotes online, pick a company, phone their local office and ask what arrangements they have. Some may even deliver to your hotel.

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I'm not sure if it's the case in Palm Springs, but often, there are additional charges if you rent at an airport instead of another location. If you will be renting and dropping your car off away from the airport, it will often save you money to avoid the airport location.

Here is some information: https://www.wired.com/2014/12/silly-fees-rental-car-blame-local-politicians/ ... the airport fees are often called "concession fees". Also, https://www.desertsun.com/story/news/2017/04/26/rental/304971001/ states that there is an 11.1% concession fee charged at Palm Springs Airport.

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    My experience in the US has been the opposite in that prices are cheaper at the airport and airport locations have longer hours than other locations. – Jacob Horbulyk Jan 30 '18 at 7:39
  • I checked online, the price are the airport where cheaper than outside the airport – Snote Jan 30 '18 at 8:29
  • @Snote Did the prices include tax? – Jim MacKenzie Jan 30 '18 at 19:00
  • @JacobHorbulyk I've posted some references/citations in my answer, to back up my claim. – Jim MacKenzie Jan 30 '18 at 19:03
  • Jim & Jacob, you're both right. Neighborhood locations can be cheaper, because you avoid facility charges, concession fees, airport tax, and so on. But that doesn't mean they're cheaper as a rule. Neighborhood locations are more likely to be franchises, who may charge higher rates or not honor certain coupons or discounts, and in some areas at some times of the week or year, local demand may be high while traveler demand is low, making the airports more competitive. Generally, I don't rent from neighborhood locations because they're never open when I arrive. – choster Jan 30 '18 at 19:49

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