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I have a friend driving me to SFO to pick up a car from Hertz. I will have a lot of stuff in this friend's car that I want to put into my new rental one.

Is there a good place for that friend to stay to meet up with me once I have my car without paying parking fees? To save on time, it would be nice to be able to do this directly at the airport without him driving back somewhere else.

  • The other car is his private one, not from Hertz if that's what you think. So I don't think he'll be allowed to drive into the Hertz garage – helm Sep 2 '14 at 10:43
  • Do you have to do it at the airport? Hertz (and many other rental companies) have off-airport locations which would make your operation much easier. For example, Hertz has an office at 958 El Camino Real in San Bruno, very close to SFO. The only reason I can see to want to use an airport location is if you're going to end up dropping it off when flying out. – DoxyLover Sep 2 '14 at 22:07
  • I'm going to do that, so unfortunately this would not have been an option. – helm Sep 3 '14 at 8:21
  • You'd have to confirm it, but they may treat the San Bruno office as if you picked up at the airport. As it has been suggested, call and ask. – Max Wyss Sep 3 '14 at 9:53
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Option 1

This entire procedure would likely be made more smooth if you could coordinate by cell phone, but should be possible even without, and can be pre-arranged before arriving at the airport, or even knowing the airport layout.

  1. Have your friend drop you off at the customer-drop of section of the airport, near the car rentals. Instruct your friend to exit the airport, as usual, then re-enter the customer drop-off area and watch for you at the same spot.

  2. You go inside, get the keys, etc, and go pick up your car.

  3. Drive your rental car to the customer drop-off area of the airport where your friend dropped you off. Get out of the car and stand next to it and wait for your friend. As long as you are there less than a few minutes, this is usually permitted.

  4. When your friend comes back around, have him pull up near you, transfer your belongings, and be on your way.

Option 2

On your way to the airport with your friend, keep your eyes open for a good spot to do the exchange, and agree to meet there immediately after he drops you off and you pick up the rental car. Look for a public parking lot, or even just a wide shoulder, which will be easy to access, and free.

Option 3

Use the Hertz customer parking. In some airports it may not be obvious where this is (and it may not be convenient), but every car rental agency ought to have public customer parking. You can always call ahead to ask where it is.

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This operation went down today and I can report that there is a special "rental car customer parking area" with a lot of free space (at least around 3pm on a Tuesday).

When getting there, just follow the signs to Rental Car Return at first, and a some point, this customer parking should signposted as well. It's immediately south of the rental car building.

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