69

Rent the car! Los Angeles is built for cars. It has some of the worst public transportation imaginable, ever since General Motors conspired to eliminate the city's trolley system. Yes, there are buses and taxis, but you will find that buses take forever (and get stuck in the same traffic) and taxis are hard to find and expensive. Only 11% of Los Angeles ...


61

No, 4 days is (way) too short for tourists and especially in the winter. Yes, you can probably drive around the ring road (Route 1) in Iceland; it's 1,332 km and the Golden Circle is only 300 km. The roads are paved, in good condition, and the maximum speed is 90 km/h (with a few exceptions in villages). That means that with ~5 hours driving per day, you ...


49

Many car rental companies will assign you a car before you arrive at the counter to pick it up - especially if you're a member of their frequent renter programs. They will normally base this allocation on the time that you've given when you rented the car, but if you're arriving by air then this has the issue that your flight could be early or late, so your ...


48

So, first off, this isn't always the case. Point to point rentals can be cheaper in some circumstance. Especially if you're taking a car from an area with low demand to a return lot with high demand. You can get some great deals this way seasonally, but they're hard to shop for. That said, the reason it's generally cheaper to return the car to where you got ...


45

Maybe yes, maybe no. It's like checking into a hotel early: you can always ask, and sometimes you'll get it, but they may also say no. So it's definitely worth a try, but the only way to (almost) guarantee early access is to pay extra. In addition, beware that most rental agencies charge for their rentals on a 24-hour basis, so if you get the car two ...


41

Buying option For a one-month trip, I do not recommend buying and selling a car. Although it probably could be done, let me address some of the complications with that first, then I'll discuss rentals: A $3000 car will be old, and probably not very reliable. I would not trust a car in this price range to get me safely around the country without thorough ...


40

When you reserve (say) a compact car, they may give you a larger or better car but they will generally only charge you the lower price (unless they get you to agree to an "upgrade" it's on them). I once got a convertible for compact price, for example. If you just show up at their door they have no incentive to discount the cars they may have available and ...


39

tl;dr: You cannot Generally US rental companies don't have option to select transmission type, because they don't offer anything other than automatic. The only cars in popular rental companies would have any chance to have manual transmission, would be high-end sports cars. And even so, that chance is slim to none. For example at Hertz you have "adrenaline ...


39

I have driven a 2CV (belonging to a co-worker in the UK), and while they are a lot more fun than driving a "muscle car" unless you are on a race track, you certainly don't want to consider two weeks touring in one. For example the practical top speed is only about 40 mph on the flat, and the 0-40 acceleration time is at least 30 seconds. The brakes are ...


36

This really depends on the franchise, licensing and ownership in that area. In Germany, I rented a car in Frankfurt and returned it to Munich, no extra cost (national owner, national registration). In Calgary, I can rent a car at the airport and return it at any city location, no extra cost (same franchise). If I rent a car in Calgary and return it to ...


36

One of the comments nailed it: "they mean don't take our rental car to Burning Man.” - Eric Lippert And Burning Man is easy - flat, hard, no chance of off-roading damage. People still pay. Note how in the link, some rental agencies play them for suckers, and they can - words are nothing, rental car contracts are clear, and only paper matters. Paved roads ...


35

I've been living in the LA area (in Long Beach, exactly) for 7 months, being there for studying abroad. I made the choice of not buying a car and solely relying on public transit. Well... as said earlier, LA is clearly made for cars. Most buses don't take the freeways and move rather slowly. It depends on which route and which agency. Also, even if Metro is ...


34

It doesn't matter. I have rented cars at airports without flying many times, including in Europe, such at Belfast City Airport in Northern Ireland (United Kingdom), and Luleå Airport in Sweden. I've found that those may or may not be cheaper, but almost always have longer opening hours and a wider offer, compared to city car rental places — if the latter ...


33

Are you after the physical answer, or the legal one? Presuming he still physically has his license, and it has an expiry date beyond when he will be renting the car, then he will most likely be able to physically rent a car. If he is pulled over by the police, then he will most likely be able to lie and claim that his license is valid, and he will probably ...


32

Your Australian driver's licence is only valid in Austria together with an International Driver's Permit or with a translation issued by an authorized Austrian organization, e.g. ÖAMTC. If you are not able to get an IDP in Australia before you leave, it should be quite easy to get a translation from any of the ÖAMTC offices in Austria. They charge €14 for ...


27

I think Death Valley is not more dangerous than other landscapes with some precautions, so some advices with addition from the offical link Drive carefully. The monotonous landscape can easily lull you into being unresponsive and the lack of visual cues means that you are in danger to drive much too fast without recognizing it. This leads to sudden crashes ...


26

Answering my question since I was unable to find a solid answer elsewhere: Yes, you can. Whereas Aussie rental companies insist on "unrestricted" licenses, their American counterparts are happy with any "valid" driver's license. In San Francisco, the two random Hertz and Enterprise outlets I tried didn't bat an eyelid at seeing a Victorian provisional ...


25

As a native New Yorker, I've done this trip very many times via both car and plane. And I would only consider flying. It will be cheaper, faster, and much more pleasant for all. JetBlue is the best option in terms of comfort, though not the cheapest (if that's your main concern.) Countless other carriers do that route as well. The only exception in my ...


24

Contact your credit card issuer, and ask for a second card on your account with your wife's name printed on it. Most credit card companies will happily do this.


22

You can't guarantee it. However, you can increase your chances by showing up earlier, before they start to run out of cars (at midnight most of the cars are gone and won't be back until tomorrow afternoon and evening), and by being a frequent renter with them. Also, try asking. I have had rental agencies give me the "good news" that I was getting a bigger ...


22

The requirement for the additional driver to be present is there because the agent must verify that s/he is in fact licensed to drive and matches the identity on the driver's license. As such, to do everything strictly by the book, you would rent the car solo, drive to pick up your friend, then stop at the nearest branch of the rental agency. There, your ...


21

Cars with manual transmissions are simply more popular in Europe. While the cost of automatic cars is usually higher by a small percentage that does not make up for the difference. What allows rental agencies to increase rental fees is that automatic cars are a specialized demand which is almost exclusively catered to tourists. Locals are most likely to ...


21

NO. You should still reserve the vehicle as that information is used in fleet management. And no, the walk-in should not get the last type in any category if there are pending reservations, so no, the reservations are not 'ignored'.* The reason for your experiences is that rental inventory for any particular station is just less predictable than other ...


21

You need to find the actual rental terms because only that is legally binding. The ones I found are clear on the definitions: Hertz NEITHER YOU NOR ANY AUTHORIZED OPERATOR MAY... ENGAGE IN ANY WILLFUL OR WANTON MISCONDUCT, WHICH, AMONG OTHER THINGS, MAY INCLUDE RECKLESS CONDUCT SUCH AS: ... USE OFF PAVED ROADS OR ON ROADS WHICH ARE NOT REGULARLY ...


20

Coverage is specific to each policy which can vary greatly for each country so it is hard to generalise, but I'll generalise anyway and hope it helps. As you mentioned, there are broadly two types of insurance that you need to consider: collision - which covers damage to the vehicle; and liability - which covers damage you may inflict to others. Since ...


20

(The last paragraph is the TL;DR version...) I have bought a car in the US as a tourist four times, but twenty years ago. The first time I was only there four six weeks but I expected to go to all kinds of odd places at odd times so never considered doing it another way given the country's bad reputation for public transport. As pointed out in another ...


20

TL;DR: You need liability insurance with a high limit. Your credit card won't get you that. Try to get your liability insurance from home, and failing that buy it at the rental desk. Your credit card might help you if you wreck the rental car, but read the fine print if you are relying on your credit card for that. You Need Liability Insurance (from ...


20

In France, driver's licences issued by non-EEA countries are only valid if they are written in French, or accompanied by a notarized translation or an International Driving Permit. Quoting from the official information page from the French authorities: Vous pouvez conduire temporairement en France avec votre permis délivré par un pays extérieur à l'...


19

Death Valley is one of my favorite National Parks, but I always take a few extra precautions when driving through there. Stop at the first Target or supermarket you see and buy a case (24 bottles) of water for each person. It only costs a few dollars and may save your life. You'll end up drinking it once you've left the park anyway. If you have a choice ...


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