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One way car rental from San Fran to San Diego - $$$$!!!!

Columbus, Ohio
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One way car rental from San Fran to San Diego - $$$$!!!!

I haven't travelled in a while, so perhaps this is just to be expected, but I couldn't believe how expensive this seems to be. For the 15 day rental period, almost all places are charging $1200 and up. The only thing that seemed "reasonable" to me was this place called Fox Rent a Car, which is charging HALF that cost, but which also appears to get consistently horrible reviews.

Any suggestions on how to rent a car one-way that won't break my bank account???

Thanks!

San Francisco...
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for San Francisco
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11. Re: One way car rental from San Fran to San Diego - $$$$!!!!

Looks like the price for 2 weeks in April for one way is about 3 times the price of a local rental. Wow. You may need to try some tricks as mentioned above.

Canada
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12. Re: One way car rental from San Fran to San Diego - $$$$!!!!

I suggest that you have a look at the rental car forums on flyer talk. There are some excellent tips and tricks for how to work discount codes etc there, and often regular posters can be quite helpful in providing good ideas on how to bring down a one-way rental cost. Sometimes the cost can vary from which location within a city you rent from, or drop off at, for example, but expertise is needed to sleuth that out. I'm not sure there is an answer for you, but poking around that site might help you a bit.

I sure hospe so!

Berkeley, California
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for Berkeley
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13. Re: One way car rental from San Fran to San Diego - $$$$!!!!

There are many tips and tricks to getting the price down. Car rental prices are much higher now than they were a few years ago, though, so you might not get things as cheaply as you like. With regard to your one-way rental, consider various pick-up and drop-off locations.

For pick up, you can get the car anywhere within San Francisco, Oakland, or Berkeley, or at SFO or OAK airports. The suburbs also should work, but good BART or bus transit access is key.

For drop off, check city locations versus the airport (i.e., downtown vs. SAN). Another option to consider is dropping the car off somewhere in Los Angeles or Orange County. If you pick the right location, you can then take Amtrak the rest of the way to San Diego. You could even do this in Santa Barbara, as Amtrak service from there to LA is decent. (Train service from LA to San Diego is excellent.)

Milwaukee
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for Milwaukee
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14. Re: One way car rental from San Fran to San Diego - $$$$!!!!

I agree with Pacific NW. Look at breaking your trip up into 2 or more rental periods. It will be a hassle, but if it saves big bucks it might be worth it.

I've even done that on local rentals. A couple years ago I bought a plane ticket to Tampa and then I couldn't find a decent weekly car rental rate. I broke the rental period into a 3 day and a 4 day and saved about 50%, strange but true.

Edited: 22 March 2012, 05:31
Columbus, Ohio
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28 posts
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15. Re: One way car rental from San Fran to San Diego - $$$$!!!!

An update for my helpers. :)

I have a discount through my employer with National and, by booking my pickup at the Berkeley branch, I was able to get it a lot cheaper (I can get a shuttle from the airport to Berkeley for about $35).

I could NOT believe the price difference...most places are between 1300 and 1600 for the whole 2 weeks. National gave me a rate of $355, plus .34 cents per mile. Now, even with all the driving I plan to do, that still works out to about $700 or less!

The only problem here is that the branch closes at 2pm Saturday and doesn't open until Monday morning. My flight is *supposed* to get in at 12:45. Now I'm sure I can get by in the city without a car for 2 days, but I was hoping to start my travels further north at Point Reyes and work my way down to San Fran. May require some last minute changes! I think I'll just have to double up on my hostel reservations. :/

Anyway, thought I'd update you all since you were so helpful!!! :)

S

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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16. Re: One way car rental from San Fran to San Diego - $$$$!!!!

Thanks for checking back. I suggest you continue to look, if it's possible. I noticed that car rental prices doubled this week for a rental I need in May, so perhaps prices will drop soon.

Columbus, Ohio
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17. Re: One way car rental from San Fran to San Diego - $$$$!!!!

Will do! Thanks, Pacific! :)

Corona del Mar, CA
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for San Diego, Orange County, California
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52,298 posts
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18. Re: One way car rental from San Fran to San Diego - $$$$!!!!

Did you check CarHire3000?

http://www.carhire3000.com/locations/usa/

Washington State
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for Yosemite National Park
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19. Re: One way car rental from San Fran to San Diego - $$$$!!!!

I think CarHire3000 can only be used by folks who live outside the US & Canada. Has anyone tried to make a booking as a US resident?

Miami, Florida
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20. Re: One way car rental from San Fran to San Diego - $$$$!!!!

Try carrentalshop.com, for 15 days, pick-up in SFO Airport and drop-of in San Diego I got this quote: $434 on economy car from a known company, Alamo.