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Car rental question? Itinerary tips?

Gros Morne National...
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for Newfoundland and Labrador
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Car rental question? Itinerary tips?

Repost from private message:

On March 20, 2012 11:51 PM morriekins wrote:

We are trying to do Nfld on a budget, for 16 days. Very excited. We've never been. I think I'd like to rent a car in Deer Lake and return it to St. John's (or vice versa). Do you know of any companies that offer both sites and are reasonably priced? I'm only finding high prices. I'm checking out the itineraries on the site, it's a bit overwhelming. We're hoping to see as much nature, some history and culture. We like to hike. Thanks for any information you can provide.

(Reposted at Op's request)

Edited: 7:07 pm, March 21, 2012
Gros Morne National...
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for Newfoundland and Labrador
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1. Re: Car rental question? Itinerary tips?

Some tips on getting the most NL on your budget:

1. Research the hell out of your trip. Winging it usually leaves you with the worst options or the most expensive options.

2. Fly in and out of St. John's. Flying out of the secondary airports saves you backtracking time but it is more expensive.

3. Get unlimited kms from your car rental. These can add up fast.

4. Drop your car off where you picked it up. The drop fees can be expensive.

5. Stay the next town away. The tourist towns come at a premium, by staying at an unheard of town just a few kms away can save you over $50 a night.

6. Find the obscure lodging. There are places that don't advertise heavily, these are usually cheaper. These are usually the lodging used by locals that are busy year round and don't need the fast tourist buck.

7. Look into self catering units that have kitchens, go to the market and buy lobster for $7 a lb and cook it yourself, it tastes as good at the $32 lobster in St. John's.

8. Eat where locals "in the know" eat. Every spring the Shrine in St. John's has a Spring Seal dinner for $7. The place is standing room only. Not a tourist in sight, they are all eating the seal for $25 at The Woodstock.

9. Look around for theatres/shows and festivals. Some get heavy billing and are very expensive. Some of the smaller ones are just as good/better but will cost a lot less.

10. I nearly forgot, order the Governement Tourism Guide, its a good starting point and they ship it to your for free, and fast (I got mine after only two day).

Edited: 7:31 pm, March 21, 2012
Stratford, Canada
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2. Re: Car rental question? Itinerary tips?

Thank you so much, this was very helpful.

Still struggling with the car rental issue, it's very expensive.

Are there any companies that are known to offer the most reasonable rates?

West Grey, Ontario
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3. Re: Car rental question? Itinerary tips?

Hi morriekins;

The cost of one-way rentals are much higher than a regular rental due to the drop-fees charged, as the vehicle must somehow be returned to the point of origin, towed if necessary.

As Doggles10 has suggested above, if you pick-up and drop the car at the same location, it will be much less expensive.

Best Regards

Ottawa, Canada
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4. Re: Car rental question? Itinerary tips?

Low cost car rentals just do not seem to exist in Newfoundland. There are a limited number of vehicles and during the summer months, more people to rent them than the number of cars that exist. It's a supply and demand thing. Low supply + high demand = Very high cost. They can charge what they want for the rental and in addition, charge you for every kilometer you drive (over approximately 100-150 kms. "free" per day). When you're shopping for a rental you can try to find free unlimited kilometers (might find it in St. John's if you're very lucky) but you may not get it. With the distances you have to travel in NL, you're going to be paying out money for kilometer charges.

Without a doubt one-way rental is going to cost you. I would guess at $200-$300 drop-charge if picking up in St. John's and dropping in Deer Lake (or vice-versa).

Once you find a rental place, book early. As mentioned, supply is limited.

Gros Morne National...
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for Newfoundland and Labrador
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5. Re: Car rental question? Itinerary tips?

The car rental situation in NL is horrible. A well known fact with no end in sight.

I do know people that have flown into NS, rented a car, then drove across to NL. If you crunch the numbers, and you have the time, it may work out cheaper.

I should add, scroll to the top of the page then look at the blue links on your right. Check out "Car Rents?" under frequently asked questions, there are a number of posts there discussing unlimited milage.

Edited: 7:30 am, March 23, 2012
Stratford, Canada
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6. Re: Car rental question? Itinerary tips?

Thanks for the helpful information!

I do have a question about car rental that I can't seem to find an answer to.

On a 3 week trip, across the province covering the usual tourist areas, how many kilometres (approximately) will I need?

I have not had luck finding unlimited mileage with a car rental company doing the one way from St. John's to Deer Lake.

I'd just like a ball park figure so I have an idea what to expect.

Thanks :)

Victoria, BC
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7. Re: Car rental question? Itinerary tips?

Try renting through Hotwire...there prices seem a bit more reasonable.

Also Costco memberships have a discount, especially if you are renting for 5 days or more.

I have had success in booking with Priceline, but I don't think they have rates for Newfoundland.

Vancouver, Canada
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8. Re: Car rental question? Itinerary tips?

Hi morriekins

maps.google.ca is a great tool for checking out driving routes, driving distances and driving times. Here's one map for example:

http://g.co/maps/5uayw

You can add or include any other towns you might want to visit and figure out how many kilometers you will need.

You can build a string of destinations by clicking on the blue print "add destination" link.

You can print the maps off as well if you don't want to copy the info onto a separate piece of paper. The printer icon is just above the string of destinations.

My tip though, is to enter two destinations, then click on get directions. Build your route one destination at a time to see how it goes. I would enter all 5, 6, 7 destinations only to find #3 needed to be changed, or I needed to add a place between #3 and #4 and then I was hooped, had to pretty much start all over again. So one by one seems to work better. To start a new map, click on "maps" in words at the top edge of the screen.

Toronto, Canada
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9. Re: Car rental question? Itinerary tips?

Car rental places gouge you to the point where you only want to go to NFLD once. With only 150-200 kms a day, in a place this big, it's only a drop on the bucket!

Banks, Oregon
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10. Re: Car rental question? Itinerary tips?

tdsuperstar, I am sorry that your experience with rental car issues has embittered you from returning to Newfoundland. As I said in a different thread, you can get unlimited mileage from Enterprise if you don't rent right at the airport (it's almost more expensive at an airport location anyway)----plus if you reserve well in advance and not during the busy summer months, you can get a decent price.

Edited: 10:47 am, March 28, 2012