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Car Hire - Am I leaving the booking too late...

Melbourne
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Car Hire - Am I leaving the booking too late...

Hi,

I'll be in LA (West Hollywood) from July 12 to July 21. During this time I plan to rent a car (SUV) for a 3 days to head to disneyland and then rent another car on my last day to drive up to San Francisco.

Would I be ok to leave the booking until I get to LA... from what i can gather, there seems to be alot of car hire places in LA.

Your thoughts and local expertise would be appreciated...

New York City, New...
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1. Re: Car Hire - Am I leaving the booking too late...

- You need a car in LA for your stay to be most convenient and to see most sites conveniently. Also, renting for 7+ days is cheaper than renting for a shorter period of time. So there is really no reason for you not to keep the car for the entire trip and drop if off once you get to SF (you don't need a car in SF itself)

- It's cheaper to pre-book since there are lots of special deals offered online. If you walk in, you'll have to pay regular (high rates). Also, keep in mind there are insurance and high one-way fees and taxes to be included. For foreigners, it usually makes most sense to pre-book via a third party company because it's cheaper and prices are all-inclusive.

- Consider going to Anaheim straight from LAX after you get in. You don't really need a car in Anaheim if you're only planning to visit Disneyland and not see the rest of Orange County. That way, you can take the Greyline shuttle straight to your hotel in Anaheim from LAX and only rent a car once you take the shuttle back to LAX after your stay there. Then you can rent a car when you get dropped off at LAX and keep it through SF. 2 nights is enough to see Disneyland btw.

California
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2. Re: Car Hire - Am I leaving the booking too late...

There are not a lot of car rental places in West Hollywood. There is a Budget.com in Hollywood and an Avis.com in Westwood, both about 15 min bus ride from WeHo. Book ahead for good prices, and you might check for an agency in Melbourne that deals with U.S. car rental that includes all insurances you need as a non-citizen. Can be pricey.

West Hollywood...
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for Los Angeles
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3. Re: Car Hire - Am I leaving the booking too late...

You'll need to do some research on rates since you are picking up a car in one location and dropping it in another. There are a few websites that will give you side-by-side comparisons of different rental car company rates. I like to use travelocity.com. (Click on the CARS tab and then don't forget to click the link that says "one way" in the lower left corner of the pink (orange?) area since your rentals will be 'one way' (not returning to the place where you got the car).

If you plan to stay near DL for the 3 days you are in Anaheim, you don't need a car there. Avis has good rates for the first part of your rental -- about $100 for the three days WITHOUT EXTRA INSURANCE (which you will probably need). Check Avis' website for a quote on the insurance.

For the second portion of your trip, Budget (budget.com) or Avis (avis.com) will cost about the same -- $66 or $67 for a one-day rental WITHOUT OPTIONAL INSURANCE.

Good luck.

Windsor UK
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4. Re: Car Hire - Am I leaving the booking too late...

Here in the UK we have car hire third party booking agents that hire you the car with all taxes and insurances, also you can arrange one way hire with them.It does say on their websites that people with a American or Canadian driving licence are not allowed to hire through them,maybe you have the same sort of thing.

5. Re: Car Hire - Am I leaving the booking too late...

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