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Route 66 car hire questions

Oxford, United...
Level Contributor
331 posts
116 reviews
Route 66 car hire questions

In August, I'm travelling from the UK to the USA with my girlfriend. We've booked our flights: we're flying to Chicago (from London) and returning to London from Los Angeles.

Therefore, we need to hire a car from Chicago and drop it off in Los Angeles.

I've spent a lot of time researching prices. They vary wildly and it is often unclear if the prices include things such as one-way drop-off fees, excessive mileage fees, taxes, insurance, GPS, etc.

Also, I really don't know which type of car to hire. A convertible sounds great but might not be suitable in August due to the extreme heat. A small economy car is cheapest but would it be suitable for Route 66?

Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you,

Will

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
1. Re: Route 66 car hire questions

Have you tried these sites?

http://www.usrentacar.co.uk/default.aspx

http://www.drive-usa.de/rental-cars/

We often rent with the 2nd one. You can fill in the dates and immediately see how high the drop off fees are. National often is cheapest with $ 250,-- plus tax.

Both sites have all insurences covered.

You don't need a special car for R66 unless you want to drive hidden so called 9' alignments and sometimes they require awd but most people never get to them.

With 2 people I recommend to rent midsize SUV (like a Ford Escape or similar). You'll have a higher position on the road and enough trunkspace.

All rentalscarcompanies I'm familiar with have unlimited miles.

Tet

Oxford, United...
Level Contributor
331 posts
116 reviews
2. Re: Route 66 car hire questions

The second website seems good. We can get a midsize SUV for 683 Euros (about $900) plus $250 drop-off fee. Not too bad.

On the first website, the one-way drop-off fees vary greatly. You select a deal that looks decent and then find out it has a $750 drop-off fee! I think $250 is acceptable, but no more than that.

Would a midsize SUV be easy to park and navigate through buys city streets, e.g. Las Vegas, Los Angeles, etc?

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
3. Re: Route 66 car hire questions

Very easy!

Davie, Florida
Level Contributor
11,187 posts
2 reviews
4. Re: Route 66 car hire questions

A mid size SUV is a very practical idea but if you are looking for the classic American road trip you do it in a ragtop pure and simple. They do come with AC .

Roseville...
Level Contributor
1,102 posts
15 reviews
5. Re: Route 66 car hire questions

While I generally agree with above on verts, you are going to be in a vehicle for three weeks...if I recall correctly.

Get the SUV; much more comfortable for long trip with luggage. A SUV will not be an issue for parking, etc.

Cleveland
Level Contributor
10,853 posts
30 reviews
6. Re: Route 66 car hire questions

You'll be driving through North America's famed tornado ally, which also means the possibility of severe hail (golf size or larger). I wonder if convertible rental insurance covers hail damage. Of course, hail can severely damage any car, but with a SUV you don't have to worry about hail shredding the top of a convertible, or, worse yet, suddenly dropping on to your heads.

Edited: 11 June 2012, 05:04
Oxford, United...
Level Contributor
331 posts
116 reviews
7. Re: Route 66 car hire questions

In England we're used to driving relatively small cars. I guess I just have this irrational fear that I'll look stupid trying to parallel park an SUV (or, more rationally, have difficultly getting used to driving something so big). A convertible does sound fun.

Decisions, decisions!

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
8. Re: Route 66 car hire questions

A midsize SUV is not a big car. Length app 4.50 meters. Very manageable car. Don't confuse a mid size to a full size SUV.

Of course a Ford Mustang is THE car for R66 but many disadvantages for renting a convertible. Please tell your girlfriend she shouldn't pack too much ;)

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
Level Contributor
44,648 posts
1,112 reviews
9. Re: Route 66 car hire questions

>> A convertible does sound fun. <<

Yes, they sound fun . . . I've owned convertibles (aka ragtops or droptops) for over 35 years in all climates. Yes they are fun and yes they also can be very impractical!

With a long road trip, don't bother. You will find that the top will be up more than down, and you'll have the A/C on. It will be HOT in nearly all areas where you will be and beyond that, just the constant wind and noise gets very wearying hour after hour. Trust me on this :-)

Keep in mind *everything* is bigger here! A mid size SUV is just that - mid size! You won't run into a whole lot of times you'll need to parallel park, by the way . . .

Oxford, United...
Level Contributor
331 posts
116 reviews
10. Re: Route 66 car hire questions

Ok, you've convinced me. A mid size SUV it is then!

Now I need to shop around and find the best deal.

How much of a necessity is GPS/Sat Nav when trying to drive Route 66? I have some excellent Route 66 travel guides and maps. I'm guessing GPS is only really useful if I get lost. Half the fun is using maps.