Car Rental

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Visiting scholar needs car for 9 months

Aug 2013

Dear BPN community, I am coming to Berkeley as a visiting scholar for 9 months starting Sept the 1st. My family consists 2+2 (kids: 1.5 and 11 years old). Most of the time I will be with my younger baby, my husband and son will come only for 1 month at the beginning and maybe for a longer period (max 3 months) in the second semester. Is the car essential? I am going to stay in Emeryville. What is the better option to buy or to rent (e.g for the weekends). I would prefer to buy but probably what I can afford is a relic and then I am afraid of additional costs: repairs etc. On the other hand I would like to do a bit of sightseeing. I am a bit afraid to use a craiglist. Are there any option to buy a car from a dealer with their agreement to buy it back after 9 months?

I think you will want a car. Public transit from Emeryville will involve a series of bus/shuttlebus and BART. Purchasing from a dealer and selling back is not likely, but you be able to get a short-term lease -- especially if a dealer has a car sitting on its lot that it wants to move. I was able to get a one-year lease at one point. Not sure about nine months, but you can always ask. AboutTheSame

Inexpensive Car Rental For a Month

Dec 2011

Dear BPN community, I have been looking through the archives, but the last post was 2004, so it would be great to get a recent feedback: we are looking for a cheap rental car for about a month in Jan/Feb- ideally less than $20/day. Any recommendations greatly appreciated. Thank you!

I recommend Doherty's Car and Truck Rental in El Cerrito. Doherty's Car and Truck Rental: 510-234-6025 10895 San Pablo Avenue El Cerrito, CA jdoherty [at]
Have you tried You name your price and they find an agency that is willing to accept it. I use them for all of my rental cars and get an econo car for $20/day. My rentals are always for 2-3 days though and not a month. The only downside is that you have to give them your credit card # up front and they charge you the full amount when your offer is accepted. You run the risk of having to pick up a car in Timbuktu but never I have never had that problem - the car has always been at the airport I am flying into and the experience has always been a good one. anon

Finding a car to drive across the US

April 2012

My family and I need to find a car when we are in BOSTON in May that we can drive to OAKLAND. Car rental places tack on a huge ''one-way'' fee! Does anyone have any suggestions? Responsible driver

You may want to check Craigslist in Boston for anyone who is looking for someone to do just what you want to do. If that's a dead end, then you might be better off just buying a car in Boston for about the same it would cost you if you did the rental car one-way. You can always sell the car once you arrive at your destination. Good luck! Oakland Mom
Look up car companies that drive people's cars across the country. When I had mine driven from Boston to Berkeley they had a college kid do it and it was reasonably priced. More informally, you could put up a notice on Craigslist or a college bulletin board for the city you wish to leave from. cocosar

Good agency for van rental?

Sept 2010

We are looking to rent a car (possibly a van) in December for a week (long drive). Looking for recommendations on a agency that has nice, clean cars. We almost always rent from Hertz, but notice their rates are much higher than others. Would like to hear about others experiences with Alamo, Dollar, Budget and if they would recommend their use for a family with young children. js

As a travel agent I have dealt with all of these companies. Since you in the U.S., they are reliable and safe options as your personal car insurance covers you in your rental. To find a good deal, first check Expedia for a general range of prices. Then see if your frequent flier miles are tied into points for the rental. Also, AMEX offers discounts as does AAA. Greg
I rent a car maybe once or twice a year, so not frequently enough to join premium plans. I usually just go with the best deal I find on Expedia for the agency that's most convenient to where I am. Haven't hd any problems.

VW Camper Rental

June 2004

I'd love to rent a VW camper for a couple of weeks this summer to travel with my husband and 4 month old baby. Does anyone have a recommendation for where to rent one at a reasonable price in Northern California? Also, any experience traveling with an infant in a camper? Thanks!

Hi, you might look at the last couple of Recommendations Given newsletters, re. Calif. Campers (in Redwood City) tel. 650-346- 2871 We had mixed experiences with the Westy's themselves on our latest trip (last year). CA Campers has vintage late 1980's vans. former Westy renter

Car Rental for Extended periods

Some friends of mine (visiting professor) are coming to Berkeley for 3 mos. and they're looking for an inexpensive car rental. They received a quote for $2600 through one of the major agencies! That seems way too high. Have I just been out of touch with car rental prices, or does anyone know of a reliable, reasonable car rental agency in the Berkeley area? Thanks. Cecelia

Dogherty's in El Cerrito will rent cars by the month. My recollection is that you can rent a car for $400-500/month, perhaps as high as $525, but this is still significantly lower than the quote your friend got through a major agency. Dogherty's specializes in moving trucks, but they have a range of Fords in different sizes for more reasonable monthly rental. Their phone number is 234-6025 and they keep regular hours of something like 7AM-6PM.

Inexpensive Car Rentals

July 2001

Hi, I need to rent a car for visiting relatives. I was wondering if anyone out there can recommend an affordable rent-a-car outfit, or would be interested in renting their own car. The dates are July 22-29 (not necessarily all days) and then again in August. We intend on doing small trips, probably 500 miles in all. Thanks a lot! Alon

We just made a trip to LA and we rented a car from the Pay Less car rental. The price was unbelievably cheap! we paid $14 a day. their office is close to the airport, a bit far, but they have great deals!!! Log on to and make a search there. Good luck! Alex
I got a very cheap rental via Priceline. Disadvantage is that I had to pick it up in SF. Advantage:$30 a day for something that usually is $60. Myriam
If you are interested in a used rental car - Try Rent-A-Relic in Oakland - near MacArthur BART. They have a small and helpful staff with good reliable used cars. Their prices are reasonable and typically give 100 free miles a day. The number is 510-601-6560 Mindy
I have just rented a mini-van so we can tour around some visiting relatives from Budget at 600 Gilman. Their weekend rate was 1/2 everyone else's. We are getting 300 free miles, and then I believe it was 18 cents per mile thereafter. I haven't actually rented the van yet so I can't say I've had a good or bad experience, but their rates were certainly competitive Amy
Caroline R

To the person looking for a car rental. We too found the prices very high when arriving in Berkeley a few months ago. We used Entreprise because they were around the block from where we lived, but I have since heard of a company called Rent-a-Relic, where you can, well, as you can imagine...The cars are not new, but they're supposed to work properly. I don't have their number but they're in Berkeley or Oakland I think.

Check out the travel section of the Chronicle for companies offering special deals. Also, Dollar Rent A Car has a web site that offers special deals. It is We justed to used them to rent a mini-van for $200 a week with unlimited miledge.