Monday, September 26, 2016

Car rentals in the US...

As part of this summers activities I'd signed my wife and I up for a trip back to the US to help my father clear out a few things that he was having trouble getting rid of.  The trouble wasn't in terms of attachment.  It was in terms of sheer volume.  There was a tremendous mountain of things to find new homes for.

Our ride north in... what???

My father lives in what we like to call Sherwood Forest.  To get there requires a two legged flight from Europe and a five hour drive to the remote south Oregon coast.  This trip we did it in two steps.  The first day we flew from Paris to Oregon.  The second day we drove from Portland to Bandon.

Since we don't own a car, we needed to rent something in Portland and drive it one way to our destination.  Our son Daniel very kindly helped procure a Hertz rental and the next morning we were on the road and on our way.  We arrived in style as the only car we could reserve on the 'net from Europe was full size.  It was not cheap.  The cost of the rental was a bit shocking and came within spitting distance of matching the cost to fly from Portland into North Bend, which is the closest airport.

Plenty of room back here!!!

After nearly a month working on moving my father's Mountain of Things we were ready to return to Portland to attend Daniel's wedding.

When we were in Coos Bay we stopped by the Enterprise car rental agency and enquired about scheduling a car for our drive up the valley.  What we learned nearly bowled us over.  As this would be a one way trip (and not in/around town) there was a $125 "drop fee."  There was also a three day minimum.  Add taxes and other fiddly bits and our all up costs were well over $450.

It was suggested we check with Hertz to see if we could get a cheaper ride.  Well, no.  In fact it was slightly more expensive than Enterprise for the same class of automobile.  Yikes! This was quickly reaching the outer limits of insanity.

Driving north
Pee-stop in beautiful downtown Drain
(yes, there's a joke somewhere in here
but it's true as written)

It was also suggested that we check down the street at UHaul to see if we could get a really cheap one-way vehicle.  So this we did.  We were hoping for a pickup truck or a van.  All they offered was a 10foot box truck.  Such silliness as all this needed to be clearly documented as we doubted anything would ever believe us.

Our drive north from Coos County to Multnomah County was going to be yet another adventure.  Instead of arriving in Stately Elegance via some classy or not so classy automobile, we would be driving a truck suitable for moving furnishings, household items, and personal effects equivalent to all the things needed to kit a one room apartment.  All this for five large suitcases and a of couple laptop computers.  It seemed the only way to save over $250 on this segment of our trip.

Driving north
The hand position on the wheel would never
pass for "correct" in France, where they're 
supposed to strictly remain placed at 
10o'clock and 2o'clock.  But this is America.
So there.

We felt we had little choice and decided to save $250.  The UHaul 10foot box van was rented.  Our suitcases and laptop computers were loaded.  We borrowed some rope from my father that helped keep things from shifting around that vast cargo space.  Bidding Bandon and our Cleaning Project farewell, we pointed the nose of the UHaul van north and drove out of town.

Vastly open spaces...

No Stately Elegance, this.  We didn't need to arrive in style, but it seemed rather funny that it'd all come to this.