Portland car rentals are most often secured at the airport, though you don't have to head to PDX to get some wheels. A handful of major chain brand establishments also have a presence closer to the downtown core, and there are also options in the surrounding suburbs. In other words, it's fairly easy to rent a vehicle in Oregon's biggest city. Once you get your vehicle, you'll be free to roam wherever and whenever you please, and there is no shortage of fantastic side trip destinations should you feel like getting out on the open road and exploring. The beautiful Cascade Mountains, for example, unfold to the near east of town, and you'll only have to drive about an hour and a half to get to the scenic coast.
The Portland Airport rental cars are what most visitors to the city rely on, as these could hardly be any more convenient. Once your flight lands and you get your baggage, you can essentially have a vehicle in no time. At least five major car rental companies have a presence at the airport, so you shouldn't have trouble getting some wheels. You can find the airport's main rental car companies on the parking garage's first floor. Two other agencies that offer off-site rentals also have a presence at the airport, and they can be found on the parking garage's north side. Free shuttles transfer customers to the off-site car rental stations, and these shuttles can be picked up on the commercial roadway that is used for ground transportation.
There are a few things to consider when trying to secure Portland rental cars. Whether you are planning on renting at the airport or an off-airport site, you will need to show a valid driver's license. Proof of car insurance is also required, and you can purchase additional coverage through your rental agency of choice should you please. Additional insurance coverage can help in the peace of mind department, as unforeseen things, such as a rock cracking the windshield, can arise. As far as age restrictions are concerned, you will have to be at least 21 years old to rent a car on most occasions. Some agencies take things farther and require renters to be at least 24 years old, so you will want to inquire if you haven't reached the quarter-century mark yet. Should you be between the ages of 21 and 24, a daily surcharge may be applied to your rental, especially if you are interested in securing a more upscale ride.
When trying to secure Portland Airport rental cars, you will have a number of vehicles to choose from between the various agencies. Compact cars that are low on frills are usually the most affordable for those who are interested in cheap rental cars in Portland, unless you manage to get a really good deal on a larger vehicle with more amenities. The compact cars, it should be noted, are also better on gas, so you'll save money there as well. If you're worried about being seen in a low frills, compact car while cruising around town, Portland is arguably the most "green" city in the world, so you'll fit in just fine. That doesn't meant that you should be shy about renting a 4x4. Four-wheel drive can come in very handy when heading into the mountains, especially when the weather turns sour.
Portland rental cars come in all shapes and sizes. For family vacations, a spacious van might be the best fit, or maybe an SUV will be the vehicle of choice. For those who enjoy a certain amount of luxury, the area companies offer some upscale models that you can choose from. A Mercedes or BMW sedan might fit the bill. Regardless of what you have in mind for your visit and what you prefer driving, the Portland car rental agencies can most likely hook you up. Of course, securing a Ferrari or something the like might be a bit difficult.
When cheap rental cars in Portland is the aim, comparing the rates that the different companies have to offer is a good idea. You can also inquire about any certain deals that the specific companies might be offering. Portland car rentals companies tend to offer special discounts from time to time to help attract business, so it's always worth asking. On the weekends, for example, it's not uncommon for rental car agencies to drop their rates to really draw in business. A short weekend at one of the nearby ski resorts can be a tempting side trip endeavor for starters.
When cheap rental cars in Portland are what you are after, comparing rates across the board and inquiring about any special deals aren't the only things worth trying. You can also keep an eye out for vacation packages. Vacation packages in general offer discounts on most everything that they include, with rental cars being included in many a package. You might find a vacation package that also includes your hotel accommodations and your flight.
Getting around the Portland area could hardly be any easier thanks to all the great options. Even travelers who secure Portland Airport rental cars might park the car and virtually forget about it once they get to their hotel. In and around the Downtown District, the light rail network, taxis, buses, and even free trolleys can be used for getting around. The city is compact, so your own two feet can suffice for getting around as well. It is worth noting that the downtown hotels offer parking for a fee if you need it. Should you be driving into town for the day, then you might rely on the downtown parking garages. The Smart Park garages are among the most affordable and offer excellent access to downtown attractions such as Pioneer Courthouse Square.