Boston Logan Rental Car Taxes!!
July 10, 2014 9:38 AM   Subscribe

We go see my mom in Welfleet, Cape Cod once a year and usually spend the night in Boston after the flight, in which case we pick up a rental in Cambridge where it is hundreds of dollars cheaper a week due to airport taxes (or so I am told by the rental car agencies)

This summer (late August) we are going straight to the Cape from Logan, arriving at Logan around 4pm.

What can I do to get a decent price on a rental?

One thought was to take a cab to Hingham or something thing to find a better rental deal? Or to try and use Task Rabbit to get the car I want. I will be traveling with two VERY TIRED and CRANKY kids and whatever is the most expedient option will be best.

Any thoughts MeFi?
posted by silsurf to Travel & Transportation around Massachusetts (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Ages of the kids, are you bringing or do you need to rent car seats? May make a difference.

Would Task Rabbit be bringing the car to you, or you to the car? Or is this a job for
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 9:51 AM on July 10, 2014

There appear to be a couple of less expensive car-rental places near the Aquarium T station.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 10:03 AM on July 10, 2014

Do you even need a car? Could you take the ferry to/from Provincetown and have your mom pick you up/drop you off there?
posted by melissasaurus at 10:07 AM on July 10, 2014

Response by poster: Regarding Aquarium, I want to avoid heading in Boston if I can.

regarding no car, the Ferry only runs like twice a day, it is not practical I am afraid, thought such a great idea. Taxi fares are astronomical between P-Town and Wellfleet. I will need a car once in Wellfleet, but I can use my moms

Kids are 4.5 and 1. We would not be renting any seats, will have our own. Another part of the equation is that we really do not need a car, if we can get to Wellfleet I can use my moms car while we are there.

posted by silsurf at 10:16 AM on July 10, 2014

Looks like $330 vs $220 for a week or so.

Taking a cab each way would eat into your savings + be alot less convienent, so you may want to look into using things like priceline name your own price to lower your price.
posted by sandmanwv at 10:17 AM on July 10, 2014

For Wellfleet, the most expedient option is totally going to be to rent a car at the airport. A cab to Hingham will cost you around $60 each way and you'll be stuck in the same traffic you would be stuck in in your own rental car. A cab to Cambridge will be $20-$30. And then you're driving around Cambridge.

You might want to check out FlightCar, which I haven't tried yet but which appears to be a reasonably-priced alternative to traditional airport car rental? And Priceline/Hotwire is also a good bet. You can reserve a car with a Enterprise or whatever and then cancel it if you find a better deal.

I don't think a TaskRabbit would be able to pick up a rental car for you - you need to be able to fill out the paperwork and show your license and all that.

If any future Cape-visitors are looking at this question there's a train from South Station and a bus straight from the airport to Hyannis, but for Wellfleet that's not much help. You *can* rent a car in Hyannis but I doubt you would save enough money (you might not save any money at all) and it would be a PITA.

Hope you don't mean 4PM on a Friday!
posted by mskyle at 10:23 AM on July 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

There's also a commuter train to Hyannis on the weekend.
posted by brujita at 10:23 AM on July 10, 2014

Hmm. Are there any rental car places off airport property in T-able places like East Boston or Saugus? You say you don't want to go in to Boston, yet you've been willing to go to Cambridge in the past to rent a car.

Does RelayRides (or similar services) operate in Boston?
posted by tckma at 10:24 AM on July 10, 2014

Are you sure about the ferry? At least for your trip out to the cape, the ferry runs at 5:30pm, which would work well with your 4pm flight arrival. Your mom could (presumably? or a neighbor?) pick you up in ptown. The ferry has the added bonus of being "entertaining" to a cranky 4yr old (and having a bar for a cranky mom or dad). Also, no traffic. Just saying, take another look at the ferry.
posted by melissasaurus at 10:29 AM on July 10, 2014

Between the two ferry companies it's more like six ferries a day in summer, but the ferry is also pretty expensive - with one adult it will cost you around $130 to take the ferry round trip, with two it will be over $200. And then you're still not in Wellfleet.
posted by mskyle at 11:07 AM on July 10, 2014

A cab to Cambridge will be $20-$30.

Man, I wish I had your taxi service. I live in Somerville and a taxi home from the airport easily costs $50 after tax and tips.

I believe there is some sort of bus service that will take you from the airport to Hyannis. Here it is, and it looks like it could even get you as far as Wellfleet. Would that work for you?
posted by backseatpilot at 11:22 AM on July 10, 2014

From Logan take the Silver Line to South Station. Then either a Cab or Red line to Broadway station. Enterprise has a place at 230 Dorchester Ave which is about 4 blocks from the Broadway T. Enterprise also advertises free pick up, so they may be able to fetch you from South Station.

Need a ride from your place to our place? We'll Pick You Up. ™
Book online now, then call your rental office at Tel.: (617) 268-1411 for details about our pick-up service. (Geographic restrictions apply)
posted by Gungho at 11:28 AM on July 10, 2014

Here's a break out. The Facility fee and Concession fee, are the two extra fees for picking up at the airport. In this example of a mid-sized car for a week it looks like about a $70.00 delta.

1 Week @ $ 217.70 USD $ 217.70 USD
Drop Charge $ 0.00 USD
* Total Charges: $ 326.17 USD
posted by Gungho at 11:37 AM on July 10, 2014

Look, I’ve got two kids and if I had my druthers on a mid-week day or earlier in the day I’d be right there with you on the rental. However, you’re looking at 4pm on Friday best case. So I double-checked the ferry and bus schedules. Here’s my proposed itinerary for you…

4:00pm Arrive Logan

4:00-5:00 Eat dinner. Legal’s (terminals B & C) would be my recommendation, especially with the kids as they usually have kid activity stuff.

5:00-5:30 Divide and conquer: one parent and kid pick up a box of taffy and some coloring books while the other pair queues for the ferry being all YAY, FERRY! of course.
($156 total one way/$241 round trip family of four with one under 3yo.)

5:30-7:00 Sit back and relaxxxxxxx. Play cards with the kids. Draw.

7:00 Hop the CCRTA Flex bus to Wellfleet, picks up right at MacMillan Pier. This is the only tight connection but knowing the Cape, they may actually wait for each other. That’s just a guess so call for more info.

7:45 (really? that seems long to me but whatever) Arrive Blackfish Variety in Wellfleet. Once you’re in Wellfleet you may have to grab a cab, but at that point it will be negligible cost-wise.

Total time: 3h 45min, which I think will be faster than your rental and drive out of Logan/Boston, significantly cheaper, and more relaxing for everyone involved.

If the ferry doesn’t work for you on the return, you have the leisurely option of getting a car where and when you want on-Cape and returning it to Logan, which is usually less of a charge than vice versa.
posted by cocoagirl at 12:59 PM on July 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

When I lived in Brewster I took the P&B bus to Logan quite a few times. Worked out pretty well.
posted by Runes at 1:51 PM on July 10, 2014

Seconding the Plymouth & Brockton bus, it picks you up right at Logan and runs pretty much every hour to Hyannis. If your mom has a car, she can drive down and pick you up or if you need to you can get a car rental there.
posted by platinum at 4:25 PM on July 10, 2014

I just dealt with this on Monday. $80-90 a day for an economy car on all the travel sites this weekend, but I was able to get it down to $55 a day via Priceline.
posted by COD at 4:55 PM on July 10, 2014

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