rental car info

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rental car info

Postby perzeetorres » Sat Aug 15, 2009 2:02 pm

I am trying to find info on rental cars at West Glacier. I know I have rented cars in the past at both east and west glacier... but those times were both pre 2001.

At west Glacier the car was waiting for us with the keys in it and our name on the dash!

We are taking the Amtrak into West Glacier, shuttling up to Lake McDonald for three days and then plan to pick up a rental car and stay at Swift current for 3 days before driving to Kalispell to fly home. I know there are shuttle possibilities, but I have "points" that I can use to get around $300 off car rental.... so that is my first choice. Plus from what I can tell a shuttle would cost $25 each way for my family of 4, so that adds up pretty fast if we want to go to Waterton, or do some rafting...

Does anyone know of companies who rent cars at west glacier? Or other options?

I did a search on this site and didn't find anything current...
Thanks!

Michele
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Re: rental car info

Postby llholmes1948 » Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:03 pm

If you are staying at Lake McDonald Lodge or Swiftcurrent Motor Inn, I think that Glacier Park Inc. can arrange a car rental for you. I suggest you call and ask them about that.

Glacer Highland at West Glacier says that they do car rentals as well but I don't know if it is only for guests at their place:

http://www.glacierhighland.com/rent.html

Please note that their website hasn't been updated for quite some time (or so it seems to me) so I don't know how current this information is.

I have a vague recollection that Glacier Raft Company and/or Great Northern Raft Company also do car rentals so it might be worthwhile to call them.

I am not sure but renting a car at West Glacier might be more expensive than renting a car in Kalispell airport or Whitefish.

If you find out any information about this, please let us know as it would be helpful to know.

Lyman
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Re: rental car info

Postby paul » Sun Aug 16, 2009 8:35 am

This probably won't help you much. But don't rent from Budget Rental Cars at the kalispell Airport. I had a bad experience with them this year.
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Re: rental car info

Postby Jen » Sun Aug 16, 2009 7:20 pm

I am thinking there is a Dollar rent a car in West Glacier?????

Maybe someone can back me up??????
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Re: rental car info

Postby Bruce » Mon Aug 17, 2009 8:03 am

paul wrote:This probably won't help you much. But don't rent from Budget Rental Cars at the kalispell Airport. I had a bad experience with them this year.


Just 'cause they wanted "their" car back halfway through your rental period, then were an hour and a half late at the pick up point, you have the nerve to say that was a BAD experience?!?!?! :lol:
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Re: rental car info

Postby perzeetorres » Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:01 am

how could they want a car back half-way through the rental period? I have never heard of such a thing!
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Re: rental car info

Postby paul » Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:34 pm

perzeetorres wrote:how could they want a car back half-way through the rental period? I have never heard of such a thing!


Nor did I! Apparently they sold the car and it needed to be shipped while I was renting it.
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Re: rental car info

Postby elscout198 » Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:30 pm

Back to the question .... :lol:

According to Tracy at the Koa the car renting in the area is through Glacier Heli Tours at 406.387.4141 or Enterprise at 406.755.4848.

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Re: rental car info

Postby perzeetorres » Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:56 pm

thanks so much!! I'll check it out!
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Re: rental car info

Postby perzeetorres » Tue Aug 18, 2009 8:47 am

THanks again for the info I am starting to figure it out... This is harder than I thought!

I just got off the phone with the Heli tour people. They rent their own cars called "Seven M Enterprises" They are not associated with Enterprise car rental company.

Here is a link to their site.
http://www.travelmt.com/mt_sites_11335_ ... ental.html

They do not take people to the airport, and you must return the car to them. They currently charge $67.50 per day.

I am still checking around because I hope to use a voucher for the rental... and to drop it in Kalispell, but this an otpion!
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Re: rental car info

Postby llholmes1948 » Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:42 am

Since you are arriving by train, you may want to consider detraining at Whitefish and renting a car from the agency at the station (Hertz, I think but a call to Amtrak could clarify that) or going to the airport to rent your car or renting it from Enterprise at Whitefish. If you look through this section you will see my review of Enterprise at Whitefish. We had a snafu with renting from them last summer and they were late getting our car to us but overall they treated us well and with their very attractive rates, I intend to rent from them again unless their rates have increased substantially.

The rental agency at the Amtrak station at Whitefish is a bit more expensive than some and they do not, as I recall, offer cars with unllimited miles.

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Re: rental car info

Postby perzeetorres » Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:50 am

Thanks again,

I checked with Hertz. Definitely a good possibility. They rent cars at the train station and also rent one-ways so we could drop off in Kalispell.

Down sides: They only meet you at the train station when amtraks arrive. (We had thought about shuttling while staying at Lake McDonald to save $$ and polution and not have to drive, AND they do not take gift vouchers.

However, we could rent for the week, avoid the $30 for the shuttle to Lake McDonald, and the shuttle to the train station to pick up the car, So, with shuttles it would be at least $80 per day so $240 + at least $60 in shuttles... for $300, or, $480 for the week.

$300 does sound better, but.... From what I understand a car is necessary to get from Apgar to the raft companies, or other things we may want to do is West Glacier. So maybe we would need more shuttles than I am counting. (I can't recall how far it was from memory... I just rented a car for the whole trip the last time)

We would still utilize the park shuttles as much as possible, because who needs to worry about parking, etc....

THoughts? Are there more things outside the park that would be good to do with 6 year olds?

THanks!
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Re: rental car info

Postby perzeetorres » Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:23 pm

Just talked to Deb at Avis (very friendly and informative) in East Glacier. They probably do not do one-ways. BUt she also suggested as some of you have, taking the train to Whitefish and shuttling to the airport from there. I don't know how much that is times 4, but it is another lead.... avis 406 226 9227
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Re: rental car info

Postby perzeetorres » Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:27 pm

woo hoo!! Just talked to Avis in Kalispell at the Airport. They DO take cars to the west Glacier Amtrak, and they DO accept the gift certificates I want to use!!! I just need to call them back after Jan 1st 2010 (for summer 2010).

Thanks for all the suggestions! I talked to some great people in Montana in the process, and it was very informative!

Avis Kalispell airport (406 257 2727)
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Re: rental car info

Postby perzeetorres » Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:31 pm

I was just thinking..... depending on how many "points" I have toward a gift certificate... maybe I should still rent it for a week and avoid shuttle fees to and from Lake McDonald Lodge?

Still looking for possible needs to go to West Glacier or surrounding area for the three days at Lake McDonald. (When we are at Swift Current for the last 3 days, I only plan on leaving for pie and maybe a trip to Waterton if you guys think it is a "must see" and a good option with kids.)
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