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Author Topic: Advice On Car Rentals in Dallas...  (Read 1202 times)

thenetwork

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Advice On Car Rentals in Dallas...
« on: October 19, 2017, 10:11:11 PM »

My wife and my in-laws will be flying into DFW in Early November for a week for a family wedding.  We plan to get a full-sized Minivan to cart everyone (and their luggage) around for the week.  As this will be the first time I will be visiting DFW and not just changing planes there, I have a few questions for those who live/have already visited there:

1) Seeing that a Toll Road looks to be the main way in and out of the airport, are you able to rent a car there and NOT have to pay any tolls?

2) Can you get around reasonably in the Dallas/Fort Worth area without driving on the toll roads, and thus not needing to pay extra for the transponder and associated charges?

3) I see that there are a couple of second-tier local or regional car rental companies at DFW.  Should I consider them or stay away from them?

I would love to do the penny pinching route altogether, hop the DART service to the suburbs and rent cheaper away from the airport, but when you are toting older, cranky, slow-walking seniors, that option is out the window.

Thanks in advance.
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usends

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Re: Advice On Car Rentals in Dallas...
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2017, 10:17:48 PM »

I was just there last weekend.  I didn't have to pay any tolls because I approached the car rental area from the south, and the access road is just before the tolled segment.
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formulanone

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Re: Advice On Car Rentals in Dallas...
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2017, 10:31:37 PM »

I was just there last weekend.  I didn't have to pay any tolls because I approached the car rental area from the south, and the access road is just before the tolled segment.

This ^^^

Spur 97 isn't tolled if you head south from the DFW Rental Car Center. Even if you do come in from the north end in Grapevine, you can take legal access roads which wind around the main parkway.

That said, the 183 / 121 combo now has Express Lanes which constricts things a bit during rush hours, but it doesn't last all the way through DFW, anyhow...a bit of a bust, since it drops you right into a bit of a mess at 3:30pm on a Friday.

txstateends

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Re: Advice On Car Rentals in Dallas...
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2017, 02:56:02 PM »

Most of the toll roads are either main lanes with free service roads, or the tolled part is along the express lanes or HOV lanes.  The Bush Turnpike has discontinuous service roads, while the Chisholm Trail Parkway has pretty much none.  Those 2 would be the exceptions.  US 75 and all the interstates as well as most primary state highways have plenty of free access.

As for the car rentals, I'd stick with the main names.  You can always look up reviews online for them like with airlines/hotels/restaurants/etc but don't be surprised to see more problems or low-stars with the 'other guys'.  If you can rent off-airport, it will likely be a cheaper option.

Outside your terminal you fly into at DFW, there are blue full-length shuttle buses with 'Rental Car Center' on the front and 'Rental Cars' on the sides.  You need to go to the lower level to catch them.

You can approach DFW from either direction; there are ramps to the service roads prior to the entrance/exit toll plazas.  Watch for signs for Rental Car Drive or 'Rental Cars'; DFW uses white-on-blue guide signage and street blade signs.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 03:09:46 PM by txstateends »
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Brandon

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Re: Advice On Car Rentals in Dallas...
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2017, 03:34:54 PM »

A word of caution though.  When I had to go into Dallas, I went via Love Field, and I found the car rental rates to be rather pricey when compared to other areas.
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nguyenhm16

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Re: Advice On Car Rentals in Dallas...
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2017, 10:13:13 AM »

In my experience, taking the free frontage roads of the more far flung tollways (specifically the Dallas North Tollway towards Plano/Frisco/etc., the Pres. George Bush Tollway, the Sam Rayburn Tollway) can be excruciating. Had to do that once when I was in a rental and didn't want to pay the rental car company's outrageous toll markup. Lesson learned.
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Re: Advice On Car Rentals in Dallas...
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2018, 07:43:38 PM »

The airport toll road is nothing to worry about, since the rental car center is just south of the tolled section. If your destination is north of the airport, you can take a free frontage road straight through the middle of the airport (but you can't go to the terminals). Also, you do not need a transponder to go through the airport toll road. You can pay with a credit card like at most airport parking lots.

There are four toll roads in DFW area, in addition to the access road to the airport terminals:
-Dallas North Tollway (DNT), with free frontage roads north of I-635
-President George Bush Turnpike (PGBT), with discontinuous frontage roads
-Sam Rayburn Tollway (SRT) appears to have free frontage roads
-Chisholm Trail Parkway (CTP) has no frontage roads.

If you use Google Maps, make sure to go into Settings and enable "Avoid Toll Roads".
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thenetwork

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Re: Advice On Car Rentals in Dallas...
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2018, 10:59:38 PM »

To follow everything up from 2 months ago:  It was pretty easy to get to & from the car rental area, which, BTW is a decent facility, even though it can be a long ride from the terminals on the bus.

I forgot where it dumped me for the trip over to I-635, but it was a tollway/free frontage road.

Coming back, I tried to come into the airport from the south as I-635 West was jammed heading to DFW, yet somehow all the BGS off of I-35E South (where I bailed from I-635) put me on a series of freeways that took me back on the north side of the Airport Access Roads.

During my trip there, I pretty much relied on US-75 getting around.  Pretty much rode it from Downtown Dallas to Durant, OK for the casinos.  US-75 on the Oklahoma side was an interesting ride as was US-75 around Sherman, TX.  As I stated earlier on another thread, with all the freeways in the DFW Metroplex having mileage-based exits, why is US-75 the only freeway that uses sequential-numbered exits?

And for as large as Dallas is as a city, people do drive pretty well there.  There are definitely more idiot drivers on Denver's freeways (closer to my neck of the woods) than there are in Dallas.
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texaskdog

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Re: Advice On Car Rentals in Dallas...
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2018, 11:13:18 PM »

To follow everything up from 2 months ago:  It was pretty easy to get to & from the car rental area, which, BTW is a decent facility, even though it can be a long ride from the terminals on the bus.

I forgot where it dumped me for the trip over to I-635, but it was a tollway/free frontage road.

Coming back, I tried to come into the airport from the south as I-635 West was jammed heading to DFW, yet somehow all the BGS off of I-35E South (where I bailed from I-635) put me on a series of freeways that took me back on the north side of the Airport Access Roads.

During my trip there, I pretty much relied on US-75 getting around.  Pretty much rode it from Downtown Dallas to Durant, OK for the casinos.  US-75 on the Oklahoma side was an interesting ride as was US-75 around Sherman, TX.  As I stated earlier on another thread, with all the freeways in the DFW Metroplex having mileage-based exits, why is US-75 the only freeway that uses sequential-numbered exits?

And for as large as Dallas is as a city, people do drive pretty well there.  There are definitely more idiot drivers on Denver's freeways (closer to my neck of the woods) than there are in Dallas.

But how many blinkers did you see?
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Re: Advice On Car Rentals in Dallas...
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2018, 09:03:29 AM »

To follow everything up from 2 months ago: ....

Coming back, I tried to come into the airport from the south as I-635 West was jammed heading to DFW, yet somehow all the BGS off of I-35E South (where I bailed from I-635) put me on a series of freeways that took me back on the north side of the Airport Access Roads.
....

Sounds like you were a bit west of one of my favorite places in childhood - the place where you can go south(bound) on East Northwest Hwy.
https://www.google.com/maps/@32.8515206,-96.633289,17z
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