Many people choose to rent a car when they travel to Alaska. Rental cars can add flexibility to your Alaska vacation, and can often result in a cost savings over other modes of transportation, particularly for groups of 3 to 5 travelers.
Major car rental companies are available in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Seward, as well as a number of small communities across Alaska. Most Alaska travelers rent their cars at or near the Anchorage airport, where nearly all the national rental car companies are represented. Anchorage currently has an 8% rental car tax, and other fees typically apply for those picking up at the airport, and can sometimes be avoided by choosing an "off airport" pick up location. One-way car rentals between Anchorage, Fairbanks or Seward are often available but typically a drop fee or higher daily rental rate will apply.
Roads in Alaska are generally in good shape. Highways are mostly paved with one lane of travel in each direction. The major highways between Seward, Anchorage, Denali Park and Fairbanks are all paved and easily traveled in the summer by any type of vehicle, with maximum speed limits ranging from 55 to 65 mph. Some highways to other outlying cities are gravel and most rental car companies have some restrictions on driving on certain gravel roads. Fuel typically is more expensive the further away from you get from Anchorage, with prices last summer ranging from $1.45 to $1.85 per gallon. Rest stops are less frequent than in the lower 48 and toilets are typically of the "porta potta" variety.
If you plan to do a lot of driving in Alaska, the Alaska Milepost guidebook will be an invaluable resource for both planning your Alaska vacation and to take with you as you travel Alaska.
If you decide to travel Alaska by rental car you should consider purchasing a complete self drive Alaska vacation package including a rentals car as well as lodging and tours.
For more information on Alaska rental cars and self drive vacation package see www.alaskatravel.com.
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