If you are arriving from Portland, Seattle or the west, your train will arrive just as the Hertz at the St. Paul / Minneapolis Amtrak Station is opening. This is your best choice even if you are planning to take the train back west which leaves after the rental counter is close since they have an after-hours drop box at the train station.
Coming fromChicago or the east, it is a more complicated decision process. Since the train arrives at 10:31 pm and the Hertz counter at the station is closed, you have three choices to rent cars in the Twin Cities:
One, you can take a taxi to the airport and rent a car there. Both Budget at the Minneapolis / St. Paul Airport serving Amtrak and Avis at the Minneapolis / St. Paul Airport serving Amtrak may reimburse your cab fare from the train station. Call them to confirm. It is best to rent the car at the Humphery Terminal since it is more friendly to taxis. This choice is best if your destination is Mall of America or the southern suburbs of the Twin Cities.
Two, if you are staying in downtown Minneapolis, you should take a taxi to your hotel and pick up your car rental the next day. Budget in Downtown Minneapolis serving Amtrak and Avis in Downtown Minneapolis serving Amtrak can pick you up from your hotel with at least 24 hours advance notice.
Three, if you are staying in downtown St. Paul, you should take a taxi to your hotel and pick up your rental car the next morning. Again, Budget in Downtown St. Paul serving Amtrak and Avis in Downtown St. Paul serving Amtrak can pick you up from your hotel with at least 24 hours advance notice.
When booking a rental car check that the price you are quoted is the all inclusive price and that extras are not added when you arrive at the rental counter. The rental car companies give you the option to also take out insurance when you book. Check with your insurance agent to see what coverages you will need to purchase when you rent the car.
For most rental car companies you need to be a minimum of 21 years old although some companies have a 18 minimum age. Usually, if you are less than 25 years old you will be asked to take out higher insurance at an extra cost. Remember to bring some ID and your driving licence, otherwise you will not be allowed to pick the car up.
There are many cars that you can rent: Compact (for up to 3 people), Medium, (3 -4 Adults), intermediate (4 adults), SUV (5 – 7 people), minivan (8 +) and convertible (2 people). As a general guide, for a family of four the best bet is the intermediate or maybe even the SUV which is spacious inside.
Other extras you can usually order are satellite navigation systems, satellite radio and child seats. Sat Nav is a great way of getting round if you have never been to the Twin Cities before. Even though Twin Cities' street grid system can be easy to navigate around, it can take a while to get used to the expressway system.
You can get a free online rental car quote for your St. Paul / Minneapolis Amtrak Midway Station Rental Car here.