Need a one-way car rental? Picking up and dropping off at different location can make a car rental significantly more expensive due to a drop-off fee imposed by some rental car companies.
Travelers choose one-way car rentals for a variety of reasons, including: to explore an area you fly into; to take a long road trip without putting miles on your own car; or to connect between to airports on an extended trip.
Drop-off fees can vary wildly and depend on factors such as the rental car company, the distance traveled, drop-off locations and time of year. Sometimes there is no drop fee at all. The drop-off fee will be disclosed in the list of taxes and fees you see before confirming an online rental, and you'll pay it at the counter when you pick up the car.
How to Slice Drop-Off Fees on One-Way Car Rentals
One way to avoid the drop-off fee is to book a special one-way promo where the drop-off fee is waived. These can be seasonal drive-in or drive-out specials, city-to-city promos and airport-to-downtown offers. Don't assume that the drop fee is waived with a one-way promotion; always read the fine print to make sure.
Another trick is to widen your search to include airport and off-airport locations. Playing around with nearby location options can end up shaving off a lot from your rate and often it turns up a one-way rate with a smaller drop fee or no fee at all.
Rental Car Companies and One-Way Drop-Off Fees
If you need a one-way rental, ask AutoSlash for a quote and we'll scour the Internet to find the best possible deal. Then, we can track your reservation and let you know if there is a price drop, so you can cancel and rebook at the lower rate.
Alamo and One-Way Drop-Off Fees
Alamo may implement a drop fee for one-way rentals, which is sometimes disclosed as an "inter-city" fee. This fee is disclosed when you book online, and you pay when you pick up the car. Even on one-way special offers, Alamo may charge a drop fee.
Avis and One-Way Drop-Off Fees
Avis offers a one-way airport-to-downtown rate of $9.99 between selected U.S. airports and nearby city locations with a maximum keep time of 12 hours. The deal also includes a free tank of gas and 150 miles.
This offer is available in about two dozen U.S. cities: Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Dayton, Houston, Kansas City, Knoxville, Lincoln, Memphis, Milwaukee, New Orleans, New York City, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Savannah, St. Louis, Tulsa and Wichita.
Budget and One-Way Drop-Off Fees
Avis's sister company, Budget, also offers a one-way airport-to-downtown rate of $9.99 between selected U.S. airports and nearby city locations with a maximum keep time of 12 hours. The deal also includes a free tank of gas and 150 miles.
This offer is available in the following U.S. cities: Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Dayton, Fayetteville, Houston, Knoxville, New Orleans, New York City, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Savannah, St. Louis and Tulsa.
Enterprise and One-Way Drop-Off Fees
Enterprise offers several one-way special offers on its deals page. However, a quick search reveals that drop fees are imposed and vary by the rental location, return location and time of year.
Don't be fooled by suggested routes. For example, the rental company recommends New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Washington. D.C. as an ideal one-way road trip route. However, a search in February for a day-long, one-way rental yielded a $94 drop fee on a rental with a base price of just over $60.
Hertz and One-Way Drop-Off Fees
Hertz sometimes offers good rates for one-way rentals on its deals page.
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