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A one-way rental is one where you drop the car off at a different rental office than where you picked it up. One-way rentals can be one of the most convenient ways of planning your travel, but they can also be very costly. Sometimes hefty "drop fees" are tacked onto to the base rental rate, which can inflate your total cost significantly. Other times, the base rate is over-inflated as compares with a standard rental where you pick up and drop off at the same location. There are however ways to reduce that sting, by some smart shopping and using a few tricks of the trade that we'll let you in on.

First off, it pays to shop around. Just because one company is charging a $250 drop-fee for your one way rental from Los Angeles to San Diego, doesn't mean that all of them are. Sometimes the smaller budget companies like Advantage or Fox will have much lower drop fees (or none at all) as compared with the bigger companies like Avis, Hertz and National. Use a comparison site like AutoSlash that can compare rates across multiple companies.

Next, don't forget about discounts. The application of a discount code and/or coupon to your rental can have a startling effect on your rate. We've seen discount codes drop a rate in half, or even more. Sometimes these discount/coupon codes will actually waive the one-way fee entirely.

Some companies even have special deals specifically on one-way rentals, which can reduce your costs significantly. For example, many companies run deals during certain times of the year where you can drive between Florida and New York (or vice-versa) for as little as $1 per day. Numerous companies also offer deals on one-way rentals between city locations and an airport, which can sometimes be even cheaper than taking a cab. Check each vendor's website, or just consult AutoSlash's coupon page for current deals.

Now we've saved the best for last, so if you've read this far, you'll be rewarded. Hertz has some of the best deals around for one-way rentals. There's a simple trick you can employ to get some astounding discounts. Keep in mind that this doesn't work every time, but when it does--WOW!

Hertz has a number of fields on their website for entering various discount codes. The one we're mainly concerned with is the RATE CODE (RQ) field. This is a special field which lets you enter in a code which will price your rental in a specific way. The super-secret code you want to remember is DRIVE. Let's look at an example:

Undiscounted Rental Rate with DRIVE applied

As you can see from the screenshots above, if we were to book the standard Hertz rate for a one-way rental from Chicago O'Hare to Mitchell Field in Milwaukee over the upcoming holiday, we'd be paying over $2,000! That doesn't leave much for presents, does it? However, when we enter DRIVE into the Rate Quote field, the price drops to a more manageable $767, a whopping savings of $1,280.40. But we're not done yet...

The other cool thing about the RATE CODE field is that using it does not preclude you from also applying a DISCOUNT/CDP code (from AAA for example) as well as a PROMOTIONAL COUPON (like $25 off a weekly rental). This can lower an already great rate even further!

Rate with DRIVE plus discounts applied

Of course, it goes without saying that the folks here at AutoSlash are world-class experts when it comes to getting you the best possible deal--especially on one-way rentals. We'll work all the angles above, plus a few others we haven't mentioned, to get your rate down as low as possible. The best thing is that you don't even have to do any of the legwork yourself. Just reserve the type of vehicle you're looking for at the best rate we show, and we'll then go to work to try to lower your rate. If we find a lower price with a different company, we'll email you to give you options. We're all about saving you time and money, so next time you need a one-way rental, book with AutoSlash, and rest easy that you'll get the lowest rate possible.

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