2 week car rental one way, $1000 !!!!!!!!

Apr 11th, 2005, 11:21 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 232
2 week car rental one way, $1000 !!!!!!!!

Is $1000 dollars reasonable for a 2 week one way rental? I've done a one way trip before for 2 weeks and I've NEVER paid more than $500. Maybe my pick-up location is hurting me. We are picking up in Kalispell, Montana (just outside Glacier national park) and dropping off in Rapid City, South Dakota. I have been watching rates for awhile now and we are traveling in September. Just wondered what everyone thought about this.
pianogirl is offline  
Apr 11th, 2005, 12:28 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 156
That sounds extremely high. I ran into similar problems booking a one way car rental (Las Vegas to Phoenix) for June. I finally got a great deal thorugh Dollar on their web site. I keep checking back weekly just in case I can find a better rate but they are always higher ! I booked this a few months ago. You can also check rentalcars.com - I found good rates with them previously. Good luck !
flbronc is offline  
Apr 11th, 2005, 01:07 PM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 3,936
I guess when you rent in a town with a population of 14,000 your choices are pretty limited. Are there a lot of car rental options there?
Brian_in_Charlotte is offline  
Apr 11th, 2005, 01:52 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 318
No, from my experience it is not unreasonable. About 8 years ago (also in September) I did that exact same rental - 2 weeks Kalispell to Rapid City. At that time, I worked for a firm that had excellent corporate rental car rates, even for one-ways. The corporate rate with National, which was much lower than regular rates and other car rental companies, was $72 per day (not including taxes) for the one-way rental. There was no drop charge...it was included in the $72 rate.

Given that it is now 8 years later, I don't think $1000 is too bad. We spent the first three days of our trip in the Kalispell/Glacier area so I pieced together two rentals to lower the cost some. That is, I did a 3-day rental picking up and returning to Kalispell, and then did the one-way from Kalispell....saved maybe $100 and only cost me a quick stop at the airport on the way out of town.

If you plan to spend even a few days in a single area on your journey, you can save some money by cobbling together a series of local and one-way rentals between your destinations. It takes some planning and a bit of time swapping cars in/out, and some people have no patience for that, but you can save some serious dollars. One other recommendation is to find the farthest drop location in MT that is closet to Rapid City (but not in SD) and see if you save any money dropping the car there and picking up another for the trip into SD. In my experience, costs jump when the car is dropped outside the state where it was picked up.

From what I recall at Kalispell, the number of rental car options is rather limited, and I believe only National would even rent one-way to Rapid City. At many of these smaller locations, the rental car agencies are franchise locations (as opposed to corporate owned locations) and thus can set some of their own rules/rates. Good luck!
MileKing is offline  
Apr 11th, 2005, 02:52 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 12,076
You might save $150 or so by renting from Kalispell to the nearest big city for a day (Helena Montana?), then renting a car from Helena to Rapid City.
clarkgriswold is offline  
Apr 11th, 2005, 05:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 593
I scanned your posting and I did not see what kind of car. I am assuming it is a mini-van.

They are stingy with one way rentals on mini vans. They generally do not have a lot in the fleet and do not want to give them up for one way rentals.

I just rented a mini for 6 days for $370. I have a pick up and drop off in different locations. It is pricy.

Did you check Costco or Walmart?
tinathetoad is offline  

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