Any suggestions for one-way car hire?

Old Mar 10th, 2009, 01:22 PM
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Any suggestions for one-way car hire?

I am considering hiring a car in Las Vegas and driving to the Grand Canyon, and then on to Colorado Springs. Flights are already booked to Las Vegas and from Colorado Springs. But all the car rental companies I have tried charge a HUGE extra for one-way, I mean $250 extra up to $400, and also there is less choice of cars. I had not realised this. Does anyone know is this just because it's one-way rental, or is it mainly because of being in a different state? Are there any ways around this? (EG Does it make sense to return a car near a state border, then get a bus to the neighbouring state and hire another car? Sounds complicated!) We (4 of us, adults,) thought a drive through the Rockies would be exciting, but perhaps instead we'll just go to the canyon, then return to Vegas, and fly to Colorado, then we can drive around there. Is the Durango steam railway somewhere near there? We have 12 days from arriving in Vegas & departing from Colorado, at the end of May. I've never hired a car in US before (but did in Canada), any suggestions welcomed. Thanks.
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Old Mar 10th, 2009, 01:59 PM
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The cost difference is because of the one-way nature of the rental and because Colorado Springs is not a major airport. But I have to tell you that $250 isn't a very big drop-off fee for a one-way rental, and I doubt you could fly two people from Las Vegas to Colorado Springs for $125 each. I'd jump on that price if you can still get it. Now if it goes up to $400, then you might (perhaps) find a cheaper flight, but you'll probably have to fly to Denver.
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Old Mar 10th, 2009, 02:00 PM
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You're going to find the best flight deals on Southwest, in all likelihood. They don't charge a premium for a one-way flight.
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Old Mar 10th, 2009, 02:37 PM
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Unfortunately, Southwest doesn't fly into Colorado Springs.
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Old Mar 10th, 2009, 03:33 PM
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The cost difference is also potentially the result of some car rental locations being franchisee spots and others being run by the company. Sometimes they simply do not want you to get a car from one sort, and drop it at the other, so they quote giant rates so as to discourage this.

You should probably check out the comparable costs if renting a car in Vegas for 6-ish days (officially "one week") and returning it there, before flying TO Colorado Springs to pick-up an independent car for 6-ish days. (see if the much lower rates will offset the cost of the one-way airfare between the two places, and figure the cost of gas into that equation too.

People who have the freedom to come and go to or from any city/airport, should always weigh the combined airfare and car rental costs with each option beFORE committing to the airfare deal. (most rental car reservations can be made at the touch of a button, and then canceled if need be)
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Old Mar 10th, 2009, 04:02 PM
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You can try autoeurope.com. I just put in some days in May and came up with around $700. Additional fees may apply.
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Old Mar 10th, 2009, 05:24 PM
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Or do Las Vegas airport pickup and Denver airport drop off. Chances are it will be much cheaper.

What you can do is after you're done with the Vegas, Grand Canyon and whatever you want to see along the way to Colorado, drop off your friends in Colorado Springs, drive the car to the Denver airport on your own, drop it off and take a bus/shuttle back to Colorado Springs. It's only about 50 miles south of Denver.
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Old Oct 6th, 2009, 06:04 AM
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In the future, if you are flexible, sometimes the direction matters. Pick up in Denver, drop in Vegas, MAY BE less expensive than pick up in Vegas drop in Denver.
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Old Oct 6th, 2009, 12:24 PM
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I'd say your best bet is to wait until you get closer to your travel date and look for a special at the various major names. There are few special offers right now that extend into next year-usually only good for the next few months or so. Also, it's almost always cheaper to rent away from the airport as well. For example, right now at Hertz you can get an intermediate size one way from off-airport in Las Vegas (Caesars Palace) to off-airport in Colorado Springs for $380/wk base ($340 with AAA). The same thing LV airport to Col Springs or Denver airport is 750/wk. But it's only good thru 12/31. They'd have similar deals next year, so best to wait until April or so unless you can find a cheap one now.
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Old Dec 26th, 2009, 11:58 AM
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Thanks for all your suggestions. I think I gave a brief report on another thread. We did the trip in May 2009(Did I forget to give a date before?) It was wonderful. We paid the extra $300 for one way drop-off, but decided it was the best option for us. We hired the cheapest possible option for 4 adults from Hertz but they upgraded us free and we had a nice roomy Toyota Camry, we changed our plans on the way & stayed an extra night at the Grand Canyon, loved the drive around those strange rock formations. through the desert - recognised one of the free photos that comes with windows vista, through Mexican Hat, Ute, did Mesa Verdi, Durango steam train, then stayed in Pagosa Springs & on to Woodland park where we met up with relatives. I think the drive through that magnificent scenery was indeed the best choice; we also had great views of the Rockies & Bryce Canyon (Utah) from the plane to Vegas from Toronto; now there's a place to visit some time.
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