Car Rental Drop Off Charges

Old Feb 8th, 2004, 08:08 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Car Rental Drop Off Charges

I am going to be in California in June 2004. I want to pick up a rental car in Oakland or San Franicisco, drive down the coast and then drop it off in Las Vegas. Is there any car companies that don't charge a drop off fee or what can I expect a typical drop off fee to be.
Thanks
ford70 is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2004, 08:47 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 923
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Your best bet is to call and ask for a quote, get a few and compare.I've only ever paid drop off fees at JFK and Harrisburg, PA , but these were both quite alot. I'm not sure why some places charge and some don't.

LilyLace is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2004, 09:01 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 5,760
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hertz and Avis will quote you rates that include the drop charge. Hertz will discount for AAA and AARP members. Looks like about $250 a week one-way.

They both have airport and downtown locations in San Fran. Sometimes the rates vary depending on which location you choose to pickup from.
tracys2cents is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2004, 10:27 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 282
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Try some of the larger websites like Orbitz or Travelocity. Make sure the quote includes everything. We have found, traveling in various places, that some companies do charge a drop-off fee and some don't. A couple of years ago, we picked up the car in Seattle and dropped it off in SF and paid no drop-off. Think it was National but I think it can be hit or miss. Keep looking and good luck.
Jacqueline1212 is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2004, 10:50 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 17,106
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Having drop off fees or not appears to be a promotional option.

Budget has been running a no drop off fee special on their website. However, be aware that Budget charges if you take the car out of state. I'd visit their website first, get a tentative quote, and then call and make certain that you can drop off in Las Vegas with NO additional fees.

Avis has been running a no drop off fee special also and we got a rental from them a couple of weeks ago - Los Angeles to the Bay Area - with no drop off fee. Avis would be a better bet for not charging you hidden additional fees; however, they do not often have the no drop off fee specials, so, again, check on their website and then call. If possible, make the reservation through a person and get that person's name.

Hope this helps!
easytraveler is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2004, 01:03 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,749
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Be aware that what you are talking about will not necessarily be called a drop off fee. I've been checking also both for California pickups, but drop-offs in both Oregon or Las Vegas. While most companies told me there was no drop off fee at all, the daily rate changed drastically if I was dropping off elsewhere instead of returning it to the same location. When I did the math, it was maybe a $250 difference. Maybe they don't call that a fee, but I do!!

When I take a car from San Francisco to Ashland, Oregon, I now find that if I bring it back to say Redding or Sacramento instead of leaving it in Medford, Oregon, it will save me about $250. Unless someone can figure out a better deal.
Patrick is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2004, 01:33 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 154
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Very true Patrick, it's best to look at the overall rate and not just focus on one aspect. I've rented cars from agencies that incurred a drop off fee but the per day rate was still far lower than the others, so my overall rate was better. You'll need to do a lot of rate shopping, coupon code plugging, and rechecking rates every so often to see if they've fallen.
stevecat is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2004, 07:46 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 2,364
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Have to agree with the above 2 posts. I recently looked into a one way rental from Las Vegas to Phoenix. While some company websites listed a separate "drop off" fee, I found that even the ones that didn't, often had higher overall charges than if we rented and returned to the same place. Depending on the company, there was a $100-$150 difference.
Judy24 is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2004, 08:33 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 17
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We rented a car in San Francisco and dropped it off in Seattle with no drop off fee from Avis. That was in May '03. We are renting a car in San Antonio and dropping it off in Houston in April '04, again with no drop off fee. Avis also does not charge for an extra driver. Avis was by far the least expensive both times and we could pick the car up downtown instead of at the airport since we will be stayin in San Antonio for a few days before we need the car.
creek00 is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2004, 08:38 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,749
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Creek, I realize you may not have had any choice about dropping off the car in Seattle, but Avis is one of the companies I was talking about above. While there may have been no specific fee for dropping off the car out of state, you can be sure you paid a whole lot more than if you returned it within California. They are a company where my daily rate would go from $37 a day if I returned to California to $95 a day if I drop off in Oregon. For a five day rental that's a drop off fee of $300, whether they call it that or not.
Patrick is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2004, 09:30 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 375
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Actually, instead of calling them "drop off fees", they charge different rates for normal rentals and "one way rentals". (Yes, it boils down to the same thing -- you are going to pay more in total costs, no matter what they call it. But you have to know what question to ask...they won't necessarily answer the ones you don't ask so you will make a wrong conclusion based on information they don't volunteer.) Also, you need to determine how many miles are included in each base rate and how much they charge extra per mile over the allowance -- the per mile charge for the extra miles may offset the higher rate charged for one-way. (And it may different rates per mile for the extra miles for each type of rental.

Whether they charge different one-way rates or drop off charges or not may not depend just on what company you use but also other factors such as the two locations involved and whether one or both are company owned or franchises. One of the factors will be whether they will have to pay someone to return the car to the original location or whether they can expect to rent it one way the other way in short order or whether they don't really worry about whether the car is returned to the original location.

Depends on the circumstances whether you want to return to the original location -- do a full cost/benefits analysis (applicable even for vacation time and not just for business) taking into consideration all factors, including your time, cost of the additional mileage, gas, etc.
carrolldf is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2004, 09:47 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 375
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
By the way, don't assume that the same rules or fees apply to all rates even with a single company. You may be entitled to special rates with some companies due to an affiliation such as AAA, AARP, or insurance or banking companies, etc. I normally use Hertz but get different rates and different mileage allowances depending upon whether I use them for business when I get my company's contract rates or whether I use them for leisure in which case I get USAA rates.

Also, you may be able to get a free preferred membership which allows you to pick up your car without waiting at the counter in most locations. This is a great time saver -- I have two different Hertz #1 Gold memberships, one for the business and one for the personal and I'm normally driving out of the parking lot with my car while others are still waiting in line.
carrolldf is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2004, 01:47 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 154
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Carroldf, that would be called coupon, or rental code plugging. You can find a bunch of them on the internet and plug away trying to find which ones to use. You'll quickly learn that some "special codes" end up actually costing you more money than rack rates! Quite humorous at times. Aside from employee and government codes, car rental codes are free for anyone to use and you don't need to be a member of the respected group either.
stevecat is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2004, 03:15 AM
  #14  
jd
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 591
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am picking a suv up in Los Angeles and dropping of in Las Vegas with no drop off fee thru dollar.(and only $189/week. I found this rate thru rentalcars.com.
jd is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2004, 04:51 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 375
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Actually stevecat, it's not always true that anyone can use the codes -- it may be on some but I have been required to provide proof of USAA membership when I pick up vehicles more than once using the USAA rates (which also include insurance coverage such). I normally use USAA as it is normally less expensive than AAA or AARP so cannot attest as to whether proof is required or not. We do frequently get coupons from USAA that are additional savings off of our normal discounted rates.

As to whether anyone else can get my corporate rates or not, I've never been asked to provide my company ID but I do know that it includes free CDW and increased liability coverage so I would expect that if someone used this rate and later had an accident, they would not be covered if they were not entitled to the rate. (Yes, I'm aware that many credit cards also provide free CDW -- but I don't think I'd want to take a chance on who is going to pay if I fradulently used a rate I wasn't entitled to.)
carrolldf is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2004, 06:26 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 923
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You go JD! that's a great rate for a SUV.
LilyLace is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2004, 07:02 AM
  #17  
MileKing
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Car rental charges usually go up quite a bit for one-way rentals, and even more for dropping the car in another state, as someone pointed out. You may try renting one car for use in California, dropping it as close to Las Vegas (but in the state of California) as you can, and picking up another car there for a one-way that you will drop in Vegas that same day. That way you only get charged for a single day on the one-way that crosses state lines.

With regard to the insurance discussion, you are likely not covered by insurance (CDW) if you use your corporate rate for a leisure rental. The paperwork may have your corporate rate on it and it may say "CDW included", but if you have an accident while on vacation chances are good that they won't pay (if they find out it was a leisure rental). When renting most cars in the U.S. and Canada, your personal auto insurance covers you anyway. But check with your insurance company to be sure.
 
Old Feb 10th, 2004, 07:07 AM
  #18  
MileKing
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
One additional thing. Dropping in major cities, even across state lines, is sometimes not an issue because the locations are owned by the rental company's corporate office. Corporately owned locations seem to have much more leeway on where, when, and at what price they will rent cars. Franchise locations, which are much more prevalent everywhere but large cities, are typically the ones who keep tight control of their cars and don't want them returned elsewhere.
 
Old Feb 10th, 2004, 04:24 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 923
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Your comments make alot of sense MileKing, although NYC (JFK) is the worse in my opinion for drop off costs than just about anywhere. Couuld it also be true that the smaller places want to sometimes get rid of cars? This is most often my experience, I often rent a car one way when flying out of Philadelphia instead of parking for a whole week. My small town airport Avis seems to always give me a full size car for $38 one way. Same thing from Philadelphia. I also always rent a car in Miami or Ft Lauderdale and drive to Sarasota and drop off (visiting customers this way 6 times a year) and always the same low rate. It's a puzzle. Maybe they are owned by the same company??? I guess I'll never know for sure.
LilyLace is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2004, 04:35 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,749
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
How true about the various drop off charges. I frequently rent a car in Naples, Florida for one day to drop off at Ft. Lauderdale airport. Coming home, I get a car at Ft. Lauderdale and drop off when I get home to Naples. For some strange reason, National is always the cheapest from Naples to Lauderdale, but Dollar is always the cheapest from Lauderdale to Naples.
Patrick is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 03:13 AM.