Car Rental; One-way

Old Mar 25th, 2021, 09:50 AM
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Car Rental; One-way

Do you know best way to rent a car for a one-way trip? I am finding car rental places charge a fee for car return, am I missing something? We are driving from Arkansas to California.
Thank you,
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Old Mar 25th, 2021, 10:54 AM
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Check with several of the companies and see if they are doing any “repositioning” deals. Where they might need vehicles moved from one part of the country to another. You also might check on line to see if there is someone who wants to have a car moved from your area to the west. Before covid, colleges often had kids hoping to get a car home or back to school without having to drive the whole way.

Depending on what you plan to do along the way, you might find it more cost effective to fly part way and do a loop, then fly to CA and do another loop.

Somehow people who do not live in the US can get by without the drop fees.
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Old Mar 25th, 2021, 12:43 PM
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Oldmalloy: "Depending on what you plan to do along the way, you might find it more cost effective to fly part way and do a loop, then fly to CA and do another loop."

Not mentioned in this thread . . . but I believe the OP is based in Calif, is flying to Arkansas renting a car and doing a road trip back to CA. This is because their first plan was to do a R-T road trip Ca > Ca via Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Arkansas in 10 days and was advised they didn't have enough time. So instead of cutting back on the scope, they are changing to a OW trip.

donnae_b: One way rentals in the States are often quite a bit more expensive than R-T - but not always. So you need to shop around. You might get lucky and find a special deal.
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Old Mar 25th, 2021, 03:37 PM
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Meant to add . . . Enterprise sometimes has good OW rates. Just a guess (and probably wrong) you might have better luck flying into DWF instead of one of the smaller Arkansas airports.
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Old Mar 25th, 2021, 05:30 PM
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After you have seen what you want to in Arkansas in a rental car, return the car and take the Amtrak Texas Eagle (421) to El Paso since you wanted to see that. It leaves Little Rock at 3:10AM 3 days per week. It makes a stop in San Antonio for long enough to see the Alamo. The Eagle joins with the Sunset Limited in San Antonio. It is about 35 hours on the train from LRK to ELP. Rent a car in El Paso for the trip up to Albuquerque NM which was a part of the old US 66. You can fly from El Paso to Las Vegas and rent another car to go see more of Rt. 66 if you want to.
My style of travel is to take a train to a destination and then rent a car and make a loop and the go onward on a train to another destination and rent another car.
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Old Mar 25th, 2021, 07:11 PM
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google one way rental cars..........there are too many to list and also kayak and expedia and enterprise to name a few beside the main car rental car agencies......also check Car Rental Coupons and Discount Codes
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Old Mar 26th, 2021, 06:11 AM
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Always check the return locations. I know I was once dropping a one way in San Francisco and the drop off fee at the airport was horrendous, but there was actually no drop off fee if I dropped it within the city. Maybe it was just a fluke because they "needed" cars there, but it worked.
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Old Mar 26th, 2021, 07:20 AM
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One way has always been more expensive, but with the depleted fleets because of the pandemic, it's more expensive than before. The variation in rates usually depends on the pickup point, what each franchise's policy was. Now they are just short of cars. Because of that, picking up at a larger location may be helpful, even with airport fees. This year is more expensive than in the past, for sure.
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Old Mar 26th, 2021, 10:45 AM
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It depends on the time of year And are you renting with a U.S. drivers license or a license from another country?

Also there is a serious shortage of rental cars in the US. right now expected to last through the end of the year, so prices have doubled, especially over the summer months.
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Old Mar 27th, 2021, 02:26 PM
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Your replies are much appreciated!

I am renting with US drivers license, I phoned all CAR RENTAL AGENCIES asking if they had a repositioning car, No. I phoned CAR DEALERS asking if they had a rental, No., I searched car rental on PRICELINE and the price is similar to quote(s), an idea maybe to drop off in same state - I will check this option out.

At this point I am thinking of flying into each city and renting a car in each destination, this is surprisingly cheaper than driving the entire route
(one-way) with a rental.
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Old Mar 27th, 2021, 05:32 PM
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{thinking of flying into each city and renting a car in each destination}

I must be missing something...

What it is you are trying to do? Why not just fly from Arkansas to California then?
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Old Mar 27th, 2021, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by suze View Post
{thinking of flying into each city and renting a car in each destination}

I must be missing something...

What it is you are trying to do? Why not just fly from Arkansas to California then?

That wouldn't be possible with the purpose of the trip . . . from donnae_b's original thread, they want to see some Route 66 sites plus " want to incorporate honoring family members who have passed in Arizona (Cochise, Bisbee, Douglas) and Texas (Dallas, Fort Worth, El Paso) ". It has to be substantially a driving trip. The main problem is they only have 10 days and a limited budget. If they had 3 weeks they could drive the round trip - as I see it they need to cut the scope of the trip or add more than a week.
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Old Mar 28th, 2021, 02:22 PM
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I've rented cars one ways multiple times over the last few decades, and no, it was NOT more expensive, that wasn't always true. Not if it was within the same state, that's for sure because I've done that in California and there wasn't any fee. It really depended on the location, I rented one way from VT to DC once also, and there wasn't any extra fee. When I rent a car locally, the rental car location has a lot of cars with out of state license plates, so eomeone is doing it (I mainly rent from Hertz or Avis at home). I mentioned once how so many of their cars had out of state plates, and the guy said something like they bring in a lot of those cars from the airport location to here (a neighborhood), Still that meant lots of people were leaving off cars at the airport from states and they weren't that close often.

I just checked a one-way rental small sedan from Hertz between LIttle Rock and Burbank airports for a 10 day gap in April and there was no special drop off fee for one-way. There were a bunch of taxes/fee but they were all notated for the usual things they add on like energy surcharge, airport concession fee, taxes, etc. it was $947 for 10 days which isn't all that bad for a midsize nowadays, it is certainly cheap transportation for a couple, only about $95 a day all told. And that wasn't prepaid and was unlimited mileage. The rate is only a little bit less if you do RT Burbank ($875). The same booking on Avis was about $1600, they don't have anything labelled a one way fee either (the concesson fee is applied even for RT rentals), but they just charge a lot more on the daily rate, that's all. It was be closer to $600 if you were doing RT Burbank.

Enterprise was only about $819 for the same rental but they did say that price included $217 for an extra time/distance charge. But the total is even cheaper than Hertz, so what difference does it make what they call it, an addon or just higher weekly rates, although that Hertz rate was not that different.

What are you expecting, anyway, you aren't going to get a rental like that for $40 a day or anything. Sometimes you can get a discount if you search for a rate and then try to leave and they popup and offer you 30 pct off if you sign up for emails or something. I htink Avis does that a lot.

So maybe you have unrealistic expectations of what it will cost per day or maybe you have some weird dates or locations, that could be, you don't say where they are.
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Old Mar 29th, 2021, 06:32 AM
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I don't know your dates but I'm seeing $500 to $600 per week in May for Arkansas to California. That's really not bad considering local car rates are up to $350 and $400 a week this year due to the rental car shortage. Don't know your exact dates, cities of pickup and dropoff etc. I'm not seeing any one-way drop fees but that may be different in busy summer travel periods I guess.

Last edited by clarkgriswold; Mar 29th, 2021 at 06:37 AM.
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Old Mar 29th, 2021, 06:46 AM
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Be aware that Allegiant Airline has flights from LAX to Little Rock on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Fares range from $89 to $124 per person one way. The scheduled flights stop on August 14 with Allegiant.
You could look into renting a small U-Haul (or Ryder-Enterprise) for your one way trip. U-Haul does a lot of one way business and shuttles trucks all around the country.
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Old Mar 29th, 2021, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by donnae_b View Post

At this point I am thinking of flying into each city and renting a car in each destination, this is surprisingly cheaper than driving the entire route
(one-way) with a rental.
That may work out. Although you may show up at an airport and your rental car is not there. There's going to be a huge shortage this summer. Rental car companies sold off their fleets during the pandemic when the demand was low and they will be short meeting the summer demand.

Not so surprising either, if you are finding low airfares. Our negotiated corporate rates for one way rentals are almost 3x the price of returning to the same airport. And that's with high volume buying discounts. Vendors may have stopped "drop charges" but the same remains = usually higher rates for one way rentals.
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Old Mar 29th, 2021, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by tomfuller View Post
You could look into renting a small U-Haul (or Ryder-Enterprise) for your one way trip. U-Haul does a lot of one way business and shuttles trucks all around the country.
Not a bad idea if there are only 2 of you. They rent vans too.
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Old Mar 30th, 2021, 02:12 PM
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The rates I saw were $900+, I did a lot of searching and took your suggestions into consideration. The only airport I did not search was Burbank, I will keep this in mind for future trips. Honestly, the cost does not make the "drive" appealing and I don't want to drive a UHaul. I did not check on the rate, but that was another good option.
We have decided to fly into Arizona so we can optimize "honoring our family," we have a lot of places to visit. Flying in gives us six full days to explore, leaving on the seventh day.
Your comments were appreciated, thank you for helping me think outside the box.
Fodors never disappoints!
Sincerely,
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Old Mar 30th, 2021, 05:53 PM
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Glad you have a plan.

Keep an eye of Covid restrictions between now and your trip. Also, be aware of the Navajo Nation restrictions.
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Old Mar 30th, 2021, 06:32 PM
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check--www.navajoreopening-navajo-nsn.gov -----supposed have opened on March 15th
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