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Old 12-10-2012, 04:46 PM   #1
lvdis
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June 2013 one way car rental help

I know this is a long way off, but I was wondering if anyone has experience with one way car rentals. We are traveling June 12, 2013 - June 22, 2013. Flying into Phoenix, AZ and out of Santa Barbara, CA. We plan to drive to Grand Canyon (1 night), Las Vegas (2 nights), Anaheim (4 nights), San Diego (2 nights) and end in Santa Barbara, CA (1 night).

Before I booked our flights I made sure we would be able to get a car in Phoenix and return it in Santa Barbara. The rates this far out are really scary. I played around with some sample rentals for Nov / Dec dates just to get an idea before I booked our flights and could get the price down closer to reasonable.

I need help though, knowing where to look for the best rental deals and how to get my costs down. Does anyone have any creative ideas on how to accomplish this? Maybe I just won't be able to do anything until much closer, but I'm getting anxious! Thanks for any insight you have!
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:27 PM   #2
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Airports tend to have higher rates because of a tax they have to pay, so if you can get to a rental site away from the airport you may get better rates.

Keep checking. I got a good rate that was there for only a few days.
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:02 PM   #3
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If you're a AAA member, they have good hertz rates.
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Old 12-11-2012, 09:39 AM   #4
Lewisc

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna M View Post
Airports tend to have higher rates because of a tax they have to pay, so if you can get to a rental site away from the airport you may get better rates.

Keep checking. I got a good rate that was there for only a few days.
I'd be very surprise if an non-airport location would offer the one way rental the OP is looking for.

You need to look for for the best bottom line number. Some agencies might charge a one way fee, some may exclude discounts and others may limit your miles. Estimate the number of miles you'll be driving so you can total up. Try a COSTCO rate, if you're eligible. Check sites like travelocity. Find something, book then keep looking. Agencies have a limited number of cars they want to move from one state to another. Wait too long and you might not find a car at any price. Book what you need. Forget about free upgrades, you might not be able to upgrade at any price.

Price splitting your reservation. Maybe drop off the car in Vegas and rent another car.


BEST ADVICE--Understand the money losing rates we're able to book in Florida aren't available in the rest of the country. Realize rental agencies will be charging you, directly or indirectly, for the miles you'll be putting on the car. A rate of $500 /week might be in the ball park. You need to do a lot of looking at get lucky. How do you get lucky. Keep looking. Get lucky and you'll be booking when the computer decided a car needs to be moved from location A to location B and you'll magically get a great rate.

Last edited by Lewisc; 12-11-2012 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lewisc View Post
I'd be very surprise if an non-airport location would offer the one way rental the OP is looking for.

You need to look for for the best bottom line number. Some agencies might charge a one way fee, some may exclude discounts and others may limit your miles. Estimate the number of miles you'll be driving so you can total up. Try a COSTCO rate, if you're eligible. Check sites like travelocity. Find something, book then keep looking. Agencies have a limited number of cars they want to move from one state to another. Wait too long and you might not find a car at any price. Book what you need. Forget about free upgrades, you might not be able to upgrade at any price.

Price splitting your reservation. Maybe drop off the car in Vegas and rent another car.


BEST ADVICE--Understand the money losing rates we're able to book in Florida aren't available in the rest of the country. Realize rental agencies will be charging you, directly or indirectly, for the miles you'll be putting on the car. A rate of $500 /week might be in the ball park. You need to do a lot of looking at get lucky. How do you get lucky. Keep looking. Get lucky and you'll be booking when the computer decided a car needs to be moved from location A to location B and you'll magically get a great rate.
Thank you, this is very helpful. I hadn't thought about splitting the reservation. That might just make the difference!
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:13 AM   #6
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Have you booked your flights? If not price rentals reversing your trip. I checked renting a car in Santa Barbara with a return at PHX. Kayak is showing a Budget rate of 568 for your dates, might be less if you try some codes. The cost more then triples if you stick with PHX to SBA (1836). The rate is for a full sized car (Impala or equivalent). I don't know how many people are in your family.

A couple of years ago I rented at PHX with a return at LAS. I got a great rate from Alamo. I kept checking. The price kept creeping up and a few months before my trip Alamo didn't have any cars available with a drop off at LAS. I wasn't able to use any aisle. I was assigned a specific car. The car reeked of cigarette smoke. I asked for a different vehicle. I was accommodated but they had to check the computer to find another vehicle which they wanted to move to Las Vegas.

My memory is my Alamo had a one way drop fee but the total rate was hundreds of dollars less then some agencies which didn't have a drop fee.



Many of the specials aren't applicable to a one way rental. The best rates were the rates which gave the best regular% discount. COSTCO worked for me. It may have been fixed but at least one of the search sites didn't show the one way fee until you clicked through.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lewisc View Post
Have you booked your flights? If not price rentals reversing your trip. I checked renting a car in Santa Barbara with a return at PHX. Kayak is showing a Budget rate of 568 for your dates, might be less if you try some codes. The cost more then triples if you stick with PHX to SBA (1836). The rate is for a full sized car (Impala or equivalent). I don't know how many people are in your family.

A couple of years ago I rented at PHX with a return at LAS. I got a great rate from Alamo. I kept checking. The price kept creeping up and a few months before my trip Alamo didn't have any cars available with a drop off at LAS. I wasn't able to use any aisle. I was assigned a specific car. The car reeked of cigarette smoke. I asked for a different vehicle. I was accommodated but they had to check the computer to find another vehicle which they wanted to move to Las Vegas.

My memory is my Alamo had a one way drop fee but the total rate was hundreds of dollars less then some agencies which didn't have a drop fee.



Many of the specials aren't applicable to a one way rental. The best rates were the rates which gave the best regular% discount. COSTCO worked for me. It may have been fixed but at least one of the search sites didn't show the one way fee until you clicked through.
Unfortunately I do already have the flights. On the up side, I got great prices on them! Now I just need to figure out this rental car. I just have to keep at it and hopefully find a rate we can live with even if it means returning and re-renting a car at one of our stops. Thanks!
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:59 AM   #8
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People who book late in MCO can frequently still get a good deal, sometimes with PL and Hotwire.

Wait too long with a one way rental and the agencies won't have any cars which they're willing to rent with a drop off in another state.

I'd book something, next month at the latest, but keep looking. Use something like Kayak to see who has a good rate then go to the agencies site and try any codes you have (COSTCO, AAA, AARP) even try the codes for your airline's frequent flier program.
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Old 12-14-2012, 10:32 AM   #9
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I wanted to let you know I've had some success in bringing the price down to something more reasonable! I was able to make two reservations last night using National and a Car and Driver code I found. We will pick the car up at the Phoenix airport when we arrive on 6/12 and return it to Anaheim on W. Katella (right around the corner from Disneyland Resort) on 6/15 when we arrive for our Disney part of the trip. The 2nd reservation has us picking it up from the National on Katella street on 6/19 when we leave DLR and returning it to the Santa Barbara Airport on 6/22. We aren't going to need a car while we're at Disney anyway so this is perfect! The total for both segments is $565.80. I will keep checking leading up to the time we go, but this is a price I can live with! Thanks for the advice! All it took was a little creativity!

I forgot to mention this is for a standard SUV (which they say is a Jeep Grand Cherokee or similar).
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