It is no news that several car rental companies offer across-state services, meaning that they allow you to rent their car, drive it to a different state and deliver it to their rental outlet in that different state, so getting a rental car for your purpose is not an issue.
The only issue is that certain fees are attached to one-way rentals. You always have to pay more money to rent a car if you are planning to travel across the state and deliver it to another rental outlet in that state.
Since you don’t exactly have so much money to spend on additional fees, the question to ask yourself would be how to avoid one way rental fees in USA.
The best way to avoid one-way rental fees in the USA is by getting a special promo from the rental company or by paying in advance which can get you a discount that can ease the burden of one-way rental fees. You can also target your travel to where the company wants their car to be at that time.
What is the One-Way Rental Fee?
To understand the one-way rental fee concept, you must understand what the one-way rental itself is.
If you live in Missouri, and you rent a car in Missouri, whether to commute within the state or drive out of the state, and you deliver it to the same location, that is, the same rental outlet where you rented it from, then you have simply engaged in a round trip car rental activity.
However, if you are commuting to California from Missouri with a rental car, and you plan on staying for a long time, or you don’t plan on coming back, naturally, you will have to look up a rental outlet for the rental company is in your destination state – which in this instance, is California.
If the rental company is in California, and you go ahead to rent the car and deliver it to the rental outlet in California, you have just engaged in a one-way car rental.
A one-way car rental is simply the term used to describe when a car hirer rents a car from an outlet in one state and delivers the same car to an outlet owned by the same rental company in another state. Then, the additional fees that are ascribed to this type of rental are called One-Way Rental Fees.
One-Way rental fees usually run into hundreds, or even thousands of dollars sometimes, which is why it is becoming a bane in the neck of car hirers.
Car rental companies charge a huge amount of money when it comes to one-way rentals, and they have many different reasons for doing so, which is why car hirers now seek ways to circumvent this hurdle.
How to Avoid One Way Rental Fees in the USA
Here are ways to avoid one-way rental fees in the USA:
1. Get a Special Promo
Almost always, you get a text notification about a special promo that a car rental company is running at a particular time.
If you have a one-way trip ahead of you, you can always take notice of these promos dished out by rental companies, or better still, check their websites for any promo offers that can give you tangible discounts on drop-off fees, or even exempt you completely from the charges.
2. Use Prepayment
Paying in advance also gets you discounts that ease the burden of one-way rental fees. Just like booking a flight. The earlier you book the flight before the day of take-off, the lesser you pay for the flight.
In the same way, many rental companies reserve discounts for people who pay for car rental services ahead of time. You can get up to 25 or even 35 percent discount if you prepay.
The only downside to prepayment is that whatever you pay is non-refundable. So be very sure of your trip before you pay.
3. Be Sensitive to Times and Seasons
There are different seasons at different times of the year, and with these changes in seasons come changes in the different companies’ needs, car rental companies included.
Sometimes, at different seasons, because they try to keep their cars in climates favorable to the condition of the cars, they tend to want to move their fleet of cars to a different part of the country, just the same way we crave to move to somewhere warm when we are in the cold season.
If you target your travel to where your car company wants their car to be at the right time, you might get one-way rental fees that are next to nothing, when you could have been asked to pay to the tune of thousands of dollars, if you weren’t sensitive to times and seasons.
Why are One-way Rentals so Expensive?
A lot of people have a lot of different reasons why one-way rentals are expensive. Some people believe car rental companies charge outrageous drop-off fees (one-way fees) to dissuade car hirers from engaging the one-way rental.
They prefer that you deliver the car back to where you rent them, and so they charge huge sums of drop-off fees to get you to change your mind about delivering the car elsewhere.
The belief is that, once you realize that renting and delivering to the same place is more economical and financially wiser than paying the one-way rental fees, you will most likely bend to their will of delivering the car to the same rental outlet.
Another reason why one-way rentals might be very expensive is the distance between the rental outlet and the destination outlet.
The number of drop-off charges or one-way rental fees varies with the distance between where you are renting the car and where you are delivering the car to. The farther the distance, the higher the amount charged as a one-way fee.
If you are traveling to the nearest state from the renting outlet, you’re in luck, but if you are traveling to the other end of the country, then you might be paying to the tune of thousands of dollars.
Why Do Car Rental Companies Charge a Drop-Off Fee?
Naturally, when you drop off a car in another location – another state, the car rental company has to send the car back to the original location, and they are going to incur costs for that purpose. Car rental companies charge drop-off fees for this purpose.
The one-way rental fee is used to cover the expenses incurred to return the car to the original location where it was rented from. This is why the further you go, the higher the drop-off fee you might have to pay.
Another reason for this is to convince you that it is better to return the car to its original location yourself, so you don’t have to pay outrageous fees.
However, depending on the nature of your travel, your interest might not align with theirs, so you decide what you want to do.
Pros of One-way Rentals
- People seek new ways of doing things, even going as far as paying more money just for convenience, and convenience is one of the big benefits of one-way rentals. It spares car hirers the headache of returning the rented car to their state of departure especially when they don’t plan on going back there anytime soon.
- Not having to return the car to the location or state you rented it from saves a lot of time that you could use to do other productive things. Hence, one of the pros of one-way rentals is the time-saving characteristic it has.
- One-way rental is always a more affordable option than booking a flight. People opt for one-way car rental trips instead of just booking a flight because, no matter how outrageously expensive the drop-off charges or one-way rental fees are, they are still nothing compared to taking the option of flights. This is why affordability is also a benefit of one-way rentals.
Cons of One-Way Rentals
- Outrageous drop-off charges are a turn-off when it comes to one-way rentals. This is a major disadvantage. The extra charges that come in the form of one-way rental fees or drop-off fees make the trip more expensive, and one might consider booking a flight instead.
- The rules for one-way rentals can be very strict and cumbersome, so you might break certain rules and not even know them, which effectively leads to paying more fines and other fees. There’s a lot of work to do when you are renting a car for a one-way trip for the first time.
- Before renting for a one-way trip, you have to give a lot of thought to it because of the amount of money involved.
You have to start thinking of ways to cut costs, and whether you are sure about the trip, or whether the weather is favorable for the car rental company and your trip so you get a discount. It cuts out your spontaneity and even snuffs the fun out of the whole experience.
When too much thinking goes into something, too much care follows, and where you are being too careful, you can’t be carefree or spontaneous.
Truth is, one-way trips are expensive, therefore, you need to learn how to avoid one way rental fees in the USA. You can do that by watching for the time and being sensitive to which car company wants to get their fleet of cars to where, and whether it is also in line with your destination.
You also have to look out for promos, special offers, coupons, discounts, etc. Finally, another option is to pay for your trip in advance, but you have to be entirely sure you are going to take that trip, as there won’t be any refunds.