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  1. Default Car rental when driving coast to coast!

    Dear Roadtrippers!

    As a newbie to this sort of travelling, I need your help in planning a road trip from Miami to LA!

    I have numerous questions and will probably be bombarding this forum with them from now until Ocober 14th, which is the day our plane leaves for Miami! But let's start with our biggest obstacle - getting a car!

    We only want to drive one way, and a quick check at where I hired cars from the last time I was in Miami tell me that renting a car will cost me 340 usd + a drop off fee of almost 1400 usd!

    I'm from Denmark, and here you can contact rental companies and ask them if they have any cars that need to be returned to the city it was rented from. Does anyone know if this is possible in the US?

    Also I've heard that when people in the US move from coast to coast, they sometimes have more than one car, and need someone to drive their other car from their old home to their new home. Any help on this matter, ie. websites etc?

    Your help is greatly appreciated!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default options

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The drop off fee is pretty much standard for one way rentals, and the farther away, the more you'll pay. Basically, the rental company has to pay to get the car back to the original destination, and they pass those costs onto you.

    Now, each company is going to have their own rates for the drop fee, and it can and will change depending upon where they need cars to be. $1400 seems a bit steep (although $340 sounds like a great base rate, how long is this rental for?), so you could probably do a lot better simply by shopping around to other companies. Also, many times you can find better rates dealing with travel companies in Europe that will contract with a major rental chain in the US.

    Auto Driveaway companies are in the business of finding drivers to move cars to different places for people. This can be a cheap way to travel, but it doesn't work real well when you've got specific places that you need to be at a specific time. For example, the location in Miami might have cars that need to be moved to New York or Dallas, but not California. You also are limited in the amount of time you can take, so if you want to spend a month making the drive across country, its also not going to work. Here's some first hand information about the option.

  3. Default

    Hi Michael

    Thanks for the tip! That was exactly what I was looking for. Hadn't seen that thread.

    Yes Thrifty give good base rates. It was for 10 days rental. After a bit of research, it looks like National have better rates for one way rentals. Found a total of 740 usd for 10 days. Also looking into renting an RV now.
    We'll see what happens, looking forward to our trip :)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Expensive option.

    Unless there are 4 or more of you sharing the rental cost, an RV will be much dearer than renting a car and staying in Motels and should be a 'lifestyle' choice and not one made for budgeting. By the time you have added all the extras, campground fees and calculated the mileage return at around 10mpg it gets costly. Having said that, it's the only way I want to travel when visiting the States.
    It appears to me that most "one way specials" run West to East and maybe thats because most people start out in the East and therefor the co's need there stock shifting back the other way. I maybe wrong but if it's an option for you it might be worth looking into.

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