Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17
  1. Default Pains of online booking a one way car rental for NY to CA 2 month road summer trip

    I would like to share pains of finding a one way car rental for 2 month from abroad online. And ask for help, better ideas. And one important question about RoatTripAmerica own car rental comparison service. It is strangely cheaper.

    But lets start at the beginning...

    We are 2 drivers, UK driving licences, EU passports, both over 25, whole August – October; I usually enter 3.8. - 4.10.

    Most post and guides (LP) usually recommends to book a car well in advance. Though I struggle to do so, even just month before the set off.

    Only Hertz and Avis are able to do the booking on-line, they are the only ones returned by all search engines. Notable disappointments were Thrifty and National, otherwise recommended on other posts. Am I the only one experiencing this?

    Other car rental companies, when tried on their company sites, fails on rental length being > 28 days or drop off location being so distant (or simply different) from drop in.

    With Herz and Avis I got similar quotes - $3100 total for Economy Car or $3350 for mid size car.
    Drop off charge $750 included. Taxes too. Don't know about insurance. I haven time to sort this yet.
    (ca $50 day).

    But when I try RoatTripAmerica own car rental comparison service it finds not only Hertz and Avis but Thrifty and Dollar too. Amazingly it returns prices starting at $1900, $2200+ for mid-size (same settings indeed).
    It says $899.99/month; total: $2157.73 USD. including taxes and fees. Including fees! However I suspect it does not include different location drop off fee??

    Online services disappointed me. It took me quite long to figure out that the drop off location for CA must be LA Airport (LAX), anything else fails (just plain LA, San Francisco, San Diego).

    Most sites simply reports error or silently finds no offers without much hint why (Kayak sadly). Only one site finely cracked it up and demanded explicitly that at least one location must be an airport. (forgot which site it was to give it credit). Weird, why is that?

    Locations note: NY to LA – it should be rather East Coast to West Coast trip.
    But NY and LA seems to be after all a convenient locations for car rental and international flights.

    One last question. I do have car in UK. I do pay a car insurance in UK, it is standard “3rd party and theft”. In Britain car insurance is tightly coupled with the car and the named driver(s). Could it help somehow regarding US car insurance? I overlooked some posts about that it could.

    Thank you for the patience to read it though
    Recommendations, help, know how sharing is well appreciated


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I'd recommend you try a UK consolidator to book the rental - their rates are often considerably less than trying to book through a US site. Try

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    RTA's booking is done in conjunction with Priceline, which has always been a good one when it comes to finding good deals. If the rate is quoted including fees and taxes, then that should include all fees, including the one way fee.

    With regards to insurance, you should contact your insurance agent/salesperson directly to find out how your coverage would transfer to a rental in the US. Its quite possible you'd have the same coverage here as you would at home, however, every policy is different and you really need to find out what yours specifically covers.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default You need to read all of the fine print and the FAQ

    We'd love to have you book your car rental through RoadTrip America's Travel Reservation system. That being said, given that the rates are so different, I urge you to read the Reservations FAQ and, if necessary call the toll-free telephone number, (866-676-7080 *use promo code: HBC4051) to confirm that the listed rates really do include all of the fees. Each reservation rate can be different and so I can't really confirm the rates, so you need to double check.

    All that said, our rates are pretty darn good!


  5. Default Online US Car Rental from UK

    I found a good deal through

    I was originally looking at mid size cars (for 3 weeks from down town San Francisco to Denver Airport) when I happend to click on the SUV upgrade option. I found that they were offering a Chrysler Equinox without a one way drop off charge, which saved me about $250.

    I also noted that prices were higher if you pick-up/drop-off at an airport location. But the difference could well be taken up with airport transfer costs and it's probably much more conveniant.

    I also found that I could get a 10% discount because I'm a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) but when I asked at the CoOp Travel agents they were able to offer the same 10% discount to anyone.

    When I last did a road trip, 22 years ago, I rented 2 cars (New York to Orlando and then Orlando to Los Angeles). This was cheaper as New York rentals were more expensive than Florida rentals. In fact I got an upgrade because I was returning a Florida registered car. So you might want to play around with the rental locations to see if you can reduce the price.

    We're off to San Francisco in 15 days (I can't wait), hope you have a great time!

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sedenquist View Post
    I urge you to read the Reservations FAQ ... to confirm that the listed rates really do include all of the fees.
    Good point. I have just checked the FAQ:
    Can I get a one-way rental?
    ..There may also be a "drop-off" fee charged by the rental car company...
    There may be. Hmm. To my experience with other online seaches there always is.
    So I will learn only at the counter where I will have to pay $750 or not. $750! That is a huge difference in the price. Major decisioning point.

    And my suspicion that RTA quotes does not include this surcharge is even stronger. Lets take this result:
    Thu, Aug 4 - Tue, Oct 4, 2011, Hertz,
    Pick Up: 6216 Metropolitan Ave, Ridge, NY 11379 (aka Middle Village if you wander on Hertz site)
    middle size car.
    Drop off: LAX
    RTA price:$2229.68
    Hertz homepage price: $2924.93
    The difference is ca $700 which is pretty much the drop off charge for NY - LA distance. Well actually it usually $750 so yes RTA quote still has a minor edge.

    Also RTA quote does not include second driver fee, according to the FAQ. And we are two. Another thing I will learn only at the last moment. Too many unknowns for my liking.

    if necessary call the toll-free telephone number, (866-676-7080 *use promo code: HBC4051)
    I will call tomorrow and let you know. Now it is too late.

    By the way, I got the best quote when selecting a pick up location in Albany, NY - 2690 USD. I plan trip to Cape Cod, so it is convenient, and then do the NYC. It should be 2.5h train journey. Reasonable.

  7. Default

    Thank you all for your replies!

    UK consolidator to book the rental - their rates are often considerably less than trying to book through a US site. Try
    I tried a high street Thomas Cook. She simply called car rental for me what turned to be Alamo. They do 55 days max so I would have to extend it, but only personally. The drop off fee is payable at the counter only and it is $750 (there seems to be kind of a distance "flat" rate for drop offs). The only positive was, she already quoted me the price for two drivers and insurance. We ended up on ca $3300. But for just 55 days, not 62.

    I tried Pretty much same results as we did with other comparison engines. It still did not beat direct quote from Avis from Albany, see above.

    Not a distant hint that someone would not charge the drop off fee. It seems to be a subject of legends only. At least when dealing online :( Perhaps I should leave the renting for when we are really there, and do it in the good old fashion - personally.

  8. Default Car rental online ahead or wait and deal personally upon arrival?

    What are the benefits of booking the car rental upfront online, lets say month before the trip, then to look for a deal when one arrives to the country and can deal with rental companies directly, on branches?

    Online booking seems to have many disadvantages. It is limited do short rent only, only Hertz and Avis do more 60+, others 55 max or even 28 max. You will learn extra fees only when picking up car, in case of drop off charge, this "detail" can be $750 difference, huh, also second river surcharge in many cases is not quoted. I made a mixed experience with online booking, see my another recent post.

    Pricewise there is no advantage in booking ahead, we got the same quote for tomorrow (12th July) and for 4th August.

    Is it that certain deals are available only online?

    What are your experiences? suggestions?
    Thank you

    Moderator Note: Please don't create multiple threads about the same trip.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    The reality is that on a one way trip from coast to coast, the odds of getting a drop fee completely waived are practically nill - and in the cases where it isn't charged specifically, it is going to be rolled into the daily rate.

    Its not surprising at all that you'd find better deals outside of NYC, although generally from what I've heard your rates typically get better when you leave the state and look to rent from somewhere in Jersey. NY state has some very unusual laws when it comes to car rental (they're designed to protect the consumer, but what they actually do is drive the rates way up.)

    I understand the idea of working things out face to face, but I highly doubt you're going to be any better off. Quite likely, without a deal in place beforehand, you could end up paying even more - especially on a one way trip and a trip of this length.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Try Newark

    On several ocassions I have met overseas travellers west of the Rockies, who were driving NJ registered vehicles. When speaking with these folk, who had all landed in NY, they explained that renting from Newark was much cheaper than renting fron New York. I'd give it a try. You're not going to want a car in NYC anyway.

    As for leaving it, or pre booking it. I have always left my rentals till pickup, but then, I have never rented for 62 days. This is where your problem may be. Have you looked at dropping the car off half way, and renting another for the rest of the way. Go research through various locations in different states, and see what the rates are. They differ so much from location to location. Maybe that would work cheaper for you.


Similar Threads

  1. East coast road trip & online hotel booking without a wireless plan?
    By KatieR in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-21-2011, 05:33 PM
  2. 3 month summer road trip
    By Megan and Tony in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 05-17-2011, 09:04 AM
  3. Two Month Road Trip rental car or personal car?
    By smsaifyr in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-08-2011, 05:19 PM
  4. two month canada us summer road trip
    By Noah in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-01-2010, 01:35 PM
  5. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-28-2008, 10:18 PM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name