One Way Trip on US-20
Planning to travel US 20 late June with a rental car starting off in Boston, MA. I'm amazed by the one way drop off charges as I want to switch to a motorbike in Billings, MT. Any good advice how I can get around these charges?
Moderator Note: Thanks for looking in the archives, but we prefer to give each trip its own thread.
Last edited by Midwest Michael; 05-31-2014 at 06:08 AM.
Reason: Moved post
Welcome to the RTA Forum!
The reality is that one way drop fees are simply a part of the car rental industry, and there really is no way to get around them. You can shop around, perhaps looking at some of the european-based consolidators, but one way fees are expensive and generally unavoidable. Basically, the rental car companies eventually need to get the car back to the original location, and they are looking to cover their costs.
The farther you travel, and the more remote the location, the higher the fees generally will be. Traveling from Boston to Billings is about the most expensive thing you could do, because you are both traveling nearly across country and to a remote location. Your fees would likely be less just going from Boston to Seattle, or another major city on the west coast. Sticking to one vehicle would also mean just one drop fee, because your motorcycle rental will also have that fee.
Something to try.
A long time ago I recall someone posting about getting discount car rentals without additional fees. I was impressed, because a friend had told me about the same thing, years ago.
You don't say where the end of your journey is, but I am assuming it is Newport OR. So you call all the car rental places in the major cities of OR - Portland, Salem, Eugene, etc. - and ask them if they have any cars in the northeast which need to go back to OR. (If one company has more than one office in any location, be sure to call each office.)
It does mean been flexible, as you may find there is a car in NYC or in Niagara, or who-knows-where. If they are keen enough to have it back on the west coast, no knowing what deal you could do with them.
You don't say when you are taking this trip, but if it is not for a while, or if you are flexible in your dates, you could ring every office every couple of weeks.
Of course, this goes for any and every destination you can think of.