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  1. #1

    Default Car rental from New York to CA - one way?


    I've spent the last few days reading through all the posts around this place.

    I don't do anything half-measures...I am planning a road trip in just over a month....Driving from mid(ish) October in NY to arrive in CA 4-6 weeks later.

    Someone had suggested I buy a car in NYC and sell it in CA, but to be honest, as a single woman, driving across the country, I'd prefer the piece of mind of a rental. Besides I am hoping to get the car rental sponsored anyway. :-)

    After seeing (on here, I think) that AVIS do one-way rentals, I looked on their site but didn't see anywhere I could get a quote.

    I could pick up a car in Connecticut if it would be cheaper - or would NYC be the best bet due to volume of cars?

    I'll start another thread about my rough itinerary for some of your expert opinions.

    Thankfully, I run a successful website with members all across the US who are kindly offering me sofas (to sleep on), tanks of gas, food vouchers and hotel vouchers too. . .so that will at least help keep SOME of the costs down, but I already have a feeling this will cost well more than I've estimated...

    Anyway thanks so much for advice/tips on the car rental...If I can manage to sort that - the rest will fall into place.


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

    Default Shop Around

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The best bet to find the cheapest car rental price is to simply shop around. Avis, as well as all the other major rental car companies, should allow you to take the car one way. There simply will be very large differences between what each company charges for a one way drop off fee. Enterprise, for example, is usually one of the lowest priced companies for round trip rentals, but is often the highest for one ways.

    Your flexability will be helpful here. I don't know if NYC or Conn would be the cheaper place, but having either place as an option will only help your effort to bring down costs.

    I would start by calling the 1-800 numbers for all of the major companies and get quotes that way. Ask what the price differences are between locations. Then, I would follow those calls up with calls to the local offices to see if they give you the same, better, or a worse price quote.

    Once you find a good rate, I'd lock it in ASAP, as rates have been know to change from week to week and even from day to day.

  3. #3


    Aw thanks for the reply!

    Forgot to say I am in Glasgow.

    Bit of a pain...

    I do have someone in NYC saying she'll call around for me.

    I'll let you (all) know what I come back with on estimates.


  4. Default Advantage

    One possibility is Advantage -- they have advertised special one-way rates in the past with no drop charges. So be sure to check with them while you are searching.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default More difficult

    Being overseas does make things more difficult, but not impossible.

    Look at as many places as you can on the web. Some of the major car rental firms should quote a one way price on their websites. If they don't, then see if the company has a local office or a number for your area.

    Also look at the major online travel agencies, including the Travel Reservation section of Road Trip America. I just did a quick search there and found rates of around $600 for a NY-LA 4 week trip in October.

  6. #6


    Hey MM thanks so much.

    That 600 was for weekly :)

    But I did see one for 900+ a month. 'Guess there will be a lot of tax on that.

    What's Advantage Joseph? Never heard of them.

    Thanks you guys - you're gems.


    PS: Oh I had a look - they don't have NYC branches of Advantage. Boo.

  7. #7


    Just called AVIS in NY and they quoted me:

    For an intermediate car - 39 days:

    3057.00 - They are charging 750 dollars for the ONE WAY fee.

    For a smaller car -

    2928.46 - Same 750 ONE WAY fee.

    I am just gutted.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula

    Default Loop Trip?

    The one-way drop off is one reason why many folks decide to do a loop trip instead. You might pick a part of the country and do a big loop instead. It's a big place. No matter which route you choose, you're never going to see most of the country in a month anyway. So you might narrow your trip down to a region or two of the US and start/stop in the same place saving yourself that money towards your next trip to the US. Just an idea to consider.

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

    Default Shop elsewhere

    Quote Originally Posted by RoadTripper 912 View Post
    I am just gutted.
    I'm not that surprised that you're finding rates that high, but like I said before, there is a huge swing in rates from company to company.

    Is there some reason you have to rent with Avis? Like you said before, you already found a rate for around $900/month. So I don't quite understand why you're so discouraged.

    Keep shopping, you should be able to find something for much less than $3000.

  10. #10
    Scottyg Guest


    I would try to book the car through a local travel agent. I'm looking at doing a similar trip early next year and looked on the web and was shocked with the price. I then called a local travel agent here in New Zealand and they have managed to quote me a much lower price and have included all US insurance costs. This is often the killer when renting a car in the states...the insurance can be almost the same as the daily rental fee.

    Have fun on your trip!

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