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Thread: One Way Car Rental

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  1. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: One Way Car Rental

    Your lowest prices will be renting out of and returning to the same location. I understand if there is an imbalance in cars from east to west (or visa versa) or north to south (or visa versa), these companies have trucks which transfer and equalize the cars. However, depending on each location, you might be lucky and get a car in Los Angeles, say, that belongs to Buffalo NY. They might strike a deal with you of no drop-off charges because each time they rent a Buffalo car, they owe the Buffalo outlet a fee vis-a-vis renting their own vehicle and keeping 100% of the rental. When you cross country, the renting outlet has a car at another location in which it has to split the rent. That's why the drop-off charges are what they are. Renting between LA and SF or SF and LA may not be any drop-off charges.

    Again, numerous conversations with many different locations with many different companies have shown this is no longer the case. Cars are not personally "owned" anymore by hundreds of little mom-and-pop franchises that happen to fly a Hertz or Avis flag. They used to be, but no longer. This changed in the mid 1990s or so. And saying a car has to go "home," or the revenue has to be split forever, then at the same time saying that cars need to be moved by truck to meet seasonal demand, is contradictory logic. Yet these myths persist.

    The cars are owned by a company that allows them to randomly circulate between corporate-operated locations. The customers usually pay to do the circulating. The rental company does not want to pay for trucks, which would negate their frequently small profit margins. Rates reflect mileage depreciation and demand, thereby creating incentives for the customers, with the goal of directing flow.

    When a car leaves to a different city, the first city takes the car off its books, and the return locations adds it to theirs. The revenue is split for the one-way, but once the car is on the books of the new location, the first location no longer has much to do with it.

  2. #27
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: One Way Car Rental

    It appears to me that Freethinker's info is more current and up-to-date. You can easily judge for yourself by talking with the car rental companies themselves or I would suggest writing Freethinker through Indpendent Traveler for more specifics on car rental matters. He seems to know the lay of the land on rentals these days. What he says is happening makes good business, too.

    Recently I've come across a website, www.AutoSlash.com that was printed in the Los Angeles Times Travel Section. I have no experience with the site but the newspaper said, "After you book your car rental with AutoSlash, it continues to look for a better deal for you" from the same location, same date. It will rebook you if they find a cheaper rate. The article says AutoSlash does find cheaper rates on average. Again, I have no experience with this arrangement nor any connection with the auto rental industry whatsoever. Keep your eyes and ears open. I have reached the point in my life that I like renting from the major rental companies for a variety of reasons but let me say I haven't rented any car for 6-7 years. If renting one thing I would do is check with your auto insurance agent to see if you have coverages that would preclude you from having to buy auto insurance from the rental companies. For foreign guests, the daily insurance charges can be brutal.
    Also, check with you credit card to see if they will cover you as a primary insurer and not a secondary insurer. Secondary is OK but primary is better. Check this out with your insurance people and credit card issuers. Good traveling!

    pasadenabob

  3. #28
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: One Way Car Rental

    I have plenty of one-way car rental experiences and like to share with you my expertises in North America.
    Most important fact is the border crossing between pick up and and drop off points, especially crosses state lines and country borders. Also, different car rental agents have different rates and inventory availability in each city and even inside each city between downtown and airport sites. Timing of rental between weekday and week ends are quite different. Wiser to break up long term rental, unless rental agents willing to offer highly discounted weekly rate, which is less likely particularly in summer peak seasons.

    For example you visit San Francisco and wish to stop over at Seattle and end you trip in Vancouver.

    First, while you are at San Francisco, rent a car there and return the car at San Francisco. (You can take BART to SFO to pick up car there) So, this SF car rental has same pick & and return points.

    At the day that you depart San Francisco, you pick up a one-way car rented in San Francisco and drive directly to Seattle and drop off the car immediately at arrival of Seattle. This is 2 state border crossing, taking 2 days. You will be charged 2 days one way car rental (typically additional $50 per day.)

    Rent another car for Seattle and turn in this car in Seattle.

    At the day that you depart Seattle, you pick up a one-way car rental drive directly to Vancouver and drop off this car immediately at the Vancouver rental agents upon arrival. This is one international border crossing, taking 1 days. You will be charged 1 days one way car rental (typically $100 per day.)

    Then, rent another Vancouve car rental for this city.

    The key is miminize the number of days for one-way car rentals. Do not mix the use of one-way car rental and driving around town use which you pick up and drop off at the same point.

  4. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: One Way Car Rental

    Freethinker has some excellent advice. I recently rented from a franchisee in the LA area. Excellent vehicle and service. Rented and returned to the same station. Had no problems other than I put a dent in the body of the car. Because the credit card was the primary insurer, I was covered. But I'm very unhappy with myself for doing so. Do check with your credit card issuer to see if they will give you primary coverage on rental of a car.

    Much of my experience is from many years ago. But you might stand a good chance of not being charged any extras for a rent-it-here, leave-it-there arrangement. In the past, major locations didn't charge for the drop off of a car other than the renting station. I don't know if that is so today. Freethinker indicates it isn't so. However, if the inventory of cars at a location are not owned or under lease with that location, it would seem to me that the location would want to move that car off its lot. Reason is they probably have to share the revenues from renting that car versus renting their own cars. Let's say LAX has a car belonging MSP. If you are going to Minneapolis form Los Angeles, the renting location would be delighted to have that car off its hands. It may not be the make and model you want to drive but if the renting location doesn't have to ship it back by an auto transport company, they save a lot of money and share it with you by not charging a drop off charge. But ... if you want to drop it off at an out-of-the-way location in Minnesota, all bets could be off. Nevertheless, it would seem to be the renting location would be happy to get that car off its lot and not having to share its rental revenues with MSP. If you want to drop off in Duluth, the changes of getting that car back to MSP are far better from Duluth than LAX. I think a factor of being a company location and a franchise location comes into play, too. Anyway, just some thoughts.

    What I would have done if I were in SEA and wanted to go to YVR, is to take the daily train. It gives you 4-5 hours in YVR before turning around and returning to SEA. Please double-check me on this. My info is current June 2013. Even better is drive around Washington and stay in Bellingham. Take the same train from Bellingham to YVR and return. Then drive some more around Washington returning the car to the SEA location you rented from. Be sure to stay at a lodging that will provide shuttle service to SEA. You will need a passport to cross the Canadian border to get back into the USA.

  5. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: One Way Car Rental

    I disagree with pasadenabob. You assume rental agents want to get car off their lot. Why would any lot manager want inventory reduction, since leases are funded not locally, but at corporate anyway?

    So far, for the last 30+ years, I have never seen any rental agent willing to rent-it-here, leave-it-there for free of charge one-way car rental.

  6. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: One Way Car Rental

    Young707 is logical in his thinking but please note that I had said a rental car not owned by the renting location. When a non-location car is rented, a portion of the rent goes to the owning location, wherever that location be within the car rental system. If this were not so, a rental location would rent other locations' car from his/her location and take 100% of the revenue. In effect, the owning location would be paying for that car but receiving no income. Also, there is a financial incentive for a renting location to rent its own cars because 100% of the revenues from that car go to it. Renting a non-location car would reduce revenues although you would receive some
    revenue.

    This might be mitigated if both locations are company owned but then that involves a hairy accounting of the revenues so that the renting city is given credit for its cars rented from other locations.

    About 30 years ago I did enjoy "moving a car" from LAX to SFO with no drop-off charge and a free tank of gas to boot. I was given two days to drive the
    car between the two stations. This was because a preponderance of cars were then being driven from SFO to LAX causing an oversupply of cars at LAX. I called a few years later to do the same thing and was told that they hired a vehicle transporter to load 9-10 cars and drive them from LAX to SFO. I think the air fare structure at the time was fueling -- pardon the pun -- this situation. You could fly into SFO on what was called an "open jaw" ticket and fly back from LAX to your originating airport on a reduced round-trip air fare, i.e., you did not have to buy a one-way ticket to SFO and a separate ticket from LAX on returning to your originating airport. Using an open-jaw ticket, savvy travelers flew to SFO, rented a car at SFO and drove down the coast to LAX, a very absorbing and scenic drive. Again, I don't know if open-jar tickets are attractively priced and I don't know if this is possible to do any more if the rental companies employ auto transporters who take 9-10 cars at time whenever there is an imbalance in their inventories at major rental locations. I haven't used rent-it-here, leave-it-there arrangement for 30 years. But at that time if you were driving from a major renting location to a major renting location there were no-drop off charges. So I would fly one leg and drive the other leg to optimize my seeing all the continental states. New times may require new thinking. And, yes, you have to do your homework to be up on this stuff and read commentary of travelers on sites like this one to learn and contribute your experiences so others may maximize their travel
    enjoyment. I find a lot of people like to learn but they rarely share their own
    experiences for others to profit. So be it.

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