If you want to take a driving vacation in the West, you can do it for less with car-rental promotions for one-way trips.
If you want to take a driving vacation in the West, you can do it for less with car-rental promotions. A number of companies are offering one-way rentals when you pick up a car in the Pacific Northwest or Arizona.
The car-rental companies want to reposition their fleets from winter vacation destinations to spread them out for the summer travel season. They let customers do it for them by offering deals.
One-way rentals outside of these offers can be quite expensive. As an example, I’ve seen a one-week rental from Orlando to Washington, D.C., cost as much as $1,000. With these one-way promotions, you get a deal on a driving vacation and the car-rental companies get their fleets moved for them.
If you take advantage of one of these deals, you may be flying to your pick-up city and your drop-off city. You can get an open-jaw ticket, where you fly into one city and depart out of another, and still qualify for the lowest round-trip excursion fares. Just use the multicity booking function if you’re buying online.
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A sampling (and rates are base rates that don’t include taxes and other fees): • Thrifty is offering one-way rentals starting at $1 per day when you pick up a car in Seattle or Portland and drop it off in the San Francisco area. You can rent a compact or midsize car through April 30 with this offer. Cars must be picked up at the Portland or Seattle airport locations and dropped off at the Oakland, San Jose or San Francisco airport locations. The maximum rental is seven days. Contact: 1-800-847-4389; www.thrifty.com/Deals/Featured/ROUD1.aspx. • Alamo and National are offering one-way rentals starting at $17, for pick up in Glendale, Mesa, Phoenix or Scottsdale in Arizona and drop-offs in cities across California; in Eugene, Medford, Portland or Redmond in Oregon; Las Vegas; Kansas City; and Cleveland.
• Avis has a one-way deal for rentals out of Arizona. Cars are available from $16 per day, and you can pick them up at multiple locations across the state, drive them around the West and drop them off in Yuma, Ariz., and locations across Nevada or California. Rentals are available for up to seven days. The best rates are available for rental through April 30. The starting rates jump to $76 per day for travel in May and $88 per day for travel in June. Use AWD number G628900 when booking. www.avis.com.