Car rental drop-off fees

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retire14
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Car rental drop-off fees

Post by retire14 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:37 pm

Need to rent a car from Phoenix Airport then drop off in Seattle. The drop off fees is a whopping $1300, which seems very excessive. I looked through Kayak and Costco. Is there a cheaper way to get a one-way rental?

TravelGeek
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Re: Car rental drop-off fees

Post by TravelGeek » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:39 pm

Compare prices from different rental car companies with various discounts/coupon codes using autoslash.com.

IngognitoUSA
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Re: Car rental drop-off fees

Post by IngognitoUSA » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:45 pm

Maybe U-haul is cheaper.

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Watty
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Re: Car rental drop-off fees

Post by Watty » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:50 pm

If your plans are flexible look at traveling the opposite direction to see what it costs to go from Seattle to Phoenix.

Also do not rent the car at the airport. They tack on all sorts of extra fees and taxes for airport rentals.

Also try to have the rentals for multiples of 7 days to get the weekly rate. They may charge more for a six day rental than a weekly rental.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Car rental drop-off fees

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:03 pm

As it was explained to me, rental agencies have districts. With many, if you pick up anywhere in the district, you can drop off anywhere in the district and there's no charge. Once you go over district lines, one district literally puts an employee on an airplane to retrieve their car and drive it back into the district. Unless some strange car company contains both Phoenix and Seattle (unlikely), you're stuck with the charge.

Exceptions are if a lot of cars seasonally go from one place to another (snowbirds renting and driving south, for example) and you're giving the car a free ride back to its home district.
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bowest
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Re: Car rental drop-off fees

Post by bowest » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:22 pm

Any chance you or traveling partner have Hertz points to burn? You can use them for one-way rentals (typically double their usual redemption rates)

SrGrumpy
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Re: Car rental drop-off fees

Post by SrGrumpy » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:27 pm

Sounds about right, quite frankly. I recently tried to book a one-way from Seattle to Denver and the one-way fee was about $800. In my life I have escaped only one one-way charge, and that was a fluke reservation from Memphis to Nashville. You might be better off buying a junker in Phoenix and selling it in Seattle.

Silk McCue
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Re: Car rental drop-off fees

Post by Silk McCue » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:33 pm

I just ran Enterprise Phoenix Airport to Seattle Airport for 8 days starting tomorrow. Total cost $748.

I chose non airport drop off and the price jumped to $1331. Stick to Airport to Airport.

Cheers

adamthesmythe
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Re: Car rental drop-off fees

Post by adamthesmythe » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:59 pm

retire14 wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:37 pm
Need to rent a car from Phoenix Airport then drop off in Seattle. The drop off fees is a whopping $1300, which seems very excessive. I looked through Kayak and Costco. Is there a cheaper way to get a one-way rental?
Perhaps you are doing this trip during spring training?

Can you reverse the trip? You might see a drop off fee of zero.

Gill
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Re: Car rental drop-off fees

Post by Gill » Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:12 pm

UHaul shows a total rate of $567 for a small truck.
Gill
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TravelGeek
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Re: Car rental drop-off fees

Post by TravelGeek » Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:42 pm

Silk McCue wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:33 pm
I just ran Enterprise Phoenix Airport to Seattle Airport for 8 days starting tomorrow. Total cost $748.

I chose non airport drop off and the price jumped to $1331. Stick to Airport to Airport.

Cheers
Six days in May, Beetle convertible (but there were others) from Sixt for $223.18 all in. Via Kayak.

Topic Author
retire14
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Re: Car rental drop-off fees

Post by retire14 » Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:42 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 5:42 pm
[quote="Silk McCue" post_id=4380178 time=<a href="tel:1550093582">1550093582</a> user_id=107288]
I just ran Enterprise Phoenix Airport to Seattle Airport for 8 days starting tomorrow. Total cost $748.

I chose non airport drop off and the price jumped to $1331. Stick to Airport to Airport.

Cheers
Six days in May, Beetle convertible (but there were others) from Sixt for $223.18 all in. Via Kayak.
[/quote]


Thanks. I ran kayak for my dates June 14 to July 1 and got $1,600 (taxes and fees around $1,000). Still very high. Maybe I will wait and keep monitoring

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segfault
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Re: Car rental drop-off fees

Post by segfault » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:44 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:39 pm
Compare prices from different rental car companies with various discounts/coupon codes using autoslash.com.
This. This summer, I used Autoslash to rent a Jeep Cherokee in Salt Lake City and dropped it off in Las Vegas, and it was one of the cheapest rentals I've ever had. Leather seats, too! :wink:

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Bruce
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Re: Car rental drop-off fees

Post by Bruce » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:02 pm

Those prices seem high unless you are hitting a holiday weekend or a major event.

Try Costco travel rental car comparison.

Picked some random 8 day periods in May and found numerous choices well under $400, all in PHX to SEA.

regards
Bruce | | Winner of the 2017 Bogleheads Contest | | "Simplicity is the master key to financial success."

abc...xyz
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Re: Car rental drop-off fees

Post by abc...xyz » Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:33 pm

Sky Harbor airport has got to be one of the most expensive places to rent a car. We did a trip from March 25 - April 9 of 2017 and the cheapest that we could find at the airport was a Ford Focus or equivalent through Budget for $981. Found that we could take a cab about 5 miles to a Tempe Budget location and rented the same car for $388 with no fee to return the car to the airport location. Check nearby non-airport locations to see if the same holds true for one-way rentals.

Used Costco for a rental car in Colorado last year as they had the cheapest price.

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jabberwockOG
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Re: Car rental drop-off fees

Post by jabberwockOG » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:04 pm

Try dropping the car off in some intermediate cities. Rent the car via Costco. Try something like Phoenix to Las Vegas, Las Vegas to San Francisco, San Francisco to Seattle to see if the fees are significantly less. Splitting the rental into parts within districts can minimize fees. If it were me I'd drop the car at SFO and fly from SFO to SEA. The drive is not that great.

jlawrence01
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Re: Car rental drop-off fees

Post by jlawrence01 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:27 am

abc...xyz wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:33 pm
Sky Harbor airport has got to be one of the most expensive places to rent a car. We did a trip from March 25 - April 9 of 2017 and the cheapest that we could find at the airport was a Ford Focus or equivalent through Budget for $981. Found that we could take a cab about 5 miles to a Tempe Budget location and rented the same car for $388 with no fee to return the car to the airport location. Check nearby non-airport locations to see if the same holds true for one-way rentals.

Sky Harbor has some of the highest rental car taxes in the country. A couple of years ago, I rented a car DURING THE SUMMER for six weeks. At Sky Harbor, the cost was $1475; at the Central Phoenix Hertz location, the cost was $675.

The OP does NOT happen to mention WHEN the car is needed. You cannot get a cheap rental car in Phoenix during Spring Training due to the high demand. On the other hand, you can get very cheap car rentals in Tucson as they are trying to get rid of cars after the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show and te Tucson Rodeo in February.

jminv
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Re: Car rental drop-off fees

Post by jminv » Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:52 am

retire14 wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 7:42 pm


Thanks. I ran kayak for my dates June 14 to July 1 and got $1,600 (taxes and fees around $1,000). Still very high. Maybe I will wait and keep monitoring
On kayak, I see a rental for a total of $1052 for those dates, not $1600. Did you select the cities rather than the airports? If you pick off airport its cheaper and in this case they also have shuttles to the airport. Even when there’s no shuttle, an Uber or public transport will be cheaper than renting on airport. One ways are expensive in general and you are renting it for an extended period of time. You should try other rental car comparison sites as well.

IMO
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Re: Car rental drop-off fees

Post by IMO » Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:20 am

Have rented @ PHX quite a bit.

Good rule of thumb for PHX one-way rentals:
a) Rent one way into PHX in the fall and as they need cars for the winter snow-bird season.
b) Rent one way out of PHX in the late spring as they typically want the cars out of PHX in the hot summer months.

The above rates can be very low (had them for $6/day or about $20 with taxes/fees) with no drop fee.

Other times for unknown reasons they can be extremely expensive. I presume there must be some major event occurring that they can raise rates. Other times they are just normal. Seems hard to figure out. (Just priced an LAX to PHX car a few weeks ago and it was dirt cheap even though both were warm winter locations).

OP, can you adjust your travel dates? If not, perhaps just do a local rental and fly to the next city if you have some reason to stop along the way? Southwest airlines can often have flight rates that are less than what it would cost in gas to make the same city pair drive.

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