In a one-way rental agrement, you can drop off the rented car at a rental office other than the one where you originally picked it up. Of course this is convenient since instead of having to make a round trip back to the rental company, you can just turn over the vehicle at an outlet in a location that will most be in keeping with your travel itinerary. But for that extra convenience, you have to be prepared to pay more than the regular rental rates. After all, the rental company will have to get back the vehicle from where you left it and return it to where it’s based at. Naturally, it will have to pass the cost for doing so to you.
Make no mistake about it: one-way rentals are expensive. They come with high base rates and/or hefty drop-off surcharges. The drop-off surcharge is the penalty you pay for leaving the rented vehicle in a location different from where you picked it up. Some companies prefer to have their drop-off surcharges built-in with their higher than regular one-way rental rates. But then, car rental rates in general are not set in stone.
Like airline rates, car rental rates can and do vary with the seasons. The large established chain car rental companies usually move their fleet southwards for the winter, then return their vehicles back to their northern outlets in time for spring. If your travel date will be coinciding with this seasonal movement, you can find yourself easily getting a good one-way rental rate.
Again like airline fares, car rental rates also differ from one company to the next, usually on a day to day basis. Most companies offer special discount code and/or coupons at certain times of the year. Some offer special one-way rental deals on certain destinations and certain dates. The point is, no rental company is ever always cheapest. So, before signing up with one, it’s always best to shop around first.
If you’re on a budget, you may want to check Kayak, TripAdvisor and other similar online resources for tips on which car rental companies are offering the best deals, and for when and where. Better still, check each of the websites of Penske and other vehicle rental companies to see for yourself. Some of the big companies from time to time do provide special coupon codes which when you enter during booking will entitle you to a certain amount of discount.