1-Way Rental Vehicle - CycleBlaze

Bicycle Travel Forum

1-Way Rental Vehicle

George Hall

In some earlier thread there was discussion about how to get to the start of a tour - these days, due to COVID-19, many of us prefer to not fly.  For my planned upcoming tour , I had reserved a one-way pickup truck rental from Enterprise.  But that was before I was attacked by rabid dogs - I had to cancel that reservation, and delay the the start of the tour until such time as I can walk without limping and I can ride.  I tried to reschedule the Enterprise reservation for 10 days later, but I was unable to get a 1-way rental.  

Eventually, I found I could rent a pickup from Hertz, and I was able to book a 1-way rental from Tulsa, OK to Bar Harbor, ME for almost $500 less than the Enterprise rate!   There was no 1-way fee attached like there was with Enterprise.  My paperwork clearly states where I am picking it up and where I am dropping it off and the fee to be paid, so I don't THINK there will be any nasty surprises when i go to pick it up.   I rented a pickup instead of something like a medium-sized SUV because there are 2 of us with bikes and gear - 1 bike and all the gear will probably go behind the front seats (with the rear seat folded up), and the other bike will travel in the pickup bed.

Just wanted everyone to be aware of the Hertz 1-way rental option - maybe you too will save some bucks.  Also, I got a cheaper rate by picking up the truck at the Tulsa Airport instead of 1 of the urban dealerships.   There are 2 of us going on tour - considering the price of 2 airline tickets, plus the cost to ship our bikes (not to mention the uncertainty of damage during shipping and having to either reassemble the bikes on arrival or ship to a local shop and pay them to do it) - we will come out well from a financial standpoint.   We can avoid people as much as practical during the travel, and we have the bikes and gear safely contained with us.  The downside is almost 2,000 miles of driving, but it's worth it to us.   Best wishes to all,


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2 weeks ago
Henry DaltonTo George Hall

It definitely pays to shop around when you're doing a one-way rental. Last summer I was considering one-way rentals to and from the ends of a trip (that got cancelled, unfortunately). It would have been about the same distance each way, but going there would have been less than $100 and coming home using the same company would have been over $1200! Maybe they waive the drop-off fee if you're driving from someplace they have an excess of vehicles to someplace they need more.

And for any vehicle rental, I've found there can be pretty substantial differences in price between different locations of the same company, such as airports vs. local neighborhoods. So if you're going one-way from City A to City B, and you're comparing eight rental companies, and each one has four locations in each city, you'd have 4x4x8=128 prices to compare!

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2 weeks ago
Kelly IniguezTo George Hall


Thank you for pointing out the difference between companies. Living in rural Colorado, we've had limited success with one way car rentals, although it did work for us going to Tucson in June. I think because most people are leaving Tucson during the summer!  We had to go to the airport (an hour drive) to pick up the vehicle.  I will be sure to move Hertz to the top of our 'to check' list.  

We have a circle tour starting in Milwaukee in July. I checked one way rentals, just so we wouldn't have to put the miles on our own van or worry about where to park it for six weeks. The price was high enough that we are going to deal with the parking. Obviously, for a one way tour, you need a better solution than long term parking. 

I'm looking forward to reading about your tour. 

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2 weeks ago
Wayne EstesTo George Hall

Buddy, thanks for sharing your experiences. The price of 1-way car rentals definitely varies depending on the supply of vehicles at the origin and destination. For my upcoming tour the 1-way car rentals before and after the tour are equal distance but the return rental costs 30% more. My local area must have a surplus of rental cars. There must be a major shortage of vehicles at Bar Harbor if you managed to get a zero dollar drop fee.

Interesting that the rate was cheaper at the Tulsa airport. My experience is that airport locations often charge higher prices because of taxes that only apply at the airport. Maybe the Tulsa airport Hertz location is outside the airport property.

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2 weeks ago
Kelly IniguezTo Wayne Estes

Wayne - taxes and more taxes! I didn't think about airport taxes. In our area, the airport is the only choice I can get for a one way rental, and even that is difficult. But, at least it's a choice - which is more than we had a few years ago. For this past summer's tour - we had the inexpensive one way car rental to Tucson. Coming home from the Canadian border at Eureka, MT - I couldn't find a one way rental anywhere. Unless we wanted to drive the uHaul to Missoula and then get a car rental. We ended up with the uHaul the entire distance home, which was a much greater expense than the starting car rental. You win some, you lose some.

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2 weeks ago
Karen CookTo Kelly Iniguez

I am a long time user of 1-Way rental cars and a huge proponent.

I just read an article in the New York Times about the current pricing which, in part, has to do with some companies selling off half their fleets to survive last years economy.  And now everyone wants to rent a car because they are vaccinated and stir-crazy.  I assume this situation will be temporary in the long run?

In normal times I find that finding good 1-way rates is a black art.  Sometimes it pays to book early.  Sometimes it pays to wait.   Sometimes a SUV/mini-van is half the price of an economy car because the company happens to need a SUV/mini-van at your destination city.  Not only do you provide a service of moving their SUV/mini-van into position but you are paying to do it.

This summer I have cars waiting for the start of my trip and then at the end to get me from the small town where the trip will end to the airport where I will fly home.  If I don't make it that far I will cancel reservation...


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1 week ago