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Everything You Need To Know About One-Way Car Rental Drop-off Fees

This is our guide explaining one-way car rental drop-off fees & everything you need to know before your next trip.

What is a One-way Car Rental?

A one-way car rental is when a driver picks a car up at one rental location and drops it off at a different one. For example, renting a car from Enterprise in Seattle and dropping it off at an Enterprise location in Los Angeles, or renting a car at Avis JFK Airport and dropping it off at one of Avis's downtown locations. Often, this creates problems for car rental companies as they accumulate too many cars in some locations and not enough in others. In order to manage this problem, it's common for car rental companies to charge an additional drop-off fee for one-way car rentals.

How to Avoid One-way Car Rental fees?

Having the right tools is a great place to start! That's where the MirrorTrip comes in handy. In general, though, if MirrorTrip isn't available in your city yet, you need to shop around. Rental agencies may give you a discount or waive their drop-off fee completely if picking up your car reduces a surplus of drop-offs at one of their locations and dropping it off returns the car to where it started.

So it pays to check all major rental companies. Often, rental companies won't disclose up front if a drop-off fee is going to be charged for a one-way car rental, so always phone ahead to the location to confirm before you slap down your credit card.

Make sure you're calling the location itself rather than the call center, as boots-on-the-ground knowledge is a big help when it comes to the nitty gritty. Be sure to give them the exact details of your trip, including the dates and what kind of car you plan on booking. And of course, be sure to emphasize that you're looking for a one-way car rental. Finally, don't forget to specifically ask about the drop-off fee.

One-way car rentals are great for

  • Exploring new places
  • Choosing your own route, where and when you want to stop, who you want to travel with, and how much luggage you want to bring!
  • Maximizing your time by not returning to your pickup location
  • Solving flight, train, and bus delays/cancellations
  • Seasonal travellers and students
  • Moving

Epic One-way Car Rental Road Trips

  • The Pacific NorthWest: LA to Seattle
  • Maine to Florida: Spring Break Road Trip
  • Yellowstone to Yosemite
  • Quebec City to Charlottetown
  • Edmonton to Anchorage
  • Las Vegas to Zion and Bryce Canyons
  • New Orleans to Cape Canaveral
  • Washington, D.C. to Boston
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