It can often happen that we want to pick up our rental car in one location and drop it back to another location, maybe we are doing a road trip or visiting a couple of different cities, areas, states or even countries and don’t wish to return to our starting point. This is known as a one-way car rental.  These are generally more expensive than a standard car rental booking as the car hire company has the expense of getting the car back to its original destination. So, how can we look at keeping your costs down?

1. Compare all providers in one location

When you book your car rental online, the booking engine will read your request for different pickup and drop off locations and show you the brands that operate in the two locations that you need, that saves you a lot of time, searching various companies that would not be able to provide you with separate locations that you need.  

2. Fuel Policy

Take a closer look at your fuel policy when you book a car rental online, as there are different fuel rules for each company. Where it is available, I choose “Full to Full” as I like to pick up my car on a full tank and drop it back the same way. In my view, it cuts down on over fueling or under fueling and getting penalties or just gifting the extra fuel to the car rental company.

3. Pickup and drop off times

When booking your car rental online, where possible make sure your drop off time is the same time or an earlier time that your pick up, for example, if you pick up your car at Sunday at 9.00 and want to drop it back on Tuesday at 09.15, then you have gone over the 24 hours and into a new day, so you will be charged for the full day on Tuesday as well. See if you can keep the pickup and drop off times aligned that you are not getting penalized for the sake of fifteen minutes or half an hour.

4. Pick up choices

Opting for a city center pick up versus an airport pickup, for example, can significantly add to the price of your booking, as cars at the airport are generally better valued than anywhere else. When you are looking at your location, see if there is an airport or another location nearby which could offer better value. Similarly, if you are collecting your rental car at the airport, check out the price difference on your car rental comparison website from terminal pick up and offsite pick-up. There is often a good saving to be made.

5. Go for the BIG brands

With one-way car rentals, a good way to get value at price is to look to the bigger brands. They generally have so many cars in different locations, that they not penalize you as heavily for dropping back to a different location. So start your booking search online with the bigger brands and see if you can get a better deal.

6. Seasonality and booking in advance

When you book your car rental online and are really searching for value on a one-way rental, then look at avoiding the peak times. Does your pick up or drop off have to be at a weekend, or during the holidays (think Easter, peak summer travel, school holiday times, Christmas, etc). If you can manage to avoid these times, then you are sure to get a better deal. However, if your travel arrangements are for any of these peak price times, then my advice to you is to book as early as you can. Book your car rental online as early as you can to ensure that you get the best possible price. Don’t leave it to the last minute, or it will take a greater chunk of your holiday budget to pay for your one-way rental.

Safe driving and enjoy your trip!