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Old 04-04-2010, 08:27 PM
2 posts, read 79,757 times
Reputation: 17


Hey all,
So I've hit an unexpected hitch in my wife/me/small dog/cat move from CA to PA. We have very little and it would easily fit into a cargo van or maybe even a Chevy suburban. But I can't seem to find a car rental company that will allow a one way trip in anything but a rental truck. We have a good budget for the move over 6k so it's not so much about the money. We recently visted PA and had a rental car from Kentuky so I'm not sure why I"m hitting a snag?

I even asked a rental car associate at AAA and she only could find a full size car and it would cost 1000 for a week (with drop off fee). Any advice about getting a large SUV for a one way trip?
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Old 04-04-2010, 08:58 PM
4,805 posts, read 19,556,085 times
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A lot of car rental locations are franchises, so their fleet belongs to them alone, not some national fleet. They agree to a set national pricing structure and rental policies, but they are not owned by the national company.

And even if the franchise does allow one-way rentals, a lot depends on where you are going. A location in LA may be happy to rent one-way to Chicago, where there is a high likelihood that someone will make the reverse trip and they'll get their car back, but won't rent one-way to Savannah, because the chances are much smaller that their car will ever work its way back to them. The willingness will vary from one company to the next, for each departure and destination city, because every rental business has its own model and own business stats. So you really just have to call all of them and ask. I think I've used Budget for all of my one-way rentals.

You will certainly have to reserve the car to and from the airport locations. You can't do one-way from a downtown or neighborhood location.
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Old 04-06-2010, 01:23 PM
Location: Eastern Washington
13,388 posts, read 42,701,155 times
Reputation: 11465
I would at least price out shipping what you can with UPS or similar.

If you have a car or truck, you can probably use a U-Haul trailer.

You could consider buying a vehicle in CA and driving it to PA, reselling there if you dont' still need it. Rust-free CA cars sell well in the salt-laden rust belt, where you are going. You will of course get some bad karma out of that deal, but if you can deal with that, it's do-able.

All that said, the very smallest U-Haul truck strikes me as small enough that it would not be that much a gas hog.
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Old 04-06-2010, 03:56 PM
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You could sign up as a driver for a drive-away company. You would not get your pick of cars. It would have to be someone's car that incidentally needs to be shipped from a major city in CA to another major city in PA at the same time you plan to make the move. You need a clean driving record and put down a deposit in case of damage to the car you're driving.
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Old 04-06-2010, 04:25 PM
4,919 posts, read 19,120,969 times
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You are limited. Hertz is the largest rental car company with one ways. the best you can hope for is a large SUV or Passeneger van. Some of the truck rental company have smaller 10 foot box vans which is a lot nicer than a 15 pax van in handling or large suv in gas cost.

With one ways, advance reservations is a must and you have to be flexible on timing. These are fleet pooled vehicles used when a reservation is made. You normally won't see the one ways sitting on the local lot, they are kept in a regional pool vehicle lot until needed. It could also end up that they are all rented and there is nothing available or scheulde to be available. Cars are different with one ways being common or pulled from pool lots to meet high demand such as the super bowl or a convention, etc. But the larger vehicles are mostly local use only or are limited in the pool fleet.

I find the best way to get something special is not to call the reservation centers but go in person to one of the offices and speak with them directly.
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Old 04-07-2010, 05:03 PM
2 posts, read 79,757 times
Reputation: 17
Very cool, thanks everyone for their time in answering the question. I figured there must be some business reason (ie. money) that would motovate the rental companies to restrict one way rentals.

I'm going to call around and stop by to see if I can get an SUV or cargo van, if not I'll just go with the 10 or 12 ft truck probably and then we can bring the matress\box spring.

PS. I'm going from San Diego to Philly burbs.

Thanks again.
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Old 04-07-2010, 05:27 PM
4,919 posts, read 19,120,969 times
Reputation: 6171
If going from San Diego, U-Hauls main center is in Arizona. bet if you get hold of their main office in AZ and speak to someone, they may make a deal too good to pass up.
We got a truck from them and they charged only the tax on a AZ to PA trip. We picked it up in Pheonix and they didn't care we would drive it to CA first and unload in Conn, all they wanted was to get that truck out of AZ and as close to Pittsburg as possible since that saved them from shipping it there. You can get one way rentals dirt cheap if your willing to be flexible on pickup and drop off locations.
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Old 05-26-2010, 08:12 AM
1 posts, read 39,579 times
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Default One way VAn rental

Dear LongDistanceMover,

I am having trouble getting a renatl car company that is willing to rent out a Suburban one-way to Colorado.

ANy luck on your trip a few months ago?
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:33 AM
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,346 posts, read 80,739,113 times
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Use a tool like Yahoo Travel which will poll many rental companies at once.
Also try different cities near your origin and destination, near an airport and not near an airport, different combinations. For example, maybe Orange County instead of Los Angeles.

If you create a Yahoo provide, you can enter a bunch of rental car companies discount codes and it will factor those in when you search. Here are some codes: Rental Car Discounts and Codes

Note: Sometimes it is actually cheaper to rent without using codes, so do a search logged into your profile (uses codes) and not logged in (doesn't use codes).

If you have a friend who works for a big company, see if you can get his preferred company codes - may save you a ton of money. For example, I used my company code for a one week minivan. It was around $500 without a code and $275 with a code.
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Old 05-26-2010, 05:10 PM
14,253 posts, read 14,736,031 times
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We did a couple of one way rentals when we were moving from NY to AZ. One was from National and the other from Budget.
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