Suggestions for reducing one way fees?

Old Jul 9, 19, 3:40 pm
  #1  
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Suggestions for reducing one way fees?

I am trying to get a 3 week rental from SEA to SFO (or thereabouts). I can see that the one way drop off fee is over 300USD. I also noticed that if I were to drop the car in PDX the one way fee is only 50USD. I was wondering whether anyone has any suggestion in terms of splitting the itinerary somewhere (or multiple times) to minimise the one way fees. Unfortunately doing SEA-PDX-SFO does not work as the one way fee for PDX-SFO is high. Are these calculated purely on distance between the stations or is there any possibility for arbitrage?
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Old Jul 9, 19, 3:47 pm
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Rates can change all the time, so it's definitely worth re-checking. Also, don't discount the possibility of mixing and matching companies as sometimes one company will have a drop fee and another will not. Getting the rate down to a reasonable level may require some testing and patience but it often can be done. Just be sure to book a rate that is fully refundable, and then either keep checking rates or use our free tracking service to do the work for you. Lastly, don't forget to check both airport and off-airport locations. Good luck!
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Old Jul 9, 19, 4:14 pm
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I think intra CA rentals don't attract a one way fee (with at least some companies) How bad is the drop off fee SEA-SAC? Pick up another car there????? Thinking aloud here.....
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Old Jul 9, 19, 4:49 pm
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SEA-SAC is just the same as SEA-SFO, at least with Hertz in the way I am checking. I am trying something from around Portland to no avail. I was thinking of dropping the vehicle somewhere south in OR, ubering a few miles to CA, and picking up another one there, but can't find any suitable stations...

Thanks to all suggestions so far!
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Old Jul 10, 19, 2:04 am
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Hertz is less accommodating of one-ways than others. I'd check rates with National or Enterprise.
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Old Jul 10, 19, 2:07 am
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Do you have any National free days? Cause you can use them on one-ways (do not know if Hertz does).
So you can go to Portland via Hertz and then do National down to California.
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Old Jul 10, 19, 8:17 am
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Other than Hertz I was checking rates with OTAs and autoslash but not with National or Enterprise directly. But I had not thought of National free days. I will! Thanks!
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Old Jul 11, 19, 4:07 am
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Originally Posted by s0ssos View Post
Do you have any National free days? Cause you can use them on one-ways (do not know if Hertz does).
So you can go to Portland via Hertz and then do National down to California.
You can use Hertz points for a one-way but they add a huge surcharge.
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Old Jul 11, 19, 9:16 am
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1,500 points for a one-way premium car can be a good deal. The problem is often paying taxes on the original rate total.
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Old Jul 11, 19, 3:31 pm
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One ways are very expensive in the new redemption scheme. And I was planning to take a few days even to drive PDX-SAC...

Edit: Well, I suppose I could use the points one-way just to cross the OR/CA border and split the itinerary there! Are points redemption changeable just like pay-at-location ones, or the points non-refundable in case of change of plans?

Last edited by wobbly wings; Jul 11, 19 at 4:00 pm
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Old Jul 11, 19, 6:05 pm
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No, one-ways were usually 1,500 points/day before, but weekend one-ways were discounted at 1,000 points/day, and weekly points I believe the same. This discount has been removed.

Also under the new rules, you must cancel a rewards reservation within 24 hours of booking, or all the points will be forfeited.
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Old Jul 11, 19, 7:40 pm
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Originally Posted by Auto Enthusiast View Post
Also under the new rules, you must cancel a rewards reservation within 24 hours of booking, or all the points will be forfeited.
This doesn't apply to PC members, who still can get all the points back. 5* members get half back.
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Old Jul 11, 19, 7:41 pm
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Originally Posted by Auto Enthusiast View Post
1,500 points for a one-way premium car can be a good deal. The problem is often paying taxes on the original rate total.
You only pay fixed per day fees (like airport concession fees). No percentage taxes. The website doesn't calculate this correctly, and often wildly overstates the actual taxes.
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Old Jul 11, 19, 8:53 pm
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I used up all my Hertz points on recent one-ways. The locations printed contracts with a taxable total of the original rate. They wouldn't listen, nor would customer service.
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Old Jul 18, 19, 3:28 pm
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One-way rates are a real crapshoot. I've found that there are discount codes for each of the carriers that can remove one-way fees. Others will not have one-way fees but will end up charging for mileage. Generally speaking I've had less luck with Hertz for one-ways.

I've had the best luck with National and corporate discount codes that make one-way free and don't charge mileage on top. I just confirmed that the discount code I usually use prices a 3 week rental SEA-SFO at $167 a week for midsize or $180 a week for full size with no additional charges.

My best piece of advice, however, is to avoid picking up at SEA due to the high airport taxes. You can save significantly by picking up off-airport. For a 3 week fullsize rental on that contract picking up at SEA was $835 with taxes but picking up downtown Seaattle was $638.
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