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What happens to car rental returns licensed in another state?

What happens to car rental returns licensed in another state?

Old Jan 1, 09, 9:36 pm
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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What happens to car rental returns licensed in another state?

If a car is returned to a rental car place thats from another state, does that place rerent the car or have someone drive it back to the home state.
SURGEADDICT is offline  
Old Jan 1, 09, 10:10 pm
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Typically keep it there unless there's some reason to move it.

I'd guess that somewhere around 20% of my rentals are cars with license plates from a state other than that in which I'm renting. For instance, last week I picked up a car with Maryland plates at JFK.
clarence5ybr is offline  
Old Jan 1, 09, 10:20 pm
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It depends. They will generally just hang on to it in hopes that someone else will eventually pick it up as a one-way rental going the other direction, but there are times where the balance of cars gets so heavily off they will run super discounted rates to entice folks to drive them the other way or, as a last resort, have their employees drive them back.
sbm12 is offline  
Old Jan 2, 09, 6:50 am
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we've rented 4 cars in the last 2 months in Michigan

the license plates were from Wisconsin, Texas, South Carolina and Florida
wolfie_cr is offline  
Old Jan 2, 09, 8:01 am
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i rent from a small company at dfw. i rent chrysler 300's. they only have about 6 of them. one car had a fl plate. all others had a Louisiana plate. i rented the same car 3 times at 8 week intervals. the la plate stayed.
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Old Jan 2, 09, 4:10 pm
Join Date: Dec 2008
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I have a friend who works for one of the big 5 rental companies, and can somewhat summarize what he's told me a few years ago ( I do not know if this varies by company.)

All cars are 'owned' by individual branches/districts/regions, not the parent company. After a car from Location A goes one-way to Location B, when Location B rents that vehicle, they must share the revenue with Location A. (As mentioned, Location B will do everything they can to send that car back out on another one-way rental to avoid sharing revenue.) This is why in-town rentals you get are more likely to be locally registered and one-way rentals are more likely to have out-of-state plates.

After a set amount of time which I don't remember, Location B actually purchases the vehicle from Location A. I do not remember if this is a internal company purchase entirely on paper, or if they re-register, title, and insure.
ctm78 is offline  
Old Jan 2, 09, 4:16 pm
Join Date: Jul 2001
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In at least 12 rentals in the NYC area, I have never, ever gotten one with NYS plates. Mostly Florida plates, but also RI, VA and MD.
jesus4jets is offline  
Old Jan 2, 09, 8:46 pm
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 100
It might come in handy to ask about cars from other areas if you find yourself having to do a one-way rental. I had to do a one-way rental from BWI to CVG due to a flight cancellation. I asked the agent if they had any cars that needed to go back to CVG and I was offered a full size at the compact rate with no drop-off charge. Probably saved me a couple hundred dollars.

At LAS recently I noticed quite a few out-of-state plates on cars in the rental lot.
3Greyhounds is offline  
Old Jan 2, 09, 11:22 pm
Join Date: Oct 2006
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I frequently do one-way rentals from BLI to SEA and back if the commuter line connection is inconvenient. Frequently I'm given a larger vehicle with British Columbia plates at a compact rate, with the remark from the agent that they'd like to get the car closer to its home base in Canada.
onlyairfare is offline  
Old Jan 3, 09, 8:36 am
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Lexington KY/Coronado, CA
Posts: 878
Enterprise is probably the most unique of the majors in this regard. Enterprise is actually split into 50 or so smaller companies. (It's easiest to think of them as districts or regions, but Enterprise actually incorporates each individual "district".)

Each Enterprise "district" owns its own fleet, and those cars can be passed around and/or rented one-way freely between the branches within the district. Occasionally the districts have branches in multiple states (i.e. you may see a Kentucky plate at an Indiana branch) but often times they don't (the NYC, Los Angeles, Miami areas are large enough to have their own "district").

A one-way drop outside the district will usually be retrieved by the owning district. If that's not cost-effective, the car will usually be sold, either to the district it's currently parked in, or on the used car market.

This is why Enterprise has such goofy one-way policies. For instance, you can one-way a car from SDF to EVV, but not from MCO-TPA.
SixAlpha is offline  

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