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One way car rental

Cerritos, California
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One way car rental

I am in the process of planning a trip for June 2014. We would fly into Minneapolis and stay a couple days to see MOA. We then would like to visit Walnut Grove, DeSmet, and go all the way to Rapid City, SD. I priced one way car rentals from Minneapolis to Rapid City and the price is outrageous. I am thinking that maybe it would be cheaper to rent in Minneapolis and drop off near Walnut Grove or in a city right before hitting Sioux Falls, SD. Can anyone tell me where the last major city is before hitting South Dakota that would have car rentals? I'm not having much luck on my own. Thanks so much in advance. We are trying to take the kids to see all 50 states. Any suggestions are appreciated.

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1. Re: One way car rental

Marshall, MN, population 13,000, would be the largest town in SW Minnesota. Mankato is bigger, New Ulm is about the same as Marshall, but both are obviously farther from South Dakota. I don't know if they have car rentals, but every other town will be smaller and less likely to have them. There's also a state university in Marshall, which increases the likelihood that they'll have rentals.

And, this may be obvious info to you, and if you knew this, I apologize, but some of these smaller towns don't have businesses specifically dedicated to car rentals, however, car dealerships often do it as a sideline business. So, you could try calling car dealerships in Marshall if you don't find anything obvious online.

Slightly off topic, if you need any help with the DeSmet portion of your trip, I have posted a Top Question on the South Dakota forum in the upper right corner with detailed information on DeSmet.

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Fruita, Colorado
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for Fruita, Grand Junction
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2. Re: One way car rental

The reason the one way rentals are so expensive is that they have to pay someone to drive the vehicle back to the original rental location (someone I used to know did that to supplement their retirement). Then that person has to get back to the place they got the car. So if you rent in location A, drop it in B, they have to hire someone in B to drive it to A and then get them back to B. And you pay for all that convenience as a drop charge. So even if you go with a dealer, they will want their car back to their lot.

Edited: 10 December 2013, 17:52
South Dakota
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3. Re: One way car rental

True, Susie Lou, but many people have reported if you drive the car one way for a shorter distance, in this case from Minneapolis to possibly Marshall, as opposed to Minneapolis all the way to Rapid City, it is less expensive. So, some people are renting, for example, three cars for a six hour trip and dropping one off every two hours instead of renting one car for the six hour duration. I have never personally tried this, but there has been some buzz about this on other forums. And, like you said, one way will always cost more than round-trip. It will be interesting to see what Lawyermommy discovers doing her research.

Edited: 10 December 2013, 18:52
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Fruita, Colorado
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4. Re: One way car rental

Wow, seems like a lot of time spent doing paperwork, waiting for the car to be checked in and out, etc. but to each their own. Thanks for the view from the other side of the situation 3174.

Houston, Texas
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5. Re: One way car rental

<The reason the one way rentals are so expensive is that they have to pay someone to drive the vehicle back to the original rental location>

I'm not sure that is entirely true nowadays. I see lots of cars with different state license plates when I rent. I've seen rental car plates at MSP outlets (Hertz, Budget, Avis) that have been transplanted from NY, VA, etc. I see many state plates here in Texas, as well. I do think this used to be case in the past, but in the last 10-15 years, I think it's changed. Maybe more open interstate rules for rental companies. My experience is how the rental car company defines a "local drop" and how broad their one-way rules are - which vary by company and location. So, sure, it's worth a try to price it out that way. Good Luck.

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Fruita, Colorado
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6. Re: One way car rental

So I was interested (and bored, it's sooo cold, but warmer than MN). I did a little Google search and found an interesting article that had lots of good points and tips. millionmilesecrets.com/2013/…

Hope that helps.

Edited: 10 December 2013, 21:38
Cerritos, California
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7. Re: One way car rental

Thank you for the article. Hotwire had really great rates.

Fruita, Colorado
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8. Re: One way car rental

They do, but as noted in the article, you cannot cancel and you don't find out until you've paid which company and which model you'll get. So if you aren't 100% sure you will be going through with the travel plans and you are not flexible as to a vehicle then it is not a good deal. Hope it all turns out good for you.

Brisbane, Australia
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9. Re: One way car rental

This is 12 months later but your question is exactly what I am trying to discover. I am Australian visiting my son living in Minneapolis in July 2015 and want to do a trip to Mt Rushmore and Yellowstone NP. Think it's best that we do an organise tour but the ones I can choose from leave from Salt Lake City or Rapid City and the airfre to get Rapid City to Minneapolis is outrageous so thought we might be able to hire the car to do this trip but I can't discover any one way costs.

It does not matter to us about car style as only 2 adults driving to Minneapolis or better still Minnetonka.

Only hiring I've seen is from airport locations which is a pain in Minneapolis.

What did you eventually do for your trip?

Hope you still read this and can respond.

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10. Re: One way car rental

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