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Car Rental Conundrum

Michigan
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63 posts
123 reviews
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Car Rental Conundrum

Hello,

I've tried checking for previous posts on this subject, but nothing exactly matched my questions, so here I am.

My family (my husband, two daughters, and I) are driving to New York in a rental car, will stay four nights, and then be leaving by rental car.

I don't want to pay for a car for those four nights PLUS pay for parking it! So we'd like to drop the car off somewhere then get one again for the trip back. Basically two one-way rentals with a few days in between.

Has anyone done this? Or knows the best way to do this? I don't mind using public transit to get or drop of the car.

Any advice appreciated, as I've never used a rental car this way before.Thanks!

PS- Staying near the ESB, if that helps

Memphis, TN
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1,478 posts
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1. Re: Car Rental Conundrum

You really need to price this out. You could end up paying two one way drop off fees which could make your plan terribly expensive. Also keep in mind that one week rentals are much cheaper than a few days, particularly during the week. It may actually be more economical to just keep the car, although you need to factor in the cost of parking as well.

New York
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for Moscow
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2. Re: Car Rental Conundrum

You don't own a car in Michigan?

Brooklyn, NY
Destination Expert
for New York City
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23,632 posts
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3. Re: Car Rental Conundrum

Where are you coming from in the rental? Where are you going to? Why do you need a rental at all? And I agree that it will likely be cheaper to keep the car than do two one way rentals, but it depends on the answers to the first questions.

New York City, New...
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for New York City
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96,063 posts
12 reviews
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4. Re: Car Rental Conundrum

There's $10-12/day parking at the ferry terminal in Weehawken, NJ. Can't imagine why you're renting a car to come to NYC but maybe you'll tell us.

New York City, New...
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6,678 posts
54 reviews
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5. Re: Car Rental Conundrum

Call the car companies and see if you can negotiate a deal. Try some smaller car cos too.

Michigan
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63 posts
123 reviews
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6. Re: Car Rental Conundrum

Lol of course i do! We just like to rent to save the miles on our cars.

Michigan
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63 posts
123 reviews
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7. Re: Car Rental Conundrum

I wondered if that might be the case too. Maybe just finding an inexpensive overnight option might be the best bet.

New York NY
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for New York City
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11,144 posts
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8. Re: Car Rental Conundrum

I've been participating on these forums for almost eight years and I often say I've seen and heard it all - but occasionally we get a question we have not yet been asked.

You win the prize.

You may be pleased to know that I do a lot of one-way car rentals. My idea of a fun vacation is to rent a car in one city - explore everything in between and return the car in another city. Dallas - Los Angeles / New York - Florida, etc. It is rare that I fly into and out of the same city.

Here's the deal with rental cars and one-way rentals. You almost always get better deals the closer you get to the actual rental however not always. The operative word was "almost" in almost always. Sometimes you get a steal six months in advance and there is nothing comparable in the week prior.

Car rental companies take delivery of cars in certain regions and are then more amenable to one-way rentals heading *from* that region than to that region.

Then there are seasonal demands. Car rental companies need more cars in Arizona certain times of the year. They also need to move inventory *to* Florida in the 4th quarter and out of Florida in the 2nd quarter.

Okay, what does this mean for you in Michigan? It means you need to start pricing these things out on kayak. You can keep reserving and cancelling as you check weekly and find something better. Once it is booked, they won't change the rates on you but you can always cancel on them if you find something better.

A car rental is based on 24 hour increments. You are going to get the best deal if you pick up and return both rentals within 24 hours of pick-up.

Make sure to check non-airport locations to avoid the facility surcharges.

Be flexible. For Detroit, do not simply put "Detroit DTW" to New York (All Airports). You want to select "Detroit Michigan" without the DTW and you want to select New York, NY (without the all airports). The system will expand its search beyond just the airports however it will still include airports in the expanded search results.

Put in Ann Arbor, try Dearborn, try Ypsilanti, put in Romulus Michigan, etc.

Try different variations for the return. New York, NY. Jersey City NJ, White Plains, NY, etc.

It still might be cheaper to do a weekly and park at the ferry in Weehawken. You'll need to decide what is best for you based on the numbers.

Ohio
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8,019 posts
31 reviews
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9. Re: Car Rental Conundrum

I've done this from Ohio. We drove to Newark airport and dumped the car. Then we did the reverse to get home. It was expensive and it's a long, boring drive. We arrived tired and left totally exhausted but this was before my husband was willing to try flying.

10. Re: Car Rental Conundrum

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