Have you ever thought about dropping everything, getting in a car, and just leaving? Well, you’re not alone and this may be your chance to do just that …with a significant discount!
Every year, there’s a rental car migration. Starting in the fall, the demand for car rentals increase in warmer destinations (e.g. Florida, Arizona, etc.) so rental companies offer discounts to drive a car one-way to these destinations. Likewise in spring, car rental companies need to return those cars back to the north so discounts are offered again.
Think of it like this…wherever the “snow birds” are going, that’s where the rental cars are going. Because of this “migration,” you can organize the most epic road trip with a bit of planning.
If you’ve rented a car before, you are aware for the fees and surcharges for renting a car from one location and returning it in another location. However, all of those “penalties” disappear if you’re headed in the right direction at a certain time of year.
HOW DO I FIND THE RENTAL CAR DEALS?
I was able to find a plethora of dates by searching Priceline through the end of December, however, I found the best availability in October. Priceline displays many of the rental car companies on the same screen so it should be easy to search for your preferred car company or preferred car type.
STOP TALKING…GIVE ME EXAMPLES…
Driving from Washington D.C. to Miami…
…or perhaps, New York, NY, to Orlando, FL…
Cheap rentals are available from many northeast cities including Albany, Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Philadelphia, and Providence among others.
At the moment, I am unable to find any significant discounts on the west coast but I trust that will change in the coming days.
PRO TIP #1: Don’t forget to combine this deal with other promotions. For example, you will earn credit card points for renting the car but it’s also possible to earn airline miles or hotel points in addition to those credit card points. Who doesn’t want 2-for-1? Simply google “earn airline miles with car rental” and the world is yours!
Last year, I used points to book a one-way flight to a conference in Fort Lauderdale. I had a few extra days between the end of the conference and my next meeting in Washington D.C. Instead of spending those four days in Fort Lauderdale, I hit the open road and visited family in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina before continuing to D.C. It was much cheaper than a flight, I was able to see my family and move at my own pace.
This deal is a bit more expensive than last fall’s deals that got as low as $7 per day, but it’s still an offer that’s difficult to refuse.
Additionally, Priceline provides the final price that you will be paying. I appreciate up-front pricing and no surprises.
Who is taking advantage of this deal? Have you ever taken a road trip before? Any recommendations of places to visit on an east coast road trip?