Considering a one-way car rental? Need to pick up your vehicle in one location and return it to another, or even another country? Here’s what you should know.

Opting for a one-way car rental to fully enjoy a city and its surrounding attractions is a fantastic choice. But, you may find yourself pondering the convenience of dropping off your rental car in a different location, perhaps another state, rather than driving it back to the original pick-up spot.

So, is one-way car rental an option? Can you return a car at a different location?

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Different pick-up and drop-off locations with one-way car rental FAQ

 What is a one-way car rental?

A one-way car rental allows you to pick up a car in one location and drop it off in another. It’s the ultimate tool for flexibility and convenience, enabling you to tailor your travel plans to your specific needs.

How does one-way car rental works?

It’s very simple! When choosing your destination, dates and times, select the option ‘Return car to different location’ to be able to complete the new vehicle drop-off location and add the charge for the service to your rate. And voila, you’re done!

example of search page showing how to select the option to return the car to a different location

Can you return a rental car in a different location?

Yes, you can return the car in a different location. Usually, this is called “one-way car rental”. However, please note that, sometimes, an extra fee may be applied to your reservation.

Does it cost more to return a rental car in a different location?

Usually, rental companies charge a return fee, but it depends on the pick-up and drop-off location, date of reservation, car category and more. A good way to know how much the return will cost is to search for the price of the rental returning the car in the same location and with different pick-up and drop-off locations.

Why are one-way car rentals more expensive?

Because usually you’ll need to pay the Return Location fee. This fee is set by the rental company based on the miles, fuel, and hiring the driver who will then drop the car off. But, many times it’s cheaper to pay this fee than to drive to that first point where you picked up the car.

How far in advance should I book a one-way car rental?

Generally, the earlier you book, the better. This gives you a wider selection of cars to choose from and increases your chances of getting a good deal. However, last-minute bookings can sometimes also yield great deals, especially if rental companies are trying to move their inventory.

Are there any age restrictions for one-way car rentals?

Most car rental companies require drivers to be at least 21 years old, though this can vary. Some companies also charge an additional fee for drivers under a certain age, typically 25.

Who has the cheapest one-way car rentals?

It’s difficult to say. Because the cost of the Return Location fee is the combination of several things as described in the question before. Each rental company has its own price and it’ll depend a lot on the distance from one point to the other. At Rentcars, you can simulate these fees included directly in the rate, so it’s much easier to choose the best cost-benefit for you.

What should I check before confirming my one-way car rental booking?

Before you hit that “Book Now” button, make sure to check the total price, the pickup and drop-off locations and times, any additional fees, the cancellation policy, and the company’s rules about fuel, mileage, and late returns.

Can you return a car in a different state?

Yes, you can rent a car one-way out of state. In the US, it’s common to pick-up rental cars with plates from different states (they must have gotten there somehow, right?).

However, generally speaking, rental companies also charge the one-way rental extra fee based on how far the drop-off is from the pick-up as they’ll have to return it to its original city. This way, the more you drive away from the pick-up address, the more expensive the fee will be.

Can you return a car in a different country?

Is it possible to drop off a rental car in a different country? Image shows a street in Europe with cars passing by.

In some cases, yes. This is most common in Europe, where crossing borders is fairly easy. Usually, rental companies will let you cross borders with the rental car, but a cross-border fee may be also applied in addition to the one-way rental fee.

As the rules vary a lot depending on the location and the rental company, we always suggest you check the specific policies of each city, country and company.

How can I avoid one way rental fees?

It’s not common, but it happens. For highly popular road trips, this may be the case. For example, a lot of people rent a car from point A to point B and vice versa. That means the rental company doesn’t necessarily have to return the car to its original city.

Renting one-way with Rentcars

download the rentcars app

On Rentcars you can search for car rentals in over 160 countries and 300 rental companies. When you do, just check the option that says “Return car to different location”, enter the information asked and look for the best options!

Rentcars stands as one of the most comprehensive car rental platforms globally, leading the segment with a broad range of options. You can compare prices and car rental alternatives from hundreds of car rental companies worldwide. Here’s how to rent a one-way car with Rentcars and here is a complete page for one-way car rental.

Attention! All efforts were made to validade the information published in this blog at the moment they were written, however, does not take responsibility for inaccuracies or future adjustments that can happen as a result of different offers and conditions. The posts here published, as well as the eventual comments from its readers, are merely informative and it is the client's duty to confirm with and/or suppliers any content that may affect their vacation plans.

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