In early summer, car rental and RV rental agencies need their vehicles moved from winter destinations like Arizona and Florida to northern spots where rentals are more in demand in the summer. In exchange for helping these businesses shift their inventory, renters can drive away with cars for as little as $9.95 per day right now.
In what’s become an annual event for travelers who are flexible and eager to snag deals, Budget and Avis rental car agencies are offering discounted one-way rentals. The cheapest offer is from Budget. Rentals picked up by June 15 at one of its participating Arizona locations cost as little as $9.95 daily, so long as the vehicle is dropped off at another participating Budget location in the West—say, in northern California or Oregon.
Similarly, rentals from Budget or Avis can be picked up at airports in Florida and dropped off in Atlanta, New York, Dallas, or a choice of many other rental lots in the Southeast, Midwest, or Northeast, at a cost of just $14.95 per day. The $14.95 rate applies to all vehicles, mind you—the price is the same no matter if you’re driving a compact, full size, or even a 12-passenger van. Florida one-way rentals can be picked up as late as June 30, though availability is limited.
Beyond special rates, the other benefit of early summer one-way rental deals is that the usual drop-off fees are waived. Normally, when a renter picks up a car in one location and drops the vehicle off in another, there’s a fee, often in the neighborhood of $250 or even $500. But because customers are basically doing the rental agencies a favor by moving the vehicles for them, drivers are rewarded with discounted rates and no drop-off fees.
Hertz also currently has one-way rental specials, though it’s not necessary for drivers to pick up vehicles in Florida or Arizona. Then again, the rates aren’t quite as good as Avis or Budget. Hertz’s offer knocks a flat $40 off weekly rentals and $10 off weekend rentals, while also waiving any drop-off fees. The deal is available for rentals picked up by June 30.
The best one-way deals of all, though, probably come in the form of a recreational vehicle. Cruise America, the nation’s largest RV rental operator, has a host of one-way specials, many representing discounts of 50% or more. The requirements vary, but the least expensive rates start at just $12 per day for RVs picked up in Mesa, Arizona—where they’re serviced and renovated—and dropped off in locations such as Seattle, Los Angeles, Orlando, and the San Francisco Bay area. Departures are available starting on June 28, and availability is limited. Mileage and the length of the rental is also limited at these special rates, but the allowances should suffice for any of the road trips selected.
Combine any of these deals with an inexpensive one-way flight, or better yet, a flight gotten via miles, and you have the makings of a very affordable road trip.
Brad Tuttle is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @bradrtuttle. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.
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