I’ve spoken before about how much I enjoy driving holidays, and the best kind of driving holiday is when you see most of the country by road. Land at one airport, get a car, drive for a week, return it at another airport and fly out from there.
The main problem with this approach is that one way car rentals are prohibitively expensive. Companies often add “drop fees” that can be upwards of $500, turning a bargain $30 a day rental into a much more expensive proposition.
I’ve recently learned of a solution for those of you visiting the USA, Australia, NZ, Canada or select locations in Europe and the UK.
Apparently there are situations where car companies want to move inventory from one location to another. Rather than pay someone to do it and incur the gas prices, why not give someone the car for free, a specified time limit to get the car from Point A to Point B, and let that person pick up the gas bill along the way?
Suppose I’m flying into Seattle and wanted to do the Pacific Coast highway drive down to Los Angeles before flying out of LAX. I could get a small car for free, for 4 days, to cover the 1,135 miles. Personally I’d prefer a bit more time to see the amazing Pacific Coast, but hey, it’s FREE.
You don’t need to have a US license to do this- your Singapore driver’s license will work just fine.
Not going to the USA? Let’s look at Australia then- I did a Brisbane- Sydney drive about a year back and it was magical. Imoova offers a similar concept- they charge you a nominal amount for rental but some contracts also include free fuel.
Or perhaps you’d like to go around Europe?
Again, there is a nominal fee of 1-5 Euros per day. Way better than a $500 drop fee I assure you.
I think the main catch here is whether or not you can work this into your travel plans. The delivery window may be less than the time you intend to spend on the road, or it may be a detour from where you want to go. But if you can work this into your schedule it’s a phenomenal way to save money.
cover photo by jinx!