It is that time of the year for me to pay attention to my favorite travel deal.
Every year, extra rental cars are needed in Florida for the warm winter and spring months. Just like snow birds, the cars head north when the weather improves there.
This annual rental car exodus is a wonderful opportunity for consumer travelers. Car rental firms drastically reduce rates and, more importantly, allow vehicles to be dropped off at locations they would not the rest of the year. Well, not without huge drop off fees, that is.
Right now Avis and National are renting vehicles for one-way journeys from Florida starting at $9.99 per day. Both programs allow pickups starting April 1. The last return date for Avis is June 30, 2015 and National is May 31, 2015.
While I have seen rates as low as $1 a day in previous years, I usually pay $5 a day to $100 a week (for a RAV4 or similar).
For that low rate, I pick up a rental car from a Florida location (usually Ft. Lauderdale or Orlando) and return it to a location near my house in Northern Virginia.
McCool Travel power user tip: I have returned a one-way rental to a convenient local office rather than the major airport location.
To get to Florida, I buy an inexpensive one-way flight.
I have participated in this program a few times and look forward to doing it each spring.
Bonus: I am even able to use discount programs with these great deals. For instance, with Hertz, I get a 15% discount using my AAA discount.