Tuesday, September 16, 2014

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Annual Rental Car "Drive Out" Can Really Pay Off

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TWC News: Annual Rental Car "Drive Out" Can Really Pay Off
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An annual push to bring rental cars up and away from their winter homes in Florida can make for a pretty sweet deal. NY1's Valarie D'Elia filed the following report.

The seasonal shuffle of car rental inventory from Florida to other areas of the country is now in gear.

Every year at this time, rental cars need to move from their winter homes in Florida to fan out across the country with the assistance of drivers who get a break on rental rates.

Known as the Florida Drive Out, rates are as low as $9.95 a day for economy to full-size cars with unlimited miles.

I thought it would be a fun and affordable way for me to start my summer "Getaway, Not Far Away" series giving me a chance to include some Florida stories into the mix of the planned coverage along the eastern seaboard.

Participating rental car companies include Hertz, Alamo, National and Enterprise, offering this deal at airport and off-site locations around the Sunshine State.

The off-site locations have fewer taxes than the airport, but their hours are limited and can require an extra taxi fare to get there, so you have to factor that in along with the one way airfare to pick up the car.

Cars are available for pick up through the end of May, and you have up to 21 days - a full three weeks - to drive the car wherever you choose to drop it practically anywhere in the continental U.S.

And, the beauty is, there is no drop-off fee, which is usually pretty hefty if you don't rent and return at the same location.

Insurance can add a bundle to the cost of the rental however. My credit card covers collision but I chose to add liability for almost $3 a day more than the daily rate of the car.

If you own a car, your primary coverage should kick in.

All told, my Miami rental car will cost under $700 when I drive it back to a Hertz location on the Upper East Side three weeks from now.

Gas and tolls, however, are another story.

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