Every year we see cheap drive out of Florida rates for spring travel because car rental companies want to move their fleets after the popular winter travel season in Florida is over.
You get a low daily rate when you pick up the car in Florida and drop it off at an airport in another state, including DFW Airport and Love Field. We are already seeing these deals for travel in 2014 and this is the earliest I’ve ever seen them offered.
You can fly one-way to Florida to pick up the car and instead of paying $500 for a week long car rental within Florida, you can pay $10 a day, as long as you return it out of state at participating locations across the continental U.S. You can drive back to Dallas/Fort Worth, take a drive up the East Coast and fly home, or drive to the West Coast if you like. There are cheap one-way fares from Atlanta and New Orleans to Dallas and you can even drive up the coast and fly home from Boston for only $119. This is what we call the Dinah Shore special, “See the U.S.A. in Your Chevrolet,” or many other brands of rental car.
These deals are currently being offered by Alamo, Enterprise and National. Rates start at $10 per day, plus taxes and fees, for pick up April 1 through May 31 and the maximum rental is 21 days, so cars must be dropped off by June 21. The $10 rate is available for economy through full size cars. If you need a larger vehicle, SUVs start at $20 per day and minivans start at $25 per day. If I were renting, I would get a $10 full size car, because that is truly a steal on wheels.
I recommend flying in on Tuesday or Wednesday, because those are usually the cheapest days to fly, so you can save on the car rental and the airfare. You’ll also save on luggage fees because you only have to pay for them one-way. If you arrive on a Tuesday or Wednesday, you can stay in Florida five days, including through the weekend, and still have a couple of days to drive home, or spend a few days in Florida then drive up the coast and fly home.
While I usually never advise booking an airfare far in advance, unless there’s a sale, I would advise locking in one of these car rental rates now and I would suggest a 3 p.m. or 4 p.m. pick up time. If you are flying to Florida on a nonstop or one-stop flight, this will give you ample time to get there to pick up your car at the designated time and if you get in earlier than that, there’s a good chance they’ll let you pick your car up earlier. Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the days of the week when there seem to be plenty of cars on the lot.
Lately we’ve been seeing some wild and crazy fares to Florida. In the month of November, we’ve seen fares as low as $109 one-way from Dallas to Orlando, Miami and Tampa and we even saw one-way fares from Dallas to Fort Lauderdale for as low as $119 for travel all the way through August 2014. (These sample sale rates do not include fares on Spirit because of its sky high add on fees.) When you see a $100 fare to Florida, it is time to book. These fares were available at press time, but if they have flown away by the time you check prices, keep checking each Tuesday, when the sales typically come out, and when you see a good fare lock it in.
Look for fares into Orlando, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and Miami, where I expect to see the cheapest fares. If you’re wondering why we didn’t we choose Fort Myers or West Palm Beach it’s because those fares were over $200 one-way. These car rental offers exclude rentals from Pensacola, Tallahassee and the Florida Panhandle.
You can book through the car rental websites, or at bestfares.com/floridacarspring2014. Believe it or not, you could save another $20 to $30 off these cheap car rental rates for a weeklong rental if you use one of our promotional codes when booking. For Alamo use Coupon Code AD7539SDM for $15 off a minimum 3 night rental with a Saturday night keep. For National Car use Coupon Code ND3196ZDT for $20 off when you rent a minimum of four days with a Saturday night keep.
We have seen these Florida one-way rentals extended into June in the past and we will keep you updated if that happens for 2014.
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