Orbit's Travel Blog - 05.01.2023.

One Way Fee In Car Rental Explained

Learn everything you need to know about one-way car rental fees and what to expect when renting a car for a one-way trip with Orbit Car Hire.

One-way car rental can be an excellent option for those who need to rent a car for a one-time trip or those who need to rent a car for an extended period. One-way car rental can also be an excellent option for those who need to rent a car for a special event. One-way car rental works by renting a car from one location and then returning it to the exact location when you finish your trip. It can be done by either taking the car back to the place where you rented it or taking it to another location closer to your destination. One-way car rentals can be found in most major cities and towns worldwide.

One way sign

What is a one-way fee for a car rental?

A one-way fee in car rental is a charge that is incurred when you drop off your rental car at a location other than the one where you picked it up. This fee can vary depending on the rental company but is typically around $50.00.
Suppose you're planning on taking a road trip and want the flexibility of being able to drop your car off at your final destination. In that case, a one-way rental is a way to go. Just be sure to factor in the additional cost when budgeting for your trip!

How to find the one-way fee

When you search for a car rental, you insert the location where you would like to pick up the car; then, you insert the place you would like to return the vehicle. After that, you can search for offers. All offers will display a one-way fee within the deals on the webpage.

You will find all information about one-way fees and others under the T&C in your offer.

You might also find one-way fees written as OWF in the T&C or on your rental agreement.

You will find a charge for the OWF from the car rental company in your bank account. You will always be charged all fees and the rental cost in one payment. You will see the breakdown on your rental agreement, where each fee and price of the car are divided into sections.

How do I pay the one-way fee?

The one-way fee is always paid at the counter when you pick up the rental car. When you book the rental car, you pay a confirmation fee to Orbit and the remaining amount to the car rental company, including all necessary fees.

How to get cheap one-way car rentals

If you're looking for a cheap one-way car rental, you can do a few things to ensure that you get the best possible rate. First, always book your rental in advance. It will allow you to shop around and compare rates from different companies.
Another tip is to ensure that you put in the correct information before searching for offers. You will see offers without one-way fees if you forget to insert the accurate pickup and drop-off location. And changing the reservation afterwards can be more expensive than booking it right away.
Finally, make sure to compare one-way fees between rental companies. Each company will price their fees differently, and a few might even offer one-way fees free of charge.

Mini copper car rental

Changing the travel plans last minute

Suppose you have booked a trip where you return the rental car to the exact location you plan to pick it up and need to change the reservation at the last minute. In that case, you can expect to see the price increase for the rental itself and the additional one-way fee.
The reason is that when you make a change to your booking, the prices in the modification will be updated prices. And since prices tend to increase the closer you get to the trip, the car rental price might be higher. You will also find the one-way fee to be charged on top of the rental cost when you pick up the car.

If you decide to change the return location after you pick up a car, you can expect to see a penalty fee but not just a one-way fee. Penalty fees are always more expensive, so it is recommended to avoid them.

Why are one-way car rentals expensive?

In general, car rental companies will charge more for one-way rentals as the car is rented in a specific location. They might need to collect the vehicle back at the original office. The price can also be higher the further the pickup and return locations are from each other.

Car rental companies have dynamic pricing and are built on demand and supply. Therefore they try to keep the majority of their fleet where the demand is higher. So when returning a car where demand is less, the fee might be higher.

Is a one-way car rental still charged if you drop off in the same city?

If you plan to return the car to the exact location within the city, a one-way fee will not apply. However, the rental companies might charge a one-way fee if you plan to return it to another place within the same town. Typically, the fee will be lower than if you would return it to another city.

One-way car rental in Europe

It is possible to rent a one-way rental between countries in Europe. However, some factors need to be considered before. The best chance to find a one-way car rental in Europe is to look for more prominent car rentals companies like Sixt, Europcar and Enterprise.

The car rental company must have an office in both countries to be possible.

A cross-border fee can also be applied if the car is taken between countries. And in Europe, car rental companies might not allow their vehicle to travel to all countries within the continent. So it is essential to contact Orbit or the car rental company and ask if they allow cross-border between the companies you plan to drive.

rental cars driving highway

Do all car rental companies charge a one-way fee?

Most car rental companies will charge a one-way fee. You might be lucky to snag a deal with a rental that might not charge a one-way fee. It is most likely found during low seasons within the country you plan to visit.

How much is a one-way fee

One-way fees mainly depend on the distance between pickup and return locations and whether the sites are within the same country. Here we have listed the most popular one-way trips.

Lisbon Airport Faro Airport  60.00 - 150.00 EUR 
Port Elizabeth Airport Cape Town Airport 48.00 - 76 GBP
Tenerife South Airport Tenerife North Airport 28.00 - 65.00 EUR
Milan Malpensa Airport Milan Linate Airport 46.00 - 75.00 EUR
Palermo Airport Catania Airport 73.00 - 128.00 EUR
Zagreb Airport  Dubrovnik Airport 80.00 - 365.00 EUR

Prices found in May 2022. The prices shown are an example and can be changed at any time. Please find updated prices in the search criteria on Orbit Car Hire

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Last updated on 5.1.2023

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