Last Christmas when I visited my parents in Utah, the crowded shuttle I usually use for the hour-and-a-half-long drive from the airport to their house forgot to pick me up. Thankfully, I was able to rent a car at the airport and drop it off at a different location for almost the same price as the $35 shuttle would have cost, and it was definitely cheaper than a plane ticket.
There are plenty of trips for which renting a car one-way might be cheaper than other options. One example is traveling between Key West and Miami, where renting a car will avoid high airfares and allow you to experience the drive along the Keys. In a sample search, Hertz rented an economy car for a weekend day from Key West airport to the Miami airport for $32.99. You’ll have to fill up the tank before you return the car, but that expense varies with the make and model of the car you rent. When I checked, a one-way plane ticket for the same route on the same day cost $228.
You can also fly into a smaller airport and then drive to your destination to cut back on costs. Price tickets to both the major and minor airport and then add the cost of a one-way rental car to the latter. It might not save time, but it very well may save you money.
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