For years I have known about the migration of rental cars between Florida in the spring north, and in late fall, the migration back to Florida for winter rental car inventory in the sunshine state. Rates for Florida are under $20 per day for one-way rentals in May 2014 to northern states from Raleigh, North Carolina to Boston, Massachusetts.
The deal here is the opportunity to fly inexpensively one way to Florida, rent a car and then drive the rental car somewhere out-of-state north to a place like Washington D.C., New York, Philadelphia, Boston or any other place where another one-way cheap ticket by plane gets you back home.
One-way car rentals in May 2014 are as low as $15 to $20 after tax, per day, from Jacksonville to Miami for any size car from economy to full size for travel from all the major companies like Hertz, National, and Enterprise car rentals.
I never gave much attention to the opportunity for Florida one-way car rentals to northern states, until today, when I thought about a road trip along US Route 17, the Coastal Highway from Florida to Virginia.
At $15 per day for a one-way car rental from Jacksonville or $19 per day from Miami, the opportunity to tour for two or three weeks in a car picked up in Miami, Florida and dropped off in New York is an incredibly inexpensive transportation option. $300 to $380 for 20 days of car travel can get you to a lot of places in the USA.
$19.21 per day for one-way Miami-New York LGA, Hertz Standard-Size car 7-day rental $134.47.
Even SUV rentals are highly discounted at $31 per day from Miami to New York- LGA.
Enterprise SUV for Miami to New York MIA-LGA one-way rental at $31/day. $217 for one week.
Once I looked more closely at potential itineraries and the cost of flights from Monterey, my desire was to limit the driving distance with a Jacksonville, Florida rental car pick-up and an IAD airport, Washington D.C. drop-off.
Jacksonville Airport car rentals are even less than Miami at $15 per day with most major companies for rentals in May 2014.
National Car Rental: Jacksonville, Florida – Dulles IAD Airport, Virginia one-way rental at $15.23 per day. $106.61 week.
Seven days driving north is time to visit one place for an extended stay or several places. Near Jacksonville, Florida are Amelia Island, Florida north of Jacksonville and Cumberland Island National Seashore in Georgia, a large barrier island reached by ferry with no cars allowed.
Tourist cities and regions along the Atlantic coast include,
- Savannah, Georgia
- Hilton Head, South Carolina
- Charleston, South Carolina
- Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
- Wilmington, North Carolina
- Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
- Virginia Beach, Virginia
One week is barely enough time to squeeze in several good destinations and a 1,000-mile drive along the Atlantic coast.
And there is always the option to focus on an inland drive north along the Appalachian routes for a different scenic and cultural adventure.
Google Maps Jacksonville, Florida to New York, NY.
Just an East Coast thing?
Being in California there is no similar dynamic situation of car shuffling along the west coast between San Diego and Seattle. Checked a couple of sample rates for one-way one week rentals to Seattle in May.
- A car rental for one week in May from San Francisco to Seattle is $70 per day for a Standard size car rental from Fox ($490 week)
- Monterey is $84 per day for an Economy size car from Hertz for one-way to Seattle ($582 week).
Florida flights on sale for too
Airfare to Miami is as low as $141 on Delta today from San Francisco for May flights and under $200 from Washington D.C. IAD back to SFO with United. Monterey flights are only slightly more.