I was wondering if someone can tell me whether I can do a one-way car hire in the US. My plan is to hire it in Los Angeles and drop it off in Palm Springs.

And possibly again, from Palm Springs to Las Vegas Airport. The point is one-way hire. Since we are making a road trip and our outbound/return flights are from different states, we wanted to rule out/count this possibility.



2 Answers 2


To add to the answer above, travel aggregator websites can be useful for quickly comparing deals between different car rental services, and getting a sense of what the prices are. Two sites that I use a lot are kayak.com and hipmunk.com.

Also, sixt can sometimes have good deals but it looks like they don't rent out of Palm Springs.

I put in some random dates in April 2018 and the daily rate LAX -> Palm Springs came out to around $40 per day, compared to about $18 per day if you picked up and dropped off both from LAX (this is excluding insurance and other optional fees of course).


Yes, it's generally possible. All the major national rental car companies (Hertz, Avis, Alamo, Dollar, Enterprise, etc...) will have an option in their online search engines to return the car to a different location than where you pick it up.

This can be more expensive (or even sometimes cheaper, depending on which way they need cars to go) and the costs may vary between rental car companies, so it pays to shop around. There may also be differences in price between airport and city locations, so it's worth trying different options for the best deal.

  • Note that some smaller locations may be very reluctant to permit a one-way rental. This won't apply at LAX, but for example from ITH every agency flat-out refused to even quote me a one-way rental on the phone (this was in 2014); I suppose it probably would still have been possible to lie and then return elsewhere, though I didn't try it. Smaller and franchise locations in particular have lower circulation and each vehicle returned elsewhere represents a loss of revenue for them.
    – choster
    Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 21:42
  • @choster Good point. I actually once did a one-way rental out of ITH sometime in the late 2000s, taking the car to PHL after flights got all screwed up in a storm, but policies may have changed or it may depend on their need for inventory. Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 21:54
  • Some one-way rentals are vastly cheaper than returns to the same location. Because north-to-south is the vastly more popular direction for travel in New Zealand's South Island, rental companies have a surplus of cars in the south. Renting a car in the south (Dunedin, say) and returning it to Picton at the north end of the island is incredibly inexpensive. Commented Apr 23, 2018 at 20:32

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