How to get an $8 rental car — Clark Howard style!

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Clark Howard car rental receipt
Image Credit: Clark Howard
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Want to get a one-way rental car for dirt cheap?

The calendar can be your friend twice a year!

RELATED: Finally! You can now add multiple stops during your Uber ride

Do you know this secret of the car rental industry?

Have you ever heard of a re-positioning cruise in the cruise ship industry?

That’s where you get a super-cheap price on a cruise simply because the cruise line has to move the ship back from where it already is to a hot vacation market ahead of a peak travel time.

Not a lot of people know this, but it’s possible to get the equivalent of this in the car rental industry.

Twice a year, car rental companies have to move cars around to meet demand. They will give you a great deal on a one-way rental if you can help them!

Ahead of peak travel seasons in November-December and again in late April, there’s a mad rush to get cars from across the nation to hot vacation destinations like Florida.

During these times of year, you may find companies like Dollar Rent A Car and Thrifty Car Rental offering rentals for as little as $5 or $10 per day — if you can move their vehicles from the Northeast and Midwest to the Sunshine State.

Think about it: It’s certainly to the benefit of the rental companies to offer these deals. Otherwise they’d have to fly paid employees out to do the same work or load cars on trucks to move them around.

The real key to getting these kinds of deals is to be ahead of the curve.

Clark’s recent cheap car rental experience

Money expert Clark Howard advises calling around to a few agencies that are located at airports several weeks before a peak travel time and ask if they’re participating in these kinds of deals and where they need their cars moved.

Because of the cheap price, there will be a lot of restrictions on these deals — plus additional taxes and fees. But if you can make it work, this is a real steal.

Clark recently availed himself of one of these deals and would up paying $26.01 for a two-day rental of a Toyota RAV 4 with unlimited mileage.

He was originally quoted $7.99 a day for the vehicle. But then when you add in the junk fees, it soon becomes $26.01.

And get this…he could have had that rate for two weeks if he needed it!

Clark says RentalCars.com is a good website you can use to get an initial sense about whether or not this method of landing a cheap ride could work for you.

Clark Howard pays $7.14 a day for a rental car

Read more: Follow these 5 steps to prevent a hotel bed bug attack

Tips to resolve your holiday travel issues

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Theo Thimou About the author:
Theo is director of content for clark.com. He has co-written 2 books with Clark Howard, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Clark Howard's Living Large in Lean Times.
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