Arizona: One-way car rentals from Hertz start at $5 a day

Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger

Each spring Hertz runs a one-way rental offer: Pick up a compact or economy car in Arizona, drop it off in California and pay $5 a day for the rental. Bigger cars are included in this deal too at equally low rates.

The deal: I took Hertz up on this offer last year and spent 13 days driving more than 3,400 miles around the Southwest in a Nissan Versa. Sound insane? Maybe, but my car rental cost totaled $65, not including gas. Hertz makes this offer to reposition rental cars that have accumulated in warm-weather states during the winter.

With the Arizona Drive for $5 deal, one-way rentals may be returned to a Hertz location in California, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah or Texas. The car comes with unlimited mileage and a maximum rental period of 14 days. Use the promotion code “DRV5” when making a reservation.

When: The offer is good from April 4 through June 30, based on availability.

Tested: I checked availability for the cheapest rate for a car that would be picked up at Tucson International Airport on April 23 and dropped off at Los Angeles International Airport on April 30. I found a Kia Rio or Chevy Aveo available for $25 a week (cheaper than the $5 per day rate) plus tax and fees. With this deal, weekly one-way rentals for bigger cars cost $74.99 for a Chevy Malibu and $80.99 for a Ford Escape. (Prices don’t include tax and fees.)

One caveat: Make sure you check the pick-up or drop-off locations before you go. I found the Hertz location at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport adds $42 in extra fees.

Contact: Hertz, (877) 826-8782