Rental car from Avis in Abu Dhabi
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

One Way Airport Rentals For as Low as $8.99 by Avis — Including a Tank of Fuel — But…

You can rent a car from Avis for as low as $8.99 one way between 43 airports of 37 cities within the United States and local facilities in downtown and suburban areas of those destinations — and that includes your choice of five classes of cars from economy class to full size, a full tank of fuel, 150 free miles, and up to 12 hours to keep the vehicle before returning it — but should you consider taking advantage of this deal?

One Way Airport Rentals For as Low as $8.99 by Avis — Including a Tank of Fuel — But…

Testing this deal, a random date of Sunday, December 17, 2017 from 11:00 in the morning to 6:00 in the evening was chosen in two metropolitan areas: Atlanta and New York. A full size car was chosen in both cases.

Renting a vehicle from a suburb of Atlanta to the international airport which serves the greater Atlanta metropolitan area, the total cost of the rental — including fees and taxes — is $12.09 if you pay in advance; and $13.18 if you choose instead to pay at the counter at the time of picking up the car.

Driving from Brooklyn to LaGuardia Airport in New York does not offer an option to pay in advance; but curiously, at $11.98, the total cost — including fees and taxes — is less expensive at the counter than the pay in advance option in Atlanta. A location within Manhattan was chosen instead of Brooklyn; but the total cost of the rental remained unchanged.

Important to note is when traveling from an airport to downtown or a participating suburban location, the vehicle must be picked up on a Thursday or Friday; and when traveling from downtown or a participating suburban location to an airport, the vehicle must be picked up on a Sunday or Monday.

Should You Take Advantage of This Deal?

A variety of factors and sub factors must be considered before deciding on which option to use to get you to or from the airport.

If price is a factor, paying at the counter in Atlanta will cost you a total of $26.36 for two one-way car rentals, which is typically less expensive than one single ride with a ride-sharing service such as Uber

…which means that distance is a factor as well. Ride-sharing services can cost less money if the distance between the origination and destination points are fairly close to each other.

Time is also a factor. If you plan on traveling for two weeks or longer, leaving your car at the airport could be the most expensive option — even with discounts.

The Avis deal may seem like the clear winner in terms of price — but convenience also has to be considered. Do you want to do the driving yourself? Are you willing to pay extra for tolls? Those factors alone could be a deterrent to the Avis offer…

…but the restrictions of on which days this offer is valid — as well as having to still travel from a location once you drop off the vehicle at a facility which is not near an airport — are also significant factors. When traveling from an airport to downtown or a participating suburban location, the vehicle must be picked up on a Thursday or Friday; and when traveling from downtown or a participating suburban location to an airport, the vehicle must be picked up on a Sunday or Monday.

In New York, subways and buses offer numerous options — at an extra cost of time and money, of course — but once you get from the airport to that facility located in a suburb of Atlanta, how do you get to your final destination? Perhaps you are fortunate enough to be able to ask someone to pick you up? Ride-sharing services and driving to the airport in your own vehicle and parking it there win in terms of convenience.

Then again, Avis does offer one convenience factor: the ability to use one of their vehicles and a full tank of gasoline for wear and tear on errands you might want to take on if the total amount of time and mileage is less than 12 hours and 150 miles respectively.

Public transportation is also a factor. New York has an extensive public transportation system which costs $2.75 each way from anywhere to anywhere within the four boroughs of the city served by its subway or bus system — unless you are going to John F. Kennedy International Airport, with which a train ride will cost an additional $5.00 each way and total as much as $15.50 round trip. That total cost is less expensive than the offer from Avis — and during rush hour, the experience can also potentially be more convenient.

Atlanta offers fewer public transportation options; so in that city, the Avis offer potentially wins.

If you are traveling with several people, you can rent an intermediate sport utility vehicle or a premium vehicle for $14.99 per 12 hour rental; a standard sport utility vehicle for $17.99 per 12 hour rental; or a minivan for $19.99 per 12 hour rental — and the cost would be ideal if everyone being transported would split the cost of the rental.

Select Terms and Conditions

The vehicle must be picked up at a participating location and dropped off at a different participating location up to a maximum of 12 hours later.

The first tank of gas is included.

A charge of ten cents per mile will be applied for each additional mile driven beyond the 150 miles which is included in the car rental.

This offer may not be available during holiday and other blackout periods, as rate surcharges during peak periods may apply.

This offer is subject to vehicle availability at the time of reservation and may not be available on some rates at some times.

Renter must meet Avis age, driver and credit requirements. Minimum age may vary by location.

An additional daily surcharge may apply for renters under 25 years old.

Rates are non-discountable; they may not be combined with any AWD number, coupon, promotion or offer.

Taxes, concession recovery fees, vehicle license recovery fee, customer facility charges may apply and are extra.

Other terms and conditions may apply.


Charles Barkowski of Running with Miles considers what Avis is doing as a way of taking on Uber. I disagree to a point, as the competition is indirect at best — similar to driving your own vehicle to the airport, using public transportation, or paying for parking while you are away traveling.

A plethora of factors needs to be considered to determine which ground transportation option is the best overall when combining cost, time, comfort, location and convenience.

In my opinion, the offer by Avis is potentially a good deal — if renting the car meets the restrictions which govern the offer…

…but if Avis were to expand the offer to be good seven days per week and include pick-up and drop-off service so that your final destination would be where you leave the car instead of at a rental car facility, that significantly would increase the value of the offer by Avis when compared to its competition — direct or indirect — in my opinion.

Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.


Please note that I receive compensation for affiliate links posted at The Gate effective as of Sunday, January 1, 2017. You are not required to use these affiliate links; but if you do use them, your support of The Gate is greatly appreciated — and using affiliate links will not cost you any extra time or money.

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