The plan was nearly perfect.
I’d fly from Florida up to JFK and spend Friday night at my nephew’s graduation party on Long Island. Saturday morning, I’d drive up to Boston to spend the rest of the weekend visiting friends, and would then fly back home out of Logan airport Sunday night.
All I needed now was what’s called a “one-way” car rental. Pick-up in one city, drop-off in another.
Problem is, they’re often VERY expensive. But I’d hit the jackpot. I found a Hertz deal online for about $130 for the weekend. Nice! I jumped on it.
Just one problem…
Sunday night, I’m running late as I hurriedly pull into the Hertz return lot at BOS. The return processor scans the car and prints out the receipt. I grab it and head for the shuttle. But just then… my heart skips a beat. Maybe a few.
“What the…? There must be a mistake,” I thought to myself. But when I looked at the line items on the receipt, there it was… MY mistake.
Mileage Fee: 387 miles @ $0.45 per mile; Extra Miles Fee: $174.15.
I’d made the error of assuming that my rental came, as 99 percent of car rentals do nowadays, with unlimited mileage. But, sure enough, when I pulled out the contract, the mileage fee was there in bold and in plain daylight. Ahhh. So that’s why the base rate had been so low.
I was annoyed that my trip was costing about $200 more than I’d thought. I didn’t let it ruin my day though, because I realized that might have been the best deal I could have gotten anyway.
Meanwhile, I had relearned a valuable lesson: Whenever you get that “Brother, ain’t I smart!” feeling… watch out.