A trip from Boston to Florida, for (almost) free
There’s a cold weather getaway car waiting for you, and it’s free.
A company that originated in New Zealand in 2008 recently opened a Boston outpost, and it offers free rental cars, as long as you’re willing to pick it up at Logan Airport and drive it to a designated drop-off location. Currently, those drop-off locations are all in Florida — primarily Miami.
The free rental car to Florida isn’t a contest, and, listen up skeptics, it’s not a scam. Transfercar works with rental car companies that need vehicles moved from one location to another. It’s all based on demand. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that there is currently a bigger demand for rental cars in Florida than there is in Boston. Inventory is limited, so check the company’s website (www.transfercarus.com) before you start making hotel reservations or shopping for a new swimsuit.
According to Dennis Round, who manages US operations for the company, it’s less expensive for rental car companies to have individuals drive the cars than transfer their fleet by transport trucks. Round did not disclose the names of rental car companies that collaborate with Transfercar, and customers do not get to choose a company.
The company is currently operating out of 10 US and Canadian cities. Round said he anticipates that number will grow.
“If there is a catch, it’s that some airports charge a concession fee for rental cars, or something of that nature,” Round said. “But that’s up to the airport.”
Logan Airport, the city of Boston, and the state of Massachusetts all charge fees for rentals, such as a customer facility charge, concession recovery fee, and convention center financing charge. So please arrive with a credit card when you pick up your car. A valid driver’s license is also a necessity.
There are a few other details to consider. This is not a free round-trip vacation. You still need to get yourself home. The car is free for the first three days. After that, the cost is an extra $10 per day. Still a bargain. Some even come with a free tank of gas.
Otherwise, going through Transfercar is the same as going through a rental car agency. The only difference is the very limited number of destinations. That, and there is no charge as long as you deliver the car to Florida in three days.