The breakdown of Harry Saunders’ vehicle, dreadnaught, and the subsequent dilemma on where to get a car to continue the family business laid the groundwork for the car-hire business today in America. While renting of vehicles gained popularity then, it is not a recent development: many types of vehicles were rented in virtually all civilized countries, from ancient Rome to America in 1904(the first reference on cars for rent). Today, the car-for-hire business is worth $30 billion, with everything pointing to even more growth in this multibillion-dollar industry. This article focuses on how you can rent a car for a month for $300.
A car-hire agency is a company that rents automobiles for short periods. An agency is usually organized with numerous, up to thousands, of locations for ease of access by clients. These locations are primarily near airports and busy metropolitans. The client base for car rental agencies is people who require a temporary vehicle like; people who don’t own their cars, travelers who are in a new town and owners of a damaged vehicle awaiting repair. The car rental agencies also offer additional services like cheap full coverage insurance with no down payment and $99 car leases, no money down, GPS navigation system, entertainment systems, portable Wi-Fi and child safety seats.
Short term renting of a vehicle has provided many benefits to Americans today like on-demand transportation, mobility, convenience, and independence. Car rental analyst Neil Abrams says that the radical changes in this space will result in a new transportation paradigm where the lines between car ownership, rental and lease are blurred beyond recognition.
The Comprehensive Guide To Renting A Car
Here is a comprehensive list of all the things you should consider before and when renting a car;
Research, research, research! This is the golden rule whenever you are getting consumer products. Research online on which company will fit you best based on availability, price and other personal preferences. Check online prices before you do a physical visit as the prices may vary for walk-ins. It’s also important that you don’t settle on the first company you visit. While the first place you visit may indeed be the best choice, this may not be the case. You will most probably find another company that is more suited to your specific needs. Research, compare, choose.
2. Terms And Conditions
The terms and conditions will vary from one rental to another. Generally, the vehicle must be returned in the condition it was rented in. It must also, often, not exceed mileage restrictions or other fees will be incurred. Most rental companies will have a minimum and/or maximum age for renters and a valid driver’s license is required to rent a vehicle.
The average cost to rent a car will vary depending on duration, date, loyalty and duration. Look for any hidden fees that may surprise you with a higher overall cost. Here are some of the factors that will influence the total cost of a rental car
- Weekends : The price of most rentals will more often than not go up during the weekends. If you plan to extend your stay with the rental into the weekends, make sure you specifically ask the customer service desks about any varying charges for weekdays and weekends.
- Discounts and loyalty programs : Loyalty programs will get you points for free rentals, expedited service and some companies may offer free late time. If you are employed by a partner company you may also qualify for some discounts so be sure to ask about that. You may also get discounts through coupons and special offers though these are far and few between.
- Long-term rates : A lot of rental companies will offer you dramatic discounts on the daily rate when you rent a vehicle for a week or more.
Gas, parking violations and a lot of other fees are the driver’s responsibility immediately the car leaves the rental company. These extra fees will undoubtedly increase the total cost of the rental so you may want to plan for this eventuality. Some of the fees you can expect are;
- Gas : While a rental car comes with a full tank of gas, it will be your responsibility to refill the gas tank for your use and return the car to the rental with a full gas tank. You can alternatively decide to prepay a full gas tank if you fill you may not have enough time to fill it up before returning the vehicle.
- Violations : Any parking tickets, parking charges or other fees for violations are solely the responsibility of the renter.
- Tolls : Some car rental companies offer a statewide pass for toll lanes which will be billed on your credit card upon return of the vehicle
US car rental companies are required by the given states to provide minimum liability coverage (covers costs to a third party in the event of an accident) except in Arizona and California where sole responsibility is held by the driver. Can you get car insurance without a license? Yes, though it will be difficult as most companies feel nervous insuring someone without a valid driver’s license. In some states, if you do not provide your insurance, the rental car company will charge you for the minimum liability coverage they maintain for their vehicles. Here are some types of coverage offered when renting a car;
- Loss Damage Waiver – covers the cost of damage to the rental vehicle u to the full cost of the vehicle, in case of an accident
- Collision Damage Waiver – covers the cost of damage from a moving accident
- Supplemental Liability Insurance – provides coverage in the event of an accident causing bodily injury or property damage to someone other than the renter and passengers
- Personal Accident Insurance – covers medical costs and accidental death for the renter and passengers in the event of an accident
- Personal Effects Coverage – this insures against loss or damage to the personal belongings of the renter during the duration of the rent
The specific coverage offered can differ depending on the state or country where the car is rented. You can also purchase insurance from cheap full coverage auto insurance companies like Geico, SafeAuto and Progressive.
6. Package Deals
Many rental agencies will offer packages and plans that will include amazing discounts for; booking your air-ticket, hotel and rental car at the same time and business rentals that rent multiple cars.
7. Warranty Plans
Most rental agencies will offer warranty plans for their clients. These plans differ in length and while some may cover the entire rental period, some will only cover part of the duration of the rental. Choose a rental plan that will give you a comprehensive, complete and unlimited warranty.
8. Down Payment
Some companies will require you to pay some down payment before you rent the vehicle. If you don’t want to pay any deposit before renting the vehicles, this is something you may want to consider. Honda’s are some of the cheapest cars to lease with no money down.
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The Best 5 Places To Rent A Car
Since the first lease company took off the ground, you can now lease a vehicle from dozens of companies across the country. Typically found in airports, Consolidated Rental Car Facilities (CRCF)- complexes that host numerous car agencies – are now more common, making the car rental process even more convenient for consumers. Here are the best 5 places to rent a car for $300 a month.
Enterprise Rent–A–Car is a household name in the car rental business in the United States, UK and Canada. With over 6000 locations, self-service kiosks and an even more impressive number of customer care representatives, you will always have a way to rent a car with Enterprise. They also have one of the widest selection of vehicles available for short term leasing including four-car doors, five-seater SUVs and trucks. Enterprise’s packages for unlimited mileage, out-of-state travel and multi-renter pricing are some of the best out there.
Another plus for Enterprise is its CarShare system which is supported by more than 5800 offices located within 15 miles of 90% of the United States. They already serve over 12 university campuses and hundreds of business and government agencies in more than 35 states.
Why pick Enterprise?
- Inexpensive vehicle upgrade package options.
- Great airport shuttle service to the location of the rental.
- Self-service kiosks in many locations to facilitate faster pick-ups
- No additional/hidden charges.
Hertz is an even larger company than Enterprise with even more locations and vehicles with nearly 10, 000 locations, 1600 at the airport. With Hertz, you get a wide selection of compact cars and quicker drop-off options when the trip is over. Their customer service is fantastic, with representatives that go out of their way to help you solve any challenges. Any vehicle you rent from Hertz will be reliable and consistent in performance.
With a whole list of consistent coupons and discounts, you will have no trouble in finding amazing deals. They also have compact economy cars for those on a budget. Hertz offers a “Never Lost “ GPS program that comes with an online trip planner, which you can access and then download your route to your GPS via flash drive.
Why pick Hertz?
- Fast drop-off locations available
- Good car selection based on your budget
- You can receive and/or transfer reward points to other Hertz members
Budget is one of the most affordable car rental services where you can easily rent a car for $300 a month. Budget offers their customers many bonuses and discounts i.e. you are entitled to a 35% discount if you make your payment during the reservation process and you may get a free day in their Mustang Weekend Program. Discounts are also available for veterans and AARP members and other programs that have partnered with Budget. You can also have your pick of luxury vehicles with convertibles like Chevy Camaro or hybrids like Toyota Prius
Why pick Budget?
- 10% discount for monthly rentals
- Varied vehicle types
- Lower rates when you pay upfront during online booking
National car rental is a sister company of enterprise and Alamo with 1,500 locations across the globe. In the J.D.Powers Annual report took the number 2 spot for customer service and a five-star score in both the reservation process and overall satisfaction among customers. National offers a point reward system to its loyal customers. Their online configuration also makes it easy to pick a good car that fits you.
Why pick National?
- Promotions that give you multiple free days
- Great customer service
- Better cancellation windows than most competitors.
While Alamo has only 250 locations countrywide, its daily price is 7% lower than the average price for renting a car. Their loyalty program will give you an automatic 5% discount for booking your car online, and if you rent from a standalone location, their shuttle service will pick you and bring you to their location.
One of the greatest perks with Alamo is their unlimited mileage in a space where you are more than likely to incur fees when you exceed the mileage.
Why pick Alamo?
- Among the best daily rates
- Pick-up service if you are at a standalone location
- Online registration discount.
In J.D. Power’s 2019 North America Rental Car Satisfaction Study, customer satisfaction had hit an all-time high. “Across all of our travel-related studies, rental cars have become the most satisfying part of the overall traveler experience,” said J.D. Power’s travel intelligence lead, in a statement. “This is due largely to companies’ continued innovation to tweak their pick-up and return processes and deliver stand-out customer experiences.” The car rental business is an ever-improving industry that you don’t want to get left out on.
He said many customers can walk the lot and pick a specific car, and the pick-up process can be completed in 15 minutes or less. Adding personalization through apps and alerts to mobile devices is a big plus, too.