#Car #rental #services
Car rental services
Best Rental Car Companies
Updated on 02/19/2019
Rental car services make it possible to travel quickly, without being dependent on taxis or public transportation. You might be tempted to choose the cheapest option. But instead, think about how you’ll be using the vehicle, the number of people traveling with you and any features needed to find a rental a car that is affordable and comfortable.
Compare Top Car Rental Company Reviews
E-Z Rent-A-Car makes travel a breeze with convenient pickup and drop-off locations at every major airport. The company’s streamlined reservation process and best price guarantee makes renting a car stress free. Find out more
Founded in 2009 and launched in 2010, Uber operates in over 500 cities throughout the world. Uber’s easy-to-use app and rapid expansion plan make it a useful rideshare option for people in participating cities.
Enterprise offers a complete range of consumer products, including truck rentals, but they also shine in the business arena. They offer everything from business discount programs to fleet management services for any size business.
Budget offers deep discounts for customers that pay at the time of their reservation, along with significant discounts to business customers. At Budget, renters can choose from a variety of rental vehicles and moving trucks.
With discounts of up to 40 percent, an easy-to-understand vehicle guide and a range of business programs, Hertz has become the largest car rental company in the U.S. They have locations in more than 145 countries worldwide.
Fox Rent A Car serves niche markets that other companies ignore. It offers easy one-way rentals and rents vehicles to new drivers age 19 and up. It also provides easy rewards, constant discounts and long-term rates.
Avis rental car services include white glove options for business travelers that allow for faster check in and check out. They also offer low mileage vehicles for sale at discount prices, offering the option to rent, then buy.
With locations in 143 countries, Advantage Rent A Car allows car renters to work with the same company worldwide. Saved preferences and discounts on multiple rentals make Advantage ideal for frequent travelers.
With more than 10,000 locations in more than 150 countries, Europcar allows travelers to book with confidence. When they drive across national borders, renters know that there is a local office ready to handle any problems.
Founded in 1966, Dollar Rent a Car has 570 locations globally. They have a full range of vehicles, along with convenience features such as car seats, express return and rental cars equipped for physically challenged drivers.
Cost to rent a car
How much does it cost to rent a car?
The average cost to rent a car can vary dramatically depending on duration, date, discounts, loyalty programs and location. Look for rental deals without hidden fees by checking online discount sites and the company’s website.
- Long-term rates: Many companies offer a deep discount on the daily rate when you rent a vehicle for a week or more. Always ask about weekly rentals, since the cost of a weekly may be less than a five-day rental. Holidays and special event weekends may not be included.
- Programs and discounts: Companies that have loyalty programs may offer special promotions or have discounted rates for those employed by partner companies. Ask about employee discounts, convention rates, group pricing and other discount programs before confirming a rental.
- Weekday pricing: The price of a rental car often goes up over the weekend. If any of the rental days are weekdays, be sure to ask about special weekday rates. Check company websites for the best rates.
- Hourly: Drive cars by the hour or day. Car share programs include gas and insurance and usually have a membership fee. Each location has different rates.
- By-the-ride: Fare estimators are on the app for each service, giving you the most accurate fare estimates directly to your location. Beware of surge pricing before you agree to the ride.
What are car rental fees?
When driving a rental car, tolls, gas, parking violations and other fees are the responsibility of the driver, which can add to the total cost. Some rental companies allow renters to prepay expected costs.
- Prepaid tolls: Prepaying toll costs allows drivers to take express lanes and avoid backups on highways, toll roads, over bridges or through tunnels. Some rental car agencies offer a statewide pass for toll lanes and will bill your credit card upon return.
- Prepaid gas: Every rental car comes with a full tank of gas, but it’s the renter’s responsibility to return the vehicle with an equally full tank. Customers who won’t have the time to refuel before dropping off a rental can prepay the fuel fee when picking up the car. Some companies will offer a partial refund if a minimal amount of fuel is used and you have prepaid for the full tank of gasoline. Ask before you purchase the prepaid fuel plan.
- Company refuel: This service is similar to prepaid gas except the fee is paid when dropping off the rental. This fee is typically higher than the per gallon fee available at gas stations.
- Violations and Fees: Parking tickets, parking garages and other fees associated with your rental are solely the renter’s responsibility.
Types of rental cars
Sub-compact, compact, economy or small are the standard labels used for cars that are usually suitable for four to five people and a couple of suitcases. They also have two or four doors and are likely to be automatic transmission. These are the cheapest to rent and have great gas mileage.
The largest category is known as intermediate, standard or midsize. This size includes cars that seat five people and can fit a little more comfortably than in the smaller classes, and there is room for more luggage. While they are more comfortable than smaller class vehicles, keep in mind that mileage decreases as the car gets bigger.
Full-size cars have the most storage room and passenger capacity. These vehicles are full-size vehicles and include four-door sedans with lots of features, including air conditioning, power locks and windows, an AM/FM stereo and a CD player. They will seat five people comfortably and more luggage than a mid-sized vehicle.
If you need something out of the ordinary because you have a wedding function to attend, need to impress a business client or just want a fun vehicle for your vacation, this category is for you. Note that specialty lines cost extra and are limited to specific locations. Space and passenger capacity vary greatly, as does gas mileage.
When you need to haul equipment, travel over rough roads or need more passenger space, most rental companies have a wide selection of pickups and vans including passenger, cargo and SUVs, both regular and luxury. While they hold more people and luggage, these vehicles get very poor gas mileage compared with smaller cars and are more expensive.
Hybrid and electric cars
Tips for renting a car
Make sure you are covered by insurance
If anything happens to a rental car, the renter may be liable for the damage. Some rental car companies offer additional insurance on vehicles for a daily fee. There are different types of coverage available. There also may be coverage from your credit card, personal or business insurance policies, however it may not cover everything. Credit cards often provide coverage for rental cars, assuming you have used the card to pay for the rental and the rental is in your name. You’ll automatically have this coverage if it’s included with your credit card—no need to call or sign forms. Purchasing secondary coverage means your own auto insurance policy will pay out first.
- Individual insurance: Car owners must have liability insurance to operate their vehicles. Many rental car agencies use the driver’s insurance policy to cover the rental, but you need to know what is covered in the event of an accident. If you have collision and comprehensive coverage on your own policy, it generally will extend to a rental car. However, you will still be on the hook for your deductible.
- Liability: Your own liability insurance will cover you when you’re driving rental cars. If you have really minimal liability coverage on your auto policy, you could buy the supplemental protection to boost your coverage. However, it is smarter to increase your own liability coverage.
- Road hazard: Flat tires and other issues can crop up at any time. Road hazard coverage may be included on either an individual or agency policy, or it may be available as an add-on.
- At the counter: A loss-damage waiver (LDW), also called a collision damage waiver (CDW), protects you in the event of incurred damage to the rental vehicle or theft of the car. It’s technically not insurance but rather a waiver that says the rental car company won’t proceed with litigation if the vehicle is damaged while you have it.
- Supplemental liability protection: Supplemental liability protection will pay for damage you do to others’ vehicles or property. A typical limit is $1 million. If you have no auto insurance (for example, if you don’t own a car), you should buy this.
- Personal accident insurance: Personal accident insurance covers medical costs for you and your passengers if you’re involved in an accident. This includes ambulance, medical care and death benefits.
- Personal effects coverage: Personal effects coverage pays for your belongings if they’re stolen from the rental car, up to a set dollar amount.
- Injuries: If you have health insurance, buying extra would largely be redundant. Similarly, if you are interested in death benefits, you should have a life insurance policy. Personal accident insurance also is not needed if you have personal injury protection through your auto policy.
- Be aware: Each state has their own rules on insurance for rental cars. The reason to purchase additional insurance could save you in an accident where the vehicle is damaged. You will be responsible for the non-usage of that auto during the repair time window, which means you will have the rental fee billed to you until the vehicle is rentable to others. Check with your insurance agent before buying additional insurance.
Look for package deals
Many travel agencies and online travel sites offer packages that include a rental car. Businesses may need to work out specific agreements for rentals, so many rental agencies offer packages and plans.
- Air, hotel and rental car: Many travel agencies offer a steep discount on the total price when travelers book their airfare, hotel and rental car at the same time.
- Multi-car discounts: Businesses may support a fleet of cars with occasional rentals or have many traveling employees who need rental cars. Rental companies that offer discounts for multiple rentals can save a lot of corporate dollars.
- Accident rental: Insurance policies may offer you rental car coverage while you wait for claims adjustment and repair service. The policy may pay a partial or full amount of the rental car’s cost, depending on your policy.
Take advantage of additional services
Many rental car companies offer value-added services that can smooth out the kinks of travel. Some have locations everywhere to make pickups and drop-offs faster, while others take care of all of the paperwork online or through their app. Typically airports are the most common place to rent a vehicle, although some rental car companies, ride share and car sharing services are offsite of airport properties.
- Car drop-off: Not everyone can get to a rental car location to pick up a vehicle. To make the process smoother, some rental companies drive the car to the customer. There may be an extra fee, so be sure to ask in advance.
- Rental returns: An after-hours return box can make all the difference in getting a rental car back on time. Not all offices are open 24 hours, but they should offer an after-hours service. This can be offered at any location.
- Communication: If there is a problem, customers should be able to get in touch using any method that is convenient for them. The best rental car agencies communicate over the telephone and through email, fax and live chat.
- Car pick-up: Some rental car companies, ride share and car sharing services require you to go to the vehicle. Many companies offer an app with directions to the location.