If your driving record is poor, you may find it next to impossible to rent a car. In an industry where profit margins are tight and overheads high, companies are simply not willing to take unnecessary risks. For those lucky enough to be able to rent, rates and terms can be confusing – and expensive, so you should have a clear idea of what you are looking for and what to expect from rental companies before proceeding.
Go through our checklist, below, to help you make the right decisions about your rental. Before you even make contact with a rental firm, think about what kind of model you want. This will help you to avoid hasty decisions and unnecessary expense. The terms “compact,” “mid-size,” and “luxury” may vary from company to company. Be prepared for that, or fix your terms and ask for a model which corresponds to them.
You should shop around and compare prices, either by making calls yourself or by asking your travel agent. There may be a special deal which would suit your purposes. If you are flexible about time, you could change your plans to take advantage of a deal.
You may be urged to pay $9 to $13 a day for a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW). Rental car agents may urge you to buy this option. The name is a bit misleading, because in fact it is a “guarantee” that the hire firm will pay for damages to your rented car. If you decline, you are accepting responsibility for damages, which could make you liable for the full value of the car.Interestingly, car rentals rates have risen on average 3% over the last year.
Denver is reputedly the state with the highest car rental rates, although within the last year they have suffered a drastic decline of 18% down on last year. Rates in general are up this year for popular tourist destinations. Despite this, and in spite of increases in gas prices, people are tending to rent larger vehicles and minivans. Car rentals will set you back, on average $43.55 per day, with the highest rates occurring in Boston ($62). Other expensive cities are los Angeles, Orlando, New Orleans and Washington. Dallas seems to offer the best value of all, at just 26$ a day for a mid-range car.
Average car rental prices for leisure travel sank in February, with a sharp recovery in June attributable to the summer travel season. Business travelers usually negotiate longer-term contracts at lower term. Rental companies are feeling the pinch owing to increased purchase costs for their fleets, which no longer benefit from their traditional discounts from the car manufacturers. Large firms such as GM and Ford are pulling out of the low-profit sales top rental firms, which is having a negative impact on their market share and benefiting foreign manufacturers. For business travelers, check first with your employer to see if you are already covered by company insurance. Paying by certain credit cards or automobile club cards nay also give you automatic coverage.