Several car rental companies heatedly compete with each other for
business and leisure car rental customers in the USA and popular overseas
destinations. As a matter of fact, more than 1.6 million vehicles
now make up the rental fleet.
The rental car business has developed into a $15 billion dollar industry,
and standard car rental rates continue to rise. So how do we ensure
that we get the best deal possible when renting a car? Look for
special packages and deals on weekend rentals, off-season vacation
rentals, and category upgrades. Also consider your make and model
preferences and mileage requirements when renting a vehicle. Auto
rental companies with convenient on-airport locations will often charge
higher rates than smaller companies with off-airport locations, so
consider this price versus convenience trade-off when you reserve
a car. As a courtesy, most car rental firms offer free local maps
and driving directions to their customers. Some companies will even
deliver a rental car to your home or office.
To negotiate the best price on your rental vehicle, avoid calling the
company's 800 number, which sends you to its national reservation
system. While the national reservation system can see inventory
and quote rates, they are not able to negotiate a better deal. To
negotiate the best deal possible, interact at the local level.
When renting a car, be sure you have a valid, current driver's license
and ask your auto insurance company what coverage your insurance policy
provides for rental cars. Purchase optional insurance coverage
from the rental car agency if necessary. Additional car rental
restrictions or fees may apply if you are under 25 years old. Most
companies also charge fees if the car is returned late or with less fuel
than the rental agreement specifies.
Finally, make sure you don't pay for things you don't need. While
the car rental agent may make it seem like additional insurance and other
protection services are needed, in many cases these things are already
covered by your own automobile insurance or, to some extent, by the credit
card used for the rental. It's a good idea to talk to your auto
insurance agent before buying any of these extras.
Browse the international and regional auto rental firms and reservation
services listed below, so you can make an informed car rental choice when
reserving a vehicle for your business or vacation travel.
American Car Rental Companies
The world's leading vehicle renting organization. "Get A Quote … Reserve A Car."
The world's second largest general-use car rental business. "We try harder."
Offers car rentals, moving trucks, and online reservations. Features Ford vehicles.
This economical source of rental cars features a fleet of Chrysler vehicles.
- Enterprise Rent-A-Car
"Pick Enterprise. We'll pick you up." Business rental program.
Get car rental rates and make reservations. Features GM vehicles.
- Thrifty Car Rentals
Rent a wide variety of cars with their easy online reservation system. Features Chrysler vehicles.
- Alamo Rent A Car
Get rate quotes and make reservations at this discount auto rental company. Features GM vehicles.
- Payless Car Rental
Low-cost alternative to major car rental providers. Available vehicles vary by location.
- Advantage Rent-A-Car
Offers rental cars throughout Western United States. Features Chrysler vehicles.
- Rent A Wreck
This alternative to new car rental companies features
used car and truck rentals at locations in all 50 states.
European Car Rental Companies
This global car rental company features Volkswagen
vehicles. It operates in Europe as well as parts of Africa,
Asia, and the Americas.
- Auto Europe
This car rental services company features over 4,000
locations worldwide and offers a range of ancillary services.
Auto Rental Organizations and Resources
- American Car Rental Association
This voice of the American auto rental industry strives to
support and promote sensible legislation that will benefit its members.
- Auto Rental News
Magazine for the car and truck rental industry.
Car Rental Directory
Car Rental News
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