From the beginning of time car rentals were only available on a per day, per week, per mile basis. Hire 6 Seater in Randburg you rented a car and paid for the time used and the miles driven. However it was only a question of time and circumstances before car rentals would be offered with free mileage.
In 1967 my partner and I took over a bankrupt car rental company and had three rental stations, Miami, 5th Street on South Beach and the third in Ft. Lauderdale. 8 Seater at the time Yellow Rent A Car, owned by Yellow Cab of Miami, with rental stations in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale was offering a sub-compact car with unlimited free mileage at $45 a week. They were the first and only car rental company with free mileage but with a one week minimum rental requirement.
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I can not tell you what year they first offered free mileage but I can guess why. They were only in South Florida, 7 Passenger Van Rental they were only dealing with the leisure market and Disney World 200 miles north was not open. Renters did not use a lot of miles. The competitive rate for a sub-compact car back in the 1960s was $5 per day, $25 per week [5 times the daily rental] and 5 cents per mile. With a one week minimum rental at $25 and with their weekly rate of $45 they would have the difference, or $20, to cover the cost of the miles. At 5 cents a mile the client could use up to 400 miles for the week and the rental would be a wash. I found out later that this was a winner for Yellow Rent A Car.
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To my knowledge Yellow Rent A Car was the granddaddy of free mileage. Their caveat was a one week minimum. My partner and I, owners of Capital Rent A Car took it one step further. We were the first to offer unlimited free mileage one day or more. One week minimum rental did not apply. It couldn’t get any better than that and I will tell you how it evolved.
We first published in CATM in 1970 and I mention this because I previously stated that we, Capital Rent A Car, was the first to offer unlimited free mileage one day or more. To substantiate this claim I must mention that in 1942 I was in my seventh grade Shop class and the teacher claimed that he invented the airplane before the Wright brothers. I am not kidding you and maybe he did. But if he did he didn’t tell anyone so Wilbur and Orville got the credit.
Maybe we weren’t the first with unlimited free miles and maybe someone in Okemos. MI or Rockford, IL did. But if they did they didn’t tell anyone. We did by being in a national publication, CATM. So we are going to take the credit for being the first. The next time you rent a car and don’t pay for mileage you can thank us.
For those out there who wish to contest our claim please contact me at my email address below, You can also read another one of my Ezine Articles, “Start A Major Car Rental Company”, dealing with the car rental business at the resource below.
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There are three major traps most people do not consider when they are looking to rent a car. These can significantly make your pay more and result in a financial disaster. Before you rent a car, keep the following in mind:
1. Search Wide for the Best Deal
The rules of getting the best deal are universal: you have to search wide. Many people simply go for the car rental agency that is near their neighborhood or that they are used to. While this is convenient, it can be very expensive. You have to search and compare the rates and terms of different car rental agencies to get the best deal.
Use the Internet to do your search. This is more convenient and faster. Travel price-comparison websites like Orbitz, Travelocity and Expedia can help you find a good deal. Unfortunately, there is not one of them that guarantees the lowest price. You have to confirm at the car rental agency's website or call their customer care office to confirm the prices.
a) Fuel Charges: If you took the car with its tank full, refill the tank before returning the car. Otherwise, you will have to pay fuel levy fees for the "empty" tank even if it is just a couple of inches below the threshold line.
b) Late Fees: Most agencies will give you a grace period of 60 minutes but will then charge you late hourly fees. If you are late enough, you may have to pay for an extra day. Late fees are usually high and you could end up paying more than you did for the car rental. On the day when you are supposed to return the car, check the local traffic and weather conditions and start your trip early to avoid being late.
The above are three major things that you should consider before renting a car. They will help to keep your costs down.
How To Rent a Car
When traveling, often it is necessary to rent a car. But, sometimes the car rental process can be overwhelming if you are unfamiliar with the process. This article is designed to give you a brief overview of several options that you have to rent a car.
1. Check Online Rental Rates
Often, you can find discount rates by booking your car online ahead of time. Check the websites of some of the biggest car rental companies and compare prices, many of their websites offer quotes online-- all you need to do is enter in the information about the location where you will be staying, how long you will need the car, and what type of car you would like to rent. Comparing the prices between several large companies will allow you to choose the best deal and be sure that you have a car waiting for you when you arrive.
2. Contact a Travel Agency
Sometimes, you can get discount car rentals through a travel agency. If you are booking a flight, hotel, car rental, etc you may consider talking with a travel agent because they can get bulk discounts through their company. Also, they often offer discount rates when you bundle the different services together.
3. Airport Customer Service
If you find yourself at your destination and you are in need of an unexpected car rental, check the car rental customer service desks by the baggage claim. You can often walk up to the desk and book a rental right then, and your car will be ready to go within a few minutes. Sometimes the prices may be a little higher since you didn't book a discount rate ahead of time, but keep in mind that you may be able to negotiate the price. Also, take a few minutes to talk with all of the car rental companies that are available in the airport in order to see which one will give you the best deal.