From the beginning of time car rentals were only available on a per day, per week, per mile basis. 7 Seater Vans For Hire in South Africa 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. 7 Seater Rental 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, Car Rental Vans 8 Passenger 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 many horror stories out there about people who have returned vehicles to a car rental location only to hear later that they are being accused of damage that they are not aware of. While many people think that the "car rental company is out to get them" when this happens, it is usually an unfortunate clerical error rather then any maliciousness. However, at times, many renters returned vehicles that have been damaged while they were on rent even though they did not know it occurred. So keep in mind that the possibility exists.
Here are some things you can do if you find out that you have been accused of car rental damage.
1. Remain calm. Nothing infuriates car rental counter agents more than an enraged customer who makes all kinds of threat that they cannot follow up on. If you remain calm, it is more likely that the agents will help you.
If it is proven that the car rental damage is yours, you will likely be surprised at how expensive it is to repair. Car rental companies do not make money on car repairs but car repairs are very, very expensive and most people are unaware at how pricey it can be. You may however be charged "downtime" to cover for the amount of time that your car was not rentable.
If the damage was not yours, however, using these ideas should help you solve the issue quickly.
Car Rentals and Unlimited Free Mileage, Its Evolution
Let's say you're scheduled to fly into your destination airport at 3:00, so you've made arrangements to pick up your rental car around 3:15 or 3:30. However, your flight time has been delayed or has been rescheduled. Now you're worried that you're not going to be able to pick up your rental car because you're going to be late. What does this mean for you? How strict are car rental companies about their pick up times?
Fortunately, the above scenario is quite common. Actually, that is not a very fortunate situation, but the car rental companies are certainly not strangers to rescheduled flights or delayed flights. This is something that they contend with all of the time. As a matter of fact, they probably contend with this every single day. Think about how often your own flights have been delayed or you've heard of flight delays. We all have experienced or heard about them at some point.
Car rental companies do all that they can to make things comfortable for their customers. You definitely don't want to arrive at the car rental company's location and find that they have nothing for you. This has happened to people before, but it is very rare. If you're in an airport, you're in luck because there are other car rental companies housed within the airport. If you're not dealing with an airport, then you may have to find out where else you can go, but know that you do have options and you're not going to be stuck. You'll be able to get yourself a car no matter what.