How to Choose a Car Rental That is Right For You

If you do not own a car, you know how difficult it can be to get around outside of a city center. When you are in a metropolitan area it is often more practical to use public transit options. If you have moved to a more suburban area, you have probably noticed that there are fewer options to get around than what you had in the city.

Smaller communities are unlikely to offer bus services. If they do, these services are likely to be very limited in the times they are offered, and you are probably on your own for the weekends.

Other options for the car less are not much better. Smaller communities typically don’t have a lot of rideshare drivers, so finding a ride when you need one can be difficult, not to mention the high cost of using taxis and rideshares every single day.

If you are tired of dealing with all of these complications, it might be time to consider getting your own car. Unfortunately, unless you have a fairly sizable downpayment set aside, and decent credit, you will have a hard time getting into a vehicle out of the gate. The vehicles that are available in this scenario are often ugly and unreliable, so you aren’t much better off than you were to begin with. Fortunately, there are several options available to get you behind the wheel sooner rather than later.

If you aren’t in a position to buy your dream car right now, there are several different types of rental options that might work for you. If you own a car that just isn’t ready to be driven, it is possible to rent a tire or wheels to own, stretching one of the larger expenses of making your vehicle roadworthy.

Quick Turnaround Rentals

There are multiple services that offer short-term rentals. Companies like Zipcar have their own garages and fleets, but there are several other options that act like Air BnB for cars. These options allow car owners who don’t use their cars that often to rent them out in the downtime when they are parked. With any of these options, you can rent for short periods of time, making them perfect for situations when you only need a car for an hour or two and don’t want to pay for a longer period of time.

The biggest drawback to these quick turnaround options is that there are no guarantees you will have a car available when you need one. Because they can be rented at a moment’s notice, it is possible that someone else could have needed all the available cars, especially for rideshare services where you are using someone’s personal car. This means they might not be the best option for last minute friday night plans. This type of rental is also pretty much limited to larger cities, so they don’t really help if you are rural.

Traditional Rentals

This is what most people think of when they hear “car rental”. There are independent companies that do this, in addition to the national chains most of us are familiar with. Most rental companies offer newer model cars, with very low mileage, and you can choose from an array of vehicles, from compact economy cars up to SUVs and Sports cars. This makes them a great choice if you just need an occasional nice vehicle for date night or a weekend getaway. There are some definite drawbacks to this type of rental as well.

Traditional rentals are pretty pricey. If you were to rent one for an entire month, it could easily be over a thousand dollars. Most rental companies will also not rent if you are under a certain age (typically 25).

Regardless of what type of rental car you go with, this is not a long-term solution for daily driving. Work toward finding an affordable vehicle, even if it requires repairs in order to get into full working order, and use your rental as a fill-in until your car is ready to go!

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