So I recently rediscovered car rental services. I say that I rediscovered rental cars because for so long I held the view that cars for rent were really only for businessmen who wanted to travel with a degree of luxury. However, car rental services really are an accommodating, and inexpensive alternative to public transportation or taxis.
Thousands of Americans live in situations where they have a valid driver’s license, but owning a car just is not financial or spatially viable for them. Less than half of New York’s population owns a car, and fewer than 30% actually use that car to get to work and around the city. In some situations public transportation is just the smarter and cheaper move.
But what about those days when you need transportation to somewhere that is off the public transportation grid? Sure taxi services are the popular choice between points, especially in metropolitan areas, but fares can climb very high, very quickly. Traveling just a handful of blocks in Manhattan can cost almost $20. Outside of metropolitan areas, taxi prices grow even more, typical costing $15 for a couple mile trip. Recently a trip from a major city to an outlying village (roughly a twenty five mile trip) cost me $150 plus tip ($30) and tolls (around $5)! There has to be a cheaper alternative without having to pay ridiculous prices for those times when you need to travel for a few hours and public transportation isn’t an option.
Car rental services are often dismissed as only for tourists and business travelers, but a cheap rental car can be a useful tool in a situation that demands flexible, moderately priced travel. Depending on the model that you want to drive, rental cars can cost as little as $25 a day plus gasoline and taxes. Had I been open to car rental services when I wanted to make my previously mentioned trip, it would have cost me around sixty dollars give or take (depending on state taxes and area gas prices) for the entire day’s travel. My trip would’ve essentially cost a third less than the expensive taxi did had I taken advantage of a rental car deal.
Also, car rentals can be extremely accommodating. There are pick up and drop off options for people who cannot make it directly to the car rental business, meaning the car rental service’s employees will bring the rental car to you or pick it up during business hours. Also most car rental businesses offer a 24 hour drop off policy so that you can return the car immediately when you’re finished. This after business hours service will allow you to avoid being billed for another days worth of rental time, further enabling you to minimize your costs and maximize your freedom. The next time you need transportation with flexibility don’t discredit a car rental service like I did, you’ll save cost and headache if you make the right choice.