How to get the best car rental deals

When traveling you will need a good, reliable mode of transport, and hiring a rental is the obvious solution. However, rental cars can often be quite pricey but like most things, you can acquire it for a cheaper price if you are smart enough.

Car rental companies want to make sure their cars are hired no matter what; therefore they will rely on many marketing tactics to make sure of it. Car rental companies usually offer special deals that can usually be accessed via their site or app or, on travel network sites like Kayak.

There are many ways you can get value for money with your reservations, keep reading to find out.

  1. No airport bookings

Say no to airport car rentals if you want to save up on some cash. Renting a vehicle from a car rental agency within the airport can be very pricey even if it is very convenient.

Airports are a great place to get many clients due to the demand of transport needed by the many travelers boarding off flights daily. Due to this, rental agencies usually tend to add on the extra charges for their rentals.

Your best option is to compare the airport rental agency prices with the other rental agencies within the area. Rental agencies located outside the airport are usually cheaper, also opt to go for local businesses instead of big-name companies as their services are affordable and quite good.

  1. Travel network sites

Many travel network sites offer rentals from almost all car rental agencies for insanely affordable prices. Sites like KAYAK, CarTrawler, and, Sky Scanner can connect you with many car rental agencies from any part of the world.

You can easily find rental companies that fit your budget as these sites compile a list of affordable car rentals within the price range you are looking for. Most times these sites have discount offers and deals which can further reduce the price, especially seasonal offers i.e. Christmas discounts or New Year upgrades.

  1. Always book economy cars

Economy cars are the cheapest option available from car rental agencies and are usually booked often. This can be used to your advantage in case the car you booked is not available, you may be eligible for an upgrade.

  1. Insurance

It is always safe to be insured when traveling and this applies to your rental vehicle. The insurance provided by the rental company can be overpriced, but if you already own car insurance it may cover for rentals as well. Check with your insurance provider for what options are available for rentals.

Your credit card may also offer coverage for rental vehicles, be sure to check with the credit card company to be sure.

  1. Early bookings

If you are making a booking weeks in advance, the rental agency may offer you a discount. If you are sure of the date and your trip is confirmed, go ahead and make an early reservation.

  1. Loyalty programs

If you are a regular customer of a certain car rental company, signing up for their loyalty program will be worth your time and money! These loyalty programs offer loyalty points and discounts for members with customized service to ensure you get the best.

So take 2 minutes to sign up and be eligible for great deals!

  1. Extras

Most rental companies include extras in their final bill i.e., GPS, car seat, etc. if you don’t require these you can inform them and they will omit the extras. These usually add up and increase the starting price of the rental drastically.

  1. Seasonal offers and coupons

Keep a lookout for offers and coupons, many rental companies rely on these to promote their business so you can easily find special offers and discounts on their social media pages. Note that credit cards and banks may also collaborate with rental businesses to offer discounts for their customers, it is likely that your credit card may offer a discount if you book a vehicle from a certain rental company.

 

Is it a Bad Idea to buy a car that was a Rental?

Many people will advise you against buying a rental car, you’ll be bombarded with “are you crazy?!”, “rentals are driven recklessly!”, “second-hand rental cars are trouble”, but are they?

If you are looking to invest in a second-hand car, going to a car rental lot sale is a great option! It is fair to have reservations regarding rental cars, unlike single user cars rental cars have had many drivers and may have gone through multiple accidents. However, everything has its pros and cons.

Advantages of a second-hand rental car

  • Easy on the wallet: Car rental companies purchase vehicles in volume, which allows them to acquire the cars for a discounted price. This usually means that their resale prices are lower than car dealerships and single car owners. This makes former rental cars a great deal for someone looking to buy a second-hand vehicle.
  • Test drive and return policy: Big-wig rental companies like Hertz and Avis allow 2-hour test drives or 3-day test drives on a “rent-to-buy” basis for a discounted rate. The rental company will refund the fee if you buy the vehicle. In case you have second thoughts on your purchase they offer a seven-day return policy.
  • New vehicles for less: Rental companies usually replace their existing fleet with new vehicles every 1 – 2 years. This means that the car you purchase would be a relatively new vehicle! You can get the latest model with new features and technology for an insanely low price than if you get it from a franchise dealerships’ used car lot!
  • Top-notch maintenance: When buying a second-hand car a major concern would be is how the previous owner maintained it, and usually, it’s not well. The best part about car rental companies is that they stick to a very strict maintenance schedule for their vehicles. These schedules are usually run via specially programmed software; therefore maintenance days are not missed. They follow a thorough maintenance procedure therefore any major underlying problems may not be there.

Disadvantages of a second-hand rental car

  • Wear and tear: The history of a rental car is uncertain as it is difficult to determine how badly the car may have been driven. This may not always be the case as some people may have taken care of the rental, but the possibility of aggressive driving is high as the car isn’t their own. This means rental cars are more susceptible to wear and tear than single-user cars.
  • Fewer options: Rental companies usually purchase base models with the most basic features though they are newer models. So, don’t have high expectations for the best features like luxury fittings, state-of-the-art tech, and advanced safety equipment.
  • Higher mileage: Since rentals have had multiple drivers for different purposes the mileage of former rental cars will be very high. Usually, double or triple the average mileage of U.S. cars which is 14,000 miles. Due to this the resale value will be very low but is a great option if you aren’t expecting any money from it down the line.
  • Factory warranty: Due to the high mileage these cars will have exceeded the factory warranty which means any repairs will have to be covered from your pocket.

Key things to consider before buying a rental car

  • Always test drive the car, look for any funny noises and dents on the body or other damages to the interior.
  • Even if you did not come across any problems with the car opt for a pre-purchase inspection just to be sure before you make the final decision to purchase.
  • If you are from the U.S. you can ask for a Vehicle History Report or better yet purchase a report for yourself. If you aren’t from the U.S. see if there is an equivalent to this in your own country.

In conclusion…

If you are shopping for a second-hand car opt for a former rental car as they are quite reliable and are good value for money. Despite having a higher mileage and, more wear and tear than single-user cars, second-hand rental cars are maintained well and they come with a return policy.

Things to follow before starting a car rental business

Are you thinking of starting a car rental business? Starting any business is difficult, there are many things to think through and plan towards. It is easy to get carried away by the excitement of it all, but before you open up shop there are many things to consider and prepare ahead of time.

Apart from feeling excited you may also be feeling stressed, where do you begin? What does a rental business need to get started? These are common questions everyone needs answers to. Before anything you need a solid plan – a solid foundation – to start from. A car rental business has specific criterion which you need to get in order before you offer your services to the public. In this article, we show you what you need to consider before starting a car rental business.

  1. Decide the type of business you want

When starting a car rental you need to know what type of business you want to own. You can choose to own a franchise, purchase a pre-existing business, have your own company, or even work with a car dealership.

For more information read our article on How to Start a Car Rental Business.

  1. Know your market

Studying the car rental market will give you an idea of the demand and profitability of the business. It will help you decide how to approach the business and what you want to do with your fleet. It will also help you gain information about your competitors and their weak points.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a demand for rentals, and air travel is predicted to increase by 2021. Environmentally-friendly vehicles are seeing a rise in sales as younger generations are more focused on a greener future. If you incorporate electric vehicles into your fleet, you present that your company believes in protecting the environment by doing your bit to reduce the use of fossil fuels.

  1. Legal

Any business is liable to danger, for rental businesses this means that their fleet is vulnerable to many dangers. This is why you need sound legal advice and have your fleet insured.

Your rentals can meet with an accident, caused by a client or another object. Most damages caused by an accident may be too large to be covered by your insurance. This is why you need an accident attorney on retainer in the event of one, this will also look good for your clients as it reassures them.

Apart from that, other legalities you need to consider is registering your business and obtaining any licenses required for you to run your business. It is best to hire a business attorney who will guide you through this process.

You should also decide what kind of business structure you want to go for, will it be an LLC, a corporation, or a DBA? Ideally, the LLC business structure is the better option as it will keep your personal assets separate from your business assets. This means that if any legal action is taken against your business your personal assets will be safe.

  1. Insurance

Along with general business insurance, you should also look into getting fleet insurance. Fleet insurance protects your fleet of rental vehicles from any physical damages in the event of an accident. Most insurance providers require a minimum of 5 cars and support both small and big businesses. Read up on fleet insurance providers to find the one that fits your business the best, look at what they offer, and if their coverage is suitable for you.

For more information on fleet insurance read: Best Car Rental Insurance Providers in North America

  1. Funding

You cannot start a business without any funds, and starting a rental business is expensive.

You may be lucky enough to have personal funds that can help you get started, but for most people that may not be the case. If you don’t have enough funds to start your business, purchase a fleet of cars, or even purchase the office space, you can opt for a bank loan. This can help give you a head start for your business.

The option is to find investors and business partners who will support your start-up rental business and take a percentage from revenue.

But, before all this, you need to list down everything your business would need and come up with a budget. Once this is done you will have a clear idea of how much money you will need to get things started.

Another point to remember is to open up a business account, do not mix your business revenue with your personal accounts.

  1. The Fleet 

Without a fleet of vehicles, you can’t have a rental business. You need to think about how you want your business to be marketed, what is the target audience? If you want to target the business crowd your fleet should have business class vehicles like Mercedes and BMWs, if you are aiming at leisure – then SUVs and RVs are best.

You don’t need a 20 car fleet to start with, you can always start small and build from there. Starting with two vehicles is ideal, and you can add to the fleet the more your business progresses and brings in revenue.

  1. Software

Pen and paper may be cheaper but having the assistance of software will make things easier in the long run and make your business more efficient. Keeping track of reservations and payments physically can leave room for error which can affect your business.

The software helps you manage everything with ease from your smartphone or PC. Having an online reservations system or app will make your business look more professional and accessible. To get a clear idea of what fleet management software is and how it can help you visit the Navotar.

  1. Location

Where your car rental will be located plays an important part in ushering in customers. If it is located at or near an airport, the probability of bookings increases as many people will require a vehicle to get about.

  1. Office Space

You can opt for your own space or rent a space, this usually is a lot of work as a rented space may require renovations and adjustments. You will also have to pay advanced rent and security deposits which add up to 3 to 6 months of rent.

  1. Hiring

To run a business you will need staff to handle different departments. For a rental business, you will need reception staff, customer service agents, cleaners, and more. Think about the number of people you require to run your business and the salaries you are willing to pay.

There are other legal and government regulations you will need to consider as well. Do your research on this and be thorough, managing people is difficult and can easily lead to complications if you are not prepared.

  1. Fleet Maintenance 

Vehicles need maintenance, for this, you need to work with a car repair garage or have your own mechanic. When running a rental business your vehicles must be in perfect working order for your customer’s safety.

Consider having a well-managed maintenance schedule to make sure your vehicles are checked regularly and kept cleaned.

  1. Marketing

Now that you have planned the building blocks of your business, you need a good marketing strategy to help promote your business and build your customer base. You can hire a marketing firm or consult an expert on how to market your business.

Educate yourself on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and social media marketing to gain an understanding of how digital marketing can help promote your business to your target audience.

  1. Risks

Know the risks of starting a business, take the time to calculate the level of risk your business might face, and be prepared for it. Asses the industry before moving forward with your business plan as it can also pose personal risks that may cost you greatly.

  1. Timing

Timing is everything and if you have analyzed the market well and looked at your competition you will know when to enter the market. Keep track of the economy and the rental industry, start your business when the economy is healthy and the rental industry is expanding.

Once you have a solid business plan in place you will be good to go! However, remember that these things take time and a lot of trial and error, so do not get disheartened when things don’t go your way. Understand the pros and cons of the industry, and learn how you manage the cons. Make sure you have done the groundwork and are ready to face any challenges thrown your way.

 

Best Car Rental Insurance Providers in Canada

It is important to insure any business, but when it comes to a car rental business it can be a bit different. Apart from general insurance to secure the company, you will also need to insure your fleet of rental cars.

To get an idea of what fleet insurance is, read our other article: “Best Car Rental Insurance Providers in North America”.

Below, we have listed the best options for Car Rental Insurance in Canada.

1. AVIVA 

AVIVA is one of Canada’s largest and trusted commercial Auto Insurance providers. You can choose between optional and additional coverage.

Optional coverage: this is an industry based fleet insurance manager, and caters to a variety of industries.

Additional coverage: covers vehicle replacement in event of Accident or Repair, Physical Damage, and more.

With AVIVA you are eligible to multi-vehicle discounts, conviction-free discounts, and protection against increased premiums.

For more information visit their site: https://www.aviva.ca/en/business/find-insurance/products/commercial-auto-insurance/

2. Mitchell and Whale Insurance Brokers

They are an Ontario based company offering fleet insurance coverage for both small and big businesses. The insurance brokers at Mitchell and Whale are specialized in fleet insurance and will find the best insurance company for your business.

What they offer: Third-Party Liability, Accident Benefits, Coverage Against Uninsured Drivers, Optional Collision Coverage, and Optional Comprehensive Coverage.

For more information visit their site: https://mitchellwhale.com/commercial-insurance/auto/fleet/

3. InsurEye

They offer insurance for fleets of up to 5 cars and more, and they offer a free quote for you to get an idea of what’s in store before fully committing.

What they offer: Collision Coverage, Third-Party Liability Coverage, Comprehensive Coverage, Accident Benefits, and more.

For more information visit their site: https://insureye.com/fleet-insurance-quote/

4. Aon

Aon is perfect for small businesses and offers coverage for cars, trucks, vans, and commercial use trailers. They too insure fleets of up to 5 vehicles or more for commercial purposes.

What they offer: Coverage for Damage or Loss of Vehicles, Damage caused by your Vehicles to Others, Injury, or death of drivers.

For more information visit their site: https://www.aon.com/canada/products-services/risk/small-business/commercial-auto.jsp

5. EasyInsure

At EasyInsure they focus more on offering a tailor-made insurance solution for their clients. They offer both general liability coverage as well as commercial auto coverage within most Canadian provinces. They also offer software solutions that help cut down on insurance premiums and staffing costs.

They also offer individual or group health and dental packages for business owners and their staff.

They take on hard work of insurance by finding the best insurance brokers to fit your business and needs and help you through the whole process.

For more information visit their site: https://easyinsure.ca/fleet-insurance.aspx

Best Car Rental Insurance Providers in North America

Every business, irrespective of the industry, requires insurance. However, when it comes to a car rental business, this can be split into two – General Business Insurance and Commercial Fleet Insurance.

In this article, we have listed 5 top commercial auto insurance providers in North America.

If you are looking to get an idea on what commercial auto insurance – also known as Fleet Insurance – is and why it matters, keep reading.

What is Commercial Auto Insurance?

Commercial Auto Insurance provides coverage for liabilities and physical damages to each car owned by a rental car business. Depending on the insurance company, the insurance company may cover a fleet of between 2 to 5 cars or more.

Liability 

Depending on the insurance provider, the liability policy may cover the following:

  • Uninsured motorist coverage
  • Underinsured motorist coverage
  • Bodily injury
  • Property damage
  • Owner’s policy – this allows any of your employees to drive your rentals and provides coverage in case of bodily injury or property damage caused by a third party.

The liability policy may also cover damages or injuries caused by your rental to a third party.

Physical Damage

In the event of an accident causing damage to one of your rental cars, it will need to be repaired and put back on the road – this is where collision and comprehensive policies come in.

  • Collision – Offers coverage for repairs or replacement for damages caused due to an accident with a third-party vehicle or a stationary object.
  • Comprehensive – Covers damages to the insured rental in the event of a fire, theft, vandalism, etc.

Top 7 Commercial Auto Insurance providers in North America

  1. Lula

If you are looking for a more new and innovative insurance provider, Lula is the best. Based in Miami, Florida with other branches across the U.S., they offer insurance coverage in a matter of minutes and eliminate any middlemen and premiums, thus reducing costs by 50%.

Lula is ideal for small businesses that need quick coverage.

For information, visit: https://www.lularides.com/navotar

  1. ARRC (Auto Rental Resource Center)

ARRC has over 25 years of experience serving the auto rental industry, they focus on assisting first-time business owners have a headstart and current business owners to improve their existing services. ARRC is a worldwide, independent auto rental network. If you are looking to start your own rental company this would be the best place to go to, they provide all resources needed to start and manage a business including fleet insurance.

ARRC membership gives you access to:

    • Liability coverage
    • Physical damage coverage
    • RV commercial coverage
    • Counter product insurance coverage
    • Garage liability
    • Worker’s compensation and Employer’s liability

For more information, visit: https://arrc.net/commercial-fleet-insurance/

  1. Travelers

Travelers provide insurance for personal, business, and specialty insurance within North America and Europe.

The Travelers Commercial Automobile Policy offers coverage for:

    • Liability
    • Physical Damage
    • Underinsured and uninsured motorists

This policy is applicable for both small and large commercially owned fleets.

For more information, visit their site: https://www.travelers.com/business-insurance/commercial-auto

  1. Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual is the fifth largest casualty and property insurer worldwide. The insurance company provides a commercial auto insurance policy that ensures the safety of both the fleet and employees operating the vehicles. They offer a set of risk control tools and have a well-trained claims team to help you get your damaged vehicle up and running in no time.

Decision Driving® – Driver safety training for vehicle operators to lower the risk of accidents caused due to careless driving.

Managing Vital Driving Performance (MVDP) – This tool uses the vehicle operator telematics data to monitor driving behavior.

Liberty Mutual Expedite™ – this app allows drivers to snap photos of damages and gets claims estimated on the spot.

Guaranteed Repair Network (GRN) – This is a partnership between Liberty Mutual and selected collision repairs facilities.

For more information, visit their site: https://business.libertymutualgroup.com/business-insurance/coverages/commercial-auto-insurance-policy

  1. Nationwide Corp

Nationwide is based out of Omaha and claims to be #1 in customer satisfaction with small commercial insurance. They offer coverage in commercial auto insurance, workers’ compensation, commercial agribusiness insurance, and more.

Apart from the usual policies offered such as liability insurance and collision insurance, Nationwide also offers add-ons i.e. roadside assistance, new vehicle replacement cost coverage, and more.

For more information, visit their site: https://www.nationwide.com/lc/resources/small-business/articles/business-auto-policy

  1. Berkshire Hathaway

Berkshire Hathaway is a multinational conglomerate based in Omaha. The company owns 60 subsidiaries, of which Berkshire Hathaway GUARD and Gateway Underwriters Agency offer commercial auto insurance.

For more information, visit their site: www.guard.com › products › commercial-auto

For more information, visit their site: https://www.gua-stl.com/automobile.html

  1. Old Republic

The Old Republic General Insurance Group is the Old Republic Corporation’s largest business segment with 15 specialty companies. Out of these 15 companies, the following offer commercial auto coverage: BITCO Insurance Companies, Great West Casualty Company, Old Republic Contractors Insurance Group, Old Republic Risk Management, Old Republic Specialty Insurance Underwriters, and PMA Companies.

For more information, visit their site: https://www.oldrepublicinsurancegroup.com/companies/bitco-insurance-companies