About car rental in the US we know very little. Services companies renting cars are often used by either visitors or Belarusians who do not have their own vehicle, but who want to go out of town on weekends. Specially for the readers of abw.by we made an overview of the rental sites and asked the lessors about the main trends in the development of this business.
What are good rental cars?
In the US, the rental business has been developing relatively rapidly since the beginning of this century. Why relatively? The number of landlords increases faster than the quality and price of the services offered. In addition, it is still not necessary to say that the use of rental cars in the long term is more profitable than the purchase and maintenance of a new or «beushnogo» car. At the same time, car rental services are not an alternative to personal vehicles intended for everyday use. But they can be a good help for those who use the car as a «weekend car». In this case, the rental car has even more pluses than minuses: no need to service the car, pay insurance, pass maintenance, etc. In addition, a rental car every weekend can be different, which can not be said about personal transport. Let’s see how different in terms of characteristics and prices can be rental cars.
Where to look and how much is it?
Almost everywhere cars are offered for a period of at least 24 hours. The maximum lease term is unlimited and is determined on an individual basis.
The cheapest cars for the day, which we could find, were Citroen C1, Peugeot 107 and Toyota Aygo about $ 20
For this amount, the tenant receives a car from 2008-2010. with an average fuel consumption in a mixed cycle of 5-6 l / 100 km and even with air conditioning in the case of Toyota and Peugeot.
But the most expensive of the found copies was the BMW F02 750 Li. Premium car of the year 2009 with a 5-liter engine will cost a potential tenant at $ 250 per day.
Another expensive option is offered only with the driver — this is the Porsche Cayenne Magnum. One hour of renting such a car is almost three times more expensive than a mini-car hire per day
In some places you can find cars of the early 2000s and older. Only in the cost of rent this for some reason is not reflected in any way — it is possible to rent such cars for a day for about 500,000 rubles.
In the rest of the fleet of rental centers are not much different from each other: cars are generally not older than 5-7 years, very often 2-3 years. The prices for small cars range from $ 20 to $ 40, the average $ 30-60, business class $ 50-250, SUVs, convertibles $ 80 and above.
Sometimes some auto rental services offer cars at promotional prices. And this is not «Eurotop» or «hippian» 1-3%, but a very real opportunity to save up to 15% of the cost of renting a car.
On what terms?
Demand creates supply. In the case of car lenders, these theses are also appropriate. A couple of years ago, in the direction of the rental centers, criticism flashed that the cars there are not insured, additional equipment like navigators should be looked for somewhere on the side. The buyers went to meet customers — in most rental centers, cars are offered insured for CASCO, car owners have OSGO contracts, any forms of cash and non-cash payments are provided, for a fee, the car is delivered to the client.
Navigators are no longer a stumbling block in matters of car rental. On the sites of many rental centers they are provided as additional equipment. Also, for a fee, some «distributors» are ready to provide a child restraint.
Now directly about cars. In order to rent a car, it is often enough to have a passport and a driving license. The age from which you can rent a car varies from 18 to 23 years. Often, you need an experience of at least two years, but there are centers where you can hire and with a driving experience of 1 year.
Also, when renting a car you will need to leave a deposit — no less than $ 100 depending on the car cost. After the delivery of the vehicle, the deposit is returned.
At most rental locations, the kilometer limit for the day is about 350 km. If the driver exceeds this limit, he will be forced to pay a fine of about 10 cents for every extra kilometer. Some rental centers offer tenants who initially assume that their daily mileage will be more than 350 km, make a one-time payment of about $ 25. On such persons the limit will not apply.
It is agreed in advance and the cases when the car was leased and during the service life there was some kind of breakdown. In such situations, the experts of the landlord company go to the site and carry out an express investigation. If the breakdown occurred not through the fault of the tenant, then it will be reimbursed for unused time in money equivalent or, if possible, will give out the car of the same model or class.
Also, car rental contracts are subject to penalties. Depending on the rental center, the amount of fines may vary significantly. We only give the main points on which additional money can be collected from the tenant:
delay in the moment of the return of the car;
Accident caused by the lessee;
damage, loss of documents;
improper operation of the car (use of low-quality fuel, driving instruction in a rental car, etc.);
Other, including smoking in the car.
Sometimes in the conditions of hire, you can find an item according to which persons who have a note on driving under the influence in a ticket to a driver can not rent a car.
As we have already mentioned, the rental conditions depending on the rental center may be very different. Therefore, before you rent a car, carefully read the terms of the signed contract. And then you can go broke, paying $ 225 for a cigarette.
What do the landlords say?
We talked with several participants in the car rental market, and that’s how they generally see the situation in this area.
About the «letters of happiness»
— A couple of years ago, the fines of tenants coming to the IP address were paid according to the same scheme that is envisaged for legal entities. Namely: a letter is received about speeding up, a representative of the legal entity enters the data of the driver who was at the time driving the car and sends the letter back. After this, the traffic police officers independently and without the involvement of a legal entity «deal» with the penalty box. For physical persons, and since last year and for IP, when a «letter of happiness» comes, the fine that it contains is offered to pay for «ipeshniku» or to specify the data of the driver who was at that time behind the wheel. That is, in words, the difference seems small, but in fact it turns out that «Ipshnik» gathers an evidence base, confirming his innocence. After all, according to PIKoAP in the case of violations registered to the cameras of photo fixation, the State Traffic Police should not prove the fault of «defrauded».
Until last year’s World Hockey Championship, the number of participants in the car rental market grew smoothly. However, on the eve of the 2014 World Cup the «distributors» became very numerous, but they were enough for the time of the championship. And yet, the competition in the market has now grown significantly. In fact, if you have less than 10 cars in the «state», there is nothing to be put into this business. Especially demand in comparison with last year decreased by about 50%. The reasons for such a big step back are the following:
A crisis. After the events of the end of 2014 and devaluation of the Belarusian ruble, people do not have enough free money that they could spend on renting cars.
The Russian bus. At the end of last year and at the beginning of this year, many of our citizens bought cars in Russia. Among them were direct customers of hire, which now no longer need rolling services, hence the fall in demand.
The Russian crisis. Not only our citizens bought in the neighboring country in the literal sense of the word everything that moves, but the Russians themselves lost money for the devaluation of their currency. Because of this, there was such a trend: if earlier, the visiting Russians rented mostly cars of medium or premium class, now they rent the cheapest. Money is not enough. For the same reason, many former regular customers now can not afford to rent cars even economy class.
Cold summer. This also affected the level of demand for rental cars. If that year the young people took a car for the whole weekend and left for the city, then this year the first two summer months were rains and chills. What kind of «out of town» can there be?
As mentioned in the beginning of the article, cars for hire will suit those who need the car only a few times a month. Over the years, service in this area is getting better: cars and responsibility are insured, the car park has been updated, which means that overall comfort and safety have reached a new level. Therefore, people who are used to counting their money, it is worth looking in the direction of the rental centers. After all, having bought a car that most of the year will stand in the yard or garage, and the rest — in repair, you can decently lose money in comparison with cars rented.