Depending on circumstances, renting a car for a long period can be very beneficial. In many situations, doing so provides the renter greater convenience than relying on public transportation or seeking other methods of transit. Many rental car companies also provide reduced pricing for long-term rentals, making it a more affordable option than some alternatives.
Long-term rentals typically refer to periods of time greater than four weeks, although some companies define shorter periods as long-term. Business travelers on assignment, students or those relocating to a new area may find a long-term car rental an ideal solution for transportation needs. Availability of long-term car rentals varies by rental car company and location. Larger cities may have more options than smaller towns and not all companies offer long-term rates. Many national chains offer long-term rental options although availability may be limited in smaller locales.
One benefit of long-term car rentals is certainly the cost. Depending on the long-term rates, a renter may find a rental car to be considerably less expensive than public transportation. When spending a long time in one location or even on a long car trip, renting a car provides a cost-effective solution while providing greater convenience and flexibility.
Another benefit to a long-term rental is the protection and support offered by a rental contract. Most car rentals include roadside assistance programs or other mechanical support, ensuring a renter is protected in the event of a breakdown or other mechanical failure. For travelers spending several weeks or months in a strange location, this added security removes one additional worry.
Long-term car rentals also provide the added perk of giving a renter the opportunity to select a vehicle based on individual needs. When spending a long period of time in a large city, a small vehicle may be ideal. If renting a vehicle for a long, cross-country trip with family, a larger vehicle may suit better. If traveling to an area prone to weather hazards, renting a four-wheel drive or other type of specialized vehicle offers additional security during the trip.
Rental car companies also offer insurance protection. While standard insurance policies may cover a rented vehicle, for those without a personal vehicle, obtaining insurance coverage through a rental car company for long-term rentals is often less expensive than insurance on a personal vehicle. Even if the transportation needs last for several months, the cost of renting a vehicle and insuring it through the rental contract may be less expensive than purchasing or leasing a vehicle and obtaining coverage.
Finally, some little known benefits of long-term car rentals include potential add-ons for programs such as frequent flyer miles, hotel rewards and other perks available to frequent travelers. For those traveling often, choosing a long-term rental may add significant rewards to other travel programs, which further offsets the cost of the rental car.
Long-term car rentals provide viable options for those needing reliable transportation in a variety of circumstances. Whether traveling, relocating or deciding whether purchase a personal vehicle is necessary, long-term rentals can serve as a cost-effective solution.