Why Long Term Car Rental Beats Leasing, Buying, and Sharing

long term car lease

In many ways, it’s never been easier to get from point A to point B than it is right now. Air travel is relatively inexpensive. The internet makes it easier to shop for new and used cars. There are tons of travel apps for your smartphone to help you find your way around. Public transportation has improved in many cities over the last few decades. There are more ways to structure a car loan than ever before. All these transportation options can make it hard to decide whether to buy, rent, or own your own car. You may be surprised to find out that the best way to solve your daily transportation problems is long term car rental.

What Is Long Term Car Rental ?

When comparing transportation options, it can be hard to compare apples to apples. If you’ve ever tried to read all the small print on a TV ad for a new car purchase, you know how complicated they make the deals. Car leasing isn’t much better. There are a lot of ways for a car lease to cost more than the bottom line number on the day you get your car. And traditional car rental agencies make you sign long, involved contracts that can shift your pricing from hour to hour if you drive too many miles, need the car for longer periods, and other details.

Long term car rental isn’t like that. Different car rental companies use different numbers, but for the most part, a long term rental is defined as renting a car for at least a month. Long term auto rental isn’t the same as a lease deal, either. Leases are closer to buying a car for a fixed term, and then trading it in when the lease period is up. Car rental can be a rolling long term deal that doesn’t have to end on a specific date.

Can You Rent a Car Long Term?

Many consumers aren’t aware that this kind of rental car deal is even available. While it’s true that many large rental car companies don’t offer long term deals, there are many independent car rental agencies that specialize in renting out cars for long periods. If you shop around a little, it’s easy to find rental deals of all kinds. That includes open-ended deals that are more like rolling auto leases than traditional auto rental deals.

Unfortunately, travel comparison websites don’t usually feature non-standard car rental deals. Their listings are limited to traditional deals from larger rental companies. If you’re in the market for a long term car deal, you’ll do better if you look for small, independent car rental companies in the city you live in, or are traveling to.

Is It Cheaper To Rent a Car Long Term?

Regular auto rental companies don’t really reward customers for renting long term. Most of their business relies on high-dollar, short term rentals. They prefer to keep as many of their cars on hand for customers who only need the car for a short time. That maximizes their revenue per car

Long term auto rental companies are always trying to rent their cars for the longest possible terms. They don’t compete as much in the last-minute, short-term market, and prefer to have a full calendar instead of a full car lot. In order to get the most from their inventory, they offer better terms for longer rental periods.

You can always get a better deal on a longer term with most any car rental company. However, traditional auto rental companies often limit just how long they’re willing to let you drive the car. Long term rental companies are more accommodating. They’ll also let you roll from one long term rental deal right into another. That lets you rent a car indefinitely for all practical purposes. If you think you need a car for a long time, but don’t want to buy one, renting a car for long periods can be the answer.

Can I Lease a Car for Only 6 Months?

Yes and no. It mostly depends on how you define the word “lease.” Today’s car rental and car leasing marketplace use many different terms to refer to driving a car for a defined period, paid for with set, incremental payments. If you’re using the traditional definition of leasing, you’ll have a very hard time finding a six-month lease on a car. Leasing is more of a payment variation on buying a car, not a long term rental situation with rolling terms. While it’s easy to find car leasing deals with terms as short as 2 years, shorter lease deals are very hard to negotiate.

Careful shoppers would do better to search for long term rental deals instead of short term leases. There’s less pressure to sign on for really long periods, and in a pinch, you can usually end a rental arrangement without any sort of penalty.

Long Term Rentals for Business

In the past, business travelers usually flew into a city, rented a car and a hotel room, stayed for a few days or a week, and then left. Ride sharing services have taken the place of a lot of very short term car rental deals, as well as replacing a lot of taxi rides.

Today’s business traveler is much more likely to spend more time on business trips than in the past. Instead of a hotel room, a rental car, and an expense account for meals, business travelers now enjoy extended stay accommodations, a long term car rental, and a virtual office at a shared workspace. In essence, you’re a short-term resident, not a traveler.

It’s not economical for businesses to buy transportation for their remote workers. Long term leases are too restrictive if business stays are extended or shortened. Ride-hailing services and public transportation are fine for a day or two, but they’re time-wasters, and not very economical or convenient for most people.

Long term car rental is perfect for indefinite business travel. You have the same ease of use and round the clock access to transportation as local workers. You can transport clients and coworkers whenever the need arises. Rolling rental periods make it easy to end the terms of your rental without penalty.

For companies, long term rentals are easier for accounting purposes. Cash flow is maximized, and there are no upfront costs like there are with leases or purchasing a car outright.

Skip the Depreciation

If you buy a new or used car, it begins to depreciate the minute the ink dries on the purchase or lease agreement. Leasing deals bake the depreciation into the monthly payments. Depreciation on a new car is discovered when you try to sell the vehicle when you don’t need it any more. In some cases, depreciation overtakes the auto payments, and you end up having to pay out of pocket to pay off the auto loan.

Depreciation never matters with a long term car rental deal. You pay a weekly, monthly, or multi-month rate, and that’s it. If the car depreciates, it’s not your problem. You can even trade the car in at any time for another one with no penalty.

Rent a Car and Save Money

Ride-sharing is only cheap when compared to traditional taxi rides. It’s useful if you only need an occasional ride somewhere, but it gets very pricey and inconvenient if you need to use it several times a day for longer periods. Car leases are more affordable than buying a car outright, but they have a lot of fine print, and they limit your flexibility to end or extend the lease period. Buying a car is expensive, especially upfront. While the price per mile is much cheaper than ride-sharing or leasing, it limits your ability to get rid of the car when you no longer need it greatly complicates your transportation situation. Smart businesses and consumers use long term car rental to save money, add convenience, and increase their travel options.

If you’re in Los Angeles or Pasadena for business or pleasure, long or short term car rental from Value Rental Car is the smart way to get around. Enjoy free pickup and dropoff at LAX, or within 7 miles of their convenient locations. Drivers under 21, debit card and cash customers welcome!