A long term car rental is a great way to get affordable transportation, without being tied down by a lease or purchasing a vehicle outright. It’s especially helpful if you’re trying to avoid hard credit checks, since rental cars don’t require a good credit score. Some locally owned rental agencies don’t even require a credit card to secure a vehicle. But what makes renting a car better than leasing or purchasing? Why should I rent a car at all? We’ll answer these common questions and more in this insider’s guide from your friends at Value Rental Car.
What’s Considered a Long Term Car Rental?
A regular rental term can be a little as a few days, up to a few weeks. The daily price tends to go down as you rent for longer. Most rental companies have a daily rate, a weekly, rate, and a monthly rate. Renting for one to three months is considered long term. Renting for a month or longer will typically get you the best rate. Beyond that the daily rate remains the same.
Long Term Rental vs Short-Term Leasing
If you need a vehicle for longer than a month, but less than a year, there’s really only two options. Either you can rent a car, or get a short term lease. A normal lease is typically a 2-3 year contract that will allow you to drive a brand new car without having to worry about maintenance or ownership. Finding a lease for less than this period can be difficult, because the vehicle depreciates the most during the first year of use. This makes a short-term lease significantly more expensive than a rental. While you’ll have access to a brand new vehicle, it’s no better than a regular rental car that’s a few years old. Don’t forget that leasing a car will also require you to have a credit score of 670 or higher to even qualify. Plus, the recent chip shortage has made it hard to find a new car to lease in the first place.
The Best Time To Book
When you book can affect the price just as much as how long you book. It’s a common misconception that car rental prices go down if you book last minute. Waiting until the last possible second to book will leave you with few vehicle options, or no vehicles to rent at all, and it doesn’t actually help the price. Booking between one to three months ahead of your pickup date will typically give you the best results. If you’re really in a pinch and need a last minute rental, try to book at least a week out from when you need it. This will give you a fair rate and an okay selection.
Do I Need Rental Insurance?
In every state drivers are required to have their vehicle insured to legally operate on public roads. It’s important to keep in mind that your rental car is already insured when you pick it up and any coverage you get on top of that is to protect yourself from liability or specific cases. If you’re on a budget, you don’t need to get full coverage. Depending on your personal insurance policy, you may be able to transfer your existing car insurance to the vehicle you’re renting. At the very least, it’s recommended that you get a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW). This policy is sometimes called a Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) or Collision Damage Insurance (CDI). This will release you from personal liability to the rental company if you get into a collision. Over the course of a long term rental, knowing which insurance you actually need can save you a ton of money.
Should I Rent If I’m a Rideshare Driver?
Using your long term rental for Uber or Lyft driving can land you in a lot of trouble with whoever you rent from. Most rental companies have specific policies preventing their vehicles from being used for rideshare or delivery services. Any vehicle you rent will have a daily or term-length mileage limit. Going over that mileage limit will usually result in a fee per mile over. This is to prevent renters from devaluing the car by putting a lot of miles on the rental. The price of the rental is balanced with the amount of miles you’re expected to drive. In the end, rideshare apps don’t pay enough for you to actually make money if you’re also renting a vehicle. After paying for a rental, gas, and fees, it’s likely you’d wind up making significantly less than minimum wage.
Can I Get A Long Term Rental If I’m Under 25?
Corporate rental chains have strict rules regarding renter age. In most cases, you won’t be able to rent a car from a major agency until you’re 25 and have a credit card. However, a locally owned, independent rental agency will be more likely to rent to drivers under 25. This is because they aren’t bound to the one size-fits all rules the corporate chains have to follow. In the end, it isn’t illegal for someone who’s 25, 21, or 18 to rent a car. It’s just company policy. Don’t be afraid to reach out if you’re starting an internship, going to college, or are just on vacation. An independent rental company will be more than happy to work with you.
Looking for a Long Term Car Rental In Los Angeles?
Value Rental Car wants to help you get a rental car and get to your destination quickly and safely. We offer clean and affordable rental cars for local driving in Los Angeles and Pasadena, with complimentary pickup and drop off service within seven miles of our two locations. If you’re a college student, we want to help you get on the road. We rent to drivers under the age of 21, and we offer cash and debit card car rentals. Check out some of our other articles to learn more about how car rental works!