How Do Car Rental Costs in Europe Compare to the US?

How Do Car Rental Costs in Europe Compare to the US

International travel to Europe has increased steadily since the early 90s. In 2017, nearly 670 million international travelers flocked to Europe on vacation. Almost 87 million went to France alone. While many of these tourists cram onto public transportation, there are extensive and well kept roads to facilitate speedy travel. Getting a rental car and starting your European adventure is easier than ever . However, the pricing structure can seem foreign to Americans. Here are some factors that will impact your car rental costs in Europe.

Taxes on Top of Taxes

Value Rental Car - value added tax

Car rental costs in Europe can vary from country to country, but there’s one thing they all have in common: taxes. First and foremost, you’ll need to pay something called value-added tax (VAT). Value-added tax is charged on the majority of goods and services in Europe and can range from 15% to 25%. Each country sets the rate, so it pays to do some research before you travel.

Along with VAT, it’s very likely you’ll have to pay a road tax and an eco tax to rent a vehicle. These taxes can cost as little as $5.00 per day, but the rates differ from country to country. The quote you get from a car rental agency usually includes taxes in the total cost, but it helps to ask for a breakdown of the total cost.

Understand Your Insurance

Just like in the United States, you’ll need car insurance to hit the road. However, when you rent a car in Europe you will be liable for a very high deductible if you get into an accident. You can limit your financial risk by getting a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW). This will reduce your deduction if you happen to get into an accident. A base CDW can cost up to $30.00 per day on top of what you’re already paying for insurance and rental fees.

Keep in mind that the insurance doesn’t include theft protection for the vehicle or your personal items. This won’t be an issue in most countries, but it’s often required when traveling in Italy. Don’t leave valuables in your car when sightseeing. Stay one step ahead by leaving valuable items in your hotel room or keeping them on your person.

Unexpected Fees

Unlike in the United States, it’s far less common to see vehicles with an automatic transmission in Europe. In many cases, it will cost more to rent a automatic than a manual transmission vehicle. Expect to pay a 50% premium if you want an automatic. You’ll also have to pay an extra fee if you want to add another driver. Even though it can cost up to $25.00 extra per day, it’s worth it to ensure your insurance covers every driver.

Depending on the rental company you may have to pay pickup and drop off fees. This is the case for many American rental car companies so it might not raise many eyebrows. However dropping your rental car off in a different country, but with the same rental car company, can cost a considerable amount. In general, it will cost you an extra $300.00 or more. Be sure to take this into consideration when planning a trip around Europe.

Other Travel Expenses

First and foremost, expect gas prices to be significantly higher than in the United States. The average price per gallon of gas in Europe is between $5.00 and $7.00 as of 2019. You can save money by renting a diesel vehicle, but the price of diesel is still significantly higher than in the United States. Hybrid vehicles and other cars with excellent fuel efficiency are recommended if you plan on doing a lot of driving.

There are extensive toll roads in Europe just like in the United States. However, many of them operate in a different way. In some cases you’ll have to buy a sticker for your car window to drive on toll roads. This often applies for Mediterranean countries. On the plus side, the German Autobahn is free to use.

Still Wondering About Car Rental Costs in Europe and America?

Your friends at Value Rental Car are dedicated to providing helpful travel tips for when you’re renting a car abroad or in the United States. We offer competitive rental rates for drivers of all budgets. Take advantage of our  complimentary pickup and drop off services at LAX or within 7 miles of our two locations the next time you visit Los Angeles.

What Day of the Week Is the Best To Rent a Car?

What Day of the Week Is the Best To Rent a Car - Value Rental Car

Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, renting a car is an essential part of any trip. However, most legacy car rental companies have confusing pricing policies that can change without warning. Even your vehicle options can be limited without an obvious cause or notice. If you want the best deal it’s important to know what day of the week is the best to rent a car. Here’s a quick rundown of the best times to rent a car so you can get the vehicle you want for the best price.

How Do I Get the Best Prices?

If you’re planning a vacation or business trip, don’t wait until the last minute to book a rental car. A good rule of thumb for renting a vehicle is to book at least two weeks in advance. In some areas on the East Coast it’s beneficial to book almost a month in advance.

If you’re unable to book in advance and have to rent a car a car within a few days, try renting in the weekend. Most traditional vehicle rental agencies have different weekday and weekend rates. In some cases, the weekend rates can be almost half their regular daily price. This is because fewer people rent on the weekend than during any other time. There’s also a good chance that you’ll get a free upgrade to a better vehicle on the weekend.

Keep in mind that other factors can change the daily price of your rental vehicle. Many companies charge a fee for extra drivers. However, if you’re married there’s a good chance your spouse is covered in the standard rate. You should also double check your car insurance before buying the insurance sold at the rental counter. In some cases, your personal car insurance will cover the rental car. If you do need rental insurance, make sure you’re not buying more than you actually need. Large car rental companies make a lot of money on insurance policies that aren’t required to get on the road.

How do I Get the Vehicle I Want?

What Day of the Week Is the Best To Rent a Car - Car Keys

A single car rental location can serve dozens of customers per day. With that many people renting and returning cars daily the sooner you book your vehicle the better. When you make a reservation in advance, there will be a wide selection of vehicles. Again, booking at least two weeks in advance will give you the best options.

If you don’t have the luxury of booking weeks in advance, don’t worry. Make sure you get to the car rental agency early in the day. If you arrive before noon, there’s a good chance you’ll get a wider selection of vehicles at a better price.

When you reserve a vehicle in advance, be sure to get there at the designated time. If you’re late, the rental company won’t keep your reservation waiting around for you. Many legacy car rental companies have a policy that if you’re more than an hour or two late for pickup, they will rent your vehicle to a different customer.

Some Things You Should Know

Whether you rent two weeks ahead of time, or on a specific day, here are a few tips to make sure you get the best prices and service.

Whenever possible, you should book your rental directly from the car rental location you’re going to.  Call the location first to see if they’re running any special promotions or offer discounts for booking directly with them. After that, check the rates on their car rental website. Book though whichever is cheaper. Car rental agencies are often franchised, so every location can have different policies and promotions at different times. Cover your bases before booking to get the best price.

If you’re flying into a major city, avoid car rental franchises inside the airport. Their rates are often the highest of anywhere in the local area. When you get off a long flight the last thing you want to do is shop around for a rental car. Airport car rental locations take advantage of that by charging additional fees and higher rates than their nearby counterparts. You’ll save a considerable amount by taking a taxi to a nearby independent car rental agency and picking up your vehicle from there.

What Day of the Week is the Best to Rent a Car?

At Value Rental Car, every day is the best day to rent a car. Our independent locations in Inglewood and Pasadena offer competitively priced rentals for drivers of all budgets. We also offer cash rentals and rentals for drivers under 21. Take advantage of our complimentary LAX pickup and drop-off to skip the lines and get on the road today.

Infographic - what day of the week is the best to rent a car

Insider’s Guide To Long Term Car Rental for Businesses

Insider's guide to long term car rental for business

Everyone knows about renting a car when you’re on an extended vacation, but not many people consider long term car rental for business. It’s much more common for business travelers to use their personal vehicle for business trips, and then get reimbursed by their company. However, this isn’t always the best option. Whether you’re self employed or work for a large company, long term car rental for business can cut down on overhead and mitigate the risks of owning and maintaining a car for work.

What is Long Term Car Rental?

Long Term Car Rental For Business

Long term car rental is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of getting a loan or investing tens of thousands of dollars into a new vehicle, you rent it and pay a fixed weekly or monthly price until you no longer require the vehicle. These rental agreements often include insurance and complimentary maintenance. Consider how much money you spend per year on oil changes, new tires, and minor repairs. These are a few of the services that get taken care of, free of charge, if you rent long term.

Long term rentals are often much less expensive than renting for a few days or a week. You may even be able to negotiate the terms of your rental agreement to get additional discounts or services. There’s usually a minimum long term rental contract that you have to sign in order to get long term discounts. In many cases it can be as short as a month or two. However, a rental term of six months is often required to qualify for business rates.

Keep in mind that a business car rental can qualify as a deductible business expense. Make sure you follow all IRS regulations or speak with an accountant about deductible travel expenses.

When is Long Term Rental Right for Me?

long term car rental for business Value Rental Car

Let’s say you’re traveling away from your home city for a few months and need some way to get around. This happens more often than you’d think. Some people have to travel to a distant city for months at a time for work. It’s not practical to drive everywhere with your own vehicle, especially if your destination is thousands of miles away. The wear and tear on your own vehicle would be substantial. This makes renting a car for a few months the best option. In the end, you’d likely save money on the gas and maintenance costs alone.

This logic extends beyond the business world. During long trips or vacations a rental car offers the personal autonomy you need at a vacation spot. Using a taxi or rideshare service to get everywhere becomes expensive quickly. A long term rental also provides peace of mind. These vehicles are fastidiously maintained by the rental company. It’s very unlikely for one to break down during use, and if they do, the company will immediately replace the vehicle.

On the topic of car replacement, sometimes accidents and breakdowns happen. It comes with the territory of owning or leasing a vehicle. You should consider a long term rental if you ever find yourself without a car for a month or two due to an accident. Most of the time insurance companies pay for a rental vehicle while your car is being repaired. However, they often only cover the first few days or weeks. A long term rental can be an inexpensive way get you back on the road quickly.

Some Things to Keep in Mind

When renting a vehicle for any period of time, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. Similar to a lease, the car you rent will most likely have a mileage cap. This means that you’re only allowed to drive a certain number of miles during a monthly or yearly period. Exceeding the mileage limit can cost a lot. In many cases, you’ll have to pay for every additional mile that you drive in the vehicle. This isn’t an issue for many people, but it’s definitely something to consider when renting a vehicle.

Although renting a car avoids the steep cost of ownership, a rental car still requires an initial investment and continued payments. Every rental car requires a deposit. This might vary depending on your rental term, but this deposit will be returned to you after you bring the vehicle back in one piece. In many cases you’ll also have to pay for insurance for the vehicle. Be sure to consult with your rental company to get an accurate picture of any additional fees.

The term length and the type of vehicle you rent can substantially change the cost. Compact cars, hybrids, and older vehicles tend to have the least expensive rates. On the other hand, a mid-size sedan, luxury car, or SUV can be substantially more expensive to rent. This is partially because the rental company has to cover the regular maintenance costs and offset any depreciation. During the first few years of the car’s life, the value depreciates quickly. If you want to get the most bang for your buck, consider renting a older compact car for a long period of time. Longer contracts offer the best price and older vehicles don’t depreciate as quickly as newer ones.

How Do I Get a Business Car Rental?

long term car rental for business

When you contact a car rental place, be sure to tell then you’re considering renting a car for your business. They’ll provide any pertinent information you’ll need to get started. Be sure to bring your drivers license and anyone else who will be driving the car. Additional drivers will need to be present to sign the contract and get added to the insurance.

You’ll need to bring a credit card, deposit, or both in order to finish the signup process. This is to guarantee some form of payment to the car rental company. In most cases, you won’t have to worry about credit checks or providing proof of income. A car rental doesn’t go through the same process as leasing or buying a vehicle. This makes it much easier to get into a vehicle on short notice.

After you get the initial paperwork sorted out and select a vehicle, the company will set you up with insurance for the vehicle. In most cases, the insurance is included in the monthly price of the vehicle. Along with the regular vehicle insurance, many car rental companies provide 24/7 roadside assistance. This is often at no additional charge, so you don’t have to worry about running into any trouble with your vehicle.

After that, you’re all set to drive off in your long term rental car. Whether you’re traveling for business or for pleasure, a rental car is an essential part of any trip. Now you can invest more money and time into your business and let the rental company worry about the car.

Renting a Car in Los Angeles?

Are you planning an extended trip to Los Angeles? Book through Value Rental Car and save money on your long term vehicle rental. Their services include free pickup and drop-off at LAX or within 7 miles of their convenient locations. Value Rental Car also provides rental cars for drivers under 21 and cash customers. They have a wide selection of vehicles to fit your needs. Save money and time on your next car rental with Value Rental Car.

Ultimate Guide To Los Angeles Airports

Ultimate Guide to Los Angeles Airports LAX car rental

Los Angeles has been a hub for domestic and international air travel for decades. Over 87,000,000 passengers traveled through LAX alone in 2018. However, there’s more than one airport serving the Los Angeles metropolitan area. LAX is easily the largest, but it might not be the best option if your destination is outside of L.A. proper. There are two other international airports and another two domestic airports to choose from. It’s also important to consider transportation after the flight. Each airport offers different ways to get into the city. This can include public transportation. However, booking an LAX car rental is is a top priority for most travelers.

Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, it pays to know about your destination before booking. Los Angeles has a lot to offer. Here’s a rundown of the five major gateways to the city of Los Angeles.

1. (LAX) Los Angeles International Airport

Los Angeles International Airport is the second busiest airport in America. LAX is a major gateway for international travel and a common destination for domestic flights. In many cases, LAX is the only option for flying into the LA area. This depends on where you’re flying from as well as other factors. If you’re flying American, United, Delta, or Alaska Airlines it’s very likely that you’ll wind up at LAX. All four of these airlines use LAX as a hub. Currently over 60 different airlines fly in and out of LAX daily.

LAX is situated to the west of downtown Los Angeles providing easy access to the surrounding areas. This includes the western beach communities, Inglewood, Beverly Hills, Hawthorne, and Culver City. There are 8 domestic terminals, a larger international terminal, and 8 parking garages along the interior.

In recent years, the airport has expanded its food and shopping centers. Along with national fast food chains, there are a variety of sit-down restaurants, bars, cafés, and sandwich shops. An airport in the heart of Los Angeles wouldn’t be complete without a host of healthy alternatives and the occasional wine bar.

LAX is one of the busiest airports in the country, so it can get crowded quickly. It can be easy to get lost in the massive terminals if you’re not familiar with the layout. Traffic coming in and out of the airport is also something to consider when making travel plans. After you get to your shuttle or LAX car rental, it can take a while to get into the city.

2. (SNA) John Wayne Airport

John Wayne Airport serves the greater Los Angeles area and is located in Orange county. It’s the only airport in Orange County, which makes it an excellent option for anyone visiting outside the LA metropolitan area. It’s also only 14 miles from the Disneyland resort and 35 miles from Disneyland. Consider this airport  if you plan on going straight to Orange County’s largest tourist attraction.

Many major airlines fly in and out of SNA including Southwest, United, and Delta. The airport is located right next to a major highway. This makes entering and exiting far quicker than at LAX. Compared to LAX, this airport is smaller and much less busy.  There are 3 major terminals, 22 gates and about 9 million people pass through the airport per year.

John Wayne airport has a relaxed atmosphere and makes good use of its small footprint. Dining options are limited by the airport’s size, but they offer more than just fast food.  There’s diners, cafés, bars, and a selection of authentic Mexican and Asian restaurants.

3. (ONT) Ontario International Airport

The Ontario International Airport is located just outside of the Los Angeles metropolitan area in San Bernardino County. The airport is only 2 miles east of downtown Ontario and is the most efficient gateway to the Inland Empire. Over 5 million travelers passed through ONT in 2018. The majority of flights came from cities along the West Coast and American Southwest.

ONT offers 5 separate parking lots. This includes general, premium, and valet parking options. Daily rates currently range from $13 to $27 dollars depending on the lot. These parking lots are located close to the two domestic terminals. Only a handful of passenger airlines operate out of ONT. There’s one additional international terminal that handles both arrivals and departures.

Ontario International Airport is the smallest of the three international airports in the greater LA metro area. Food and shopping options are limited, but varied. There’s none of the standard fast food restaurants. Instead the airport offers a host of smaller chain restaurants and coffee shops for hungry travelers.

4. (LGB) Long Beach Airport

Long Beach Airport is located in Long Beach directly off interstate 405. This makes the airport an essential gateway for domestic flights from all over the western half America. There is no international terminal and only a singe domestic terminal. Most flights to the Los Angele area are routed to LAX, but LGB remains a popular destination for locals and tourists entering the Long Beach area. JetBlue ferries the majority of passengers in and out of LGB and uses Long Beach as a focus city. Southwest, American, Delta, and Hawaiian Airlines also offer nonstop flights from Long Beach Airport.

Although the airport is a fraction of the size of LAX, nearly 4 million passengers traveled through LGB in 2018. The airport went through an extensive improvement project in 2012 to update the main terminal and keep up with demand. This project added 11 gates, a central garden, and outdoor dining areas. Parking has also been expanded. There’s a new 2000-space parking lot east of the airport terminal. Valet parking is also available.

5. (BUR) Hollywood Burbank Airport

Known as Bob Hope Airport until it was rebranded in 2016, the Hollywood Burbank Airport is a favorite among locals due to its proximity to Downtown Los Angeles and many of the major Hollywood studios. However only a handful of airlines fly in and out of BUR. These include Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, and American Airlines. A little over 5 million passengers passed through BUR in 2018. This makes it one of the least busy major airports in the region. Depending on your city of origin, Hollywood Burbank airport is an excellent option if you’re trying to avoid the crowds at LAX.

The single terminal has been renovated and expanded several times in the last ten years to accommodate additional travelers. This new space retains the style of the original terminal and provides more gates and dining options than before. There main attraction of flying into BUR is its proximity to central Los Angeles. Nearby attractions include the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Griffith Park, and the Hollywood Bowl.

Hollywood Burbank Airport offers free Wi-Fi and pet relief areas for passengers. This is a major plus if you’re traveling with pets. Parking is limited, but 3 economy lots, one covered lot, and valet parking services are available outside the main terminal.

Looking for LAX car rental?

Spend more time on the road and less time waiting at the airport. Book ahead of time with Value Rental Car. Services include free pickup and drop-off at LAX or within 7 miles of our locations in Inglewood and Pasadena. We also offer rental cars for drivers under 21 and cash customers. Save money and time on your next LAX car rental with Value Rental Car.

Guide to Los Angeles Airports LAX car rental

Top 10 Fun Things To Do in Culver City

Top 10 Fun Things to do with car rental in Culver City

From humble beginnings through the golden age of Hollywood, Culver City was known as “The Heart of Screenland.” However, there’s far more to Culver City than just movie studios and classic L.A. culture.  Locals and tourists flock to Culver City every year to enjoy everything the city has to offer. Culver City has grown over the years. It now has a population of nearly 40,000 people, with plenty of restaurants, boutiques, museums, and parks lining the streets. While it’s not as trendy as some neighboring parts of Los Angeles, there’s always something fun happening in Culver City. If you’re visiting Culver City from out of town, car rental in Culver City is the first step to starting your local adventure.

Here are 10 fun things to do on your next trip to Culver City.

1. The Wende Museum

Located in an old National Guard armory building, the Wende Cold War Museum is unlike any museum in the L.A. metro area. They work to preserve Soviet and Eastern European artifacts from the beginning of the Cold War to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Their collections include art, films, documents, and posters from an era hidden behind the iron curtain. Check online to see their current exhibits. The museum is open and free to the public, Friday through Sunday.

2. Sony Pictures Studio Tour

The Sony Pictures studio tour is a great way to get a behind the scenes look at one of the most iconic movie studios in Los Angeles. It’s fun to take a trip through classic soundstages for movies and television shows. Best of all, Sony’s guided walking tour reveals what it’s really like to work on an active studio lot.  They also offer VIP tours for movie buffs who want to get the most out of their visit. Be sure to check out their studio museum to see props and costumes from cinema history. Free parking is available on-site for your rental car in Culver City or personal vehicle.

3. STAR  Eco Station

Home to a popular environmental science museum, this exotic-animal rescue center is a great place to bring your family. STAR Eco Station works with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to rescue endangered animals and promote awareness of environmental issues. They currently have over 200 animals in their care, and offer a hands-on experience for visitors of all ages.  The Eco Station offers guided public tours Saturday and Sunday. Children under 2-years old get in for free.

4. The Culver Hotel

Established in 1924, the historic Culver Hotel has been a stomping ground for famous actors working in Culver City for generations. At one point, the hotel was even owned by legendary actor John Wayne. Located in the heart of downtown Culver City, the hotel is surrounded by first-class shops, restaurants, and tourist attractions. Still operating to this day, the hotel has embraced its star-studded history and offers all the amenities a traveling movie buff could want.

5. The Kirk Douglas Theater

Built in 1946, the Kirk Douglas Theater has become a local landmark due to its unmistakable Art Deco design. It was called the Culver City Theater until recently when it was converted to a playhouse. It’s located near the old Columbia Pictures studio lot and was originally a movie theater. After an extensive restoration project, the theater was given new life and renamed the Kirk Douglas Theater. This historic landmark hosts award winning productions by the Center Theater Group.

6. Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook

Have some fun in the sun on your next trip to Culver City. The Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook is one of the best ways to take in the city’s skyline and wildlife. Situated in a 58-acre park, the scenic overlook is a great place to picnic with family and friends. If you aren’t a fan of hiking, there’s also a direct route to drive your rental car in Culver City straight to the top. However, the trail is a treat for any outdoor adventurer.

7. Platform

Platform offers a modern take on the tried and true shopping center. This open-air mall features the best and brightest of the culinary, fashion, and fitness industries all in one location. Their storefronts feature exclusive brands, curated experiences, and popups for local and international businesses. Keep an eye out for their community events and other special offers. Free WiFi is available for all guests who want to hang out and take in the local culture.

8. Culver City Arts District

The Culver City Arts District is a great area for art and food lovers alike. The area features contemporary galleries, chic restaurants, cafes, and specialty shops, all within walking distance of each other. The Arts District promotes local artists and entrepreneurs by hosting regular community events. Several prominent beer and wine gardens make the area a mainstay for locals and a treat for visitors. Be sure to check out the electric food trucks that pass through the area.

9. Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area

One of the largest inner-city parks in America, the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area offers visitors a wide variety of amenities. This includes  baseball fields, soccer fields, and basketball courts. Many families take the day to explore and picnic in the massive park, which is located by the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook. There is also a secluded Japanese garden. Hiking trails are also available for anyone who wants to experience the great outdoors without stepping outside the city.

10. Helms Bakery District

The historic Helms Bakery District has been a staple of L.A. cuisine for decades. Once a large bakery, this landmark now features a host of casual restaurants, retail stores, and commercial showrooms. The Helms Bakery District is an essential stop on any visit to Culver City. You can grab lunch, dinner, or a couple of drinks with friends. Don’t forget to check out their wide selection of furniture and more.

Car Rental in Culver City

Are you visiting Culver City soon? Value Rental Car is here to make your next trip easy and fun. We accept cash deposits and welcome drivers under 21. We also rent to international drivers. GPS systems are also for rent if you need help navigating the city. Start your adventure by booking online today.

Top 10 Car Rental Tips for the Smart Traveler

Car Rental Tips rental cars for drivers under 21

Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, it’s a mistake to simply hop off the plane at a big airport like LAX and rent a car on the spot. Planning ahead will save you a lot of time and money.  The car rental desk inside the airport is always the most expensive option. Rental cars for drivers under 21 at affordable rates are nearly impossible to find right in LAX airport, for instance. You can get better deals if you rent from a car rental place close to, but not in the airport. This is a common situation in airports in most major cities.

Not to worry. Whether you’re flying into LAX, or you’re traveling to any major city in the United States, it’s easy to save money if you know how. In order to make the best car rental deals you can, read this list of the top 10 rental car tips to help make your vacation adventures and business trips run more smoothly.

1. Avoid the Hidden Monopoly in Rental Car Companies

When browsing for rental cars, there seems to be a wide variety of options available, but it just isn’t true. In reality, there are only a few companies that advertise under many different business names. Consumers can find the best deal by doing an online search for great rentals instead of looking for a specific company name. The best deals are usually found with small, independent car rental companies. Some online apps can even take your search to a new level by comparing all the offers available for your vacation dates and suggesting the best deal.

2. Promotional Codes Can Save You Money

Discounts can save you a great deal of money, so look for promotional codes and vouchers whenever possible. Sometimes hotels or other third-party businesses offer discounts or promotions on rental cars to customers using a package deal when booking rooms or when customers stay a certain length of time. It never hurts to ask about deals on rental cars when making your hotel reservations.  When searching for rental cars for drivers under 21, be especially vigilant about discount offers, however. Many discounts on rental cars only apply if you’re over the age of 25. Be sure to read the fine print before you depend on the advertised pricing.

3. Small or Older Cars Cost Less To Rent

Beware of counter upselling when you rent your car. Most companies want you to select vehicles with all the premium perks because they make more money from the rentals. Older and smaller vehicles may not be the shiniest or have all the latest tech toys, but they can cost significantly less than brand new models. For most travelers, it’s not worth paying a lot more for a slightly newer car. That’s why you’ll almost always find better deals at independent car rental companies.

4. Airport Rental Car Fees Can Apply

Convenience costs money. For rental cars for drivers under 21, that is just what happens when you pick the car up at the airport. There are often fees, taxes, and restocking charges hidden in the contract. Why not take a shuttle to your hotel and rent a car there?

5. If You Own a Car, You Might Already Have Insurance

Rental car services sell insurance at the counter, but in many cases your personal car insurance will cover the rental car in an accident if you have full coverage. Big rental car companies often advertise deep discounts on rental rates, and then try to make up the money with add-ons and fees like extra insurance. If a car rental company is a franchise, their rates might be set nationally, but the fees can be set locally. That leads to a conflict of interest when they’re offering things like insurance.

Check with your insurance agent before your vacation to see what coverage you already have. Your credit card might also have car rental insurance included as a perk. Be sure to understand all the fine print on your insurance policy and your credit card documents before you make up your mind. If you’re not sure if you’re covered, it’s smart to buy extra insurance at the car rental desk if you need it.

This video outlines the pros and cons of purchasing additional rental car insurance:

6. Different Companies Offer Different Benefits

Renting from large, well-known companies may feel like the best option available. The big companies may even offer a coupon package to draw you in, but their deals are not always the best you can find. To save money, compare the packages the smaller companies offer. Smaller businesses are often more competitive, and the deals they present can save you cash. It’s worth it even if the models are a few months old and the vehicles don’t have the latest and greatest tech toys.

7. Check Your Contract for Late or Early Fees

Everyone understands there will be penalties for late returns on car rentals, but did you know that most companies now apply a penalty for cars that are dropped off early? This is because most lots are small and there are a limited number of spaces available for returned vehicles. If there is a possibility you may have an early return, talk to the clerk and get all fees waived if possible.

8. Refueling Charges Can Be Really Expensive

Fill the car’s tank before you return it. If you forget to fill the vehicle, you may be penalized with a refilling fee and an overpriced amount for each missing gallon of gasoline. No matter where your return location is in LA, make sure you plan ahead to fill the tank up to save yourself some money.

9. Rental Car Cleaning Penalties May Apply

Whether you get your car at LAX airport or from a company near your hotel, the business will probably ask for a cleaning deposit and put the hold amount on your credit card. The cleanliness clause in your contract applies to both the inside and outside of the vehicle. Smart travelers take the car to a car wash for a rinse and vacuum before returning the vehicle if it has become extra dirty.

10. Consider Renting a Sat/Nav

Most car rental companies rent satellite navigation units along witht heir rental cars. This can be a smart investment for the busy traveler, but only under the right circumstances. Many people can get by with only the map apps that that they already have on their smartphone. If all you need are directions to and from the museum to the hottest club to the hotel, you’re all set.

However, if you’re going to be using your phone for more than navigation, switching back and forth from calls to navigation to other apps can be a pain. It can also be dangerous if it causes distracted driving. If you want to have full use of your phone, and at the same time avoid distracted driving, get the sat/nav.

Bonus: See our list of the Top Ten Must-Have Travel Apps

If you are visiting Los Angeles, California, you can find great prices on car rentals when you reserve a vehicle with Value Rental Car. There are so many things to do in L.A. and nearby Pasadena that your only problem is finding the time to fit all the attractions in. Los Angeles is a treasure trove of historical landmarks, national parks, museums, beaches, theme parks, and other attractions. From TV show tapings to zombie hunts, you can find almost anything. And the best way to get around the greater Los Angeles area is in a rental car.

Whether you are searching for rental cars for drivers under 21 or family-sized vehicles with room for the kids, check out our deals first – and save yourself some money.

10 Los Angeles Museums Kids Will Love

Los Angeles Kid's Museums Car Rental PlaceLos Angeles has something for everyone. That includes museums that appeal to children of all ages. No matter what your interests are, or how old your children are, there are fun and instructional ways to spend time in the city. Play and learn on your next family trip to Los Angeles at museums with activities and exhibits for visitors of all ages. All of these attractions are located in the L.A. metro area and are accessible by highway from LAX airport. Our car rental place has affordable rates that makes it easy to find your way to the perfect museum destination for your family. Check out our list of the ten most popular children’s museums in the Los Angeles and Pasadena area:

1. California Science Center

The California Science Center is a 400,000-square-foot complex divided into four major areas: the World of Life, Creative World, Ecosystems and the Space Shuttle Endeavor. This museum is open to the public seven days a week, and visitors can check out the permanent exhibitions for free. Refuel at Trimana, a grill market and coffee bar in the museum. Parents and kids of all ages may learn something new during a visit to the Science Center at 700 Exposition Park Drive.

2. Kidspace Children’s Museum

Kidspace Children’s Museum is located on more than 3 acres in Pasadena and supports a variety of age levels and play styles. Try more than 13 hands-on educational exhibits in the Physics Forest, ride bikes around the area or play in the water outside. Indoor climbing structures, a bug room and activities such as arts and crafts and dress-up are also available. Kidspace features an Early Childhood Learning Center for the toddlers and a private nursing area. Food is available on site at the Bean Sprout Cafe. Visit Kidspace at 480 N Arroyo Boulevard in Pasadena.

3. Cayton Children’s Museum

The Cayton Children’s Museum by ShareWell is a new attraction located near the Santa Monica Pier. The collections formerly housed at the Zimmer Children’s Museum have been relocated to this new 21,000-square-foot Santa Monica Place location, which opened in early June 2019. The museum has five major areas, called “neighborhoods,” with more than 30 exhibits. The facility also hosts camps, classes, cultural immersion programs and performances.

4. Natural History Museum

If you are traveling with older children interested in science, you may want to pay a visit to the Natural History Museum. This destination has a collection of 20 dinosaurs on display in the recently built Dinosaur Hall, hundreds of fossils and a total of more than 35 million specimens. After you pick up a vehicle from the car rental place and settle into your lodgings, you can make tracks toward 900 Exposition Boulevard.

5. The George C. Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits

You may know that L.A. is home to the La Brea Tar Pits, an urban Ice Age fossil excavation site. The Page Museum maintains a collection of Late Pleistocene era fossils removed from the pits, restored and displayed. The museum address is 5801 Wilshire Boulevard, near the County Museum of Art.

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Stop Riding In Circles With These Top 10 Parking Apps

driving in los angeles parking apps

Los Angeles has been a car-centric place for most of its history. The city is known for its network of huge freeways, and its many wide boulevards. The city’s car culture has been celebrated in pop music since the Beach Boys. Unlike most other big American cities, driving in Los Angeles is the default way to get around. Pedestrians and public transportation are an afterthought.

Los Angeles’ love affair with the auto made rush hour last most of the day. It also produces stunning visuals of endless streams of headlights or taillights for as far as the eye can see at night. One thing it never seemed to produce was a parking shortage. Unlike other big cities, Los Angeles always seemed to accommodate an unlimited number of parked cars. Part of this might be due to the essentially suburban streetscapes in most of the area. The number of high rises in the city is growing, but it’s still mostly spread out. There have always been lots of on and off-street parking available.

Los Angeles Is Growing. Parking Spaces Aren’t

The days of free and easy parking in Los Angeles seem to be drawing to a close, however. The population of the city is booming, and while there was a lot of parking spaces to go around, the supply wasn’t endless. For the first time in recent memory, driving in Los Angeles sometimes involves driving in circles looking for a parking space.

Our company specializes in car rental in Los Angeles. Drivers from out of town often wonder, What time is rush hour in Los Angeles? How do I avoid traffic in Los Angeles? How long does it take to drive across Los Angeles? Increasingly, asking Where do I park? is gaining in popularity. While we’re happy to help, it’s hard to point out available parking spaces in advance. That’s why we’ve come up with this handy list of 10 Parking Apps for your Android smartphone that offer real-time info that ends the worry about finding a prime spot at the curb.

Airport Parking Reservations

For many travelers, parking begins and ends with airports. LAX does have a lot of parking lots, but it can be hard to figure out which one to use, and the cost can be jaw-dropping. People who fly in and out of LAX all the time learn the system after a while, but what about the airports at the other end of your trip? The Airport Parking Reservations app is great for most airports in the US, the UK, and Canada. It can even help you find deals on parking. Reviews of parking garages are useful, too.

Airport Parking Reservations

Best Parking

Best Parking has parking info in more than 100 cities in the United States. To use the app, you can simply type in your existing location or your desired location, and a map with available lots and garages. It’s easy to compare prices and conditions on the app. Many participating parking lots let you make reservations in advance and pay using the app, which is very convenient for travelers who prefer not to carry wads of cash around. The app will also give you turn-by-turn directions from where you are to the parking lot you’ve selected.

Best Parking


Honk isn’t really a parking app. It specializes in assisting drivers that require roadside assistance or towing. It can hook you up with fuel if you run out, or a wrecker if you get stuck. Drivers who have AAA insurance probably wouldn’t give this app a second look, but it does have a nifty side feature. It also allow you to find and book parking for your car. You can pay for the service right in the app, which is convenient.


Inrix Park Me

Park Me supplies parking info and related services in more than 500 cities in the US and abroad. It has easy to read maps that have markers for all the parking lots and garages in your selected area. While their real time info is limited to a minority of garages, the info on the app is updated regularly with things like open hours and rates. If you decide on a metered spot on the street, you’ll appreciate the Park Me timer that counts down the minutes until you’re out of time.

Inrix Park Me


Parker offers a little more functionality than some other apps, but restricts itself to helping you find a parking space. The app tracks GPS coordinates in addition to finding you an open space. This allows the app to remember where you parked your car, with directions back to it from where you’re standing. That’s a definite plus for new visitors to Los Angeles, or any of the other cities the app covers. Parker has a bunch of payment options, including some forms of gift cards, making it even easier to find, park, and pay for a space.


Bonus: What Driving in Los Angeles Is Like

Parking Panda

Parking Panda services more than 40 cities in the US, including driving in Los Angeles. It’s a straightforward app that helps you find parking near all the major landmarks, and helps you to determine what you’ll pay before you get there. There’s a better selection of in-app payment options than you’ll find in most parking apps. The app also offers 24/7 phone support, a real rarity for apps like these

Parking Panda


Parkopedia isn’t big — it’s huge! Unlike many of the other apps we’ve mentioned, it’s hard to find a major city in the US or Europe that it doesn’t cover. Parkopedia claims to track over 60 million parking spaces in 8,000 cities and towns all over the world. The app has powerful filters that help you decide where to park based on details like payment options, rates, and availability. Great direction finder, too. Unfortunately, unlike many apps, Parkopedia doesn’t let you pay for parking directly in the browser.


Spot Hero

Spot Hero helps you find, reserve, and pay for parking in many major cities in the United States. The app only tracks lots, garages, and valet parking services. Spot Hero offers discounted parking in many locations. They buy up unused spaces in bulk and resell them to their app customers. Spot Hero is a favorite with business travelers. The app lets you set up multiple profiles, so you can keep your business expenses separate and easy to track. It even automatically updates some expense account software.

Spot Hero

Park Whiz

Park Whiz started out in NYC, but it’s expanded to many more cities, including Los Angeles. The app specializes in finding longer-term parking rate discounts. It also helps travelers who like to book a space well in advance of their travel dates.

Park Whiz


If you’re looking for a popular app for parking, Parkmobile fits the bill. It’s got over 13 million users in 350 cities, including Los Angeles. The app makes it easy to find and reserve parking. It also has a built-in timer that reminds you when your parking is about to expire. Parkmobile is another app that helps you to keep your business and personal expenses separate, and it gives you a detailed history that makes it easy to claim business deductions on your expense account or tax forms.


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!

Think Car Subscription Services Can Compete With Monthly Car Rental? Think Again

monthly car rentalThe modern economy spends a lot of time and resources changing the way consumers pay for things. The items and services you buy don’t change that much, but the way you pay for them does. A good example is the ridesharing industry. It’s simply another way to call and pay for a taxi. Ridesharing services immediately seemed superior in service to regular taxis. But it’s important to note that all ridesharing services have always operated at a loss. If you paid for a ride at the rate it really cost, it remains to be seen if you’d think it was superior to the old taxi model. Recently, car manufacturers and middlemen have started to offer auto leases as a service, in the same way the tech industry offers software. However, if you think car subscription services can currently compete with owning leasing, or monthly car rental, you should think again.

How Subscription Pricing Works in Tech Firms

The tech industry is the leader in offering services based on subscriptions. The three main versions of this method of providing services and billing customers are as follows:


Software as a service (SaaS), is now the most popular way to use and pay for computer programs. Companies completely skip the need for an IT staff that downloads, installs, updates, and protects computer programs for workers and customers. Most SaaS setups allow everyone to simply use a web browser to log in or otherwise use whatever software the company needs to get the job done. SaaS pay a subscription to have their software needs taken care of from a central location, hosted on a remote server, that anyone can access from the internet. They get to skip all the hardware and software updates needed to keep the system going.


Platform as a service (PaaS) is similar to SaaS. But instead of offering access to software, PaaS offers companies a place to create and host their own software. If you have a customized app you want to work on remotely, PaaA is perfect. You can also serve the app to your customers from a PaaS location.


Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) are simply computer resources managed by others. You pay to have networking, storage, and other computer resources available at all times, with the flexibility to scale up or down at a moment’s notice. You’re not buying software, you’re renting hardware that you can use to host your software and apps.

A traditional car rental company probably uses all three of these “cloud” computing services. They use software programs on SaaS, run apps for reservations and other services on PaaS, and use IaaS infrastructure to host their websites.

Car Subscriptions as a Service

In a way, car subscription services are similar to IaaS deals in the tech sector, with a little SaaS thrown in. You don’t own the car, and you can change it regularly to meet your current needs, just like IaaS. Including insurance and maintenance is like SaaS. You don’t manage the details, you just show up and go.

Car makers don’t have any trouble producing excellent vehicles. Cars have never been safer, more reliable, and more economical on fuel than they are right now. However, carmakers do have trouble selling their products at a price the public can afford. This led to innovations in financing. Loan terms were extended to allow you to pay for more expensive cars over a much longer period. Lease programs were another tactic to offer new cars to consumers who couldn’t afford large down payments, or couldn’t meet other lending standards.

Carmakers are now hoping to use the same subscription service model that tech firms use. They supply you with access to a new car, and take care of insurance, maintenance, and mileage. Some services will let you swap one car for another on a regular basis. These subscription deals may appeal to a new generation of drivers who aren’t used to owning much of anything. They’re accustomed to paying for lots of things like housing, transportation, communication, and entertainment on a subscription basis. Why not cars?

Lots of major manufacturers are testing car subscription services in very limited areas. Most are luxury brands like Mercedes Benz, Porsche, Cadillac, and BMW. Ford also has subscription plans for more affordable cars like Fiestas and Escorts. However, their subscription service is simply a trail in a few locations, and the cars appear to be limited to used cars from lease repatriations.

How Car Subscriptions Work

Different carmakers have different plans. Some plans let you drive a single car for a set period. That’s similar to a leasing deal, but with maintenance and insurance added to your bill. Of course with a lease, you turn in the vehicle at the end of the term, and start looking for another car to lease or purchase. With a car subscription, at the end of your term you would get a replacement vehicle while the payments continued uninterrupted.

Other plans let you swap one type of vehicle for another on a regular basis. So, for instance, you might drive a small compact during the week, but occasionally drive a sports car or an SUV.

So What’s the Catch With Car Subscriptions?

The short answer is cash. Car subscription services are remarkably expensive compared to owning a car, leasing a car, or monthly car rental rates. According to, current subscription plans are between 28 and 102 percent more expensive than leasing a car and paying for your own insurance and maintenance. And that’s not all. Most subscription plans charge fees just to join, and they’re pretty steep, ranging from around $500 to $600. For comparison, for the same money as just the fee for joining a subscription service, you can get a monthly car rental deal. Many subscription deals also charge a fee every time you swap cars. That’s not a problem with long term rentals or short term leases.

Who Is the Target Audience?

It’s hard to determine who the industry is targeting with their subscription plans. The plans seem to appeal to people who like to change their cars a lot, and who don’t like to take care of maintenance and insurance. These consumers understand they’re paying more for the ability to change cars more often. For the vast majority of drivers, the service will cost too much, or be too restrictive to be a practical alternative to owning, leasing, or renting a car.

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!