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Why it’s a Good Idea to Rent a Car before You Buy It

Buying a new car, or even a late model used car, is a huge investment and one that is likely to only be second to your home in cost. That’s why it’s surprising how many people buy a car after only taking a short test drive around the block. Inevitably some people end up regretting that car purchase after a few days when they notice it has a huge blind spot, an uncomfortable seat or annoying road noise. While some dealers will let you keep a car overnight if you are serious about buying one, you are unlikely to get much more than that. So that’s why many people decide to rent a car first after they have decided on a make and model.

Of course this doesn’t work with every car depending on the model, but you’ll discover that for most common vehicles it’s pretty easy to find one for rent from any major rental car company. While it is a small expense to rent one over the weekend, it certainly can be worth the peace of mind before throwing down $20,000 or more to buy a new one. Weekend rentals are generally pretty cheap, especially at RentACarNow.com, so if you have a particular car in mind that you are looking to buy, why not rent it for a few days and make sure you are making the right decision.

What to do if Your Plane is Going to be Delayed

Unless you have your own plane and pilot’s license, chances are that you are going to experience a delay at the airport. Sometimes it’s due to weather, other times there’s a mechanical issue with the plane, and still other times there will be delays that seemingly no one can explain. Most of the time these delays are fairly short and really no big deal, but if you are arriving at a late hour, it could impact your rental car reservations.

Of course if your destination is Chicago O’Hare, JFK or LAX, you don’t need to worry about the time because the rental car counters at those airports are open 24 hours a day. But if you are flying into Idaho Falls, then it’s a different story. The rental car counters at smaller airports are open based on the scheduled flight times at that location, so if the last flight of the day lands at 8 p.m. then the rental car counters might close at 9 p.m. While the rental car agents do monitor flights and will often stay late if the last flight of the day is delayed, that might not always be the case when a flight is seriously delayed. So if it looks like your flight is going to be more than two hours late, it can be a good idea to call the rental car company just to double check that someone will be there. You can try calling their toll-free number first, and then call the local rental car office as well. Sometimes a quick phone call can save you from a big headache after you land.

Another Way to Score a Rental Car Upgrade

We’ve talked a few times on this blog about some of the best ways to get a free rental car upgrade, so here’s another way that’s quick and easy – be nice to the agent at the counter. Will this work every time? Of course not, but you might be surprised how often it does.

After being crammed in a tiny airplane seat, fighting for overhead luggage space and wandering through a maze of terminals to get to the rental car counter, most people are not terribly friendly to the rental car agents. The agents deal with people in a bad mood all day long, so sometimes just a simple smile or a “How are you doing today?” will go a long way. Another trick is to ask the agent for a recommendation for a good place to eat – everyone likes to give advice.

Especially at smaller airports, there are only a limited number of available cars in each class, so if the inventory of mid-size cars is running low, the agent might decide to give you a full-size or luxury car at no charge. So next time you pick up your rental car, try to be a little extra friendly and see how it turns out.

Another Way to Score a Rental Car Upgrade

We’ve talked a few times on this blog about some of the best ways to get a free rental car upgrade, so here’s another way that’s quick and easy – be nice to the agent at the counter. Will this work every time? Of course not, but you might be surprised how often it does.

After being crammed in a tiny airplane seat, fighting for overhead luggage space and wandering through a maze of terminals to get to the rental car counter, most people are not terribly friendly to the rental car agents. The agents deal with people in a bad mood all day long, so sometimes just a simple smile or a “How are you doing today?” will go a long way. Another trick is to ask the agent for a recommendation for a good place to eat – everyone likes to give advice.

Especially at smaller airports, there are only a limited number of available cars in each class, so if the inventory of mid-size cars is running low, the agent might decide to give you a full-size or luxury car at no charge. So next time you pick up your rental car, try to be a little extra friendly and see how it turns out.

How a One-Week Rental Can be Cheaper than Six Days

We all know that there are seven days in a week, so it stands to reason that it would be cheaper to rent a car for six days rather than seven. But as with many things in the travel industry, logic is not always in total control. One such example is in the rental car industry when it comes to renting a car for a week versus renting a car for just short of a week. Nearly every rental company has special rates for a week-long rental, and oftentimes those rates are cheaper than the total daily rate spread over five or six days.

So if you have flexible travel plans and your total trip is in the 5-7 day range, it makes sense to check the rental car rates for the specific time you need as well as rounding up to a full week and seeing how that rate compares. If you find that it’s significantly cheaper for a full week, then it might even make sense to extend your trip. You can also try booking the full week rate and then returning the car early, but sometimes the rental car companies will then revert back to the daily rate so it’s a good idea to ask first. At RentACarNow.com we make it easy to check the rates for different time periods so that you can find the cheapest car rental rates.

Price of Rental Cars at Tampa Airport Might Rise Slightly

The rental car rates in Florida are generally pretty cheap, as the intense competition for the tourist dollar tends to keep prices low. Tampa Airport rental cars are usually among the lowest in the state, in part because there is no extra airport fee on rental cars at TPA airport. Tampa has always been one of the few major airports without an added airport fee, but that could change in the near future, according to a story in the St. Petersburg Times.

Airport officials are considering adding a $2.50 fee to help pay for an expansion to the rental car facilities at the airport, which have become necessary since it has pretty much reached capacity. The expansion would be part of a $20 million project to upgrade the entire airport, which officials hope to have completed by the time that the Republican National Convention rolls into town next summer. Even though it might cost a little more the next time you rent a car in Tampa, you can still save some money when you book your Tampa rental car reservations at RentACarNow.com.

Enterprise Introduces Electric Car Rentals at Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco

Enterprise Rent-A-Car continues to roll out electric vehicles for rent with the latest location being the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco. That makes Enterprise the first rental car company to offer electric car rentals at a hotel in the city.

“Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco is Enterprise’s first hotel partner in San Francisco to offer electric vehicles to its guests through our rental program, which speaks to our shared commitment to provide our customers with the highest quality offerings and service,” said Leonard Almalech, San Francisco vice president and general manager of Enterprise, in a news release. “This is a chance for our customers to experience EV technology, whether it is for a quick test drive, a fuel-efficient rental or just to learn more about the new technology.”

The Four Seasons location will offer the Nissan Leaf for rent at about $90 per day, and the vehicle has a range of approximately 100 miles on a full charge. While these special vehicles are not yet available to be booked through RentACarNow.com, you can still view a full menu of the lowest rates on San Francisco car rentals.

Fox Rent A Car Makes Things Easy on Younger Renters

If you are under the age of 25 and have tried to rent a car, you know that it can be quite difficult. The policies vary by rental car company, but if you are between the ages of 20 and 25 then Fox Rent A Car might be the best choice for you. The company has one of the more liberal age policies and recently changed their policy to now rent to drivers as young as age 20. While there still may be an additional fee if you are between 20 and 25, many other companies simply will not rent to anyone under age 25 so Fox is hoping to cater to younger drivers.

“We are a discount rental agency,” said Jakub Kopiczak, Marketing Manager for Fox, in a news release about the policy change. “Our low prices are attractive to everyone, including budget minded students and youth. By allowing this age group more options, we feel we’ll attract a larger clientele base. Our goal is to be a low cost value leader across the board.”

If you are a younger driver in a location not served by Fox, some companies will waive the under 25 rule for corporate rentals or if you work for the military or government. So it’s a good idea to check the specific policies of a particular rental car company you are planning to use.

How to Rent the Car of Your Dreams

Everyone has a dream car – for some it’s a lightning-fast Ford Mustang and others long for the luxury of a Mercedes sedan while still others want to have their hair blowing in the wind as they cruise down the highway in a convertible. While your dream car might not be practical, either because there’s no room for the kids or the price is simply out of your reach, that doesn’t mean you can’t have it. Most of the major rental car companies now offer rental cars that go well beyond the standard classes like mid-size and full-size. Each company has a fancy name for this class of rental cars, such as the Adrenaline Collection or Prestige Collection, but they all give you the chance to rent a car for that special occasion, weekend trip, or just because you’ve always wanted to drive a certain car.

While it’s going to cost you more to rent a car from one of these special collections, you might be surprised to find that the total cost is still pretty affordable, especially when you compare that to the cost of buying one of those cars. Many of these elite cars are available through RentACarNow.com, while others might only be available through the specific rental car company’s website. So if you have a special car in mind, why not try renting it instead of buying it.

If You Are Looking to Buy a Used Car, Consider a Rental Car

RentACarNow.com is all about saving you money on your next rental car, but we also have a few tips if you are looking to buy a car. Especially in the current economy, more and more people are realizing the benefits of buying a used car instead of a new car. The reason is obvious – a new car drops significantly in value the moment you drive it off the lot. Car buyers can often get discounts of 30% or more for a gently used car as compared to a new one. For those that have concerns about ending up with someone else’s problem car, virtually every car manufacturer now has some kind of certified pre-owned car program that comes with a warranty and the security of knowing the car has passed a complete inspection. While it’s always a good idea to check the prices at your local dealers, some people have found it also makes sense to check the prices on pre-owned rental cars.

Most of the major rental car companies sell used cars when they are removed from service as a rental, such as with the Hertz Rent2Buy Program. If you check the prices on used rental cars, you’ll find they are very competitive and often below what you might pay from a typical used car dealer. If you have concerns about buying a former rental car, remember that a rental car typically receives much better maintenance than the average privately-owned car. How many times have you gone way over the recommended oil change interval on your own car? But rental car companies all have extensive maintenance guidelines to keep their cars running smoothly, so you can be assured that any used rental cars have been well cared for. So if you are in the market for a used car, at least check out what the rental car companies have for sale.