Renting long term – Car Rental’s answer to Subscription services

Renting long term

When you think about renting a car you probably picture the car rental desk at the airport, some old sedan, and having to deal with the fun little “surprises” the previous renter left for you to find. Compared to platforms like Uber and Lyft, renting a car seems an outdated mode of transportation. But car rental companies are quickly catching up. Some have established their own subscription services to test the waters, but almost all have begun offering long-term rental programs.

 

So what’s the real difference between these long-term rentals and car subscription services?

 

Why the hype?

There’s no way around it; cars are expensive whether you buy, lease, or subscribe. But what separates car subscription services from the pack is flexibility; have the car you need, when you need it. This is why long term rentals and car subscription services are becoming increasingly popular, not everyone needs a car all the time, so why pay for one when you don’t need it? For subscription services the idea is simple: pay a flat fee (monthly or weekly depending on the service) to essentially rent a car long term.

 

This fee can cover things like insurance, maintenance, roadside assistance, even delivery of the vehicle to you. And, depending on the service, the fee can cover swaps between different vehicles – so you can have that extra space, or extra fun, when you want it. 

 

Though they go by a different name, long term car rentals try to provide the same service with a slightly more familiar twist. Essentially, long-term car rentals are just regular car rentals with discounted prices for longer renting periods.

 

These rental companies are banking on their customers preferring a familiar process (renting) to a newer model (subscription service), even though long-term rentals might not offer the same level of flexibility. But since car subscription services vary so widely and are still relatively new, you might end up finding more long-term renting options where you live.

 

Popular options

Interested in checking out some long-term car rentals but don’t know where to start? No problem! Here’s a few of the most popular options out there. 

 

Avis Flex- Avis, the second largest car rental company in the world, offers long-term rental deals through their Flex pricing program. Rental periods of anywhere from 60 days to 11 months are eligible for Avis’ Flex pricing. However, not every Avis location offers Flex pricing. To see if your local Avis branch does, just call them up and ask! Check out Avis Flex if you’re already an Avis member and want a long-term rental that blends seamlessly with Avis’ other services. 

 

SIXT – SIXT  is offering a long-term rental special for rentals of 28 days or longer. Customers can save up to 15% off of long-term rentals. When those 28 days are up, SIXT will charge you their regular per-day rental prices until you choose to return the car. This works great if you might need a car a bit longer than the 28 day period and set up your rental for 40 or 60 days. Just pay for the first 28 days upfront, then if you return the car anytime after 28 days and before your initial agreed-upon rental term, you won’t be charged for the remaining days. 

 

Enterprise – America’s largest car rental company offers long-term rental rates for customers who need a rental car for weeks or a month. For longer than a month, Enterprise offers their own subscription service. Their website is relatively clean and easy to use, but like other established rental companies – to get all the info you need requires calling their service line. 


Budget Monthly Car Rental – A subsidiary of Avis, Budget offers their own monthly rental rates. These rates come complete with vehicle swaps, flexible term lengths, and bigger discounts the more months you rent. Details like pricing and which exact location offer the discounted monthly rental rates are really only accessible by calling, but that’s a similar situation with all Budget’s long-term rental competitors.


Final thoughts

The way we consume and our concept of ownership is changing rapidly, and the automotive industry is beginning to catch on. That doesn’t mean that traditional leases and outright buying of cars is going to disappear any time soon, but it does mean that alternative modes of car ownership – like car subscription services and long-term rentals – are becoming more and more popular, and for good reason. They aim to give customers the kind of personalized, flexible car experience they’ve been wanting.

 

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