As Car Hire Prices in Soweto the beginning of time car rentals were only available on a per day, per week, per mile basis. You rented a car and paid for the time used and the miles driven. However it was only a question of time and circumstances before car rentals would be offered with free mileage.
In 1967 my partner and I took over a bankrupt car rental company and had three rental stations, Miami, 5th Street on South Beach and the third in Ft. Lauderdale. At the time Yellow Rent A Car, owned by Yellow Cab of Miami, with rental stations in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale was offering a sub-compact car with unlimited free mileage at $45 a week. They were the first and only car rental company with free mileage but with a one week minimum rental requirement.
I can not tell you what year they first offered free mileage but I can guess why. They were only in South Florida, Rent A Car In they were only dealing with the leisure market and Disney World 200 miles north was not open. Renters did not use a lot of miles. The competitive rate for a sub-compact car back in the 1960s was $5 per day, $25 per week [5 times the daily rental] and 5 cents per mile. With a one week minimum rental at $25 and with their weekly rate of $45 they would have the difference, or $20, to cover the cost of the miles. At 5 cents a mile the client could use up to 400 miles for the week and the rental would be a wash. I found out later that this was a winner for Yellow Rent A Car.
To my knowledge Yellow Rent A Car was the granddaddy of free mileage. Their caveat was a one week minimum. My partner and I, owners of Capital Rent A Car took it one step further. We were the first to offer unlimited free mileage one day or more. One week minimum rental did not apply. It couldn’t get any better than that and I will tell you how it evolved.
We first published in CATM in 1970 and I mention this because I previously stated that we, Capital Rent A Car, Car Hire Near My Location was the first to offer unlimited free mileage one day or more. To substantiate this claim I must mention that in 1942 I was in my seventh grade Shop class and the teacher claimed that he invented the airplane before the Wright brothers. I am not kidding you and maybe he did. But if he did he didn’t tell anyone so Wilbur and Orville got the credit.
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Maybe we weren’t the first with unlimited free miles and maybe someone in Okemos. MI or Rockford, IL did. But if they did they didn’t tell anyone. We did by being in a national publication, CATM. So we are going to take the credit for being the first. The next time you rent a car and don’t pay for mileage you can thank us.
For those out there who wish to contest our claim please contact me at my email address below, You can also read another one of my Ezine Articles, “Start A Major Car Rental Company”, dealing with the car rental business at the resource below.
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If you are like me, you do not like to travel to most cities and be dependent on the local taxi or transit systems. I want to be able to go where I want when I want to. More importantly, I want to be able to leave when I want to. Welcome to the world of car rentals. This is not going to be a commercial for any particular car rental company as I have no allegiance to any of them. This is going to be about the dos and donts of renting a car. First off, I never wait until I get to a city to rent a car. I get online and make reservations before hand. And I do not go to the individual car rental companies; I go to places like Travelocity, Xpedia or Orbitz to check pricing and make reservations. These outlets save a lot of time and the rental costs are extremely competitive. In fact, you will find deals on free upgrades and price breaks on different styles of cars. Here is where I make my reservation. It costs me nothing; and if, for some reason I change my mind about the rental, I am not liable for any charges. Perfect for the person whose whims guide him or her. Flash forward to the car rental depot. Be prepared to show your valid drivers license and a valid credit card (MC or Visa) as it is mandatory. Next, they are going to present you with all kinds of different options. Listen to them and affirm or deny each dependent on your current needs. The one option I always deny is the insurance. It is expensive, and both my automobile insurance company and my credit card company provide this auxillary coverage. Once you get out to the car, check for damages, scratches, or anything that they could bill you for later. Make notes on their pre-damage check list for your protection. Check the fuel level and all of the gauges on the dash to ensure all is okay. Next, check the air, the windows and even the radio if you are dependent on niceties. Have fun on your stay. Only two things to do on your return. First, make sure you top off your fuel within 10-15 miles of the drop-off point so you pay no costly fuel surcharges. Second and most important, make sure you get everything out of the car that is yours.
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