As Rent A Car With Cash in Rosebank 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, Cheap Auto Rentals 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, Find Cheap Car Rentals 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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Its easy to get mixed up the first time you look to rent a car. When scanning various advertisments, do you ever flip back and forth, completely unsure of whether or not you're getting the best deal? Not even sure if you can figure out which one is the best deal? Whether this is your first time renting or not, it is always important that you never enter a car rental arrangement without researching all of your options first. Insurance is a classic example of this. The four most common types are: collision damage waiver (CDW)/loss damage waiver (LDW), supplemental liability insurance, personal accident insurance, and personal effects coverage. Most rental car companies will pitch the CDW really hard, as well as the theft insurance. What you should know is that usually you don't need either of them. Before you shell out $15 per day or more for these options, check your normal auto insurance already covers rentals. The other thing to look up is your credit cards policy on rentals. Almost every rental company requires a credit card for payment. That is because it makes it easy for the company to add charges for "damages" later. As a side note, because of this, DO NOT use a debit card, ever. You will have no opportunity to dispute the charges if you get cheated. Make sure you use a real credit card. Since you have to use a credit card, see if your credit card offers automatic insurance coverage as long as you charge the rental to that card. You would be surprised how many do. The next major rip-off is the fuel purchase option. The idea is that you pay for a full tank of gas ahead of time so you can return the vehicle on empty. The catch: it's virtually impossible for you to use all of the gas in the car, so it's best to decline the offer and fill up the tank just before returning it. That way, you only pay for what you've used. Otherwise, the cost is usually far more than what you actually use. Aside from hidden costs, most rental companies will only rent to someone who is at least 25 years old or even older. Some companies will rent cars to persons 21 years or older but often charge an additional ten to twenty dollars a day. Also, only the driver who is renting the car is covered under the insurance, so dont let a buddy drive because if he wrecks it, youre responsible. Keep this basics in mind, and watch out for local taxes. With the internet, it can be easy to search out the most expensive and least expensive cities and to plan your rental accordingly. Use all the tools at your disposal, and your experience is much more likely to run smoothly without any unpleasant surprises.
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