Things Car Rental Companies Fear When They Rent Out A Car
I'll always remember how nervous my parents were the first time they handed me the keys to the family car. Even though they were smiling, I could tell they were skeptical and more than a little reluctant to let me speed away. Fast forward a dozen or so years and, believe it or not, I still encounter that same feelings of underlying distrust – only this time it's at the car rental counter.
As hard as they try not to be, every independent car rental owner feels just a little queasy every time they complete a rental agreement. Why? Because every rental comes with a heaping helping of risk. The following are eight things that rental companies worry about each and every time a vehicle drives off the lot.
Let's be honest – no one takes exceptional care of a rental vehicle. In fact, most people rent a car in order to avoid causing unnecessary stress to their personal vehicle. As such, there's always the risk that a car will be returned looking considerably worse for wear. So if your rental agent is bit insistent when it comes to recommending the damage insurance, please forgive them – they've probably seen some horrific rental car returns.
2) Wear and Tear
The average lifespan of a rental car varies by company, however most chain car rental franchises retire their vehicles between 24K and 36K miles. This is because car rental vehicles are subjected to an awful lot of wear and tear when they're on the road. Hard acceleration, bad fueling decisions, and long distance road trips can really do a number on a rental vehicle.
High travel seasons are often a nightmare for independent car rental companies. These busy periods are when overbookings are most likely to happen, causing confusion and frustration between customers and staff. When a car rental company is overbooked, they're still required to provide you with a rental – even if there are no vehicles on the lot!
4) Early Arrivals
Car rental companies have to stick to a very strict timeline in order to make sure things run smoothly. So, when a customer arrives early to pick up their vehicle, the schedule becomes compromised and chaos can sometimes ensue. If possible, always call your independent car rental agency to let them know that you'll be arriving early to pick up your vehicle. Any amount of lead time will make it easier to accommodate your needs.
5) Late Arrivals
Late arrivals cause just as much trouble as early ones. Again, always try and notify your rental provider if you're going to be more than an hour late to pick up your car. Failure to could result in an unwanted surcharge.
6) Assuming Major Chains Have The Best Prices
This is a common consumer misperception – just because the major chains are bigger, doesn't mean their deals are necessarily better. When searching for a great rental offer, make sure you visit independent car rental comparison websites, like Car Rental Express. Taking the time to comparison shop could save you a considerable amount on your rental.
7) Unscheduled Returns
Returning a rental vehicle at any time other than the time specified on your contract can cause major problems for a car rental company. That vehicle that you're driving? It needs to be cleaned, inspected, and ready to hit the road quickly, sometimes an hour within being returned to the rental lot. When you arrive late, you jeopardize the next rental appointment, which is never a good thing.
8) Failing to Return the Vehicle At All
This is by far the biggest fear for any independent car rental company owner. When a rental customer fails to return their vehicle, the rental agency has a big problem on their hands. More often then not, the company will need to launch a costly relocation investigation. Even if the vehicle is located, sometimes the damages are too too extensive and the vehicle needs to be retired. The company is forced to replace the vehicle or operate with one less rental in their fleet.
So the next time you drive off the lot in a shiny new rental car, remember to drive safe. The person on the other side of the counter will certainly appreciate your efforts!