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Gardening For Beginners

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Bennett White
Bennett White

Rent To Buy Cars Hertz WORK

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rent to buy cars hertz

Being that there are various pros and cons to the rental car purchasing route, it is best to take the opportunity to have your desired vehicle checked out independently by an authorized mechanic of your choosing.

Brett Helling is the owner of He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.

Over a span of years, Hertz falsely accused more than 360 people of stealing rental cars, leading to arrests and jail time for innocent customers. Now, the company will pay $168 million in a settlement. Cindy Ord/Getty Images hide caption

But some of those reports have been proven to be false. In lawsuits and in press reports, stories of false accusations revealed lapses in Hertz's rental records and theft policies that led to the errors.

One Hertz customer was driving her rental car in Chicago when she got a flat tire, and she called Hertz to have the car towed, court records state. Months later, she was pulled over for wearing a seatbelt incorrectly when police informed her she had a warrant for her arrest; she was jailed for more than 30 days, she said in a lawsuit.

And a Mississippi man spent more than 6 months in jail after Hertz reported his rental car stolen; he had returned it and paid in full, but the company had failed to inform prosecutors, he said in his suit. He missed a hearing date and was incarcerated for months, the suit states.

Many of the Hertz cases involved customers who had called to extend their rental agreement, but the extensions were not properly reflected in Hertz's computer systems. Other cases involved Hertz re-renting cars that had previously been reported as stolen without rescinding the police reports, causing unsuspecting customers to be pulled over by police. At other times, stolen cars were accidentally associated with the wrong customer, resulting in an arrest warrant for someone who was out of state entirely.

Despite these varied experiences, few people know much about the underlying companies themselves, much less how they operate. Do you know who the biggest rental car company is? How many cars they own? Where they buy their cars? How long they own them? What they do with them once they're done? Or whether any of the companies themselves are good investments?

Enterprise is the largest rental car company in the world. It's number 15 on Forbes' list of America's Largest Private Corporations, and in terms of revenue, it would rank around No. 190 on the Fortune 500 if it were publicly traded. By comparison, its next largest competitor, Hertz, weighs in at No. 309.

Feeding the beastsWith fleet sizes in the six- to seven-figure range, it should be no surprise that rental car companies are the largest purchasers of cars and trucks in the United States.

Although precise figures for the industry are elusive, it isn't difficult to get a rough idea. According to the annual reports of Hertz, Avis, and Dollar Thrifty, rental car companies typically hold their vehicles for anywhere between 4 and 22 months, with an average holding period of 13 months. To put it another way, each year, they turn over roughly 92% of their respective vehicle inventories.

On average, then, these four companies potentially buy nearly 2 million cars and trucks each year. And as you can see below, a significant proportion are purchased from American car companies like Ford (NYSE: F), General Motors (NYSE: GM), and Chrysler -- making rental car companies some of their most important individual customers.

As a general rule, rental car companies buy a large portion of their vehicles subject to repurchase or depreciation programs with the vehicle manufacturers. Under these programs, manufacturers agree to repurchase the vehicles at a specific time and/or price in the future, subject to certain conditions, or to guarantee the depreciation rate on the cars throughout the holding period.

In 2011, nearly half of cars sold by Avis and a quarter of Hertz's were so-called "program" cars subject to such agreements. Dollar Thrifty, the smallest of the three, nearly never uses this option, choosing instead to rely principally on the used car market to dispose of its used vehicles. And data for Enterprise, because it's a private company, isn't available.

While each of these companies may pride themselves on brand recognition and the like, for most travelers, rental cars are a commodity, interchangeable in most leisure travelers' eyes depending on price.

Foolish bottom line Much like the airline industry, rental car companies probably aren't the best place to stash your extra investment cash. Still, this doesn't mean the auto sector as a whole should be avoided like the plague. GM and Ford were dealt a blow during the recession, but they have both bounced back operationally, and many believe short-term pressures created an incredible buying opportunity.

Both Uber and Lyft partner with rental car companies to provide rental car options for drivers. You pay a weekly fee to rent a car, with insurance and basic maintenance included in the weekly rental cost.

Lyft currently partners with Hertz and Flexdrive for the Express Drive program. You can only use a Hertz rental to drive for Lyft, but you can use a Flexdrive rental for other companies.

Getaround for Uber is currently available for drivers in Boston, the San Francisco Bay Area, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles, Portland, Philadelphia, Sacramento, San Diego, Seattle, Baltimore, Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, Miami and state of New Jersey.

Some fleet owners offer their vehicles for rent to use on higher-end services like Uber Black. The car will already be registered with Uber, and the owner will have to list you on the vehicle insurance policy.

Owning your own car to drive for Uber can be the cheapest option, with fewer restrictions than leases and weekly rentals. You can do whatever you want with the car, and the monthly payment will almost always be cheaper than the monthly cost of rentals.

When you rent a car, you can be liable for a very high deductible, sometimes equal to the entire value of the car. Fortunately, there's usually more than one way to limit your financial risk in case of an accident.

If you're renting in either Ireland or Italy, you'll have little choice but to buy the company's CDW. If you need a car for at least three weeks, you're probably better off leasing, which includes zero-deductible collision and theft insurance (and is tax-free to boot).

If you get in an accident, the rental company will charge your credit card for the value of the damage (up to the deductible amount) or, if the vehicle is stolen, the value of the deductible associated with theft. It's then up to you to seek reimbursement for these charges from your credit-card company when you get home. You'll need to submit the police report and the car-rental company's accident report. (When deciding between rental companies, consider that American-based rental companies can be easier to work with if you have a claim to resolve.)

If you're already purchasing a travel-insurance policy for your trip, adding collision coverage is an option. Travel Guard, for example, sells affordable renter's collision insurance as an add-on to its other policies. It's valid everywhere in Europe except the Republic of Ireland, and some Italian car-rental companies refuse to honor it.

Last year, Hertz announced an important effort to electrify its fleet of rental cars, led by a massive purchase of 100,000 Tesla Model 3 vehicles. More recently, the company added Model Y vehicles to the order.

Hertz is trying to build the largest electric vehicle fleet in North America, and it is already well on its way with tens of thousands of Tesla vehicles at 500 locations. It is also renting a few more tens of thousands of Tesla vehicles to Uber drivers.

Every Subaru rental car comes with Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive for confidence on rough terrain and in all kinds of weather, as well as Subaru EyeSight Driver Assist Technology, which gives you an extra set of eyes on the road and, if need be, an extra foot on the brake when you drive

With Just Drive Rental, your Subaru rental car will be handled by a friendly, knowledgeable Subaru retailer near you who can explain the key features and technology that set Subaru vehicles apart. You can even have your Subaru vehicle driven right to your home or office with safe, contactless delivery, depending on your location and local retailer services. Your retailer will make sure renting a car is an easy, pleasant experience.

Some Subaru rental locations offer pet-friendly car rental and allow dogs or other pets, but they must be transported in a carrier. It is better for the vehicle and safer for your furry friend. Check with your local Just Drive Subaru rental location for details.

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