While COVID-19 has upended travel in unforeseen ways, folks who are hoping for normalcy to return are already gearing up for air travel in summer and beyond. Specially folks who have been put-up till now from air-travel are looking forward to it. If you are one of those etching to return to "air" it may be useful to do some housekeeping (planning and booking in advance) as that will help mitigate the surprises. Travel (even domestically) is different than what it used to be so below are few things you would want to check:
Keep in mind the alternate car rental options such as Turo and Getaround (You might want to register and clear your license check in advance just to avoid last minute hassle) as well as alternate vacation rentals AirBnB and Vrbo.
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Over the recent times technological innovation and community sharing has spurred lot of companies looking to provide same service as traditional companies. One area is "Car Rental".services. The traditional model of car rental is to rent from the old car rental companies or their counterparts such as Hertz, Avis and Alamo, but there are new start-ups which are trying to give established players run for their money by using the concept of community sharing. Couple of companies in this space I want to bring your attention to are:
RelayRides and GetAround both use the community sharing concept. Below are few details which will help you determine if they are better options for you than the traditional car rental companies.
RelayRides allows you to specify the destination (could be an airport) and will show available cars and pricing options for your need. The great thing about RelayRides is since it is based on community sharing you can rent a SUV or Premium Car at reasonable cost compared to the traditional car-rental companies. For e.g. Renting an SUV from San Jose Airport (SJC) from 08/01 to 08/03 gives quite a reasonable rate of $44/day (excluding taxes/fees and insurance) as shown below.
The best part is you could customize the search based on various factors such as Price, Mileage limit, Vehicle Type, Features etc, which is contrary to Traditional car-rental companies where you selection is just limited to "Vehicle Type and Price". There is no joining or annual fees as well as there are options of what kind of insurance you want and based on your comfort you could take either a "basic package" or a "premium package". The only "con" I can think of is that you need to be "approved" by RelayRides before you can rent-a-car from them. What it means is that you need to be registered with Driving License and Credit Card Details and they verify your Driving Record before you can take your rental. But given the price advantage and selection based on your situation it could be a great buy-in.
The other side of RelayRides is that you can get "free airport parking" (which is currently available only at San Francisco Airport) by listing your car for rental through RelayRides (Of-course you would not earn anything from that rental). An alternative option to consider if you are not going to just park your car at the airport.This also helps them provide rentals directly from airport. If you wish to know which airports have rentals available you can look that up here.
GetAround is another "community sharing" car rental service which functions similar to RelayRides. The basic premises are same as RelayRides such as "no joining or annual fees" as well as approval needed before you take your first rental. The difference is that full-coverage as well as 24/7 roadside assistance is included in the price quote. The con is that number of selection criteria is rather limited. Taking the same example as RelayRides for Renting an SUV from San Jose Airport (SJC) from 08/01 to 08/03 gives a rate ranging from $100 to $140 (including insurance) as shown below:
As you can see from above the options are limited compared to RelayRides but the pricing seems to be at par once you consider that insurance cost is included for GetAround. Similar to RelayRides you could list your idle car for rental and earn an extra income from GetAround.
Both RelayRides and GetAround has sign-up or referral promo's all the time from which you can get $10 to $25 for your first rental. So, next time you plan to rent-a-car, you would want to consider these new "community sharing" car companies for your need!
I love traveling / backpacking. This blog focuses on below 3 aspects of travel:
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