Monthly Archives: July 2011

Electric Vehicles Becoming Available as Rental Cars

Enterprise Rent-A-Car recently became one of the first rental car companies to offer electric vehicles when it introduced the Nissan LEAF at one of its San Diego locations. The announcement comes after Enterprise also introduced the Chevy Volt at select locations in California. The addition of electric cars to the menu of offerings should appeal to customers for a variety of reasons, from those who are concerned about the environment to those who are considering buying an electric car and want an extended test drive period.

“Our growing electric vehicle rental network gives Enterprise customers a unique opportunity to experience the future of transportation,” said Lee Broughton, head of sustainability for Enterprise Holdings, which owns and operates Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental. “We plan to continue adding EVs to our fleet to connect San Diego drivers with electric vehicle technology, whether for a test drive, a fuel-efficient rental or just out of curiosity.

Enterprise also has electric vehicles at select locations in Texas, Tennessee, New York, Hawaii and Oregon, with more locations set to come aboard in the near future.

Electric Vehicles Becoming Available as Rental Cars

Enterprise Rent-A-Car recently became one of the first rental car companies to offer electric vehicles when it introduced the Nissan LEAF at one of its San Diego locations. The announcement comes after Enterprise also introduced the Chevy Volt at select locations in California. The addition of electric cars to the menu of offerings should appeal to customers for a variety of reasons, from those who are concerned about the environment to those who are considering buying an electric car and want an extended test drive period.

“Our growing electric vehicle rental network gives Enterprise customers a unique opportunity to experience the future of transportation,” said Lee Broughton, head of sustainability for Enterprise Holdings, which owns and operates Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental. “We plan to continue adding EVs to our fleet to connect San Diego drivers with electric vehicle technology, whether for a test drive, a fuel-efficient rental or just out of curiosity.

Enterprise also has electric vehicles at select locations in Texas, Tennessee, New York, Hawaii and Oregon, with more locations set to come aboard in the near future.

Alabama Says No to Increased Rental Car Tax

If you think all that legislators know how to do is raise taxes, then you might be surprised to hear about what happened recently in Alabama. Lawmakers there actually voted down a proposal that would have raised the car rental tax by three percent to help pay for a convention center in Birmingham. Rental car taxes, especially for airport rentals, have long been a favorite target of legislators who know that most of the people who would be paying the tax will be coming from outside of the area, and thus not going to be registered voters in their district. So it’s a nice surprise that Alabama lawmakers said no to this increased tax.

The result is even more surprising when you consider that the rental car tax is Birmingham is currently just 2.25 percent, compared to taxes that are around 15 percent in other cities in the region like Charlotte, Nashville and Memphis. It’s important to consider the extra taxes and fees when trying to compare rental car rates to find the best deal. At RentACarNow.com, we make it easy to do just that by showing you all the lowest rates, including estimated taxes and fees, for all the top rental car companies.

Alabama Says No to Increased Rental Car Tax

If you think all that legislators know how to do is raise taxes, then you might be surprised to hear about what happened recently in Alabama. Lawmakers there actually voted down a proposal that would have raised the car rental tax by three percent to help pay for a convention center in Birmingham. Rental car taxes, especially for airport rentals, have long been a favorite target of legislators who know that most of the people who would be paying the tax will be coming from outside of the area, and thus not going to be registered voters in their district. So it’s a nice surprise that Alabama lawmakers said no to this increased tax.

The result is even more surprising when you consider that the rental car tax is Birmingham is currently just 2.25 percent, compared to taxes that are around 15 percent in other cities in the region like Charlotte, Nashville and Memphis. It’s important to consider the extra taxes and fees when trying to compare rental car rates to find the best deal. At RentACarNow.com, we make it easy to do just that by showing you all the lowest rates, including estimated taxes and fees, for all the top rental car companies.

Hertz Continues to Expand Local Facilities, Opens Number 2,000

You can find a Hertz rental car counter in virtually every airport in the United States, and now you have a better chance of finding one in your own neighborhood as the company has announced the opening of its 2,000th Hertz Local Edition rental car facility. The newest location is in Philadelphia next to the Windsor Suites Hotel, and to celebrate the milestone Hertz has announced that all local rentals will be eligible to earn 2,000 Marriot Rewards points, instead of the standard 500.

Hertz, along with all the other major rental car companies, have been expanding into local markets to meet the demand for rentals at non-airport locations. These rentals are typically for local residents who need a car while their own car is being repaired, or those who don’t own a car but just to rent one for a short period. There is also demand for rental cars at hotels and resorts, as more travelers realize the advantages of taking a shuttle from the airport to the hotel and renting a car there. You can often find lower rental car rates at local rental facilities, and those savings can be magnified by the fact that local rentals typically don’t have as many added fees, taxes and surcharges compared to airport rentals. RentACarNow.com makes it easy to compare airport and local rental car rates from all the top companies at thousands of locations all over the country.

Earn Hotel Points on Your Next Car Rental Instead of Airline Miles

Everyone knows you can earn airline miles with a rental car, but most rental car companies now require a surcharge in order to get those miles, and in many cases it’s a deal that’s simply not worth doing because the extra fee can exceed the value of the miles. That’s why more people are now choosing to earn hotel points instead, especially in cases where there is no extra fee. The list of hotel partners varies widely from company to company, as do the rewards and potential extra fees.

Just like with airline miles, it’s a good idea to know the specifics before you rent the car. If you have a preferred hotel chain, check their website to see which rental car companies offer the best deal, and be on the lookout for special bonus offers with double and triple points. While you are not likely to earn a huge number of hotel points, any little bit helps, especially as you are closing in on the next threshold for a free night. Remember that you can earn hotel points regardless of where you book your rental car. So after you book your reservations at RentACarNow.com, all you need to do is provide your hotel points number when you pick up or drop off the car.

Hertz Continues to Expand Local Facilities, Opens Number 2,000

You can find a Hertz rental car counter in virtually every airport in the United States, and now you have a better chance of finding one in your own neighborhood as the company has announced the opening of its 2,000th Hertz Local Edition rental car facility. The newest location is in Philadelphia next to the Windsor Suites Hotel, and to celebrate the milestone Hertz has announced that all local rentals will be eligible to earn 2,000 Marriot Rewards points, instead of the standard 500.

Hertz, along with all the other major rental car companies, have been expanding into local markets to meet the demand for rentals at non-airport locations. These rentals are typically for local residents who need a car while their own car is being repaired, or those who don’t own a car but just to rent one for a short period. There is also demand for rental cars at hotels and resorts, as more travelers realize the advantages of taking a shuttle from the airport to the hotel and renting a car there. You can often find lower rental car rates at local rental facilities, and those savings can be magnified by the fact that local rentals typically don’t have as many added fees, taxes and surcharges compared to airport rentals. RentACarNow.com makes it easy to compare airport and local rental car rates from all the top companies at thousands of locations all over the country.

Earn Hotel Points on Your Next Car Rental Instead of Airline Miles

Everyone knows you can earn airline miles with a rental car, but most rental car companies now require a surcharge in order to get those miles, and in many cases it’s a deal that’s simply not worth doing because the extra fee can exceed the value of the miles. That’s why more people are now choosing to earn hotel points instead, especially in cases where there is no extra fee. The list of hotel partners varies widely from company to company, as do the rewards and potential extra fees.

Just like with airline miles, it’s a good idea to know the specifics before you rent the car. If you have a preferred hotel chain, check their website to see which rental car companies offer the best deal, and be on the lookout for special bonus offers with double and triple points. While you are not likely to earn a huge number of hotel points, any little bit helps, especially as you are closing in on the next threshold for a free night. Remember that you can earn hotel points regardless of where you book your rental car. So after you book your reservations at RentACarNow.com, all you need to do is provide your hotel points number when you pick up or drop off the car.

Why Rental Car Taxes Never Go Down

Anytime you rent a car you’ll notice a long list of fees in the rental car contract, and while you can avoid some of them like insurance and pre-paid gas, there’s not much you can do about the bulk of them. You’ll see fees with names like airport concession fee, reimbursement fee, cost recovery fee, vehicle license fee, peak season surcharge, state and local taxes, and stadium taxes. Generally speaking, airport rentals have the most fees because lawmakers figure most of the renters are from out of town, making them the perfect candidates to be stuck with an extra tax.

One of the most popular (at least with lawmakers) airport rental car fees is added tax to fund a stadium, arena or convention center. If you travel enough, you could even claim that you’ve helped fund dozens of sports venues all around the country. And even when those taxes are supposed to be temporary and eventually expire, they often do not. A perfect example is the 2-percent tax in Seattle, which was instituted in 1995 (along with taxes on hotels and restaurants) to help fund Safeco Field for the Seattle Mariners. The problem is that the bonds for Safeco Field are set to be paid off this year, so logically that tax should disappear. But of course things don’t always work logically in government, and some legislators are pushing for an extension of the tax to pay for other projects, like a convention center and low-income housing. While those are certainly worthy causes, it does go to show why these taxes rarely go down once they are started, even if they are supposed to be “temporary.”

Why Rental Car Taxes Never Go Down

Anytime you rent a car you’ll notice a long list of fees in the rental car contract, and while you can avoid some of them like insurance and pre-paid gas, there’s not much you can do about the bulk of them. You’ll see fees with names like airport concession fee, reimbursement fee, cost recovery fee, vehicle license fee, peak season surcharge, state and local taxes, and stadium taxes. Generally speaking, airport rentals have the most fees because lawmakers figure most of the renters are from out of town, making them the perfect candidates to be stuck with an extra tax.

One of the most popular (at least with lawmakers) airport rental car fees is added tax to fund a stadium, arena or convention center. If you travel enough, you could even claim that you’ve helped fund dozens of sports venues all around the country. And even when those taxes are supposed to be temporary and eventually expire, they often do not. A perfect example is the 2-percent tax in Seattle, which was instituted in 1995 (along with taxes on hotels and restaurants) to help fund Safeco Field for the Seattle Mariners. The problem is that the bonds for Safeco Field are set to be paid off this year, so logically that tax should disappear. But of course things don’t always work logically in government, and some legislators are pushing for an extension of the tax to pay for other projects, like a convention center and low-income housing. While those are certainly worthy causes, it does go to show why these taxes rarely go down once they are started, even if they are supposed to be “temporary.”