Rental Cars

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» Posted by on Feb 1, 2014 in Rental Cars | 0 comments

The government’s rental car program has established a successful car agreement with most competitive rental car companies.

The agreement lowers the cost of rental cars, offering exclusive special benefits to its employees. The government also has access to the vehicles being offered, rates, and rental vendors as they are listed under the Defense Travel Management Office website.

Renting a car can be very expensive while causing a burden. Many rental car companies require further identification and documentation just to rent a car for hours or days, with many restrictions.

My experience with rental car companies has not been very pleasant.  One major factor contributor to this unpleasant experience is the required deposit, which is extremely high. While traveling on a business trip to Los Angeles last year, I was asked to put down a $250.00 deposit.  This became a burden as I was unprepared for this cost, or if I should say “hold “on my card for this amount.  At the time, I didn’t have the money available, this was extremely inconvenient.  I was in a situation with limited options; however, I had to get a taxi to the hotel and rent a car from the hotel’s rental car agency – which only required a credit card hold for $75.00. Employees should not be responsible for this fee (credit card hold) as this, after all, is a business trip. Not worrying about having the extra funds to rent a car is an enormous surplus for government employees.

Another requirement I’ve experienced in the past for car rental is extra verification documents. While traveling on another business trip I was asked for a utility bill. I had never been asked for this type of document and was uncertain if this was legal. Of course, I did not have a utility bill with me as I don’t travel with it.  I could not understand why this was being asked, and the complications for car rental entailed. This put me in a very awkward and inconvenient situation. I did not rent a car, instead, I had to use taxis for transportation. This cost my company hundreds and hundreds of dollars, and I was questioned why I couldn’t have rented a car. This was definitely another matter I had to deal with.

What has this come down to? Why the unnecessary requirements for non-government employees?

As we are moving ahead with technology today, most or all rental car companies have websites. Therefore, one can certainly rent a car online, but this is not to say, when arriving to the rental location we’ll get what we purchased. Indeed, this is another one of my experiences. I have booked rental cars online and when arriving for pick-up they don’t have the model /size I chose.  The company also fails to at least offer a discount to compensate for their error.

In my opinion, rental car companies can take some advantage of the customer due to the fact they know the customer is eager to get to a destination and many times is running late and doesn’t have the time to search for other rental car companies.  I wouldn’t say all rental car companies have these unnecessary requirements, but I haven’t had many pleasant experiences.

This extra restrictions and charges are implemented when a non-government employee rents a car. I believe one of the major reasons is due to car theft.  When one commits a crime the rest of us have to pay the consequences.

As the rental car industry is $16 billion in the United States, there’s enormous competition among rental car companies.  Even though discounts and incentives are offered, they can easily be tampered with when upgrading to a different model car.

Under this agreement, the government is able to provide great benefits to its employees, while saving money and preventing inconveniences to the employees.  Some of the great benefits include: upgrade coupons, no extra fees for additional government agencies, and unlimited mileage, to name a few.  The employees have options and should take advantage of the many benefits being offered under the rental car agreement.

The government has been able to institute this type of agreement with rental car companies as they compose a good percentage of the rental car’s profit industry.  The government traveler can rent a vehicle comfortably without worrying of the restrictions a non- government employee encounters. This is not to say, their experiences are always 100% pleasant, but certainly they alleviate a lot of hassles.

by Ana Ferrara

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