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Everything You Need to Know About Long-Term Car Rental
August 26, 2021

Everything You Need to Know About Long-Term Car Rental 

There are all sorts of reasons to rent a car for a long period of time: your car is in the shop and you need a way to get to work, working on a project where you need to haul stuff, or you’re looking to take that month-long road trip across the country. 

Taxis are expensive, rideshares can add up fast, public transportation can be unreliable and inconvenient, and leasing a car is a hassle. 

Maybe you’re thinking about buying a car but you’re not ready to take the plunge. Or, you’re in a transitional place in life and don’t want to get into a long-term situation yet. Long-term car rental can be a great way to find the autonomy you need to get around without making a huge purchase.

This could be the solution. But long-term car rental has its complications. Here, we answer the big questions about how to rent a car long-term.

How much does it cost to rent a car for a month? 

Long-term rental prices vary depending on the rental company, the rental period, and the mileage you put on the car. One of the biggest advantages is the discount you can snag when you rent for an extended period. 

Essentially, the longer you rent, the more you save. With most car rental companies, you need to rent the car for about a month to get a lower price, but you may be able to negotiate the terms and find discounts when you’re renting for extended periods. 

Regardless, there are still initial investments and payments required when you rent a car for a month or more. You’ll have to put down a deposit on the vehicle, which you’ll get after you return it. You’ll also need insurance, which can be costly depending on your situation. 

What do I need to rent a car long-term? 

Every rental car company has different requirements when it comes to renting a car, be it short or long-term. First of all, you will absolutely need a valid driver’s license, no matter the company. Can’t be on the road without one!

When it comes to payment, many companies require you to pay for the rental with a credit card, not a debit card. This ensures that they’ll be able to fully cover their costs if something happens to the vehicle. Additionally, you may also need to be at least 25 years of age to rent a vehicle, depending on the rental car company or state regulations. If you’re younger, you could see some “young driver” fees on your final bill. 

What’s considered long-term?  

Maybe you’re wondering, “How much does it cost to rent a car for a week?” Though a week is a good amount of time to rent a car, most rental companies have a minimum number of days to qualify for long-term status. And a week is usually not enough to get big discounts. Some companies consider 28 days or more long-term, while others require 30. 

In other words, you won’t be able to get any of those long-term rental offers if you’re renting for a short period. Check with the rental company to see how much it would cost to rent a car for a week or a month, and pay close attention to the details. If you rent for less than a month, you’ll likely be charged the rental company’s normal daily rate, which can be pretty costly. 

Do I need insurance when I rent long-term? 

Yes. We definitely recommend protecting yourself in case something happens to the vehicle while you’re on the road. First, check the rental company’s policies to see what kind of insurance they offer. 

Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that you’ll be fully covered through the company without paying extra. So look for other alternatives like the insurance you can get through your credit card, or any memberships you may have, like AAA. You can also purchase rental insurance through a third-party rental insurance agency, which can give you better rates. 

What am I responsible for when I rent a car long-term? 

One of the great things about renting a car rather than buying or leasing a car, is that you have less responsibility for the vehicle. Most companies include complimentary maintenance, so you won’t have to pay for things like routine oil changes or new tires.

The insurance you purchase should also cover those minor or major issues that could pop up during the long-term rental period. Some companies offer 24/7 roadside assistance and will even replace the vehicle if there are any issues. In other words, if there’s a problem, you just have to contact the rental company. 

What kinds of cars can I drive with a long-term rental? 

Some rental companies may offer special cars, or even discounts on nicer vehicles when you rent long-term. But usually you’ll only be able to select from whatever the company has available in their fleet. The great thing is you’ll always be driving a fairly new car, which is perfect if you love that new car smell. Long-term rentals allow you to test out different vehicles and find what works best for you. Some rental agencies may even let you switch out cars throughout your long-term contract. 

Is there a mileage cap on long-term rentals? 

Keep in mind that some rental companies have a mileage cap. In other words, you can only drive a certain number of miles within the rental period. If you go over this limit, you can get charged hefty fees and even pay extra for every mile you exceed. Policies differ, so check with the rental agency and ask if they have a mileage cap. 

Are there fees for long-term rentals? 

Just like short-term rental, there are all sorts of fees to look out for when it comes to long-term rental. For example, if you’re looking to add someone else to the contract, watch for additional driver fees. Or, if you want a larger or nicer car, you’ll likely be charged extra. The best advice is to check the rental policy and ask tons of questions before committing to a long-term rental. 

Are there alternatives? 

Long-term car rental with a big rental company may not be for you—and that’s okay. Car sharing with Avail is just as easy as car rental with many more benefits. Click here to start your car sharing experience!