For a pay-as-you-go approach to motoring
In most cases, a car will lose value from the day you take ownership. This means you will be paying for it 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week, whether you are using it or it is sitting idle by the side of the road. According to the RAC, average depreciation for a new car in 2007 was just under £2,500.
With car rental, you only pay to use the car when you need it.
To cut the cost of motoring
Car ownership means paying for all servicing, maintenance, tyre replacement, tax, insurance, MOT and cleaning. In 2007, the RAC put the average annual cost of keeping a car on the road (excluding fuel) at £4330*.
All these costs are included in your basic car rental quote, which starts at as little as £30 per day.
To drive the latest models
You can’t beat that new car feeling, but not many people can afford to buy a new car every year. The average age of cars on European roads is eight years old.
The average rental car is less than eight months old.
Because it’s time to downsize
A supermini for nipping around the city and a people-carrier for those longer family trips at the weekend. But can you afford two cars – is it economical to run both?
Why not get rid of the second car and use a larger rental vehicle for the occasional weekend away or trip to the furniture store.
To clean up your act
Many vehicle owners want to do something about their road transport-related CO2 emissions. They are willing to walk, cycle or use public transport to replace a lot of their journeys, but realise that a car is essential for some trips – maybe that family holiday or visit to the in-laws at Christmas.
The average rental car produces about 157 g/km of CO2, well below the 164g/km produced by the average car registered in the UK in 2007. Many car rental companies offer a range of low-emission cars, including the petrol-electric hybrid Toyota Prius and the Golf BlueMotion. Some rental companies will let you to offset the emissions associated with your car rental.
For the convenience
Vehicle hire is fine for people who arrive at an airport or live near a rental branch, but what about everyone else? What if you need a car or van at short notice, or for a short period of time?
Car clubs are great for shorter journeys and work well in urban areas because they enable people to book vehicles at a few minutes notice and pick them up from local parking bays. Alternatively, for a small fee many rental companies will now deliver a vehicle to your door and collect it.
Because a train doesn’t always take the strain
Rail transport can be cheap, quick and stress-free, but there are often times when a last-minute booking ends up costing you an arm and a leg or engineering works double the length of your journey.
Hiring a larger car to take family or friends on a journey can often be cheaper than the train, particularly at peak times. According to DEFRA figures, the average train produces CO2 emissions of around 60 g/km per person. If four people share a rental car with average emissions of around 157 g/km your individual carbon emissions will be much lower!
For the ultimate test drive
A car is one of the most expensive purchases you can make, and making the wrong decision can be both costly and inconvenient. Many decisions are based on a single trip to a showroom, a few review articles or a ten-minute test drive.
If you are wondering whether a MPV or estate is the best car for you, why not rent both types of car first and try them out over the course of a weekend or overnight? Research has shown that rental experience has a major impact on the choices consumers make when buying their own vehicles.
The BVRLA also provides a guide to waivers, excess and insurance which is available here