A hire a car, or car hire agency is a company that rents automobiles for short periods of time to the public, generally ranging from a few hours to a few weeks. It is often organized with numerous local branches and primarily located near airports or busy city areas and often complemented by a website allowing online reservations.
Hire a car agencies primarily serve people who require a temporary vehicle, for example, those who do not own their own car, travelers who are out of town, or owners of damaged or destroyed vehicles who are awaiting repair or insurance compensation. Hire a car agencies may also serve the self-moving industry needs, by renting vans or trucks, and in certain markets, other types of vehicles such as motorcycles or scooters may also be offered.
Alongside the basic rental of a vehicle, hire a car agencies typically also offer extra products such as insurance, global positioning system (GPS) navigation systems, entertainment systems, mobile phones, portable WiFi and child safety seats.
Hire a car History
The earliest known example of cars being offered for rent dates back to 1906.The German company Sixt was established in 1912 under the name Sixt Autofahrten und Selbstfahrer.
Joe Saunders of Omaha, Nebraska first started with only one borrowed Model T Ford in 1916, but by 1917, his Ford Livery Company was renting out 18 Model Ts at 10 cents per mile. The company name became Saunders Drive-It-Yourself System and then Saunders System. By 1926, Saunders had expanded to 56 cities. Saunders’ company was bought by Avis in 1955.
Most hire a car offices offer a range of vehicle sizes to suit a variety of budgets and space requirements and some additionally offer specialized vehicles to suit its location such as convertibles, prestige models, hybrid/electric vehicles, or SUVs and passenger vans. At major airports or in larger cities, some independent Cars For Rent agencies offer high-end vehicles for rent. Some specialized companies offer older vehicles at reduced prices.
For insurance reasons, some companies stipulate a minimum and/or maximum rental age. In some cases, the minimum age for rental can be as high as 25, even in countries where the minimum legal age to hold a driver’s license is much lower, e.g. 14,15,16 or 17 in the United States. It is not uncommon for there to be a young driver surcharge for all drivers aged under 25. On average, most car rental companies will only to rent to drivers who are at least 20 or 21 depending on the company. The companies Hertz, Dollar hire a car, and Thrifty have a minimum age of 20. Alamo, Enterprise, Avis, and all other reputable companies have a minimum age of 21. Certain luxury vehicles may be restricted to those 25+. The US states of New York and Michigan are the only ones who mandate via state law that Cars For Rent companies cannot refuse service on the grounds of age if the customer is at least 18 years of age or older. In addition, some companies will rent to 18 and 19 year olds if they are military or government personnel.
Although frequently not explicitly stated, US hire a car companies are required by respective state law to provide minimum liability coverage, except in California and Arizona, where the driver is solely responsible. This covers costs to a third party in the event of an accident. In most states, it is illegal to drive a car without liability coverage. The rental car companies maintain liability insurance on their vehicles; however, some companies will charge for this, should you not provide your own insurance. As an example, in Maryland, the minimal level of liability coverage is $20,000 for bodily injury and $15,000 for property damage.