When you’re looking for a car for a while, you may be tempted to take a chance on a rental car in your hometown.
But this may not be the best idea.
In the US, car rental companies are required to have a “minimum number of carpooling vehicles per month”, according to the Consumer Federation of America.
In order to get into the car rental business, car renters need to pay for a full-time driver’s license, which can add up to $1,500 for an individual.
Car rental companies also require car rental drivers to have an approved driving record.
Car owners also need to show proof of insurance coverage, but there’s little documentation available for rental car owners to prove that their cars have adequate coverage.
As a result, car rentals in the US are still not fully insured and car owners may be unable to obtain full coverage.
The lack of documentation is often the biggest hurdle for car rental operators.
“I think the industry is not taking care of its car rental program because they’re not looking at it as a full carpool,” says Josh Kostin, owner of car rental service AutoNation.
“You need to prove you have insurance.”
Kostimkin says that some car rental firms are actively encouraging car owners who don’t have car insurance to go through the car insurance process.
“They’re actually doing that with a program that’s not a full insurance policy,” he says.
“And you’re going to get some people that have a full policy and then they’re going into the insurance process, which is why I think there’s a disconnect with the insurance market.”
What’s the biggest problem with car rental?
The lack: Many car rental providers require that car owners fill out a full driving record to be accepted for car rentals.
The process can take anywhere from two to five months and many car rental agencies are not able to provide drivers with a driver’s licence, driver’s permit or driving history.
“We’re doing a little bit of work to try and get our systems more streamlined,” Kostimpkin says.
Some car rental agents offer to provide a driver to sign the contract for the rental car, but they are often not able.
“If you’re on the other side of the country, you can’t do that,” Kustin says.
As it stands, Carpooling in the U.S. is still not perfect.
Car rentals are still limited to individuals, and there are some car owners in the country who have difficulty obtaining insurance coverage.
But in some cases, it may be possible to get insurance coverage for the car.
“The fact that the system is not fully implemented, you’re still in a situation where you can have some coverage at the point of purchase,” Kondimkin tells Al Jazeera.
The number of rental cars in the market can vary widely depending on the rental company.
“There are a number of different companies out there that have different requirements and they’re all trying to be efficient,” says Kostiin.
“Some of them will give you a full auto and some of them won’t.”
If you’re considering a car in the States, consider a Carpools USA car insurance program to be a safer alternative.