Even though the AutoSlash team members range in age from Generation X down to Millennials, we have to admit that we were surprised to hear that Enterprise Rent A Car decided to start a series on "Adulting" in August of this year. In the last decade, there's been an effort in some quarters to teach adults how to be adults. Many of the efforts are reasonable, while others are in the John McEnroe "you cannot be serious" vein.
There's an Adulting School some business school graduates need to help manage their finances, causing more than a few business school deans and employers to cringe. Arizona State University even has an Adulting website and blog* that includes, among many other things, a "Bedtime Playlist" (really). And now, Enterprise comes along with their own series on adulting.
*Other Pac-12 Schools -- there are all types of "academic rigor" taunts against ASU available.
In a previous life, I wrote part of a guide on budgeting for 18-year old college students but many components of the current "adulting" trend still seems a bit surreal for me. When I was 16-17, I needed to learn how to fix my own car, operate and repair most items on a farm, plus find jobs, pay bills, manage a budget, and apply for college without the internet or a cell phone. Now adults get Bedtime Playlists and advice that one should drink water and use sunscreen when it's 120 and sunny? Tidbits like these makes it more difficult to accept the concept of "adulting".
It is probably a good thing we don't run a rental car company. If we did operate a rental car company, we probably wouldn't rent to customers who came to us for life coaching. After all, driving a $30,000, 1.5-ton object at high speed and peril to others is a very adult activity. Sorry not sorry.
As for me and AutoSlash founder Jonathan, we are clearly past the point of adulting lessons.
You know who else is now 40? Jaleel White, who portrayed "Steve Urkel" in the television series Family Matters, which went off the air just about two decades ago. And the first curious decision is that Enterprise chose him for their mini-adulting series.
"Did I Do That?"
How does Enterprise Holdings show they are attuned to the needs to individuals needing information about being an adult? By breaking out a 40-year old actor to share tips such as the observation it is cheaper to brew coffee at home instead of visiting the nearest coffee shop for a $5 latte! And as he mentioned to CBS News, the Enterprise "Adulting" series is related to his upcoming television show and primarily designed to help sell consumers on Rental Car Replacement Insurance.
AutoSlash Note: No one is excited by the concept of Rental Car Replacement Insurance. Really.
In addition to providing links to make reservations, Enterprise provides a few adulting factoids and two other references, their Guide to Rental Reimbursement Insurance and an infographic showing limited takeaways from a study commissioned by Enterprise.
It's no surprise at all that Enterprise would seek to promote rental car reimbursement insurance. The company (the world's largest with over 7,600 locations) relies heavily on insurance replacement rentals after accidents. Enterprise notes that the average repair does take 14 days and that rental car reimbursement coverage can protect users in an accident. We're fans of careful and attentive driving, as we know the other driver's insurance (well, if the other driver's insured) will pay for our insurance replacement rental if/when the other driver is at fault.
The study Enterprise commissioned doesn't exactly show millennials in the best light. Any decent businessperson realizes it's important for Enterprise to conduct "demographic research" and the most important takeaways from their research are no doubt hidden for competitive purposes. However, the elements Enterprise chose to release in a quick infographic make Jonathan and me fear (more) about our future Social Security and Medicare payments. For instance, the respondents suggest that 2/3rds of millennials procrastinate "as much as possible" and effectively 1/3rd of millennials (32%) feel "exhausted" by simple adulting behaviors. And despite the presence of rental cars, public transportation, and rideshare options, 52% of millennials would have to beg for transportation if there was a problem with their private vehicle.
And Enterprise Misses the Most Relevant Adult Components for Renters
The second curious decision by Enterprise? Not mentioning the policies that impact car renters under the age of 25 every day. If Enterprise were truly looking to help renters with adulting behaviors, they would take the focus away from insurance replacements and new reservations. The company would instead focus on activities the AutoSlash team consistently helps young renters navigate! There are no mentions at all on Enterprise's Adulting webpage of the massive fees ordinarily associated with renting a vehicle when under the age of 25 (Enterprise's young renter policy is here) or the hassle of renting cars without a credit card after Congress passed the CARD Act, making it harder for younger renters to get credit cards (Enterprise's debit card policy is here).
While Enterprise's guide might not be the most helpful, we at AutoSlash work hard every day to ensure our fellow travelers get the best rates possible on their rentals! Ready to book your next rental car? Click below to request quotes now, and we'll send you the best available offers within minutes!