Travel around the world and have a bit of creativity and a renter can find almost any type of vehicle. Companies like Getaround and Turo -- where vehicle owners can rent out their personal vehicles -- have made the process easier. After all, no standard rental car company has ever offered 1981 DeLorean DMC-12s but well-known rental car companies today do offer unexpected vehicle types for renters who find themselves in the right place. And those vehicles range from the two-wheeled variety to those with more than four wheels. What are some of those unexpected vehicle types one can find when tired of driving Nissan Altimas and Dodge Grand Caravans?
Headed to a small Caribbean nation where scooters are fairly common among locals? There's a possibility the local site might be willing to rent out a scooter, especially Avis in Turks and Caicos. Over the years, we've seen customers track bookings for low-end Suzuki Sixteen scooters (think small displacement 125 cc engines, rather than full motorcycle). And while the smallest scooters are called "Sixteens" because the European Union allows 16-year olds to drive them, we're talking about a major rental car company -- one still has to meet the standard rental condition of 25 years or older to rent!
The history of rental car companies in the United States renting motorcycles is spotty. Enterprise has tried to do so in cities like Las Vegas and Los Angeles, where the weather is relatively conducive to motorcycles year-round yet hasn't gathered a consistent foothold in the market. Travel to southern Europe and Hertz makes it easy to rent a motorcycle through their Hertz Ride program. Visitors to France, Italy, Portugal, and Spain can book from a selection of BMW (and only BMW) motorcycles. AutoSlash founder Jonathan has already said he would pay for me to rent a motorcycle somewhere; he didn't exclude Cannes, France! Renters must possess a motorcycle endorsement and Hertz guarantees the bikes are less than 7 months old with fewer than 15,000 km on the odometer.Sadly, helmets and gloves are not included in the rates but Hertz is more than happy to sell those as an add-on!
Travel outside the U.S. and Canada and manual transmissions are endemic. In fact, there are some locations in the world where it's impossible to find an automatic transmission. Within the United States, manual transmissions are a unicorn ... unless one happens to be visiting Kansas City and searches at selected Budget locations. Budget's inventory frequently lists their manual transmission Ford Mustangs (or similar) and Dodge Challengers (or similar) as we noted in a previous blog post. However, a phone call with a regional representative noted that the company has a limited number of vehicles in ordinary vehicle classes (such as compact cars) with manual transmissions -- those can't be reserved directly but can be rented if on the lot. Too bad Budget introduced these vehicles a few years after I moved away from Kansas City.
Campervans have gained limited popularity in the United States through companies like Escape Campervans and Jucy USA. However, campervans are much more popular in Australia, Europe, and New Zealand. Rental car companies ignore campervans in the United States as those vehicles aren't covered by traditional insurance policies and most rental car companies don't want the administrative burden of having the support staff and facilities for necessary tasks like laundering linens, washing dishes, and cleaning out water tanks (fresh water and grey water). Europcar -- at a limited number of European locations -- has decided to undertake the additional tasks necessary to rent campervans produced by Volkswagen, the California Beach and the California Coast. And while Europcar does allow individuals 21 and older to drive these vehicles, there's a surcharge for those under the age of 25 (just like in the United States).
Looking for a major cargo vehicle in the United States? Most of the time, one has to go to commercial truck divisions of the major rental car companies (Budget Truck Rental or Enterprise Truck Rental) or companies that specialize in the commercial market such as U-Haul or Penske. Shoppers at New Jersey's Livingston Mall can simply visit the Avis location at the Sears to pick up a 24' Toyota HINO box truck or rack truck. We looked at the store listing of Livingston Mall and all we can assume is that some individuals decide to purchase far too many appliances at Sears; the rack truck doesn't help with purchases from American Eagle, Cinnabon, Hot Topic, and Yankee Candle!
These vehicles break Avis's pricing logic (we know, "Avis pricing logic" is an oxymoron) so badly that the server doesn't know whether Satellite Radio is $7.99 or $21.94 per day, and whether Roadside Protection is $7.99, $40.98, or $57.93 per day! And no, your credit card damage waiver does not cover these commercial vehicles!
Traveling the world? You might see some surprises along the way. However, it's never a surprise that we search for lower rates on your behalf -- click below to request quotes and we'll send you the lowest available rates within minutes!