Tim Foolery

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I Don’t Rent Cars

Not that there’s anything wrong with those that do, but I don’t rent cars. I don’t drive for that matter. I sold my car in 2001 before moving to Chicago. I don’t need a car here. I did just fine with public transit and the occasional taxi and now with Uber my need for a car is almost nil.

When I travel I never rent a car. If I travel for work, I will either Uber everywhere, or I will travel with someone who is renting. Same with personal travel – I haven’t needed to rent a car since 2009. I have taken trips where one of our group will rent though.

Today, I schlep to Myrtle Beach, SC and am forced to rent. I couldn’t make the times work to travel in and out of MYR directly. I had to opt for a flight to CHS instead. While this allows me to visit for the weekend and not have an overnight in Cleveland in order to be back to work on time Monday morning, it does mean I have a two hour drive each direction.

It’s not that I can’t drive.  I choose not to. I got a new boss two years so and as he reviewed my expenses he asked why I didn’t have rental cars on the report, to which I responded “I don’t drive, I am driven.” I still get shit for that to this day.

I booked this trip, signed up for a National Rental Car membership and thanks to my American Express Platinum Card I was immediately granted Emerald Elite status…which really means nothing and does nothing for me. I chose National because it offered the cheapest option for my needs this weekend.

When I have a car when traveling, I don’t feel more free, I feel chained to it. You need to deal with parking, fuel, etc. I’d rather just be able to hop out of the Uber and head to my gate, or run into the restaurant. I also haven’t driven a car in 26 months. This weekend day will be an adventure.

When you travel do you prefer to have a rental car or use public transit / taxis? How do you choose a rental car company – elite benefits or cheapest cost?


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