Is there such a thing as a short-term lease on a car?
May 1, 2014 4:36 PM   Subscribe

I got a new gig! Hooray! It takes 2 hours to get to via bus! Boo! It takes 30 minutes if I had a car. Hmm! Here's the Q: Is there such a thing as a 'short term' car lease (i.e., 3-4 months) or a long-term rental? Is there a cost effective option? I'd be saving around 3 hours a day, so it really, really makes sense. What're my options?
posted by GilloD to Shopping (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Doing a quick web search, it looks like most major rental companies (like Hertz, Budget and Enterprise; I'm assuming you're in the US) do month-by-month long term car rentals.
posted by Aleyn at 4:41 PM on May 1, 2014

You can rent a car for longer periods from your usual rental car companies (Hertz, Budget, etc.). I did that for two months and paid by the month. It was expensive though, like $700/month (inclusive of fees and insurance).
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:41 PM on May 1, 2014

Assuming you're still in L.A., try Rent a Wreck or similar for bargain basement deals. They do negotiate so just offer them cash up front for the best deal.

Also, would carpooling be an option with any colleagues that would like you to buy their gas for them? This would also be cheaper than renting.
posted by arnicae at 4:46 PM on May 1, 2014

I did a long term rental through Enterprise when I was an intern at a big tech company in the bay area. I think after receiving the company discount it worked out to about $500 a month for a Mazda 3 (I think that equals either compact or intermediate class), over a 3 month period.
posted by joan_holloway at 5:15 PM on May 1, 2014

You could look into buying something used, then selling it when you are done with it
posted by TheAdamist at 5:56 PM on May 1, 2014 [2 favorites]

You could also break someone's lease. There are tons of websites where people list their cars with leases they need to exit. Many times they will literally pay you $$ to take over the lease.... Just google up lead trade or lease take over. Tons of sites. Users pay to list and it's usually free if you are "buying". So just look for one with only a few months or 6 left...
posted by chasles at 6:00 PM on May 1, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'd reccomend just finding a cheap user car. Something like a Corolla or Civic is a no-brainer; you can get a 2001 or so for like ~2-3000 and just drive it into the ground.
posted by mike_sol at 6:08 PM on May 1, 2014

What about Zipcar?

When you own a car, you've got insurance, maintenance, etc. So unless you want that kind of thing after you're done with this gig, I agree, either a long-term rental or, if it makes sense for you, a Zipcar.

Swapalease has some cars there, might be worth checking into.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:29 AM on May 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

There are also other car sharing services. No personal experience, but Flightcar and Hubber seem to be worth checking out.
posted by oceano at 6:42 AM on May 2, 2014

Buy a cheap used car outright. If you get something popular like a Honda, most likely you'll be able to sell it for what you paid.
posted by Murray M at 6:58 AM on May 2, 2014

I don't see why not, as it's in a rental car company's best interest to have cars rented out versus sitting parked and unrented on their lot. Most of the major companies have at least weekly rates, and probably have monthly rates. Talk to them.
posted by tckma at 7:17 AM on May 2, 2014

I have done this. I used Hertz and rented a compact car for 3 months. It was expensive ($700/month), but completely worth the time it saved me.
posted by LightMayo at 9:25 AM on May 2, 2014

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