In case you hadn’t tried to rent a car lately, it’s kind of crazy out there.
When travel slowed down last year, rental car companies’ business sputtered too. As a result, rental fleets were decimated by the sale of dormant vehicles; even mainstay Hertz reported a 40% reduction in cars between the end of 2019 and the end of 2020. New companies like Turo and Avail are setting up shop at airports for car sharing, but only in some markets. What if you could chuck the whole process and rent a much cooler car for the same price?
Rent a vintage car that is much more interesting than those at the airport rental counter
That’s what Hagerty has to offer through its DriveShare program. The insurance company launched a car-sharing service a few years ago and it has exploded all over the country for both owners and renters. A quick search for Austin, Texas (where I live) reveals that I could live out my 80s dreams in a 1989 CRX for $60 per day. Right now, that’s about $20 less than the average rental in the U.S., according to AAA. Or I could drive a low-rider 1964 Imperial Crown for $85 a day. But the really fun opportunity lies in the exotic and classic cars you can test drive if you don’t mind spending more money.
Mmmm… maybe a 2012 Ferrari California for $600 per day appeals to you. Or a zippy 2015 BMW i8 for $399 per day. There’s something for everyone, from a funky 1965 Volkswagen van to an immaculate 2012 McLaren supercar. Imagine pulling up to your 10, 15, or 25-year high school reunion in one of these. Or giving someone you love a gift of a really cool ride for a single day.
My pick: a dreamy DeLorean
When I was in California a few weeks ago for Monterey Car Week, Hagerty let me choose from five DriveShare vehicles to try on a loop around Pebble Beach. The options were a 1964 Corvette convertible, 2008 Tesla Roadster (the EV company’s first car), 1978 Citroen (an oddly-shaped European car), 1961 Volkswagen Microbus, or a 1981 DeLorean DMC-12. Although I’m a huge Corvette fan, I beelined to the DeLorean, my Back to the Future dreams ignited.
Nope, I did not get it up to 88 miles per hour, Marty McFly. But I did smile the whole time I was driving it, and it was an absolute blast. Was it a beast? Oh yes. Was the steering kind of heavy? For sure. But I didn’t care a bit, because I never imagined I could actually drive a DeLorean at some point in my life.
Everything is included
You might wonder if it’s nerve-wracking to drive someone else’s car, and I would say that it’s no less stressful than driving a rental car. And through DriveShare, every booking includes insurance and roadside assistance at no extra cost. Hagerty has been around since 1984, and they know classic cars better than anyone. Just like a B2B rental, car sharing has different rules for each car and each owner; for instance, some are perfectly fine with small pets in the vehicle (like this adorable 1961 VW Beetle). Others may stipulate that you wear white gloves the whole time and sit on a plastic cover. You never know.
On the other side of the coin, if you have an unusual car in your garage that you wouldn’t mind renting out, Hagerty handles all of that for you.
Start thinking about the events you have coming up or if you’re traveling and want to rent something that is above and beyond the standard fare. Plus, it gives you a chance to imagine you’re someone else for the day in a different life. Try it on and see how it feels; like Cinderella’s slipper, you may decide it fits just right and think about getting one of your own, or it’s a temporary prince and you give it back at the end of the rental period with no regrets. Either way, it’s a lot more fun than standing in line at the rental counter.