Friday, April 13, 2007

Free Vehicle Finance

Why Own When You Can Rent Hassle Free and at Less Cost
By Shane Cooper

Are you in the market for a sports car for the summer? Considering something a little more exotic that reaches the $100K water mark? Are you now pouring over every every ad and web site in town? Trying to work out where you're going to garage the car, who's going to detail it, getting insurance quotes and negotiating with your better half on just exactly when you're going to be driving it around by promising it will also be a commuter? Worse yet, can't decide on what color to get? You like racing yellow or silver, but your spouse says it has to be red or black to be a real sports car.

If this sounds familiar, there other options that you can explore rather than purchasing. With purchasing you can buy the vehicle out right, finance it or sign up for a lease. Depending on your financial ability, these are your standard options. However, there is yet one more option to consider. Renting only when you expect to use the vehicle. Today, there are more service providers offering alternative specialty rental vehicles.

Even the major rental car agencies have more options than previously considered the norm. However, to truly consider a sports car or something more exotic to drive for that next night out, long country drive or to take your lover out for that anniversary dinner, you'll need to locate a good reputable rental service that has a variety of cars to satisfy. Today, the exotic and luxury car rental business is hot and many companies are branching out across the US, not just in the hot spots and the two coasts.

So, what are the pros and cons of renting or planning to rent versus purchasing? First, there are three over all areas to consider when looking at either prospect. First, there's variety, second hassle factor and finally, the financial impact on your annual disposable income budget.

VARIETY Variety is the spice of life. When it comes to vehicles, we all like a lot of spice. However, review these considerations when thinking about purchasing your next sport, luxury or exotic car, versus renting.

Purchasing: While having that red hot Viper, Corvette or Ferrari is one awesome feeling during the first few months, the honey moon is typically short lived. So, when you purchase your next sports car, consider variety is limited to just that ONE vehicle. Renting: Purchasing should be relegated to the daily commuting grocery getter. For times when the daily driver just isn't enough, consider renting from an exotic rental car agency. They typically have a great cross section of different vehicles types, not just one category. Often times, they have everything from a 500 HP 2 seater, to a mid-line top down sophisticated and phenomenal sports car, or a luxury sports car with 4 doors. So, with a rental, you have a variety that adds multiple spice types offering increased opportunity and options.

HASSLE We're increasingly living in a "hassle" free life. Most things are instant, quick and on our terms. With credit cards, the internet and digitally recordable TV, we're able to control every aspect of life. One of the dreaded tasks in life is visiting a car dealer. No matter the type of vehicle, our perspective and anticipation dealing with salesmen, their manager and the finance guy is just not something we all look forward to.

Purchasing: One big hassle no matter how much you attempt to work through the process or have that perfect dealer. Everything about it is a hassle even if the dealer offers the best experience known to man. There's more than just driving it off the lot. Once you own it, the hassles are just beginning and will increase as the car ages. First and foremost, you have to deal with purchasing insurance, registering and making sure the taxes are paid. Then there's the storage and maintenance of the vehicle. You'll now have to make room in your garage kicking you daily driver out to the curb or you have to contract with a separate storage facility that may or may not have their environment conditioned. Then there's the cleaning and keeping it detailed tasks. While many love that first day or two with the car sitting in their drive-way slowly getting shinier and shinier, it gets old fast. All-in-all, no matter how much we love stepping out into the garage gawking at our lovely new purchase or seeing it get all the looks in the drive-way, dealing with maintaining and up keep gets old.

Renting: Pretty hassle free. The biggest hassle or problem is deciding which car to drive. All of the above mentioned hassles are non-existant. Rental agencies take care of everything. All you have to do is either pick the car up or have it delivered and drive. Return it and let someone else deal with the details.

COSTS Lastly, regardless of your financial situation, we all are driven by price and the bottom line. There are those that throw money at anything and for that crowd we all applaud and wish you all the best. However, for the majority of us, we have to consider the financial burden and choices we make that directly affect our daily lives. Purchase costs: there are numerous costs with regards to purchasing a vehicle. We typically evaluate the annual costs of ownership against our disposable income level to determine if we can afford the purchase. For this example, we'll use an average mid-line sports car that runs approximately $50,000. Most of the costs break-down into 6 main areas.

(1) Monthly/annual payment costs with financing,
(2) Insurance,
(3) Storage,
(4) Maintenance
(5) detailing and
(6) Depreciation.

These factors put together all are considered Cost Of Ownership. Each item itself varies in actual expense costs, but in by adding up these 6 items, it will run you approximately $1,200 to $1,400 per month for a $50,000 dollar car. The percentage of costs go up proportionately as the MSRP of the car increases.

That's $14,400 to $16,800 per year for $50,000 dollar car. Double that amount if you spring for a high-line car that's above the $100,000 mark. Now consider how many days of driving your able to enjoy. Consider weather, time and all of the factors that affect when you'll be able to drive this car. While we'd all love to say we'll drive it all the time, the truth is, we'll probably baby the vehicle and realistically, statistics show that for people that own and drive an extra car, it runs approximately 15 to 20 days a year. That equates to between $800 to over $1,200 per day AND you have to clean it, take it to the garage, change the oil and all of the other days dedicated to NOT driving.

Rental Costs: Initially when you look at the daily costs for renting an exotic, luxury or high-line car, it may look a little high. However, after evaluating what your true daily costs are as an owner, there is a bit of a different perspective. Daily rates for sports cars can run from $300 to $800 per day and with the variety, it will vary to make it much more cost effective.

Some annual cost examples with about 20 good driving weekends.

Owning your Own $50,000 sports car: $14,400 to $16,800 annually

Renting someone else's car:

Lotus Elise: $6,980 annually

Corvette: $7,980 annually

Viper: $9,980 annually

Variety: $7,980 (5 Lotus, 10 Corvette and 5 Viper days)

Own a Gallardo: $36,000 annually

Rent a Gallardo: $24,000 annually

While owning a car provides some level of satisfaction, you have to determine if that level of satisfaction is worth the lack of variety, working through the hassles and ultimately is the costs worth it.

For you next big weekend, anniversary or for just a drive around town, visit your local exotic or luxury rental agency and enjoy the freedom of driving an awesome car knowing someone else is dealing with the hassles, costs and you get to enjoy the freedom to enjoy the drive.

Shane Cooper runs a car related business Altitude Dream Cars which offers access to unique exotic luxury vehicles in Denver and Colorado, such as the Lotus Elise, H2 Hummer & Mercedes CLS500. Truly inspiring and unique vehicles for that night on the town, wedding, important business meeting or just a great drive in the mountains.

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When considering the purchase of a sports car, luxury car and/or even an exotic car, why not consider daily rentals? Often times, cost of ownership is much higher, owning is a major hassle and you're limited in variety to the ONE car.

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