Car Rentals in NYC & A History of Car Rentals
Car rentals are a convenience that we have become accustomed to. Whether you have experienced the need for a minivan rental or passenger van rental while on vacation, or simply needed a temporary set of wheels while your car is in the shop, chances are you’ve had (or will have) at least a few experiences involving car rentals at some point in your life. Car rentals have a long and rich history that's closely related to that of the automobile industry and to America itself. As times have changed, so have car rentals and car rentals in New York. To this day, car rentals remain a critical part of the automobile industry, and it comes as no surprise that car rentals have become a significant part of the travel and tourism industry as well; especially in New York City.
While the exact origin of car rentals is difficult to pinpoint, many historians place the date back to 1916, when Nebraskan native Joe Saunders started what is thought to be the first car rentals business. It all began long before the days of SUV rentals and convertible rentals, with a Ford Model T he owned and rented to local and visiting businessmen.
Saunders charged customers $0.10 per mile, which he tracked by attaching a mileage meter to the left front wheel. His first (and the first ever) customer to discover the convenience of car rentals was a traveling salesman who took a local girl out on a date.
By the year 1925, Saunders had expanded his car rentals business to twenty-one states and had purchased $1 million worth of Chrysler automobiles as his car rentals became more popular.
Unfortunately, the Great Depression brought bankruptcy for Saunders, but other entrepreneurs had already begun to see the potential of the car rental. Walter L. Jacobs began taking advantage of car rentals in 1918 by renting a dozen Model T Fords in Chicago. His success caught the eye of a young John Hertz, whose name is now synonymous with car rentals in New York and across the country.
After WWII, the industry rent a car industry grew hand in hand with the growth of the aviation industry, as people began to appreciate the convenience of a cheap car rental or affordable car rental waiting for them at their destination. Mr. Warren Avis, founder of the Avis car rentals company is credited as the first airport rental focused agency.
Countless other companies and entrepreneurs have followed suit, providing all types of car rentals for visitors to San Diego, Manhattan, and everywhere in between. And naturally, competition between companies vying for the business of customers seeking New York car rentals has led to price incentives and rental discounts that many NYC travelers can still enjoy today.
Today, car rental companies offer all types of rentals, from SUV rentals and minivan rentals, to luxury car rentals and convertible rentals. So whichever type of rental you choose, when you rent a car for your next vacation to NYC, remember that you are part of an American legacy!