When to Rent a Car for a Business Trip

Travel is an integral part of most businesses, from day-long travel to cross-country trips. But when does it make sense to rent a car for a business trip instead of taking your own vehicle? Read on for things to consider when you’re planning your next business trip.

Personal Car vs. Business Car Rental

First, evaluate your personal transportation:

  • Do you have a properly functioning car available to you that you can use any time?
  • Does it get good gas mileage?
  • How many miles are on your odometer?
  • Is your car capable of making your trip with little to no risk of breaking down or other mechanical issues?

Second, assess the total travel required for your trip:

  • How many miles will you travel?
  • Do you have to make multiple stops?
  • Do you have a lot of luggage, equipment or other materials to bring with you?

Finally, consider your company’s travel policies:

  • What is your company’s policy on use of personal vehicles?
  • Is there a certain mileage threshold or trip duration that warrants a rental?

All these items can factor into determining if a rental car is best for your business travel.

From a cost perspective, many companies will reimburse you at the IRS rate, which is currently set at $.67/mile for 2021, if you use your personal vehicle. Oftentimes, at a certain threshold, it is typically more cost efficient for the company to have you rent a car. Estimate your own calculations to see what option would be best for your business travel.

Flying vs. Driving

As a rule of thumb, if a trip takes 6 hours or less, many businesses may recommend driving instead of flying. But even if you choose to fly, you may still need a rental car to transport you from the airport to your lodging and any other locations you’ll be visiting during your trip.

Taxis and other ride-sharing options might be available, but a rental car might be more cost-effective. Here’s a quick rule of thumb for determining if you need a taxi or rental car: calculate the cost per mile then compare.

The average cost per mile for ridesharing services like Uber, is between $1 and $2 a mile, according to UponArriving.com. Ride hailing fees can be challenging to calculate, as pricing factors in a base fare, the size of the vehicle, service type, cost per mile, cost per minute, plus additional fees for wait times or long pick up times. Add in a minimum fare and tip, it’s easy to see how costs can add up. Update “Alternatively, an intermediate-size rental car from Enterprise or National can cost around $53 per day (plus taxes and state fees), which includes unlimited mileage.

If your trip requires you drive more miles than you do during an average day, it might be more cost effective to rent a car. Generally, the longer you book a car for, the lower your per-day rate will be. Visit our Mileage Reimbursement Calculator to discover how much you could potentially save by renting a vehicle instead of using your personal vehicle. Calculate your estimated taxi or ride-sharing fare to find the most cost-effective solution for your business travel.

Beyond the cost savings, a rental car can offer reliability and control over your environment plus allow you to store and easily access your laptop and other business supplies.

The Enterprise and National Difference

With a business car rental program from Enterprise Rent-a-Car and National Car Rental, part of the global portfolio of offerings connected under Enterprise Mobility, you have the flexibility to select a car that meets all your needs. Choose a car with better gas mileage, more storage or 4-Wheel drive. And if your trip includes multiple stops, consider that a business rental car is based on a single rate per day, not per mile, making it a cost-effective approach. And with thousands of branches conveniently located in neighborhood communities, the rental you need is likely nearer than you thought.