9 Comments
Jul 6, 2023Liked by AutoMarketplace

I get what your saying about the fleet cost of renting a car, but as a long term driver the cost for me is a but mich when I have to pay $459 a wk to rent a 18 Nissan Altima rented from Buggy. I can buy the same car for about 10 to 15k (which i check on multiple used car sites, ie carfax, autotempest and even kbb) and pay no more than $300 a month (high balling) to own. And of course I'll have other expenses including insurance, maintenance, etc. But the difference is timing. Once a month as opposed to every week make a HUGE difference in profit saving. That's my only grip with renting from a fleet. I have to pay Buggy $459 a week while still having to try and save for all my other bills that come once a month. Then when that week where all my monthly bills plus again the rental are due the rental has already ate a HUGE chunk of my profits from working that month. It's like I'm working for the rental company and not myself.

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author

Appreciate the very thoughtful and balanced comment. The weekly payment obligation vs. monthly is definitely something many complain about and it's also understandable. The reason it's often weekly vs. monthly relates to many drivers not being able to plan out their finances effectively in a monthly manner or abusing leasing companies (i.e., missing payment and then disappearing). For example, if a lessee misses out on even one monthly payment (i.e., $2,000 all inclusive) it's very hard to climb out of that. Then you have to think about downstream impacts >>> the rental company will be out a whole month of income (not profit, but revenue), which is a likely 50%+ of their yearly profit (i.e., if net profit margin is 15% that means 15% * 12 months = ~2 months of total lease revenue = one year fleet profit). Bad debts like this will have two impacts - (1) will increase lease rates for everyone and (2) fleet will become much much more selective and require higher deposits etc. That's the other side of the coin. It's the same concept as saying why don't insurance companies take payment once every quarter vs. monthly - the event of non-payment (i.e., bad debt) needs to be managed basically. Hope that provides some insight!

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And I completely understand where your coming from. But it's a lot easier for the rental company to get out of their financial issues than ot is for an individual can driver. Tax breaks, insurance discounts for a fleet of vehicles, and the majority of renters (like myself even to the detriment of my own family and other bills) who pay on time. I'm sure a corporation has ways to handle missed payments, the turn over, and other unforseen issues that may come up. They are in the driver seat here because of the freeze of TLC plates.

But as a driver I don't have those same luxuries. I miss a bill I may take a hit there is no coming back from. So I've been sacrificing paying for the rental so i may keep working and putting other important obligations on the back burner. I've never had to do that before I started working as a driver. The fact that i have to each week count out 400+ rental fee automatically before anything else such as paying for whatever my son needs, paying groceries, paying for other bills is very discouraging to me.

But yes, your response does give some insight. I'm just trying to do the same on this end. Especially when it come to living in an very expensive economy like NYC. I don't know if there will be any middle ground where both sides can agree on but I know this for sure the rental company(Buggy) I rent from is making HUGE profits where I'm struggling to stay afloat. And I honestly don't think that's fair.

Thank you for responding. Appreciate it.

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author

Think for the very large rental companies (American Lease, Buggy/Fast Track, Tower) understand what you're saying. A fleet that has 5, 10 or 50 FHV Licenses / TLC Plates though is essentially a small, often locally-owned family business. Think the middle ground (for large leasing companies) would be to offer drivers that have a proven history of on-time payments, being responsible (i.e., no accidents, no excessive parking/EZPass violations) more flexibility in payment terms (not to dissimilar from a bank offering someone with a high credit score a lower interest rate or better payment terms) - it'll also be a way to attract the best, most responsible drivers as well.

Also remember insurance companies are dictating payment terms to most leasing companies (i.e., they have to put a large deposit upfront and must pay once per month). In reality, fleet insurance is more expensive than individual policies, so there are no discounts there. FHV Lease Caps can also be helpful / should come in to protect any abuse. The "market" often takes care of the rental rate, if a driver can't earn enough money to earn a living, they'll leave industry and then rental companies will have to lower rates a lot (this is what happened during COVID where rates dropped 50%+).

Definitely agree with the concept of drivers and leasing companies being considerate of one another's businesses / earnings and trying to find a middle ground 👍

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Jul 10, 2023Liked by AutoMarketplace

Exactly. The rental company (i.e Buggy) should feel lucky thay TLC put a hold of TLC plates being given to the drivers because they definitely go out of business with they way there prices are. They are, imo, exploiting drivers because of the need of TLC plates. I've talk to sp many drivers from buggy and majority of the would not rent rhem if they had the choice.

I even tried to negotiate a middle ground with Buggy and they customer service did nothing about. It very discouraging and disappointing to ask for help or incentive and get nothing. I wrote a review on google and they immediately called me to try to rectify my issue and i thought I've tried calling for about 2 wks and gpt nothing. As soon as I wrote a review they're calling me. That showed me 1. they really didn't care about me until i saod something publicly and 2. all they care about is their reputation.

So now I'm trying to find and WAV vehicle for a good price and see if I cant get TLC plates for it. Done with Buggy.

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author

Thank you for the insight and sorry to hear about your experience with Buggy. You getting a WAV and leaving them is a perfect example of the market taking care of itself! It they don't treat people right, then people will find alternatives 👍

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Jul 12, 2023Liked by AutoMarketplace

Thanks for the conversation. Would enjoy talking shop more anytime. I love what i do. I'm a driver. Getting in the driver seat of a vehicle is a joy for me. But like every on this planet, nothing is perfect.

Would you by any chance know a place where i could get a WAV vehicle? Thanks again. 👍🏾

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Jul 1, 2021Liked by AutoMarketplace

Yes, I am for such a mechanism! It should be so!

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