Renting cars in the Berkshires
Because of its location, Berkshire County towns have always been a challenging location to rent a car Limousines and taxis are however very accessible. The city of Pittsfield, being the biggest city of roughly 50,000 people, has the most available rental cars but is still limited, in the summer busy season, by the availability and variety of cars. In big cities, like Boston and Manhattan, there are many creative options in the auto rental market. Will any of these new options soon be available in the Berkshires?
Some independent agencies, like RW’s in Lee Massachusetts, offer a user friendly solution to some of the difficulty in finding a car here. Rw’s has a nice fleet of clean well maintained rentals that can be rented for one day or long term. The two biggest rental companies are Hertz and Enterprise rental who both have offices in Pittsfield Massachusetts. Enterprise with a Sheffield Massachusetts office, offers a different delivery system. If you are staying at a resort in Lenox Massachusetts, and are a Gold member, Hertz will bring your car to you. Enterprise will bring you back to locations in Sheffield, Great Barrington, Stockbridge, Lee, Lenox and other centralized Berkshire locations. If your travel needs are more specific and demand the services of a driver familiar with the geography of the Berkshires , Abbott’s Limousine offers car service for your convenience as well.
Some of the new trendy services offered in cities; such as zipcars.com and now Connect by hertz or Drive Mint provide cars by the hour by sending you the keys, E-Z Pass and a fuel card. These are a very affordable option for the motivated renter. Newer still on the horizon, are vehicles called a peer to peer (P2P). These agencies will change the way we all acquire rentals in the near future. Started in Boston Massachusetts, Relay Rides uses a smart card that has been installed on cars approved for folks wishing to rent out their personal cars. A Million dollar supplemental policy covers renters. Another service out of Austin Texas, Get Around, also a social car sharing service has the philosophy that a personal car is underutilized and on average just used 8% of the time. By using an IPhone app, registered clients, can hop in a strangers car to get where they are going and return the car to that location, all without meeting the individual owner of this car.
The very latest announced by GM’s OnStar will allow any GM vehicle 2010 and newer to be fully rental ready. With their factory equipped GPS and smart mirror system, the cars are ready to be listed on the RelayRides system to begin availability in places like Berkshire county. The more registered rentals on the market in the US, will eventually revolutionize the transaction providing variety and more cars available in remote rural areas.
These innovative ways have come full circle from the days not too far past, in which renting a car from Lenox Massachusetts to be dropped off at Bradley Airport in Winsor Locks Ct, or Albany International Airport in Albany NY, would require a large drop off fee unless sporting an I.D. from General Electric These fees would surpass the cost of hiring a Limousine from Abbott’s Lomo. Not to mention be a completely foolish expense as most travelers were wary from their long travel day and of the airport grind and much rather hop into the back of a chauffeur driven sedan or luxury car with its soft leather, bottled water, magazines, pillows, turkey sandwich and an alert driver!