Traveling Under the Age of 25

Do you have an upcoming business trip in Houston, Texas? Are you simply planning a leisure vacation with family or friends? You may have realized by now that acquiring proper transportation will be difficult unless you are over the age of 25 and have a major credit card. While we understand the rental car companies’ motivation behind these requirements (liability and driving experience to name a few) we realize this prohibits many qualified drivers from having a rental vehicle.

At this day and age many corporate employees are well under the age of 25 and are required to travel quite frequently for their careers. It would certainly make for an awkward business meeting if you were late simply because you had no form of transportation, wouldn’t it? At Ability Auto Rental, we understand these inconveniences and not only make exceptions but it is our rule to insure drivers under the age of 25. In fact, you don’t even need to put down a major credit card!

Ability Auto offers Houston car rentals to drivers under the age of 25 that have a valid driver’s license. It is that simple. No hassle, no hidden fees. We realize that there are very qualified and responsible drivers of all ages. We also realize that there can be many hassles with owning a credit card. We make exceptions for this as well. We accept cash payments on all rental cars. Getting a rental car in Houston has never been easier.

Hidden Tourist Spots to Discover While Visiting Houston

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Ask your friends, neighbors or co-workers where they recommend you go while visiting Houston and chances are most of them will recommend the same places that thousands of tourists go every year. Most of them will recommend, for example, that you visit the Space Center or the Houston Astrodome or Market Square Park or the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center. And while these are excellent places to visit when in Houston, they may not be for those who like to venture off the beaten path every once in a while. Houston has plenty of excellent places to visit that are full of excitement and adventure but aren’t quite as touristy as the aforementioned attractions. Here are a few suggestions for visitors to our great city who want to explore some of Houston’s hidden treasures while on vacation.

Shri Swaminarayan Mandir: Located in nearby Stafford, Texas, this beautifully ornate Hindu Mandir (shrine) is the first traditional one of its kind in North America. It is a place of worship for followers of Hinduism so care should be given when visiting. Visitors are required to remove their shoes when entering and to dress conservatively.

Palace of the Golden Orbs: This $6 million fortress is more a place to visit and puzzle at than it is a place to actually enter and worship. It was built by Chinese Universalist and abandoned before its completion.

Willow Waterhole Park: Located in the middle of Westbury, Willow Waterhole Park is a 290-acre development that houses ponds, walking trails and picturesque gazebos where people can reflect in peace and quiet. The Waterhole also hosts various musical festivals depending on the time of year.

Karbach Brewing Company: Just as can be inferred by the name, this is a brewery where guests can take a tour, learn how beer is made and enjoy some hops and lagers.

Bayou Wildlife Park: This is park is the economy version of an African Safari. Visitors can see live animals such as rhinos, camels, lemurs and deer as they ride in a tram.

The McGovern Centennial Gardens: An underappreciated gem that lies within Hermann Park, this garden is actually a combination of several beautiful and majestic floral displays. Bring a camera and prepare to be stunned when you visit.

Yes, you are only a Houston hobby rent a car rental from seeing some of the gems that elude most visitors to Houston but are thrilling to experience nonetheless. The next time you return home from visiting Houston, you can give your friends who plan on visiting some truly unique suggestions on how to spend their vacations.

Renting a Car with a Debit Card

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According to a 2014 report by the site Bank Rate, 60% of Millennials – people between the ages of 18 to 29 – do not own credit cards.  While this may seem inconceivable to people above the age of thirty, many Millennials – for wrong or right – see this as a way to avoid incurring debt they may not be able to repay later in life.  Yet despite this fact, many companies still require a credit card to secure the use of their product or service.  This requirement, unfortunately, deprives many people who do not have a credit card of the convenience that having a card brings.  However, at Ability Auto Rental we believe that renting a car is one convenience that you should have along with people who do have credit cards.  cash-rentalThat is why we have cash and debit card rentals available for our customers.  Here are some tips for those who either do not have a credit card or who wish to use some other means to secure a vehicle from us.

  • Bring adequate forms of identification with you:  We need to be able to confirm your driver status, your age, address, etc.  Forms of ID such as utility bills, your driver’s license, a passport, etc., help expedite process of renting a car.
  • Have extra cash available:  Renting a car often requires that a deposit be held on your card which means the amount of the deposit will not be available to you while you are in possession of the car.  This may seem unusual but there is risk involved on our end when renting a car.  The deposit amount is released shortly after customers return the car in good condition.  Have enough money on hand to handle this contingency.
  • Ask about insurance requirements:  Ask about insurance requirements as well any other conditions that debit card renters or cash renters may be subjected to.  Ideally, this should be done even before you enter the rental agency.
  • Be prepared to show proof of insurance:  Most rental companies that accept debit cards will require this of renters.
  • Make sure you have enough on your card cover the deposit:  Ask us about the deposit amount that may be held on your card so that you can be sure your card covers more than that amount.  We want all visitors to the area to enjoy themselves and not encounter any expected or unwanted financial difficulties while traveling.

Finally, most of us over the age of 30 cannot conceive of being deprived of the convenience of our credit cards.  We expect that every business we encounter will be able to immediately accommodate us because we carry these plastic cards with us.  However, people who use debit cards cannot always expect the same level of accommodation from businesses.  That is why we at Ability Auto Rental understand and are willing to help debit card and cash renters enjoy the use of a clean, safe automobile when they visit the Houston area.

Money Saving Car Rental Tips

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Summer vacations are tricky.  The goal is to enjoy yourself and to get away from your routine yet do so in a manner that does not leave you regretting how much money you’ve spent.  When it comes to bringing a vacation in under budget, renting a car is one of the areas that can afford the most opportunities for savings.  All it takes is a little prep work, common sense and determination to choose a car rental that can leave you with money to use on other aspects of your vacation.

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Here are some tips to save you money on your next car rental courtesy of Ability Auto where you can get a Hobby Airport car rental.

  • Try the little guys:  Alamo/National, Avis/Budget, Firefly/Hertz, and Dollar/Thrifty may be better known than the smaller car rental places but because they are their prices are markedly different.  Studies show that smaller independent companies can charge anywhere from 20 to 50 percent less than the big boys.  Moreover, the customer service agents at smaller companies often try harder because their companies are smaller.
  • Join a club or organization:  Groucho Marx once quipped that he wouldn’t join a club that would have someone like him as a member.  When trying to save on car rentals adjust your thinking and use your membership in AAA, AARP and other organizations to your advantage.  Many offer significant discounts on car rentals, hotel fees, etc.  Membership sometimes has its privileges.
  • Rent during the week:  Weekend rates are often cheaper than weekday rates.
  • Watch your return carefully:  In some cases returning a car as little as one hour late can have the effect of being charged for an extra day.  Be careful to return your car on time every time.
  • Use the Internet:  Search sites like Orbitz, Expedia and Travelocity for all your vacation planning but also check the individual site of the company you are considering renting your vehicle from.  This is an excellent way to find deals and specials.

Finally, Ability Auto knows how difficult it can be to stay within a budget especially while on vacation.  We want to be sure you avoid unnecessary expenses during your vacation.  We also strive to make renting from us convenient as well as affordable which is why visitors are able to do a Houston Hobby rent a car at the airport while in the area.  We can even provide you with tips on places to go and things to do while you are enjoying what our city has to offer.

Should You Rent a Car or Drive Your Own?

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It’s a question that is almost as old as “to be or not to be.”  Well, it’s not quite that old but it is one that has been around since the rental car industry first began.  Every year millions of travelers ponder over whether they should rent a car when they travel out onto the road or drive their own.  In fact, there are even websites that contain calculators in which one can plug in certain information about one’s intended destination to help people decide which option is best.  In order to help you make this sometimes tricky decision, here are some things to consider about renting vs. driving your own vehicle.

Advantages of Renting a Car

  • Greater confidence:  There is a certain boost to one’s confidence and sense of security in knowing that the car you are driving in is perhaps newer, has fewer miles and is in better condition than your own.  This is particularly important on longer trips.
  • To save on mileage and wear:  This is one of the primary reasons people choose to rent rather than drive their own cars while on vacation.  This is especially important if you have a high mileage vehicle and it is about to reach its mileage limit anyway.
  • Available deals:  Many car rental companies offer special deals as incentives to rent especially during the summer travel month making renting a car easier than it’s ever been.  Also, there are many websites that bundle hotel, car and flight specials into one package.  Ability Rent a Car has a standing policy of allowing renters to pay a cash car rental in order to quickly obtain a safe, reliable vehicle.
  • Better features and mileage:  Many drivers find that the cars they obtained from car rental companies are newer, have better mileage and have additional features that their own cars do not.  On an extended trip, for example, it might be important for drivers to have a car that possesses a DVD.

Ultimately, you should also factor into any equation considerations like the distance you will be traveling, the condition of your own car and how much it cost to operate your own vehicle.  If you do decide to rent over driving your own vehicle, Ability Rent a Car is ready to make sure that you have a cheap car rental that we can guarantee you will be quick and convenient.  We can even recommend some of the best places to visit while you are in the greater Houston area.

7 Tips for a Safer Vacation

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Planning a vacation can be difficult.  There is packing, reservation making and a million other issues that always seem to pop up at the last minute.  However, as tricky as it can be to balance all those bayou citythings, everyone knows that the reward is a relaxing, hitch-free experience.  Part of that planning involves making sure that you and your loved ones remain safe amid a city that is strange.  With that in mind, here are some tips to make your trip a safe and happy one.

  • Don’t flash your cash or valuables:  Keep a small amount of cash easily accessible but keep the bulk of your money safety stored away.  Also consider using traveler’s checks.  You may not be watching them but thieves may be watching you.
  • Don’t look like a tourist:  Nothing attracts criminals more than a person who seems lost or confused in his/her environment.  Familiarize yourself with your route and destination before leaving your hotel room.
  • Avoid hotel ground floors:  Avoid accepting rooms that are at ground level.  It is too easy for criminals to break in.  Ask for a room that is between the third and sixth floors.
  • Check your hotel lock:  Check to make sure that our hotel locks works properly.  If it does not, ask for another room.  Also, for additional security use a door wedge.
  • Avoid too much online sharing:  Wait until you have returned from your vacation to begin sharing your adventures on social media as this might alert someone that you are not at home.
  • Check the Weather:  Protect yourself by checking weather and road conditions before you head out to see the city.  This will ensure that you pack the proper gear and it will help you make the decision whether it is safe to venture out at all.
  • Make Copies of Your ID and Passport:  One of the biggest headaches in life is having one’s ID or passport lost while traveling.  It is also a way that identity thieves thrive.  The site Travelers.com recommends that you bring a copy and store it separately from your original or that you leave a copy with a friend or relative.

At Ability Auto rental in Houston we want everyone who visits the area to have the convenience of using one of our cars and more importantly to be safe in our great city.  A little preparation will help make sure that this is possible.  Our cash auto rental policy ensures that you can quickly be in and out and on your way to enjoying all the sites and experiences this city has to offer its guests.  If you need a rental car in Houston make sure that you consider our excellent customer service and our easy transaction policy.  Welcome and have a safe and wonderful experience in the “Bayou City”.

Emergency Supplies to Keep in your Car

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As unpleasant a thought as it is, unexpected things happen while we are on vacation and at other times while we are driving our cars. The freedom and exhilaration of being on the open road can make us forget the hazards that can occur at any time and place. Inclement weather, slick roads, careless drivers and other factors can turn a routine errand or tour of an exciting new city into an unpleasant and even life changing experience. This is why we at Ability Auto advocate that our k2-_b0465c46-18ee-48cb-9cd0-4ec2b8100fb6.v1renters take every precaution to increase the chance that they will be able to handle such unplanned emergencies. Our Houston rental cars are safe and have been inspected but every driver – whether they are a renter or not – should keep some basic supplies in his/her car in the event of an emergency.

  • Spare Tire: Check to make sure you have a spare tire in good condition as well as a tire iron and jack.
  • Jumper cables: Sometimes a battery can go dead seemingly without a reason. Always remember to pack jumper cables or an emergency battery booster in the event you cannot find a motorist to assist you in charging your battery.
  • First Aid Kit: These kits can be found in a number of places on and offline and are relatively inexpensive. They contain basics such as bandages, gauze, adhesive tape, cold packs, etc.
  • Flashlight: The time of day an accident occurs can’t be controlled so it is wise to carry a flashlight and to check the batteries periodically to be sure it is still functional.
  • Flares or reflective triangle: Carry these in order to make yourself visible to other drivers in the event of a roadside emergency.
  • Auto membership Card/Rental Agency Phone Number: Keep these in the glove compartment or in your wallet for easy access.
  • Energy bars or MREs: Certain emergencies require being able to maintain energy levels until help arrives. Energy bars or MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) can easily be stored in the glove compartment and last for months.
  • Car Manual: This should already be in the glove compartment for easy access and can inform you about how to manage minor repairs that can mean a world of difference in an emergency.

Other items to include are a small tool kit or Swiss Army Knife type device, a tire pressure gauge, duct tape, ice scrapers, a blanket, spare change and extra fuses. No one likes to think about the possibility of an accident occurring while they are in their own car let alone in a rented vehicle but accidents do happen.

 

A Brief History of Auto Rentals

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It’s hard to imagine a time when there weren’t dozens of auto rental companies awaiting travelers in every city around the world. Well, although this now indispensable part of the travel industry has been around for more than a century, there was a time when it was a unique concept. Almost as soon as the automobile was invented the need arose for car rental companies to emerge. Thus, the history of car rentals is an interesting one.

The earliest example of cars being available for the public to rent goes all the way back to 1904 and the sixt. This company – which is one of the most venerable car rental companies in all of Germany – still exist today. Today they have more than 2,000 locations in over 100 different countries but started out at the beginning of the 20th century with a fleet of only three cars. During WWI and II the company was seized and used for the German war effort but returned to Martin Sixt when hostilities with the Allies ended.

That was Europe. In America, one of the early pioneers in the car rental industry was Joe Saunders who, in 1916, started a rental company that would eventually be bought out by Avis in 1955. At nearly the same time that Saunders began his company Walter L. Jacobs started his car rental company in 1918. At the time this company was called “Rent-A-Car of Chicago.” Later it would be acquired by John Hertz of Hertz Rental Car fame. Eventually smaller car rental firms would follow the model set by early German pioneer Martin Sixt and started popping up all over the US and Europe. Many of these companies have gone by the wayside but several still exist and have gone on to be the well known brands that we are all familiar with.

The history of the car rental company proves the adage that necessity is the mother of invention. The need for people to be able to rent clean, affordable transportation quickly arose in the wake of the automobile’s invention. Ability Rent a Car has continued in the tradition of these early pioneers by maintaining a sense of superior service and convenience to customers by having a cash car rental policy in place. We are a Houston car rental company that cares about our customers’ needs and we honor the spirit of those men and women who started this business more than a century ago.

Dos and Dont’s of Car Rental

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Downtown Houston Skyline - The West SideMost people put a great deal of forethought into planning their vacations. They carefully plan airline, train or bus reservations, hotel accommodations, itineraries and other aspects of their vacations in an attempt to maximize the enjoyment of their experience. After all, that’s the whole purpose of a vacation. What some people fail to do is prepare for one of the most important parts to most vacations – renting a car. Knowing what to do and what not to do when renting a car spares renters from aggravation and inconvenience, minimizes disputes when returning their vehicle and in some cases can save money. Making your Houston car rental process easier and more efficient will add to the overall enjoyment of your next vacation. Here are some dos and dont’s of car rental that will make your experience hassle free:

Dos

  • Bring proper ID with you: Be sure that you present identification with you when renting a car. The proper ID includes a valid driver’s license or military license. It is also a good idea to be able to produce documents that match the renter’s address ID such as utilities bills, airline tickets, etc. Non-photo ID or ID that does not show you are qualified to drive a motor vehicle is not acceptable.
  • Familiarize yourself with the company’s rental regulations: Before leaving the rental company renters you should go over the policies sent forth in the rental agreement. You should also take this opportunity to ask any questions you have.
  • Know the basic car operation: Before pulling off the lot, be sure you know the basic operation of the vehicle you are renting. Familiarize yourself with the proper use of headlights, windshield wipers, trunk release, GPS system, etc.
  • Clean and refuel the vehicle before returning: Thoroughly clean the car before returning it so that it looks the way it did when you checked it out. Some companies may charge you a cleaning fee if you bring back an untidy car. Also, be sure to refuel the car before returning in order to avoid a fine.

Dont’s

  • Drive on unpaved roads or during unsafe conditions: You should treat the car you are driving as if it is yours. Correction – you should treat it even better. If you drive off road and get stuck, you could incur fees for getting unstuck and for cleaning the car.
  • Ignore the vehicle inspection: Most car companies will have you sign off on a vehicle inspection form before you leave the lot. Pay very close attention to the inspection and note any damage. Don’t ignore the final inspection either.
  • Ignore potential discounts: Most rental companies will offer rewards to AAA, AARP and members of other programs; such memberships can help you qualify for an especially cheap car rental while visiting Houston.

Ultimately, knowing how what to do and not to do when renting a car spares renters from aggravation, and inconvenience.

 

The Best Sights to See While Visiting Houston

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It’s no accident that the city of Houston, Texas is such a popular tourist destination. Yearly, people from all over the world visit here due to the variety of attractions the city has available. The sites of Houston are as diverse as the people who visit the city. At Ability Auto Rental not only is it important to us that you have an affordable, hassle free rental experience, we also want you to get the most out of what Houston has to offer.

From world-class restaurants to entertainment to museums and the gulf coast, Houston offers something for everyone. The city appeals to people with a variety of interest. or example, Houston has long had a rich history involving the space program. The Space Center is the home of mission control and gives regular tours where it educates visitors on the highlights of the space race with interactive exhibits, a tram ride and much more. Trip Finder has ranked the Space Center at #7 of things to do while in Houston.

Also for those who are science minded, there is the Houston Museum of Natural Science with its exhibits of Ancient Egypt, African Wildlife and more. The Museum is located on the northern border of Hermann Park in Houston and in 2015 added 150 new pieces. For those who are more interested in art in Houston than in hard science, there is the Museum of Fine Arts. The Museum – which is one of the largest museums in the United States – has a searchable database through which visitors can discover art across time periods, cultures, classifications and more.

Every family on vacation knows how challenging it can be to keep small children entertained; so for families there are many kid-friendly attractions. There is the Houston Zoo where children can explore animal habitats, feed animals and participate in the zoo’s Vet for a Day program. There is also the Children’s Museum of Houston, which includes attractions and activities such as movies, performances, hands-on exhibits and even ‘Kidtropolis’ – a real life kid metropolis complete with a skyline, city government and occupations.

For the mandatory shopping that must accompany every vacation, there is The Galleria in Houston. The Galleria spans 2.4 million square feet of space, houses 400 fine stores and restaurants, two high-rise hotels, and three office towers. The Galleria is enough reason to book a Houston car rental because the stores there are a must see and you’ll need a way of getting there.

Yes, we at Ability Auto Rental are proud of the sites the city has to offer visitors and we want to make it easy for you to rent a car and be on your way to explore these sites unimpeded by the hassle that comes from renting from larger car rental agencies. We can even do a cash auto rental so you can be out on the road to explore the Houston area and discover its many attractions.