Rent a vehicle

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
User avatar
Metal
Cub
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:03 pm

Rent a vehicle

Postby Metal » Fri Feb 19, 2021 2:35 pm

Hi fellow travellers, I'm a new player.

I was thinking about the fact that travellers might want to rent vehicles on the arrival planets, without buying them. How much would it cost?
I have devised a calculation that provides for an economic gain for those who manage a rental equal to twice the purchase price of the vehicle after 10 years, including the maintenance costs indicated in the Vehicle Handbook.
With this system, for example, a car without an autopilot would cost travellers 10 Cr per day and 260 Cr per month, with autopilot 15 per day and 340 per month, an ATV instead 205 per day and 6110 per month, etc.

Unfortunately I am not satisfied with this system and I wanted to know if there was any "official" indication about it and how you behave.
Condottiere
Warlord Mongoose
Posts: 8787
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Rent a vehicle

Postby Condottiere » Fri Feb 19, 2021 4:50 pm

I would try to find the formula that car rental companies use.

They tend to get massive discounts for large batch purchases, operate them for a set period, and recover part of the purchase price when they sell the old models; corporate overheads, debt repayments, the usual expenses and costs you pile on.
Saladman
Stoat
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2012 6:30 am
Location: down on the West coast

Re: Rent a vehicle

Postby Saladman » Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:41 am

A quick search didn't get me the formula, at least not on the first page, but I got a couple interesting factoids. Car rental companies aim for 80% in service rates for their fleets; short of 100% utilization but much better than might be expected for luxury or specialty vehicles in some settings. You'd want to build utilization into your formula.

Rental cars are held for an average of only 13 months and 20-25,000 miles before being resold. Much less than I would have guessed. I suppose they don't want to get stuck with aging vehicles.

You probably could get a formula by comparing sale prices of new cars to rental prices of the same model, but I'm not motivated enough to do that for you.

A meta-game problem is players wrecking their rentals. Even without knowing they're PCs, heavily armed off world travellers may not be the best business risk for a rental place with low margins. You might end up with a hefty deposit, an outright sale with guaranteed buy-back, or just a system for liens against ships in port.
User avatar
NOLATrav
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 346
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2015 7:42 pm
Location: Crescent City

Re: Rent a vehicle

Postby NOLATrav » Sat Feb 20, 2021 2:17 am

I don’t work in the automotive industry but in my business we as a matter of course see rentals for equipment packages (from megacorps like Panavision) costing hundreds of thousands of dollars; on a smaller scale, personal owner/ operators often rent equipment worth tens of thousands of dollars (myself included, before I wised up and sold off the inventory).

Our rule of thumb was 1/15 of total item cost for 1 week, thus fifteen rentals pay off the item. Insurance, maintenance and financing were accepted as overhead so maybe 1/20 cost per week to simplify things. Idea being you pay if off and make a little money the first year and then either sell it or continue to rent it as the market allows. Note that this idea assumes that a new and more popular gadget will appear to eat in to your profits right about the one year mark.

So a Cr5000 ground car would rent for Cr250 per week, is paid off after twenty rentals, and the rest is pure profit for the owner. An older vehicle probably warrants Persuading or Brokering or Admining or Socialing the cost down to a more reasonable 75/50/25% of a new one.

Note that this scheme does not carry insurance against Travellers ;)
User avatar
Metal
Cub
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2021 6:03 pm

Re: Rent a vehicle

Postby Metal » Sat Feb 20, 2021 9:28 am

Thank you all. I think I'm going to use the 1/15 or 1/20 system
AnotherDilbert
Cosmic Mongoose
Posts: 4320
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2015 2:49 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Rent a vehicle

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Feb 20, 2021 10:51 am

I assume this have a lot to do with how often the item is rented.

For cars I see rentals fees of about 1-2% per week and that includes not just the car but running costs such as service and consumables such as tires.

So, a Cr5000 ground car would rent for perhaps Cr50-100 per week.

An expensive item such as an air/raft might be rented less often, and consequently cost a greater percentage per week. Perhaps a Cr250 000 air/raft would rent for about Cr5 000-10 000 per week?

Or, if it is very rugged and last a long time, it might be cheaper. So a beat up, but functional, air/raft from the local Rent-A-Wreck might cost Cr1000 per week?
Condottiere
Warlord Mongoose
Posts: 8787
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Rent a vehicle

Postby Condottiere » Sat Feb 20, 2021 11:46 am

As I recall, when I saw an analysis of the Hertz bankruptcy, the reason you have a set time to operate the rental vehicles, is to avoid the old car smell, which would tend to be inevitable with so many different renters, and to preempt quirks.

Cars that smell funny or act oddly, or don't look new, would tend to undermine the corporate image and that of the services and products they are offering.

At various times, they can be part of a megacorporation that operates airports or manufactures cars.
User avatar
dmclean62
Shrew
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:51 pm

Re: Rent a vehicle

Postby dmclean62 » Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:29 pm

In order to determine what the market is like for rental vehicles, I think it would be necessary to understand the economics of vehicles in the place where the rental is occurring. In the US, the auto industry runs on a yearly "model" cycle, with older models generally being viewed as less desirable. The current ongoing tech revolution only adds to the pace of obsolescence. Renters are often or even mostly business travelers on an expense account and the remainder are vacationers spending disposable income. Both groups often want or even expect an upscale experience, which will mean newer model vehicles. Also, the current business model of our planet is "throw it away and buy the new and improved model" so there's much less focus on repairability/maintainability. A more mature society might build vehicles that can be used and maintained at a high standard for decades at a reasonable cost. A frontier society or low population world might have little or no market for vehicles, and it will be more of a "you'll take what we decide to rent you and like it" situation. A corporate world might have little or no private vehicle ownership, which could make it difficult or expensive for Travellers to get a rental.

I think there's lots of possible models here, depending on the specific circumstances that exist on a specific world. I'm busy working on something else or I would consider writing something up. This might be a good topic for a JTAS article.
steelbrok
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 330
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2007 7:13 pm

Re: Rent a vehicle

Postby steelbrok » Mon Feb 22, 2021 6:10 pm

Maybe a table along thelines of the Satarship quirks one for older vehicles would be appropriate
Old School
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1067
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:41 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Rent a vehicle

Postby Old School » Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:21 pm

Something along the lines of an air raft might not be rented to just anyone. Aircraft charter, including pilot, might be a more likely model. Owners of such an expensive small vehicle won't entrust it to just anyone.
steelbrok
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 330
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2007 7:13 pm

Re: Rent a vehicle

Postby steelbrok » Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:14 pm

Old School wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:21 pm
Something along the lines of an air raft might not be rented to just anyone. Aircraft charter, including pilot, might be a more likely model. Owners of such an expensive small vehicle won't entrust it to just anyone.
Especially anyone who can just take off to the next star system. Good point
User avatar
dmclean62
Shrew
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2018 3:51 pm

Re: Rent a vehicle

Postby dmclean62 » Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:58 pm

steelbrok wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:14 pm
Old School wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:21 pm
Something along the lines of an air raft might not be rented to just anyone. Aircraft charter, including pilot, might be a more likely model. Owners of such an expensive small vehicle won't entrust it to just anyone.
Especially anyone who can just take off to the next star system. Good point
That's easy - companies would put a tracking device in the vehicle and would just notify the authorities if something untoward were going on.

And off-planet renters would have to leave a security deposit.
User avatar
Ursus Maior
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 242
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:36 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Rent a vehicle

Postby Ursus Maior » Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:05 pm

steelbrok wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:14 pm
Old School wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:21 pm
Something along the lines of an air raft might not be rented to just anyone. Aircraft charter, including pilot, might be a more likely model. Owners of such an expensive small vehicle won't entrust it to just anyone.
Especially anyone who can just take off to the next star system. Good point
There are other ways to do that. You can rent a pricey car right now and in theory drive it across the next border, cut it up and sell it for parts. I'm sure this happens from time to time, actually, many car thieves steal on demand, after all. Yet, rentals are a thing, even luxury ones. Solutions for the rental agency are insurances and good security protocols, e. g. proof of ID by the customer, proof of residence (e. g. at least 7 days after termination of rental period), deposits and credit valid on the planet etc.

Then there are technological solutions you can implement. First, all your rental contracts are shared with law-enforcement. If they spot one of your rentals being used for illegal stuff, the contract ends immediately. Contract termination results in the craft switching to auto-pilot in 'fly home mode', plus an emergency signal being broadcasted to law enforcement nearby. And of course while an air/raft can technically climb up into low orbit, why not define contractual limits for its controls electronically. "Sure you can enjoy high-altitude g-surfing, sir. Our 'Be free - be G-Surfing'-package allows you to climb up to 150 km altitude for an additional 10 kCr and a double deposit. Oh, and please use officially sanctioned g-surfing zones only. Your air/raft will tell you, how to get there and begin a slow and safe ascend once you reached the lower proximity of the zone of your choice. Enjoy your day!"

In the end, such a business model needs expertise and experience. If you have enough legit customers so a criminal cannot tank your business by stealing your air/raft, you're good. Will this work on a dustball outback world with a class D starport? Maybe not. But every planet with good law enforcement between highport and downport (low orbit, interface, probably up to a near moon): why not?
liber et infractus
Old School
Greater Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 1067
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:41 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Rent a vehicle

Postby Old School » Tue Feb 23, 2021 4:14 am

Will this work on a dustball outback world with a class D starport? Maybe not
but as everyone knows, such places are where the action is. If you’re on a more civilized world, its a heck of a lot easier to just take an Uber.
User avatar
Ursus Maior
Banded Mongoose
Posts: 242
Joined: Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:36 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Rent a vehicle

Postby Ursus Maior » Tue Feb 23, 2021 8:39 am

Oh, you can rent an air/raft on a class D starport world as well. The deposit just is the same as a new one costs. Of course it's not a new one as the rest of the barfed-out egg in the vent tells you.
liber et infractus
Condottiere
Warlord Mongoose
Posts: 8787
Joined: Mon Sep 23, 2013 8:23 pm

Re: Rent a vehicle

Postby Condottiere » Tue Feb 23, 2021 7:17 pm

Since a air/raft costs something alike a million of our bux, and if we assume with something close to spaceship depreciation and maintenance costs, they are still a tad cheaper than a helicopter.

I think you'll have to lease the air/raft, or any other gravitationally motored vehicle, with probably an extensive credit check.

Cars could be actually be throwaways, for environmental reasons, easily cannibalized and/or modular.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 49 guests