Supporting conservation efforts in Montana.
Although it may seem like a small thing, but the way we license our rental cars in Montana is significant. All of Phasmid’s rental cars feature Montana license plates that benefit conservation groups here in Montana. This means that every year when we pay our license fees, we are donating towards the groups that help protect Montana. Some of the groups we support with these efforts: Montana Raptor Center, Montana Wildlife Refuges, Trout Unlimited, Rocky Montana Elk Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Lee Metcalf Foundation, and more to come.
Most of the rental car agencies in Bozeman license their cars in Idaho, Utah, or Washington. I am sure this saves them money. However, by licensing out of state the fees are not even going to the roads that the cars are traveling on- forget conservation and the future of Montana.
Montana license plates are also geographically numbered, except for conservation plates. Our off-airport competitors either have custom license plates, i.e. TRAC 10 (for Toyota Rent-a-Car 10) or locally titled Bozeman 6C plates. Not a big deal until you go to small-town Montana- where big city folks from Bozeman are generally not looked well upon.
Further, there is nothing that infuriates a local Montanan more than pulling up to a fishing access and seeing the parking lot full of out of state plates. We are generally very kind to out-of-staters until they are fishing and hunting our spots. Out-of-state (or Bozeman 6C) plates might as well advertise that there is nice fishing gear and cameras inside of the car to steal. The right license plate in Montana will get you a surprisingly long way with the locals.
By the way, the franchise companies also charge you a separate ‘License Fee’ even though they are registered out of state.