Car Rental Tips & FAQ’s

Last Updated: 8/31/2016

car-rental-tips-featuredCar Rental Tips Summary

  • Check personal insurance coverage before reviewing rental car insurance to avoid redundancies.
  • Upon pick-up, fully inspect the condition of the vehicle to make sure it meets your expectations and driving needs.
  • Get familiar with the specifications of the car. Make sure you are comfortable with the controls and navigation before driving.
  • Make sure you review map directions or navigation devices for your destination to reduce distractions.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Rent a Car?

The average minimum age to rent a car in the U.S. is 21 for most rental car companies. Renters under 25 may have to pay an additional fee per day known as a “youthful driver fee.” In addition, there are generally no maximum age restrictions to rent a car in the U.S.

Exceptions:

The state of New York and Michigan mandate age exceptions for rental cars but with a fee:

New York: Minimum age is 18 years old

  • $57 per day additional fee for 18-20-year-old renters
  • $20 per day additional fee for 21-24-year-old renters

 

Michigan: Minimum age is 18 years old

  • $34 per day additional fee for 18-20-year-old renters
  • $13 per day additional fee for 21-24-year-old renters

 

*Government employees of the U.S. 18 or older will not incur the youthful driver fee for authorized rentals for travel.

 

Alamo Age to Rent a Car

  • A minimum age of 21 is required to rent a car and to avoid a youthful driver fee, the renter must be at least 25.
  • There is no maximum age restriction to rent a car in the U.S.

 

Avis Age to Rent a Car

  • Customers must be between the ages of 21 to 24. For renters under 25, an additional $27 underage surcharge is added per day.
  • There is no maximum age limit stated for renting a car in the U.S.

 

Budget Age to Rent a Car

  • Renter must be from ages 21-24. However, an additional $27 underage surcharge is added each day if the renter is under 25.
  • There is no maximum age limit to rent a car in the U.S.

 

Dollar Age to Rent a Car

  • For most rental locations, the renter must be at least 21 years of age.
  • There is no maximum age restriction stated for renting a car in the U.S.

 

Hertz Age to Rent a Car

  • Customers must be a minimum age of 25 to avoid an additional age differential charge.
  • Ages 20 to 24 will have an additional differential charge added. The minimum age to rent Hertz Prestige and Adrenaline collection cars is 25.
  • There is no maximum age restriction stated for renting a car in the U.S.

 

How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Car?

The cost to rent a car is determined by a combination of fees and rates. The most common factors of price are the renters age (ages 21-24 can incur a youthful driver fee), the type of car being rented, the book date and time, mileage plan, insurance (if opted), gasoline, taxes, and additional fees that could be incurred such as late drop-off charges.

 

How Do I Find the Best Rental Car Deals?

To find the best deals on rental cars, use rentalcarsnear.me to compare rates from rental car companies based on your personal needs.

 

What Do You Need to Rent a Car?

What Do You Need to Rent a Car Summary

  1. Generally, a renter will need to be at least 21 years of age.
  2. Have a valid driver’s license
  3. A credit card which should be all under the renter’s name. In most cases, companies will allow the use of a debit card in lieu of a credit card, however, there may be additional documents needed such proof of utility bills under the renter’s name or a credit check through a national verification bureau.

 

Alamo Renter Requirements

Alamo Renter Requirements Summary

  1. Customers must meet locations minimum age requirements (typically 21-24 in most states).
  2. Customers must have a valid driver’s license.
  3. Customers must present a major credit card at the time of rental with available credit. Other payment options include a debit card which is subject to qualification terms.
  4. A credit card is not required to rent a car in the state of New York. However, there is a cash qualification process that must be completed to rent a car.

 

Avis Renter Requirements

Avis Renter Requirements Summary

  1. Customers must be at least between the ages of 21-24.
  2. Customers must have a valid driver’s license and remain valid throughout the rental period.
  3. Customers must have an honored charge card presented at the time of rental (Avis Charge Card, American Express, AT&T Capital, China Union Pay, Diner’s Club International, Discover, GE Capital JCB, MasterCard, Sears, Visa).
  4. Customers may also pay with a split billing option between a credit and debit card.
  5. For debit cards only, most U.S. locations accept debit cards with the Visa or MasterCard logo as credit identification if the renter is at least 25 years old. Debit card acceptance is subject to car makes and models, and a few select state locations.

 

Budget Renter Requirements

Budget Renter Requirements Summary

  1. Renters must be at least 21-24 years of age.
  2. For credentials, rental terms can vary by location but typically the renter must present a valid U.S. driver’s license.
  3. Non-U.S. and non-Canadian residents are required to present a valid driver’s license and a passport from their home country.
  4. Renters are preferred to pay with a major credit card (American Express, Budget Charge Card, Budget International, Discover, JCB/Japan Card, MasterCard, Optima, PHH or Visa).
  5. Select locations will accept a debit card in lieu of credit card, however, additional credentials may be required from a third form of ID such and a credit check.

 

Dollar Renter Requirements

Dollar Renter Requirements Summary

  1. Renter must meet the minimum age requirement of 21 for most U.S. locations.
  2. Renter must present a valid driver’s license at the time of rental. Renter is preferred to use an acceptable charge card (American Express, MasterCard, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, Visa, Optima, Amex).
  3. If the renter qualifies for using a debit card as a form of payment, the debit cards should be issued under a Visa or MasterCard logo, and funds must be able to be draw directly from the cardholder’s linked bank account. Debit cards are not accepted in all rental locations.
  4. For debit card use at select locations, typically a credit check will be performed to determine qualification for the renter.

 

Hertz Renter Requirements

Hertz Renter Requirements Summary

  1. Renter must meet the renting location’s minimum age requirement (average age 25 but a minimum of 20 with an age differential fee).
  2. Renter must have a valid driver’s license. If the renter has restrictions such as a portable breathalyzer, a rental can’t be offered.
  3. Renter is preferred a credit card issued through American Express, MasterCard, Carte Blanche, Visa, Diners Club, Discover, Hertz Charge Card, JCB, Optima Amex with available credit.
  4. For debit card use, many locations accept this as a form of payment if the card issued under a Visa or MasterCard logo and the funds must draw directly from the cardholder’s account.
  5. Debit cards can only be used for renter 25 and older. Two additional forms of ID are needed when using a debit card such as an additional credit card or employee photo ID. In addition, a credit check is typically performed when using a debit card.

 

Can I Get a Same Day Rental Car?

Most rental car companies allow renters to book a car up to 1 hour in advance of the pick-up time depending on rental car availability.

 

Can You Book a One-Way Car Rental?

Renters can book a “one-way” rental with a different pick-up and drop-off location. Generally, a one-way rental can be between a different airport pick-up and a different airport drop-off. In addition, a one-way rental can also consist of an airport pick-up to an off-airport drop-off, and an off-airport pick-up location to an on-airport location drop-off.

 

Alamo One Way Rentals

  • Some one-way rentals are assessed a one-time drop-off charge (mileage) with the addition to the rental rate (inter-city fee).
  • The drop-off fee can vary by rental location and time of year. In the case of a drop-off charge fee, the charge will be disclosed at the time of booking.
  • The rates to go one way can be higher opposed to returned a rental car at the same location.
  • It is preferred to book one-way rentals in advance.
  • Some rentals that are dropped off within the same city can be subject to additional fees such as drop and mileage charges.

 

Avis One Way Rentals

  • Convenient one-way rentals are offered. A renter can pick-up a car at one location and return the car to another location. The car make and model and availability can vary at certain locations. In addition, a drop-off charge can apply based on certain rates.

 

Budget One Way Rentals

  • One-way rentals are offered from participating airport, downtown, and suburban locations across the United States often with unlimited mileage.
  • There are over 600 locations for renters to drive from coast to coast in participating U.S. locations at airport and off-airport locations.
  • There may be minimum $45 Unauthorized Return Location fee if the rental car is returned to a different location other than the one indicated on the reservation.

 

Dollar One Way Rentals

  • One-way rentals are offered and vary by location and vehicle availability. For one-way rental booking, a drop-off fee will apply.

 

Hertz One Way Rentals

  • One-way rentals give renters the advantage of returning a car at the nearest location. A renter can pick up a rental car from one location and drop the vehicle off at another location which provides flexibility.
  • Renters can pick-up and drop-off a vehicle from one of the 1700 locations across the United States.
  • The one-way rental packages offer free unlimited mileage on most of their rental inventory with no separate drop-off charge fees.

 

Do I Need Rental Car Insurance?

To determine if you need rental car insurance and what type, first, it’s important to check if you are already covered by your own health and car insurance plans, and the additional coverage that may be provided by your credit card issuer. There is a chance that your personal insurance policies will cover rental car usage and your credit card company may provide some coverage for the rental car. After reviewing your personal policies, it will be easier to determine what type of coverage you may need to purchase just to make sure you are not paying for coverage you may already have. For non-personal insurance, the most common types of rental car insurance are Liability Insurance Supplements, Limited Loss Damage Waivers, Partial Damage Waivers, Personal Accident Insurance, and Personal Effects Coverage.

 

Can I Rent a Car for Another Person?

Generally, you can book a rental car for another person if the driver meets the rental car company’s requirements and the driver’s information is available to be entered at the time of booking.

 

What If I Am Late Dropping off My Rental Car Past the Scheduled Time?

Typically, each rental car location has a 30 minute and under grace period to return the call with advanced notification. For some companies, an extra fee could be added per half hour to full hour after the original scheduled rental car drop-off time. However, it’s best to call your rental car provider ahead of time if you can’t make the drop-off on time. Even if the rental car can only be returned the next day, contacting the rental car company should be the first thing on your checklist since the company’s staff is highly trained to give you the best insight about your late return.

 
 

Resources:

Alamo | Avis | Budget | Dollar | Hertz