Why pay exorbitant taxi fees or wait for public transportation when you can rent a car in the US?
Cheap fuel and wide roads offer the perfect recipe for exploring the country on wheels. Also, renting a car means exploring dozens of territories at your own pace. There’s no rush!
However, the process of renting a car can sometimes be tedious and confusing. In this article, you will learn everything required for a hassle-free reservation so you can make the most of the rental car.
Eligibility Criteria For Renting a Car in The US
- Be 25+ years old, but some companies rent to 21+-year-olds for an extra cost and limited car options.
- Valid driver’s license for over one year
- A credit card in the name of the holder of the reservation
- Sufficient funds to cover the deposit
Valuable Tips & Best Practices For Renting a Car
1. Rent from well-known rental agencies
You wouldn’t want to be taken for a ride in a new country. Hence, always rent from a reputable, large rental company.
Some known companies in the US are Alamo, Hertz, Dollar, National, Thrifty, Budget, Avis, and National.
Renting from smaller companies may feel like saving some dollars, but you won’t get roadside assistance or support. Also, they may have hidden charges that will be revealed to you when you return the car.
2. Compare prices
Although you must book from reputed car rental agencies, remember to compare their prices. Best deals come to those who research and compare.
3. Have the required documentation with you
In the US, the minimum documentation needed to rent a car is a credit card and a driver’s license. If you have recently moved to America, ensure you have an internationally accepted credit card and International Driver’s Permit from your home country if you do not have the US versions of these documents.
You can also get a driver’s license in the US by contacting the Department of Motor Vehicles. For Spanish-speaking residents, the best guide to know how to get a driver’s license is found at www.tramites-usa.com. This website also offers information about other aspects of living in America and making the most of it.
4. Check whether your credit card provides an insurance policy
Rental companies offer expensive rental car insurance to cover damages. The cost might be upwards of $10-$25 per day.
Most major credit cards offer insurance on car rentals at no added cost. Some provide limited coverage, while others offer none at all. You must check first before contacting or visiting a car rental company.
5. If your credit card doesn’t offer insurance, buy it online
Rental car agencies make most of their profits by selling extras and add-ons to customers. As a result, their insurance would cover very little but cost a lot.
You can avoid this by getting covered well in advance with a highly reputable and trustworthy online car insurance provider. Ensure the insurance plan offers full protection, including theft, expensive damages, headlight repairs, lost keys, etc.
6. Carefully think about how many drivers are needed
In the US, rental companies charge a daily fee for each additional driver. Therefore, you must carefully think about how many drivers are needed.
7. Always book in advance
It is worth arranging a rental car as soon as your flight is confirmed or your holiday leaves are sanctioned at work. You’ll get cheaper deals if you book in advance.
If several cars are available for a specific date, the price will be lower because there’s not much demand.
8. The tank must be full when returning the car
Stopping at the local gas station before returning your car is essential. Most rental companies will expect a full tank when you return the vehicle.
Failing to do this will incur additional charges for a fill-up, and most rental agencies charge considerably more than local gas rates.
9. Pick up the car from the nearest depot
The most convenient option is to pick up the rental car from the airport, which is also expensive. Instead, pick it up from a downtown depot and save money.
However, if you decide to pick it up from the airport, ensure to provide the correct flight number. Then, in case of any delay, the staff can track the estimated arrival time and ensure to send someone to meet you.
10. Choose the car according to your trip
It is essential to make the right choice from the beginning. Decide how many sites you wish to visit, the number of passengers, and the amount of luggage you plan to carry.
A small car will be fine if two to three people have little luggage. But if there are more people with lots of luggage, rent a minivan or SUV.
Get the most out of your rental car by following the above-mentioned tips.