car

Renting a Car in the US: Things to Consider 


Renting a Car in the US: Things to Consider 

 

Car rentals are one of the most affordable and convenient ways to get to a destination; if you’re looking at a weekend getaway, or planning to visit other states and explore, etc.  

 

The car rental industry in the US is one of the biggest in the world. A wide range of cars is available for rentals to suit the nature of your trip, from luxury cars to more economical options. 

 

All airports have free shuttle buses that take you to a lot that rents cars. They all have various conditions and deals on them. So, before renting a car in U.S do some research beforehand to know what car rental company is best for you and what kind of car you want. It is important to understand some essential factors before doing so. Here are the top car companies to get you started.

 

Car Rental Companies

 

Avis Car Rental
Avis Car Rentals has over 4,000 locations in 180 countries and is one of the largest car rental companies globally. They have amazing customer service and offers throughout the year.  

 

Alamo
Founded in 1958, is a part of the company Enterprise Holdings. They are located in all 50 states and have over 1000 locations and are in 84 countries worldwide.  

 

Zipcar 

Zipcar offers monthly and yearly memberships. Depending on the plan you selected, they charge $9/hour or $83/day. If you need a car urgently to run a few errands or attend an important meeting, you can reserve a car online for as long as you need. They also use exclusively eco-friendly cars that consume lesser gasoline per year compared to a regular car.

 

National Car Rental
They are an international car rental company also a part of Enterprise Holdings that have been in the business for over 50 years. They hard to resist offers and are customer-friendly services. They can be found at over 320 locations throughout the US. 

 

Enterprise Rent-A-Car
They are a well-known car rental company globally. They offer services to locals and have services internationally as well. They offer a wide variety of services and a selection of cars to meet your specific needs and requirements from low hourly rates to long-term car leasing.


Hertz

They provide vehicles to many companies including Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental, and Alamo. Hertz Corporation is a subsidiary of The Hertz Corporation present at over 9,000 locations internationally and in the US.

 

Requirements

 

Age and License: You must be 21 years or older to rent a car and have a valid license. A few companies, Avis for example, in most cities rent to 18-year-olds. Hertz has a minimum age requirement of 25. Many rental companies charge a ‘young driver’ fee per day on drivers under 25.

 

When renting a car abroad, carrying your home country’s valid driver’s license should suffice. Nevertheless, make sure to read the company of choice’s fine print that incurs additional costs as they would require an international driving permit or an IDP. This applies especially if you’re renting a larger vehicle such as a van or SUV. So check with the rental company’s specific policies to avoid additional charges. 

 

Insurance: It is crucial to ensure you have adequate liability insurance when renting a car. Check what insurance is provided as multiple states do not require car rental companies to provide third-party cover. There may be high tax for interstate travel as third-party cover included in the basic cost may be limited to only in-state.

 

Check for: 

  • Cost of insurance for out-of-state
  • PAI: Personal Accident Insurance 
  • PEP: Personal Effects Protection
  • CDW/LDW: Collision or Loss Damage Waiver 
  • Supplementary Liability Insurance
  • Extended Protection

 

Rental companies do not need additional insurance considering your credit card offers some coverage when you return it at the end of a trip. 

 

However, if you plan to use it beyond just getting from point A to B such as sightseeing, a car for work, or other purposes, additional coverage will need to be purchased through the rental company. Don’t assume your credit card will cover all aspects of rentals, always read the fine print even if it offers some coverages. 

 

Payment:

To rent a car, you must have a credit card, it serves as a method of payment and also proof of identity. Remember to always have enough funds as you must make a deposit ranging anywhere from $150-$300. The company puts a hold on the deposit and returns it only after the car is safely returned with no damages. 

 

Your card company may provide you with free CDW, that is if you pay with a Gold Mastercard or an American Express. But do check the degree of coverage provided. Most companies only pay the amount deductible only after your insurance company pays on a claim. 

 

In conclusion, it can be difficult to know which car rental agency is good for you, with so many around, rates alter in accordance to the type of vehicle and location as well so don’t forget to read a company’s fine print and policies. Go through these carefully curated points to know what you want for your next trip, or personal requirement.


Samantha hails from Virginia and is a proud wife to a retired Deputy Sheriff and mother to two amazing little boys named Jack & William. A veteran product reviewer; Samantha has been reviewing products for 8 years and offers high quality product reviews with original photography.

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