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Car Rental Tips in the USA

successful woman getting a car

Most people nowadays have become wiser when it comes to booking a rental car. They wouldn't buy a car without checking out different deals. No wonder many customers end up visiting VroomVroomVroom because they can easily compare rental cars from major brands including Alamo, National, and Enterprise. This will save them time, money and downright agony when it comes to renting a car. With a wide selection of vehicles to choose from, they can easily spot the rental car that will best suit their budget and needs.

What to know about renting a car?

After comparing and finding the perfect rental car, there are still other things that you need to consider when renting a car like the type of car, driver's license and insurance. Here are some car rental tips and tricks that rental car customers may find useful. 

1. Number of passengers

Think about how many people are travelling and how far you're going. Yes, you may think a hatch will be fine for four people, but if you've got three weeks of travel ahead you may need more space for luggage. And to get as far away from each other as possible. You may even opt for an RV rental instead of a 8-seater van.

2. Baby on board

It is illegal to carry small children in a car without safety restraint seats in most states. It will be cheaper if you bring your own car seat, but it may be inconvenient if you have a lot of luggage. You can add a child seat when you book through VroomVroomVroom for an additional cost. Always find out how much extra it's going to be, whether or not they're up to code, and if there are any cleaning costs involved.

3. Automatic or manual transmission

Always double-check to make sure the car you want to rent has the transmission you're after.  Most rental cars in the USA are equipped with automatic transmission so you need to request in advance if you prefer a standard transmission. It is important that you drive a vehicle that you are comfortable in to avoid getting into an accident. See the list of companies here.

4. Driver's license and age requirement

You don't need an international driver's license to drive in the USA as long as you have a valid driver's license from your home country. However, an international driver's license may be helpful when they could not recognize your license or it was written in another language. The minimum age requirement to rent a car in the United States is 25 years old. However, there are some companies that rents a car to under 25 as long as they pay the underage driver fee.

5. Additional driver fee

If you are going on a long drive, it is advisable to share the wheel with another driver. Try to keep the number of drivers to a maximum of two even if you are travelling with a group of people aged 25 and above. Rental car companies charge a fee per additional driver so the more drivers, the more expensive it will be.

6. Renting a car at the airport

It is more expensive renting a car at the airport, but it is more convenient so weigh in what is more important for you. The incoming Flight Number is important so make sure to input that when booking a car rental as will indicate to the supplier of the vehicle which terminal to have the vehicle waiting.

7. Insurance costs

Always check out the insurance costs. If you think this holiday might be a good chance to let your 18-year-old son learn how to drive, you might want to think again. Insurance costs skyrocket when there are teenagers involved in an accident. Car rental insurance is sometimes covered by personal car insurance, credit card company and personal travel insurance provider. There are also different types of car rental insurances so click here to find out more what would best suit your needs.

8. Payment options

Almost all car rental companies require that you provide a major credit card when you pick up your car. The credit card should be under the same name as the primary renter. However, there are also some companies that accept debit cards backed by Visa/MasterCard. Check out our suppliers' Terms and Conditions for payment options. 

9. Make sure you are familiar with your rental car

Cars come in all shapes and sizes. Even if you have the same model but a different year, the placement of functions and operation of the car may be completely changed around. When it comes to turning signals, the radio, steering column, stick shift, make sure that you are completely familiar with your car rental before you set out. If you are driving at night, make sure that you know how to operate the running lights and headlights before you turn on the car. So many people familiarize themselves with their new car rental while navigating through the parking lot.Keep in mind, all the other customers in the parking lot are doing the same thing!

Finally, if you are visiting from another country, the steering wheel may be on the other side than what you are familiar with. Check out the list of left and right driving countries from World Standards. Take extra precaution to make sure you stay on the appropriate side of the road, especially at intersections. A good guideline for this is to make sure that the steering wheel is always closest to the center of the road. After making a turn, if you find that your steering wheel is closer to the side of the road, most likely you are on the wrong side of the road!

10. Request a GPS

Before you set out on your journey, whether it be to tour the countryside or to go to your hotel, make sure that you discuss with the car rental representatives where you need to go and how to get there. Most dealers have free maps and diagrams on which they can draw your path. Orient yourself in terms of directions before you get into the car. You can also request for a car rental with GPS.

Do you have other rental car tips and tricks that you want to share? Please add them in the comment box below.