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USA Car Rental: 6 Tips for a Successful Trip

Car trip to the USA is a dream of many people. Thanks to the developed road network and high quality car rental service, the country is ideally suited for traveling by car. It won’t be a problem for you to pick up a car from the Alamo, Enterprise or Sixt Car Rental at any convenient point in America and go on an exciting journey. 

Yes, the USA is a place that offers experiences for all tastes. You can cross the continent along the legendary Route 66, admire a variety of landscapes in national parks, and experience the distinctive atmosphere of this country in local museums and cowboy ranches. However, all this is possible only with a rental car. 

Whether you rent a powerful Mustang or the imposing Chevrolet Tahoe, your road trip across the United States will be a memorable experience. So, it’s very important to prepare for it by following important car rental tips…

Where to pick up a rental car? 

There are several car rental offices at every airport in the United States. The airport is the most popular location to rent a car, but vehicles are often more expensive there due to the airport tax. Therefore, if you want to save money, look for a car in nearby city locations. 

In any case, it’s better to book a car in advance via the Internet. The choice of rental companies in the USA is huge, including large international providers – Sixt, Dollar, Hertz, Alamo, Enterprise, Budget, Avis, National, as well as many regional ones.

How much is car rental in the USA?

The cost of car rental in the United States varies greatly from state to state. For example, in Florida, a Kia Rio vehicle with automatic transmission and air conditioning for a week will cost you from $25 per day. In New York, the same car will cost from $70 per day. Keep this in mind if you are not tied to a specific location. 

The rental price may fluctuate depending on the company and the dates chosen. For example, the same model from Sixt and Hertz will cost differently due to different pricing policies. As a rule, on weekends, holidays and pre-holidays, as well as in the high season, cars are more expensive. 

Please note what exactly is included into the selected deal: taxes, insurance, deductible, mileage, extra options. Often the cost of 5 rental days is equal to the cost of a weekly rental. In addition, the companies periodically hold promotions and offer discounts on car rental, so look for promo codes.

Who can rent a car in the USA?

Requirements for the age and driving experience of the customers in the United States are standard. In some companies it’s possible to rent a car from the age of 18, in others – only from the age of 21. Plus, a special young driver fee applies for drivers under 25 years old. 

Also, the specific location can influence the minimum age of the renter. All pickup points in New York and Michigan allow car rentals from the age of 18, while in all other states only from the age of 21. Whether you are renting a car from an international company such as Sixt or Alamo, or a local one, always check in advance the permissible age of the driver.

Where can you go? 

If you feel cramped in the vastness of America, then on a car rental in the USA, you can freely travel, for example, to Canada. Indeed, the view of Niagara from the Canadian coast is much better! Car insurance covers both of these states. You don’t need to pay any special permits or fees. Take care in advance only of obtaining a Canadian visa. 

Traveling by car from the United States to Mexico is much more difficult. You will need to buy Mexican insurance at the rental point, issue a special card at the border, and a permit to temporarily import a car into Mexico. Of course, you have to pay for all these permits and cards.

What documents do you need? 

Prepare the following documents for a car rental in the USA:

  • Domestic passport or international passport in case you’re a foreigner.
  • Domestic driving license. International driving permit (IDP) is needed if your original one is not in Latin.
  • Bank credit card. Some companies sometimes accept a debit card as well. However, all major international providers, including Enterprise, Budget, Avis, National, Sixt, work exclusively with credit card holders.

What insurance plan to choose?

Basic insurance generally includes the following types: 

  • TPL (Third Party Liability) – insurance against third-party claims through your fault. This insurance is included in the price initially. 
  • CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) – rental car damage insurance. 
  • TW (Theft Waiver) – protection against theft.

Each cover has an EXCESS that can range from $200 to $ 2,000. It means the degree of your responsibility if an insured event occurs. When you rent a car from National, Sixt, Hertz or another major provider, they will offer to take full coverage. We advise you to arrange it. This will save you from unnecessary worries in unforeseen situations on your trip.

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