Car rental in USA

Car rental in USA

If you want to take an On The Road trip to discover the United States of America, the most comfortable and convenient way is by renting a car. Rental can be done at one of the many car rental companies in America, especially at airports.

The territory is very vast and a car is the best way to move freely and plan the various stops and stages in the best way.

Required documents

The patent

Nationally known car rental agencies require their customers to be drivers with a driving license (for at least one year) and have at least 25 years. They must have a driving license issued by the country where they reside.

For the guide it is necessary to have the Spanish driving license moreover, in many states an international driving license is required, to be requested from the civil motorization, or at the Aci offices or for car practices.

The driving license must be valid for the whole period where you rent the vehicle. Some agencies make an exception and rent to drivers under the age of 25, but who must be at least 21 years old; however, there are higher rates for these rentals.

Credit card

In addition to your driver's license, you will also need a credit card to rent a car in the United States. Although when booking the car online you will not have had any problems using one prepaid card be careful as these cards are not accepted when you show up for collection.

Most companies will refuse to give you the reserved car if you don't have one credit card and they won't even give you back the money spent on the reservation.

Other agencies may ask you to do a monetary deposit, sometimes even substantial, which will be returned to you upon delivery of the machine. The credit card must be in the name of the main driver.

Security deposit

Rental agencies may take a few hundred euros from your credit card as a security deposit. First ask your bank about the maximum monthly amount you have available, using your credit card.

Identification document

The only valid identification document is the passport. If you don't have it, apply for it well in advance of your trip.

Online rental voucher

Print and deliver the online booking to the rental company desk.

Considerations / Advice 

When it comes to documentation, every car rental agency has a policy that may differ from other companies. Many car rental agencies charge hidden rates for secondary drivers, out-of-state travel, excess mileage, or a host of other state or government surcharges. Check the clauses background before signing.

Useful information to know

Minimum age

Most companies require all drivers to have at least 25 years. Some companies (such as Budget) allow people under the age of 25 (and over 21) to rent a car, but charge more for it. Other companies like Avis simply require all drivers to be at least 25 years old.

Secondary driver

Each person who will drive the car will have to be recorded at the company. If you have not registered you should not drive a car because in the event of an accident the insurance will not cover you. Anyone wishing to drive the car must be of the minimum age allowed and must present their driving license. However, only one person needs a credit card. The agency may charge additional costs for the second driver.

Driving restrictions

Some rental agencies allow you to drive the car only within the state where it was chartered. Others may allow you to guide it towards other states, but it may require you to register the names of the states you will go to in advance. Others may not have any restrictions.

If you travel with children under the age of 2, make sure you have a car seat for children or request one from the rental agency. In most states it is illegal to carry small children in a car without safety seats.

Costs and supplements

Car rental in the United States is not very expensive, quite the opposite the prices are much lower than in Spain. Especially when you consider that most of the roads and motorways are free and the price of petrol is much lower than in Spain.

Il price of gasoline or gasoline is around $ 2-3 per gallon and varies by state. One gallon is almost 4 liters, so the price of gasoline is much less than 1 euro per liter.

Car rental prices may vary a lot depending on the company, the season, if it is a weekday or a weekend, if there are important events going on in the city or according to the number of days for which you will rent the car.

Rental car prices are very competitive in most states and no single agency always has the best prices. Prices change frequently and each agency offers many special promotions and offers at competitive prices.

The car rental agency charges additional costs to add a second driver to your contract and there are also additional costs if you require a child seat. Some car rental companies provide a navigation system Payable GPSFor example, Hertz's NeverLost costs an extra $ 10 per day.

The cost of one more day of rental if you return your car late, although most agencies allow a grace period of one hour.

Some rental agencies charge rates for returning the car with the gas tank empty. When you rent a car, the gas tank will be full and you will have to return it full.

If the gas tank is not full, you will notice in the documents that it is 3/4 full, half full, etc. And you will return the car with the same tank level. As for gas, there are various options available.

You can pay for a full tank of gas in advance, you can refill the tank yourself before returning it, or you can ask them to refill whatever amount of gas you used.

The latter option should only be used if you don't have time because you may miss your flight, or if you can afford it, because for the latter option, they will charge more than double the current cost of gas.

Some of the major highways in America are toll roads, often called turnpikes, but most of them are free.

What insurances to add

Insurance they are very important because without them you will be responsible for any damage or loss of the vehicle while driving the rental car. Also for any property damage or personal injury you may cause while driving your rental car.

Therefore, together with the car rental, it is necessary to enter a insurance package if they are not already included. But which ones to choose? Some are fundamental, others optional, let's see together what they are and their acronyms.

You need to purchase liability insurance, at a minimum, in case you are involved in an accident. It is also advisable to purchase afull insurance (also called CDW / Collision Damage Waiver o LDW / Loss Damage Waiver) in the event that damage to the rental car is caused. Check that your insurance also includes the machine recovery with tow truck in case of accidents.

Exception: New York state requires car rental companies to at least provide liability insurance along with the car rental itself. Therefore, it is not necessary to purchase it separately.

Which car to choose

In general, there are many types of cars available. The rented cars are classified according to body size, not to the engine capacity, for example economic or sub-compact (the smallest), compact, medium-sized (internal), and standard or family-sized.

The car categories are differentiated into groups, generally identified by a letter, for example from A to H. Many companies also rent coupes, premium (luxury) models, convertibles (or roadsters) and sports cars, all-terrain or sports vehicles (SUVs) and mini-vans.

Rental cars in the United States are normally equipped with automatic change, air conditioning and a radio. If you require a car with the manual transmission, the rental company probably won't have any available as they are extremely rare.

Car rental agencies

Car rental agencies face huge insurance liability problems, and for this reason they adhere to some strict rules when renting their vehicles. These rules apply to all national dealers.

If you do not meet all the requirements to rent a car from one of these national agencies, the smaller car rental agencies they often operate under less stringent standards. They usually rent vehicles of an older model to drivers over the age of 21 with a valid credit card.

Most car rental companies have locations at airports and many of them also have different locations within the city or in hotels. You can pick up a car in one place and drop it off in a different location than the pickup location (Drop off), as long as you specify it in advance. However, this option could lead to additional costs.

The largest national car rental companies include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz, National, and Thrifty. Among the major companies, Dollar and Thrifty are generally the cheapest, although all companies offer special ratessuch as corporate, 24-hour, weekend, weekly, off-peak rates, holidays and extended periods on certain categories of cars, plus bonus coupons for airline tickets.

There are also cheaper rental companies in all major cities. Some national chains (e.g. Rent-a-Heap, Rent-a-Junk, Rent-a-Wreck and Ugly Duckling) rent older cars, but which are mechanically sound and rental rates are about half that of new models. However, some local agencies have high mileage fees and others hidden costs.

You should compare rates on the internet, rates that can vary considerably. The all inclusive fare does not necessarily mean this and you may have to pay extra for a secondary driver or other local taxes.

Airports they are generally the cheapest places to rent a car, followed by the city center offices.


So renting a car in the United States is quite simple. Just follow the rules and driving behaviors, and inquire about the contractual conditions also in Spain and in other countries of the world.

Car rental in USA
Car rental in the United States
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