If you will soon travel to the United States, then it makes sense to think in advance about the way to move around the country. In view of this, it’s very difficult to imagine even short trips without a rental car.
Of course, both bus and railway connections are well-developed in the USA, but still, you should enjoy the freedom on your trip. It’s unlikely that the bus driver will stop after every traveler’s request, and in the vast expanses of America there’s something to see.
Indeed, traveling in America is a real pleasure! The roads please with good conditions, while informational support in the form of markings and signs is very clear. As for the roadside service, it’s also at the highest level.
If you’re planning a road trip to the USA and want to rent a car, check a few important things to avoid any unexpected situations in the future …
What conditions should you meet?
When renting a car age limit is the main thing that you must meet. In most states, the legal age range starts at 21, but there are places where the age requirement for renters is more loyal. In all locations in the New York and Michigan States, the minimum age to enjoy car rental is 18 years old. In any case, those under the age of 25 pay a young driver’s fee of $5 to $30 per day on top of the base cost.
What documents should you have with you?
In order to complete the contract, you will need to submit the following documents:
- International passport with a valid U.S. visa;
- Driver’s license. In many cases, it’s enough to have your domestic driver’s license only. However, check in advance the company’s requirements. You may need to provide an International Driving Permit (IDP) if the original document is not in the Latin alphabet.
- Credit card with a limit of at least $200-300. While most companies require a credit card, some providers work with debit cardholders, but the balance must be between $600 and $700. We recommend that you clarify the information at the time of the trip by requesting it at the selected car rental point.
How to arrange a rental?
Please be aware that car rental conditions in the United States may vary if you have an interstate trip. However, every major city has a great rental car park for any taste. On average, the price of a midsize sedan will cost about $40 per day.
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Car rental in the United States involves the procedure for signing a contract. It’s quick and easy, especially if you book a car in advance.
It’s better to book a car a few weeks before the start of the trip – this way you get the lowest prices and a large selection of cars. Don’t know where to search for a car? Use the official websites of the companies, or take advantage of search aggregator websites that collect all offers in one place. This will allow you to compare them, thus choosing the best deal.
What insurance to choose?
There are different categories. For example, if you purchase a CDW or LDW insurance, then you won’t be responsible in case someone steals or damages the vehicle. The cost is about $ 10 per day. According to many travelers, this is the smartest travel option.
However, you can also buy an SLI – this is coverage of possible claims from third parties suffered as a result of the accident. It also costs about $ 10 per day.
Medical insurance can also come in handy. It’s responsible not only for the driver, but also for the passengers. However, if the traveler’s medical insurance covers road accidents, then you don’t need to buy optional medical insurance from the car rental provider.
Travelers often use ‘Roadsafe’ protection. This is a technical assistance that costs from $6 to $25. It’s very convenient, especially if you are going to travel to the most remote places of the country.
Where to refuel the car?
When choosing a fuel policy, you have several fuel options:
- prepaid fuel;
- full-to-full, or pick up full-return full.
If you are not going to travel a lot and don’t want to refuel the car yourself at a gas station, take the first option. However, the full-to-full option will be much cheaper, since the cost of gasoline at the filling station is much lower than from the car rental supplier.
The most common fuel brands provided at the filling station are:
- 87 regular – almost all rental cars use it;
- 92 premium.
Carefully read the contract and what it says about the fuel. Fuel prices range from about $2.7 to $4 per gallon. Both credit cards and cash are suitable as the payment method.
How to return car rental?
Most agencies allow you to return your car to a different location. For example, you can pick up a car at JFK Airport in New York and return it at Baltimore Airport.
Don’t forget to refuel the car before returning it if using full-to-full option. Then head straight to the drop-off location and wait for the agent. The agent will check the mileage, fuel level, and inspect the car for damages.
If everything is OK, he will give you a receipt for the expenses. Be sure to check the amounts. In case you drop off car rental at the airport, look for the company’s shuttle and go to the desired terminal.