Whether you’re flying out of town, your car is in the shop or you have a long road trip to make and you don’t want to take your personal vehicle, renting a car can be an ideal option. However, if you’ve never rented a car before, there are a few things you should know. Understanding these issues before renting a car for the first time can help you save money, alleviate stress and make the process easier.
Additional Insurance May Not Be Necessary
You cannot rent a car without insurance protection. The question is whether you already have enough coverage through your personal sources or you need to purchase add-on insurance through the rental car agency. There are several types of insurance options you can add to your car rental, including liability coverage, collision damage waiver, personal effects coverage, and personal accident insurance. The best way to find out if you already have the protection you need is to contact your own insurance company. Ask your provider what is covered when renting a car. You should also contact your credit card company because many times car rental insurance is included with the card.
Minimum Age Requirements
Generally, the legal age to rent a car in the United States is 25. However, in many cases, even those under 25 can still rent a car by paying an extra underage driver fee. Most agencies require underage drivers to be at least 21 years old, but there is some variability in the minimum age requirements. For example, some agencies allow those as young as 18 to rent a car, but this is only in certain states. On top of levying additional fees for those between the ages of 21 and 24, some locations also place restrictions on types of cars available for rent.
Do You Have a Credit Card? You Might Need One
Many rental car agencies require drivers to have a personal credit card in order to rent a car. You don’t necessarily have to pay for your rental car with that credit card, but the agencies want a credit card on file. One exception many rental agencies make is for a client who is flying out of town. As long as you can show them your return flight ticket, they will still let you rent a car without a credit card. Alternatively, an agency may rent a car to someone without a credit card if that person can provide them with several forms of identification.
Be sure you read the fine print of your car rental agreement to make certain you understand your rights and responsibilities. Taking steps now to understand what you’ll need in order to rent a car can save you both time and money in the end.