Find out how to rent a vehicle in the US easily with this complete USA car rental guide and discover the country on the road.
The United States is one of the best countries to drive a car, not only because of its wide roads or the cheap fuel but also because there is an impressive culture on wheels in the territory. Getting to know the country and its dozens of destinations in a rented car is an invaluable experience, as you will be able to visit all those places you always wanted to visit at your own pace and in the most comfortable way possible.
Sometimes the process of booking a car can be tedious and confusing because you don’t always know the best tools to get the best price and take advantage of the rental, so we bring you the complete guide to rent a car in the United States, which can help you make a reservation in a simple way and allow you to make the most of the rental car.
Requirements for renting a car in the US
Before renting a car, you should know that you have to comply with the following conditions that the rental agency will require at the time of picking up the car:
- Be over 25 years old, although there are some companies that rent for over 21 years old for an extra cost and limiting the car options you can choose.
- Have a valid driver’s license for more than one year.
- The holder of the reservation must have a credit card in his name, this will have to be embossed or printed on the plastic.
- Have sufficient funds to cover the deposit guarantee.
Choose the best car based on the type of trip you will do in the US
For your trip it is important to ask yourself: What do I want to do, how will I do it and who will I go with? Whatever your answer is, it will tell you the things you will need during the trip. Also, doing a little research will give you a clear idea about the places you want to visit, hence the type of trip you want to do.
Do you want to do a road trip, visit a city, maybe you’re going just for business, or maybe you’re planning a romantic trip with your partner? Each one can be a great adventure, but just as each person is different, so is the trip you want to make, and accordingly, you can choose the type of car that best suits your journey through the United States.
Your pocket will thank you for making the right choice from the beginning, it is best to keep in mind that there are several factors that should influence your decision such as the sites you will visit, the distances from one tourist site to another, the amount of luggage you have or the comfort during the trip.
If there are 2 or 3 people without so much luggage, a small car will do just fine, but if there are 3, 4 or more people with a lot of luggage, that small car will not be enough, it is best to rent a SUV or even a minivan, if necessary.
Book the car in advance and with the best ally!
When you plan the type of trip you want to make, you will be able to choose the car you will need in advance. This will give you the great advantage of being able to ensure the availability of the car when you go to pick it up, especially in high season when the demand for this service increases a lot.
And to book the perfect car we consider that the best option is online, as well as allowing you to make the reservation with the time in advance you want, there are some pages that offer you the service of comparing the best prices on the market of the most recognized rental companies.
For this reason, we want to give you our Top 5 of the best price comparison sites that can help you choose a very good car at a great price. For this Top, we took into account the ratings of TrustPilot, one of the largest and most important review sites on the market:
- Viajemos.com 4.8/5
Viajemos.com is the most recommended option to rent a car, having a rating of 4.8 out of 5 it has the best value for money in the market, as it has been praised for offering very competitive rates on its platform along with a wide variety of car options. Also, in this portal, you can compare hundreds of hotels and accommodations, so it is not surprising that it is one of the best-ranked pages in TrustPilot.
- Miles Car Rental 4.7/5
Miles Car Rental has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 and stands out as one of the most complete brokers in this top category. Not only does it make it easy to modify or cancel your reservation, but the rental process is quite simple. Its portal has some of the latest technology tools such as a chatbot that will answer right away any questions you have, so you will have very useful information at hand to make the best decision.
- Priceline 4.2/5
Priceline stands out for the ease of acquiring its services both from its website and from its own app, so you can use the device that best suits you to find good options to rent a car. With a rating of 4.2 out of 5, its customers praise the good treatment of its customer service team and its ability to serve from different channels such as email, chat, or phone.
- Argus Car Hire 3.9/5
Argus Car Hire is a reliable option to rent a car because it provides clear and complete information about what each option includes, it also has a rating of the rental agencies made by the users of the website. With a rating of 3.9 out of 5, its customers have been able to rent cars with different features with which they’ve had no problems during their journey on the roads of the United States.
- Car Flexi 3.9/5
Car Flexi, with a rating of 3.8 out of 5, offers a good experience within its web portal since it has detailed search filters that will allow you to find the car that best suits your needs. Its users highlight the good service they provide both on their website and in their customer service center and that it has good allied rental agencies, so it will be an interesting option to rent a car.
Is it necessary to include coverages when renting a car in the US?
In addition to complying with the requirements we mentioned at the beginning, it is also mandatory to have Rental Car Insurance (CDW/LDW) to rent a car, as it is required by law in most states. To comply with this requirement, you can bring your own insurance, however, keep in mind that it must have coverage for a minimum amount of USD $75,000 to be accepted by the rental company.
In case you don’t have it or you don’t have the minimum amount, you can purchase the Rental Car Insurance at the counter. In addition, for an extra cost, you can rent the car with other types of coverage that will complement your experience and will keep you more protected in case of any eventuality.
For example, you can purchase Third Party Liability Insurance that will protect you against claims for physical or material damage done to a third party. You can also purchase separate insurance to protect parts of the car that are not covered by the Rental Car Insurance, such as glass, tires, mirrors, or windshields.
In any case, please note that these additional services will always be optional, so the counter will not require any other insurance apart from the CDW/LDW.
Advantages and benefits of renting a car in the US
It’s good to know the requirements and the process to rent a car, but why rent a car? Well, besides the comfort of traveling by car, there are other advantages that will allow you to enjoy and even save on your tour of the United States:
➔ You save money and time: public transport in the United States, in general, does not stand out for its quality, and vehicles such as taxis or an app like Uber are very expensive. So much that what you pay for 1 or 2 trips on these platforms, you can pay for a day of renting a car.
➔ Cars disinfected against Covid-19: having the assurance that the car will be clean and disinfected for use gives peace of mind to minimize the risk of contagion.
➔ Avoid crowds: you can avoid large groups of people and go quietly in the car on all your routes.
➔ Unlimited mileage policy: it is a very valuable ally to not worry about having any limits on the destinations you can visit, there are certain times when it is not included by default in your reservation but you can request it at the counter.
➔ Additional driver: not being the only one at the wheel can be a great help, because there are parts of the roads that are very long straight, in this case, it is a huge advantage to share the wheel. You should be very careful if you get sleepy, you could put yourself in danger.
➔ Pick it up in one city and return it in another: if you want to make a road trip between cities, it’s perfectly possible. You only have to choose the point where you want to pick up the car and where you want to make the delivery and that’s it. However, keep in mind that depending on the laws of the state or if you travel between states you may have to pay extra taxes.
Tips to make your US road trip unforgettable
To make your trip more special we want to give you some tourist and saving tips so you can get the most out of your car rental and enjoy your trip much more:
- Pick up and drop off the car at the same time:
It is a little-known tip, but it is an important piece of information to always have the best price. When you put the same time of pick up and drop off, the price is much fairer, on the other hand, when you don’t do this, you can be charged up to a day’s rent more for a few hours of difference.
- Check the car when you pick it up:
It is very important to always check the car when you pick it up. If you find something strange, immediately inform the person at the counter, because if you return the vehicle with any damage, you could be charged for the repair.
- Purchase an electronic toll system:
If you are going to travel by road this system is essential, so you should ask at the counter to get it installed and on your own, you must make the respective recharge of the device, this way you can avoid fines for not paying tolls.
Road trips you can’t miss in the United States
Sometimes tips are not enough to show you what you can do with your rented car, from Florida to Hawaii there are many possible routes in the US. To give you an idea of the road trips and the possibilities you have with the car we bring you three possible routes for you to enjoy with the people you love the most.
A classic for a good reason
The first, of course, is Route 66, which starts in Chicago and ends in Los Angeles. You can travel it in 12 days without rushing too much, you can see amazing landscapes and discover different towns and cities along the way while enjoying one of the most amazing routes in the world.
It’s one of those must-do road trips for travel lovers.
Northeast road trip
In the second one, we propose you a trip around the Northeast of the United States reaching the border with Canada. The idea is to go through New York- Buffalo-Syracuse-Boston-New York.
It’s a trip that has it all because you’ll be able to admire beautiful urban and natural landscapes, while you’ll get to know many cities in the country. The route takes about a week depending on how fast you go and how long you want to stay in each place.
In case you want to cross the border into Canada, a dream country for road trip lovers, we advise you to ask your insurance company if it covers damages in case of any eventuality while you are in Canadian territory.
Also, you should inform the rental company and do research on the requirements to cross the border by car, as these are constantly changing due to the Covid-19 situation.
The last one is to travel from Orlando to Miami, a perfect route to go with the family. Not only because you can start with the parks of Walt Disney World or Universal Studios, but also because Florida has many destinations that we can all enjoy together regardless of age.
This tour will take you less than a day, so it’s perfect to visit cities along the way such as Palm Bay, Fort Lauderdale, or go a little further south of Miami and visit the Florida Keys.
Wrapping up: USA car rental guide
Here we left you the most complete guide to renting a car in the United States, now you know what you need to get the most out of the rental process and the car.
Hopefully, this USA car rental guide has been useful for you and you can visit some of the destinations we suggested. Good luck on your next trip to the US, hope it is filled with fun and adventure.