Tips and advice for renting a car

This page gives a few simple tips on how to avoid problems when hiring a car. Please always remember that different car rental companies have different requirements, so always make sure you check the car’s Terms and Conditions as well.

Know your insurance coverage:

Be sure to research the insurance coverage available on your current automobile policy, your credit card agreement and your homeowners or renter's policy prior to picking up your rental car. This will help you make the most informed decision about optional coverage offered at the rental counter.

Inspect the condition of your rental car:

Take a walk around your rental car with an agent before you leave the rental location. Be sure to make note of any scratches, dents, dings, etc. and report them so there is no confusion regarding the car’s condition upon return.

Get to know the features on your rental car:

Take a few minutes before you leave the rental location to familiarize yourself with where everything is on your rental car. Check the headlights, hazards, windshield wipers, door locks, spare tire, etc.

Look at a map before leaving the airport:

Be sure to ask the agent at the rental counter for directions or a map of the area. Most rental car companies provide free maps as a courtesy.

Avoid additional charges at drop-off:

Be sure to return your rental car at the designated date and time on your rental agreement to avoid extra day and/or extra hour charges. If you do not opt to pre-purchase gas at the rental counter, be sure the gas tank is full upon return to avoid gas and re-fueling fees.

Driver fees:

Additional Driver Fee, Young Driver Surcharge, Senior Driver Fee. Driver fees may be added to your rental depending on the age and number of drivers you wish to have registered to drive the rental car. Typically, if you want to register extra people to drive the rental car aside from the primary driver to whom the rental is listed under, an "additional driver fee" will be assessed on a per-day basis.

Unlimited mileage:

Always check if your preferred rental company offers unlimited mileage. Some rental car companies prevent their renters from taking the car out of state, while others are only allowed to travel to a few nearby states. But be careful if you choose a limited mileage rental because additional miles can accumulate quickly and result in considerable extra fees!