Questions to ask at the car rental counter for a stress free trip

January 3, 2019
Warner John

Questions to ask at the car rental counter for a stress free trip

Car rentals might be new waters to tread for some of us but it’s no doubt that they make our adventures easier and less exhaustive. Here are a few FAQ’s that would help you further.

Q: What are the important documents that I need to carry on my trip?

A:  Depending on the car rental service in the U.S licenses, Insurance forms and other documents will vary. But the common thread between them is to carry a valid driver’s license and an International Driver’s permit if you are not an American citizen or would want to drive abroad.

Q:  What are the payment alternatives other than credit cards?

A: Most car rental services in U.S only accept credit cards for payments for reasons such as ID proof of the driver and to track him/her down should the car be damaged or stolen.

But, there are several companies that allow debit and cash payments. Albeit, cash payments particularly are fewer, some companies will have a specific criterion that the driver must cater to.

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Q:  Will cars be rented out to people with disabilities?

A: Yes. If you are a person with disabilities and don’t have a driver’s license you can rent a car, provided you have a surrogate driver to drive you.

Q:  Will there be a penalty for returning the car later than the supposed time?

A: Penalty fees are subjective to the rental companies. While some charge extra fees on hourly basis other might charge according to the time taken in minutes. For example: one company might charge you penalty for coming in late by 30 mins, while another might charge penalty only if you’re late by an hour or so.

Q:  Would there be extra charges if I’d have to have additional drivers?

A: Most rental companies do agree for additional drivers without charging extra fees. However, the said driver will have to match certain criteria especially in terms of age limit and driver’s license etc.

Q:  What are the specific documents or charges I’d have to incur for carrying a pet?

A:  Pet policies are usually not stringent. Most car rental services allow pets to be accompanied only if they are within their carrier and the car is returned clean and free of hair and so on. The only exception to the carrier is if the there are service animals involved.

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Q: What are the necessary options and charges on fuel?

A: Fuel policies defer with each company. They are often calculated at the local rate. While some might want you to fill up the tank, others might only require you to fill it upto the same level upon picking up the car. The same also depends on airport and non-airport locations.

To find out what to do once you get your keys, see What to check when you first get your rental car. Then you’re ready to start your holiday. Have a great trip!

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