In the United States, major car rental agencies such as Enterprise-Rent-a-Car have to deal with significant insurance liability issues resulting in their adoption of strict rules and regulations. Regardless of your purpose, place of pick-up and destination, and price range for the car rental, you have to follow these rules and regulations to the letter. You may be able to enjoy more relaxed standards in smaller agencies but the essence of the rules are similar, thanks to federal regulations over the industry.
With that being said, here are the most important rules in vehicle rentals that you have to keep in mind whether it’s your first or fifth time.
Valid Driver’s License and Credit Card
All reputable agencies will require a valid driver’s license in the renter’s country of residence (e.g., the Unite States), which must remain valid for the entire duration of the rental contract. You will obviously be required to present your driver’s license for verification purposes, especially when the agency’s rules require checking for driving records. You can be denied a rental car if and when you have traffic violations on record.
You should also have a valid credit card, such as Visa, to be able to rent a car. You will also pay the rental fee via your credit card, a convenient method for most of your financial transactions.
Keep in mind that car insurance is a must, too, even when you have an uneventful drive (i.e., no accidents) during the rental agreement’s duration. You have two choices in this respect, namely:
- Coverage via your car insurance policy. You have to check your policy or ask your policy issuer about coverage for cars other than your primary car, such as a rental vehicle. You will be required to present proof of the insurance policy, such as asking your policy issuer to fax the relevant certificate to the car-for-rent agency.
- Coverage via the car rental agency’s insurance. You may be reluctant to pay for it but your peace of mind regarding sufficient insurance coverage will be priceless, especially when you are on long drives.
Tip: You can consider the insurance fees of the car rental agency in deciding whether you should rent from it or from another agency.
You should also add at least 10% to your initial budget for extra fees that the agency may charge. These fees can pertain to extras like a second driver, global positioning system, child safety gear, and late return fees, to name a few.