What do I need to rent a car? That is the common question of people who are looking to choose a rental car for a business venture, a road trip, a vacation, or even an overseas trek. If you have never rented a car before, you may wonder how to do this and what you do need to rent a car.
It does not have to be a daunting and unpleasant experience. In fact, it is one that can easily be done online.
What do I need to rent a car: here what you must know
If you have not rented a car before, you might want to first be aware of some tips to consider while you answer the question what do I need to rent a car? Your first tip would be to use a working computer connected to the Internet so you can do a little bit of research and comparisons online. Through these types of websites such as RentalCars, you will find the kind of information that you need before you rent a car.
You need to have knowledge so you can make an informed decision. Know that there are often hidden fees, policies about mileage, and even insurance options. You might want to know if you can rent a car in the case that yours has broken down or you might need to know if you can rent a car overseas. You also might need to know what insurance coverage you are required to have before you rent a car in the case that you are either already covered by a current insurance policy through your own car insurance policy or if your credit card might provide coverage.
Or you might even need to know when trying to understand what do you need for car rentals if you need to get coverage through the rental company that you have chosen to use. You might wonder if you can pick up your car at the Airport or if there is a cheaper option within the city. There is a wealth of information that you can pick up by researching what do I need to rent a car when you search online. However, there are some things that you do need for certain when going to rent a car. Read also “Is it cheaper to rent a car at the Airport or online ahead of time?”
If you ask yourself “what do I need to rent a car”, first off you need a valid driver’s license. This driver’s license proves first off that you are a legal driver. Secondly, a driver’s license that is valid serves as your proof of age and identity. If you are traveling overseas, you may also need to show your passport to rent a car. Generally speaking when using a driver’s license to rent a car and the car rental companies need to see it for proof of your age, it is because typically most car rental agencies will not rent cars to anyone under the age of 25. This is common in the United States. However, depending on the state, territory, or country where you are choosing your car rental, this could be different.
Some restrictions allow for those who are 21 years old to rent a car. Depending on where you visit, you need to check the age requirement when considering what you need renting a car. Sometimes underage drivers are allowed to rent cars but the car agency will require an additional daily underage car rental fee. If you are over the age of 25, you are usually free and clear to rent a car.
When considering “what do I need to rent a car”, you also need a credit card that is active (or sometimes just a debit card…). This means that you must be able to use it to hold the car reservation and to accept the car rental charges. Just because you have an active credit card, a driver’s license and a car reservation does not mean that you will get to rent a car.
VERY IMPORTANT – If you have a credit card, it must match your name on your driver’s license. You can’t use your parents’, spouse’s, or corporate credit card and then just have a driver’s license with your name on it.
When renting a card, the credit card is a must. It is pretty common that car rental agencies do not allow debit cards and that actually is not a bad idea because sometimes they put holding fees of a couple of hundred dollars on a card and it can pretty much tie your funds up in your bank account that can eventually be reimbursed but can take a while to get the funds back to your financial institution.
Often these holds are for insurance purposes. Even if your debit card has the Visa or MasterCard logo on it, it is not considered a credit card that can be used to rent a car. You will find yourself completely out of luck if you do not have an active credit card and go to rent a car. If you have a secondary driver who has a credit card that matches the name of their driver’s license, use them as the primary driver instead.
Let’s move on about the question “What do I need to rent a car?”
Well, you also need car insurance. While car rental companies will offer auto insurance for your rental car, they are not insurance agents so it is not really car insurance. Sometimes you need your own personal auto insurance but you need to check with your insurance company to see if the insurance on it covers car rentals.
Credit cards often provide a secondary type of insurance though again, this depends on the credit card company. You need to be covered in the case that you run a stoplight or are caught speeding and just need to show proof of license and insurance. However, you also need to be prepared in the case of an accident and have collision insurance coverage too.
If you decide to opt out of a suggested car rental insurance policy for coverage while you have your rental car, you really need to check everything out or you will be held financially accountable to any possible damages done to the car you have rented.
Besides all of these tips when considering what do I need to rent a car, the next thing you need is a place to go.
Other than that, do your best to research the company that you will be renting through so that you have any other documentation that may be required of you.
Let’s summarize what you need to rent a car…
Your Driving License – And the driving license of second or third drivers. It’s always better to have another ID document also.
Your Credit Card or, sometimes, also a debit card is accepted. The Card must be assigned to the person who pick up the car. [Read also: how to get a rental car without a credit card]
The car rental confirmed reservation: printed or downloaded in your smartphone or tablet. In our humble opinion, it’s always better to print it.
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