How to Rent a Car in the United States

by Contributor

Getting a rental car can be a snap. Use the tips below the next time you're planning to do so.

Use the Internet or the yellow pages to choose at least 3 car rental agencies.

Call each agency and ask about office locations, car availability, special deals and rates, special rates for large groups, and possible partnerships with airlines or hotels. Select the rental agency that best suits your needs.

Choose the destination at which you wish to pick up and drop off the car. Some companies charge hefty drop-off fees if the car ends up at a different place from where it started. Be informed about policies.

Pick a car size--compact, midsize, full-size and 4-by-4 are the most common choices.

Reserve the car with a major credit card.


  • check Inquire about 24-hour roadside assistance; some car rental agencies provide the assistance.
  • check Some companies will pick you up and take you to the car; others pay for your cab fare. Ask about pick-up service.
  • check Although most rental companies will try to sell you insurance, your own car insurance may cover a rental car while you are driving it. Ask your auto insurance agent before renting a car and paying for unnecessary insurance. If you don't have car insurance, however, it is probably wise to pay the extra cost.


  • close You must be 25 years or older to rent a car at most rental agencies.

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