Tips to rent a car in the USA. All you need to know

By Nadine R. - Updated on 09 October 2021

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If you are visiting The United States soon, you'll definitely find plenty of things to do and places to explore. When you reserve a rental car, you can take advantage of your time and visit some of the best attractions. However, there are some doubts you can have when renting a car. So here we give you a car rental guide for a more enjoyable trip in the states.

1. Compare prices between car rental agencies in the USA

Before booking a vehicle, compare prices in at least three different companies. Take special attention to the final price and what is included in it. Some agencies can offer surreal rates without taxes that increase the price up to 200% at the end of your rent. If you need more information, most agencies have a customer support line with exclusive promotions.

2. Get to know the insurances of your car rental

Insurance is a very important point when renting a car. First, it is necessary to mention that some are mandatory, and others can be declined. It will depend on the state you are renting a car, agency, or personal preference. You can rent a vehicle with basic or minimum coverage for the vehicle and passengers. 

However, we recommend full coverage since it can get really expensive in case you have an accident. Some states ask for comprehensive basic insurance coverage according to the traffic laws. Investigate before renting a car to avoid infractions. 

Some protections and coverages you can find are: 

- Loss Damage Waiver (LDW)

- Primary Third Person / Property Liability (PLI)

- Personal Accident Insurance (PAI)

- Theft Protection (TP)


3. Book your car rental in advance

Once you are planning your trip to the United States, take into consideration all your mobility options. Even though public transportation is efficient, a car rental will give you the freedom to explore every corner of your destination. You must have the necessary resources to make your experience perfect. 

Booking your vehicle in advance will help you to plan your itinerary better, ensure that your car will be ready at your arrival, or even get lower prices. If you make your reservation long before your trip, you will avoid depending on availability with a car set aside for the day you require it. Take in mind that some agencies have prepaid rents with a deposit guarantee that goes up to 20% of the total value of your rent to schedule the rental. 


4. Organize and plan your routes or activities

The planning of your itinerary is also essential to not miss any popular attraction. It is also necessary to schedule the pickup and drop-off of your vehicle and avoid the late delivery of your car, which can generate extra costs depending on the agency. Some of them can charge an hour or a full day for the delay in delivery or drop-off. You can mark your route on your favorite map application or print it out without paying for a GPS service. 

5. Avoid infractions with your car rental

Take your precautions while driving and, if possible, inform you in advance about the traffic laws of the destination before renting a car. Some coverages get invalidated by infractions made by the drivers. Avoid additional costs following these recommendations:

- Do not allow unauthorized persons to drive the vehicle 

- Use the seat belts properly 

- Do not exceed the capacity of passengers in the vehicle 

- Do not drive under the influence of alcohol

- Drive within the speed limits

- Park the vehicle in places designed for it. 


6. Make a meticulous check of the vehicle

When you receive the car, make a very detailed check of the vehicle. Inspect the exterior and interior, fuel levels, motor, general engine, and inform the agent in case you find any detail. This way, you will avoid extra charges when you return your car rental or inconveniences on the road.

7. Know the requirements for renting a car in USA

Renting a car should not be difficult; the only thing you need to know is the requirements to get the ideal vehicle for you. Many agencies have different requirements, but here you can learn about the most important ones:

- Valid driver's license

- Be at least 25 years of age (some agencies require 21 years of age as a minimum)

- Credit card

- If another person wishes to drive the vehicle, they must be registered as an additional driver

- Liability insurance (Some agencies already include this insurance)


8. Know the destinations where you can rent a car in USA

Renting a car in the USA is quite simple, especially if you know the destinations you plan to visit and your complete itinerary for the days you decide to stay there.

Therefore, in this following list, we will show you everything you need to know to rent a car in any location in the United States and the most economical agencies, and the rental prices per day.

Car Rental prices in USA
    Location        Average price to rent a car per day (USD)Most popular car rental categoryMost popular car rental agency
Miami$95Economy / CompactCity Car Rental MIA
Orlando$95Economy / SUVCity Car Rental MCO
Los Angeles$95Economy / CompactCity Car Rental LAX
San Francisco$95Economy / CompactCity Car Rental SFO
San Diego$95Economy / SUVCity Car Rental SAN


9. Once you have rented a car in the U.S. make sure of the following

Be sure to follow the signs and rules of the road in the locality you are in.
some of the general rules of the road that you should follow if you visit the USA are:

- Wear your seat belt at all times.

- Do not drive under the influence of alcohol, the fine for breaking this rule is one of the highest.

- Do not use your cell phone while driving. In case of the emergency park, or use hands-free.

10. Visit nearby places and don't miss a single detail.

When visiting any destination in the United States, you will surely be attracted to more than two destinations within the same and even nearby cities. Therefore, we recommend you to get a car rental service in the United States according to the city you are visiting. There are agencies such as City Car Rental that offer car rental services in the United States like:

Car rentals in Los Angeles

Miami Car Rentals

San Francisco Car Rentals

San Diego Car Rental

Orlando Car Rentals

If, on the other hand, you decide to visit nearby countries or places, here you can find the necessary tips to rent a car in Cancun or any other tourist destination in nearby countries like Mexico.

Renting a car doesn't have to be a challenge, just follow these points and enjoy your trip like anyone else. Make that road trip you are planning and create the best experiences. 

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