A Few ?'s Regarding Car Rental
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Mar 11, 2013 2:41 PM Last Post By: ianw6705
Mar 10, 2013 5:04 PM
A Few ?'s Regarding Car RentalHey Peeps,
Just a few questions about car rental in the states if you may be so kind.
The first being, i have read in the LP USA guide book that i will need a credit card to rent at pretty much most rental companies, exactly how much do you require on your credit card? i have one credit card but it only has %)) British Pound on it so im not totally sure if that would be ok? or if the just need some type of card from you?
Im 99% sure that i can drive on my British licence but are there any benifits of obtaining a international licence?
What is the general schem of things with renting a car do you get charged a flat day rate or are there mileage charges on top of that?
thank you very much
Mar 10, 2013 5:34 PM
1Usually the credit card will be charged 150% of the rental. Minimum is usually $175.
The rates quoted are not including insurance usually, which is at least $13-$15 day just to cover the car, not anything you hit or damage or injure with the car, that is another $14-$16 day.
Usually its unlimited mileage.
Or Expedia for rates.
Mar 10, 2013 5:49 PM
2I think you may be confusing credit cards with debit cards or prepaid cards. Credit cards do not have money in any currency, but are charged a value in a specified currency which you must pay back later, and you must stay below your maximum limit. Debit and prepaid cards have values on them which are deducted during each use.
The hold on your credit card is dependent on who you book with. The last time I rented it was $100 (plus the charge, so a $200 rental has a $300 hold), and I've seen higher.
If you have a credit card, this won't really affect you.
If you have a debit or prepaid card, it means there is a set amount of money you will not have access to during your rental (and for a small period beyond).
Rental companies may require the International Driver's Permit (not "license"), but other than that, there is no reason why you'd likely need one. Unless Florida changes its mind.
When you rent, you are charged a daily or weekly rate (depending on length of rental). This is the basic cost. Everything else is extra.
Most companies have unlimited miles these days, but make sure you read the fine print.
Some locations may also have geographic restrictions (certain states, certain roads, etc.).
Insurance is extra, and mandatory.
If you drop off in a different location, you may pay a fee.
Insurance and one-way fees may or may not be included in rates via foreign websites and brokers.
Read FAQ 144 for more.
Mar 10, 2013 7:09 PM
3There are a few places that advertise you can rent without a card. It has been a long time since I actually did that but I have done it. Places like Rent-a-Wreck for example. Usually you are going to get a used car. I had one in Maui once that had rust holes in it. It did have one advantage, locals thought I was a local.
Mar 10, 2013 10:27 PM
4The car companies will put a "hold" on a certain amount of money the day you take the car out...sometimes equal to the rental...sometimes just a flat amount like $250... This charge will not hit your card balance until later when the car is returned...so you could pay cash at the end of the rental...but the credit card is essential to get a car rented...in the first place...
Most US credit cards have the ability to translate into foreign currencies ( for a small fee)...but check with your UK bank to be sure in your case...
You can be charged by the day, hour or week... A weekly rate is the cheapest by far...! A week can be anything greater than 5 days up to 7 days... It is definitely worth getting a weekly rate...
Most cars rent with "unlimited miles"...be sure to get this as a rate for a 100 miles a day and then 20cents a mile can be a disaster... Fortunately most weekly rates...nowadays are unlimited miles...But ask about this at the counter...just to be sure... So if you get a car with unlimited miles for a week for $250...you'll be charged only that amount plus some tax...upon return of the car... no matter how many miles you drive...! A Great Deal...! (If you can afford the gas)
Generally try to return the car where you rented it...eg at the airport...because leaving it someplace else can trigger a big charge to get the car back to where it came from...
Renting a car is the best way to see America...by far...
American drivers are used to obeying the rules of the road and they fear the traffic police and their tickets... Unlike in some countries where traffic laws are more 'guidelines" and anything goes...because the traffic laws are not enforced... In America the police will be watching your driving...so don't do anything not allowed...
Mar 10, 2013 11:14 PM
Mar 11, 2013 2:27 AM
6On our North American road-trips we rent a car through carhire3000.com (UK-based outfit and not bad to deal with, although their replies to specific questions can be a little stodgy). We pre-pay the rental, and it includes everything ... when we turn up to the rental car office, we take a car and go. There is no further impost on our credit card - none whatsoever - we insist on that.
Their prices are quite competitive as well. And I agree that Seppo drivers speed - they're all flipping maniacs.
Mar 11, 2013 4:33 AM
Mar 11, 2013 7:53 AM
I looked at the polices of Thrifty, Dollar and Avis (because they came up first on my Google search). All say that "debit cards accepted at participating locations only." They also say that they will do a credit check. That may not be possible for a person who does not live in the US. They also want the card to have a MasterCard (Maestro) or Visa logo. Renter must be over 25 at Avis.
Avis will place a hold of $200 plus the estimated cost of the rental. "THESE FUNDS WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE FOR YOUR USE. When the rental is over we will process the reversal but the bank may take time to post it back to the account."
The plural of anecdote is not data.
Mar 11, 2013 10:30 AM
9Well, we should add one thing here. If you have a foreign debit card, chances are that the car rental agency can't tell whether it's a debit or credit card. I have rented cars in several countries using European debit cards simply by saying they're credit cards. I even called one agency beforehand and asked if I could rent with a debit card and they said no, and I could still rent with it since they seem to not be able to tell the difference.
Only time I was refused to rent with debit card was in Washington DC, my one debit card had expired, my second one had been blocked because I had recently entered the wrong PIN code three times (I tried renting with both anyway), and my third one actually said "debit card" on it, so they'd only let me rent if I had a social security number. I didn't have one, so I made something up. Then the agent asked me to repeat, and unfortunately I forgot the number I just gave so I gave something slightly different. At that point the agent stopped being nice and told me to leave and that I would no longer be able to rent from them.
Also, try really really hard to have them charge you in USD and NOT in your own currency. One agency in the US converted the final amount to my currency, using an exchange rate so absurd it must have been illegal. When I discovered this and called them to complain they said they always charge in the currency the card is issued in "for my convenience" and that it was too late to do anything about it. Anything a rental agency does "for your convenience" should be avoided!!! It's a rip-off. Gas options, GPS, etc.
Ian, have you rented one-way, and if so are those fees included (and how much are they)? I seem to remember they're not included with that company.
Mar 11, 2013 2:41 PM
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