Rules for Renting a Car

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Renting a car can be hassle free if you are clear about the requirements. Car rentals can make travel more pleasant or provide you with the extra space you may need for a local activity. Either way it is important to know the regulations and your options when renting a car.

Age Requirement

In order to rent a car, you must be 21 years of age with a valid driver's license from any state. Rental companies charge an extra fee if you are 21 but under the age of 25.

Required Deposit

Rental companies require a $300 deposit. If you are paying with a debit card the deposit required is $350. Companies do not encourage cash deposits.

Renting with a Debit Card

Most local rental companies not located at an airport allow only city residents to use a debit card. Resident must provide proof of address with a current, paid utility bill. Airport rental locations require renters using debit cards to show return flight itinerary.

Insurance Requirements

There are three types of insurance available: liability, collision and personal injury. If you rent a car using a major credit card, you may already be covered. Personal car insurance may also cover car rentals. Ask your insurance agent. You are not required to pay for car rental insurance and can choose to only purchase one or all three.

Second Driver

All drivers must be licensed and over the age of 21. Rental companies vary on the fee for adding a driver. Some companies do not charge while many companies charge an additional $10 per day for each additional driver.

Returning the Car

You are allowed a 1-hour grace period. If you are later than an hour, you will be charged the hourly rate listed on the contract up to 4 hours, at which point you will be charged a full day, which is generally less than 5 hours at the hourly rate.

Extending Your Rental

If you need the car longer than anticipated, often a phone call is the only requirement. The company will extend your contract at the original rate. Rental car companies may be completely booked and deny your request for an extension, but this is rare.

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