Roadtrips and music go hand in hand. Iconic scenery and the best driving tunes. Read our 3 tips for playing your music in a rental car.
1. Rental Car Specification
It is hard to find detailed information about the media specifications on rental cars. The fleet is made up of cars from many manufacturers. This makes it is difficult for suppliers to guarantee specifications by category. But we do have some clues. Alamo reveals a bit more online than some other rental companies about its fleet. Cars in the following categories are equipped with MP3 and w.Aux.audio input:
With MP3 only are:
- Full size SUV
However, every car that I have hired in the USA for some years now has had USB ports for media and/or Bluetooth. I have personally hired the 7 seat people carriers, mid-size SUV and standard SUV. I would not expect much connectivity on an economy car in the USA as this is the smallest and most basic rental available. But there are not many vehicles manufactured without Bluetooth or USB media inputs these days. I cannot definitively say that other companies will have the same specifications, but it is highly likely as most companies are using the same cars. With Alamo and Dollar Choice, you can choose your own cars from those available. This gives you the opportunity to check the media options before taking your car.
2. Connecting your music in your rental car
- Aux input – ideal for iPod and some phones – but probably best to take a spare cable.
- USB input – just take your own USB stick with your music on
- Bluetooth – for modern iPhones which can store 1000’s of songs this will be the only way to connect them.
USB media inputs are not designed to charge your phone but may maintain your power whilst playing. If you use your phone to navigate on your roadtrip then I would advise taking a USB charger for the 12V charging port.
3. Keeping You Data Safe
Connecting your phone via bluetooth involves sharing your personal data with the vehicle. To keep your privacy and avoid any problems always delete your personal data before returning the car. It is not yet standard practice for car hire companies to do this when turning the vehicles around.
See this story for reasons to be proactive on this: https://eu.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2018/01/30/car-renters-beware-bluetooth-use-can-reveal-your-private-data/1080225001/
Finally, you could hire a Sirius satellite radio locally
SiriusXM is the country’s premier satellite radio entertainment provider. SiriusXM delivers over 130 channels of satellite radio throughout the North America. There are 60 original channels of commercial free music, 60 channels of news, sports, entertainment and 11 channels of live traffic and weather (20 major metro areas).
A full or partial day hire costs $5-99 per day with Alamo and $7-99 per day with Dollar, Hertz and Thrifty. Not all locations carry the devices. Hire is subject to availability on the day.