USA Car Hire – What You Need to Know?

USA Car Hire – Documentation

Driving Licence
To hire a car in the USA as a foreigner you must have a valid Driving Licence, issued by your country of residence.  If your licence is not in English or issued by the European Union, then you may also need an International Driving Permit.
Please see this article for more detail.

Credit Card
The lead driver must hold a credit card in their own name. The name must also match that on their passport (also required).
The supplier uses the credit card to hold a security deposit.
Please click here to read more about security holds and credit/debit cards. A prepaid credit card cannot be used for this purpose.

Insurance
Ensure your USA car hire package includes full Collision Damage Waiver and Additional Liability Insurance. The law requires this in the USA. A fly-drive package from an airline may not include these. If not, you will have to purchase them directly from the supplier when you collect the hire car.
You can see the full list of package inclusions from TripWheels here.

USA Car Hire – Booking

As an incoming tourist, you are entitled to preferential rates and a zero excess, when compared to hiring your car on arrival in the USA. Booking a pre-paid car rental voucher will allow you to take advantage of this. You may also benefit from reduced or waived one-way fees and special packages like our Young Driver’s Package for drivers under 25 years.

USA Car rental is charged in 24-hour increments.
Match your collection and return times up when you book to maximise flexibility. If you collect your car at 17.00pm but drop off at 15.00 – book the return time as 17.00pm (as long as the location is open). This costs no more when booking, and may save late return charges if you are held up in traffic.

Need a car just for the day?
Book the full 24 hour period and just drop off when you finish. Do check the opening hours of your location though as not all permit out of hours returns.
When the return time is after the collection time on the 24-hour clock you pay for a whole extra day. Make the most of this by booking the earliest time you might possibly arrive or collect your car. Likewise, book the latest possible time you might want to return the car. This builds in flexibility and avoids late charges in the event of traffic or incidents outside of your control.

USA Car Hire – Collection

Always provide arrival flight numbers if applicable. Many big airports are open 24 hours a day, but smaller locations may have limited hours. To make sure that someone is available to hire you a car provide your flight number when you book. The supplier can monitor flight delays and staff will stay to greet you. A cancelled flight due to weather or other reason can be verified if you have provided your flight number. This could be the difference between receiving a full/partial refund in the event of a cancellation of the car hire, or nothing at all.

Locations near hotels in big tourist areas like Disney or Universal may offer a free shuttle service. Likewise, cruise port locations. Have your voucher to hand to show the driver of the shuttle.

Check – does your package include additional drivers? If so, all drivers must be present at collection. Does your package include the cost of the initial tank of fuel – or will you return the car with a full tank? Remember to pay by card for fuel and keep receipts as proof of refuelling.