Rental Cars in the United States
General note: if you are a foreign customer, it is considerably cheaper to book a rental car from outside of the US than to wait until after you arrive in the United States.
We have a business account with Hertz. However, currently Dollar Rent seems to be the unbeatable low-price leader, closely followed by Alamo. We have also heard about the Internet-based Billiger Mietwagen (Europe), a search engine for low rental rates. At Billiger Mietwagen, insurance costs are usually included.
We are not rating the various options available to you; we're just giving you a few basic tips and sharing our experiences.
Important things to consider:
There are a lot of different rental car package options, and it is easy to get a little overwhelmed. In most cases you choose one of two basic package types. The first type includes a full tank of gas so that you can return the car with an empty tank. The cheaper, more basic package provides the car only--you have to bring it back with a full tank of gas.
Nearly all rental car companies will try and sell you several different kinds of insurance when you reserve your vehicle. Please think hard about what you really need.
Insurance law requires that you provide the names of anyone who will drive the car while you have it. Drivers usually have to be at least 21 years old.
If you are under 21, we recommend that your work with "rent a wreck."
An international driver’s license may be helpful, but is not mandatory unless a specific rental car company requires it.
Please be aware that it is usually N O T possible to rent a car or perform other major transactions unless you have a credit card like MasterCard, Visa or AMEX. It is generally not accepted in situations where a deposit is required.
During your stay, you can use a rental car to get around; there are other alternatives, though, if your budget won't allow for one.