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Tips for booking a car rental

Looking for a car rental for your next trip? Here are some tips to help you find great deals.

How to book a car rental?

To start the easy process of booking a car rental on Expedia, simply enter the location along with the dates and times for pickup and drop-off. Alternatively, browse our selection of popular car rental types and destinations if you need some inspiration. Whether you’re looking for a convertible rental for you and your partner or a passenger van rental for the whole family, we have a wide variety of car rental options available that can have you riding with efficiency and style.


What kind of cars are available?

A SUV car rental in Los Angeles, for example, can be a great option for those in town on business or just wanting to explore the city in comfort and style. Opt for a convertible car rental in Fort Lauderdale, if you’re traveling for the sunshine. Those venturing to LAX can go with a premium car in Las Vegas to get themselves a luxury car rental experience. A vast array of car types are available from several different suppliers, allowing you to customize your search and find the rental that best suits your vacation type.


How much does it cost to rent a car?

The cost of rental cars varies widely based on several factors, like the class of car selected and the location where you’re renting. A one-way car rental tends to be a bit more expensive than a round-trip rental. More luxurious cars tend to cost more, and busier areas are typically more expensive to rent in. Of course, travelers may opt for certain add-ons or protection policies that can also increase costs. If you're looking for deals, check the Exclusive Offers section of the filter list to find the lowest-priced car rentals. You can also sort your search results by price and set filters for budget limitations along with any other filters you find applicable.


How do I find a cheap car rental?

Finding a cheap car rental requires travelers to take advantage of search filters and pricing trends. Within your search, apply filters for your budgetary limits in the “total price” section of the filter list. Additionally, pay attention to the other filters, as they come with low-price limits for each. For example, in the Car type section, you’ll typically find that the low-price estimate listed for the economy car is far less than the starting price for the luxury car rental.


What type of car is the cheapest to rent?

Economy cars tend to be the cheapest car rental most of the time, but there are exceptions to this trend. In general, the larger and more luxurious the car rental, the more expensive it's going to be overall. It's also important to consider where you're renting a car. Rentals at the airport tend to be more expensive than rentals closer to downtown even for the exact same kind of car.


Where can I rent a car?

Rental cars are available from various places in your destination, including near your hotel or downtown or at the airport, such as car rentals at Logan International Airportl. There are search filters available that let you choose the specific neighborhood where you need to find your rental car as well. The companies that are available for car rentals will vary based on where you’re traveling, but some of the most notable are Enterprise, Hertz, and Avis car rentals. You can filter based on which company you prefer in the Rental car company section of the search filters, allowing you to search specifically for something like Avis car rentals in Chicago if you like. In terms of cities, virtually every destination has rental cars available. The best places to rent a car tend to be larger cities where you may want to get around faster than public transportation will allow. Some of the best locations to rent a car include car rentals near Disneyland or car rentals in Phoenix.


Is it worth it to rent a car?

Travelers will find several advantages to renting a car, including having an easy way to travel that's faster than public transportation and the ability to feel more like a local. This also comes in handy when you're in a place that doesn't have that many taxis or you plan on traveling a lot to the point where taxis would be too expensive or impractical. Planning your vacation itinerary is easier since your transportation is taken care of in advance, rather than having to factor in train lines or bus routes. Whether you're on a business trip or traveling with the whole family, you have a stress-free way to get from place to place.


How do I get a good deal on a rental car?

The easiest way to get a good deal on a rental car is to use our filters. At the top of the filter list, you'll find a section featuring our best offers. Check the filter for "Great Deal," and your search results will be filled with specials. Of course, you may also use filters for special features you want in the car alongside filters for the cost to see what kind of rentals are available that have the characteristics you want for your budget.


Do I need insurance to rent a car?

No, you don’t need personal auto insurance to rent a car in most cases. You will, however, be required to purchase some insurance to cover the duration of the rental. Rental companies will offer this insurance when you rent the car. Certain personal car insurance policies can also be applied to rental cars, and travelers can even use non-owner car insurance if they rent cars often but don’t have a car of their own. Additionally, some car rentals simply include car rental insurance within the price of the rental. You can check the exact insurance policy on any rental by clicking the "View rules and restrictions" link in the rental policies section.


Can I rent a car with a debit card?

Yes, many rental car companies do allow travelers to rent cars with a debit card. A debit card incurs greater risk to the company, however, so it’s not uncommon for them to make the process a bit more involved compared to paying with a credit card since they can’t bill a debit card on file without you present. Prepaid cards are almost always out of the question, so you’ll need a bank-issued debit card in most cases. Additionally, they may require proof of insurance, extra forms of ID, a credit check, and a deposit, among other requirements. Using a credit card to cover your deposit is the easiest way to not tie up your cash flow.


Can I rent a car at 18 years of age?

In some cases, 18-year-olds can rent a car, but that’s often not allowed in most locations in North America. In Michigan, Quebec, and New York, however, the minimum legal age to rent a car is 18. In places like Alabama and Nebraska, the minimum age is 19. Just about everywhere else in the US and Canada, the minimum age is 20.


Can I book a long-term car rental?

Yes, long-term car rentals are available on Expedia. These rentals are designed for people who plan to rent for several weeks or even several months at a time. Simply enter how long you need the rental for, and the available options for those dates will appear in your search.


Are car rentals fully refundable?

Some car rentals are fully refundable. Each one that qualifies will be marked as such in green text on the search results page. You may also filter for this feature specifically.


Why should I rent with Expedia?

Booking car rentals with Expedia makes it easy to find the right rental and book the rest of your trip in a single, convenient location. We also offer flights, hotels, and even activities you can book in advance. Plus, Expedia Rewards members will earn points with every eligible purchase that can be put toward subsequent bookings of any kind. Membership is free, sign up today!

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