Tag: tips

Driving In Mexico- A Complete Tourist Guide

Driving in Mexico can seem a little overwhelming at first. Check out our comprehensive guide, ideal for those who are planning to drive in Mexico!

There is so much to see in Mexico. Wonderful attractions, such as ancient Mayan ruins, are scattered all over the country. If you’re planning to make the most of your trip, the best way is to travel within the country by car. That way, you can freely move between different cities and regions in Mexico.

A Comprehensive Tourist Guide To Driving In Mexico

Can Foreigners Drive in Mexico

Yes! International tourists are permitted to drive in Mexico. Naturally, you have to meet the local laws to be eligible to drive here. In practice, this means the following.

You need to have a valid driving license. You only need an International Driving Permit if your domestic license is not in English. If your license is only in Japanese, for example, you’ll need to obtain an IDP.

Can You Drive In Mexico With A US License

Yes! As mentioned above, you can drive in Mexico with a foreign driving license as long as it’s in English. If you own a US-issued driving license, you can freely use it when driving in Mexico.

Requirements To Rent A Car in Mexico

If you’re planning to travel between different cities in Mexico, it’s best to rent a car for your trip. You can use Rentalmoose to browse through rental cars across over 15 000 locations worldwide. We only offer cars from trusted & verified suppliers.

Rentalmoose insider tip: Renting a car in Mexico? Don’t forget about proper insurance! Your credit card insurance may not provide coverage in Mexico.

The minimum age to rent a car in Mexico is 21. Drivers between 21 and 25 years will likely be charged with a young driver fee. This daily fee will be added on top of your rental quote.

In addition, most rental companies will require the renter to have at least 2 years of driving experience. This is verified by the issue date on your license.

The vast majority of rental companies in Mexico will require a credit card issued under the renter’s name. Debit cards are often not accepted.

Is It Safe To Drive in Mexico

To be completely honest, that depends. Safety remains a concern for many international tourists visiting Mexico. Tourist areas such as Cancun are perfectly safe. The same goes for the vast majority of the country. Drug violence remains a serious problem in the country, and it’s best to stay up to date on local news.

There are some areas that are not recommended to visit, such as Toluca Highway. It’s often referred to by locals as the carretera de la muerte, which translates to the Highway of Death. The name is pretty self-explanatory. You may want to drop it from your itinerary.

That said, you should always be vigilant and aware of your surroundings, just like any other country you travel to.

There is absolutely no need to freak out. You can find some helpful tips for driving in Mexico below.

Tips For Tourists Driving in Mexico

Check out the information below to prepare you to drive in Mexico for the first time.

  • Stay vigilant
  • Avoid driving at night
  • Take cuotas (toll roads)
  • Look out for topes

Stay Vigilant

Naturally, you always want to be vigilant and fully aware of your surroundings when traveling abroad. The same goes for driving in Mexico. There is absolutely no need to panic and freak out that something bad will happen.

Simply stay aware of what’s going on around you at all times. Just like you would anywhere else.

Avoid Driving At Night

A couple of decades ago, this piece of advice would refer to banditos- local gangsters who would rob drivers, especially in remote areas during the night. Over the last years, the number of banditos has dramatically decreased.

The main reason you should drive in Mexico during the day is actually the quality of roads. Major toll roads (we’ll get to those in a second) are well-paved. The same cannot be said about side roads, especially in remote parts of the country.

If you do happen to break down in the middle of nowhere, you may have to wait until daytime for assistance to arrive. That’s why it’s best to simply avoid driving at night altogether.

Take Cuotas, or Toll Roads

At first, you may think that this is related to banditos or drug-related violence, like the advice to drive during the day. However, it’s recommended to stick to cuotas, or toll roads, due to the quality of roads. Cuotas tend to be well-paved, unlike minor streets. The difference is even more apparent in poorer regions of Mexico.

Look Out For Topes

Topes are speed bumps. They can be found all over Mexico, especially on busy highways and in big cities. You may expect speed bumps to be painted in bright yellow to ensure they’re visible. That’s not exactly the case.

In reality, many topes remain completely unmarked. As a result, they’re very difficult to see. Some topes are built by locals, hence seeing them is even more challenging. If you hit one going too fast, you may require roadside assistance. Look out for topes!

Know The Traffic Laws When Driving in Mexico

This is an absolute no-brainer. Be familiar with the traffic laws in Mexico, both the official ones as well as the unwritten ones. Let’s go over both of them.

Mexico Official Traffic Laws

  • The legal driving age in Mexico is 18
  • Every occupant in a car needs to have seatbelts on
  • Drink-driving is a crime. The legal limit is 0.08%
  • Using a phone while driving is forbidden, unless with a hands-free kit
  • Left-hand highway exits- Highways in Mexico have areas where drivers can safely stop and make a u-turn past their desired exit
  • Call 911 in case of emergency
  • Call 074 for roadside assistance- Los Angeles Verdes (more on that below)

Speed Limits in Mexico

  • Urban Areas- 40km/h
  • Open Roads Outside Urban Areas- 80km/h
  • Highways- 100-110km/h

First and foremost, be familiar with the official laws as well as the speed limits.

Unwritten Traffic Rules in Mexico

  • An oncoming vehicle flashing their headlights at you is a warning to slow down. The first vehicle to flash their lights has the right of way. If someone is flashing their headlights, you are expected to yield
  • Left turn signals can mean one of three things- the car in front is turning left, letting you know that there is space to overtake, or taking the right-hand side exit to then make a left
  • It is common to drive on the shoulder to make more space for overtaking vehicles. Expect to see overtaking vehicles on your lane, and use the shoulder to accommodate them
  • As mentioned above, many speedbumps are hard to see. Drive cautiously

Los Angeles Verdes- Roadside Assistance in Mexico

Knowing this is crucial for any tourist driving in Mexico. Los Angeles Verdes, or the Green Angels, are a fleet of green-colored trucks that provide roadside assistance. The personnel speak both Spanish and English, and will be able to get you back on the road in no time.

You can reach Los Angeles Verdes at 074, a 24-hour toll-free number. It’s best to write this phone number down, just in case.

Note that Los Angeles Verdes only operate in the daytime and on major highways. This is yet another reason why you should avoid driving in Mexico at night and stick to toll roads.

Road Trip in Mexico- Travel Ideas

Mexico is full of fascinating places to visit, and going on a road trip is one of the best ways to see the country!

Road Trip Around The Yucatan Peninsula

This is by far our favorite road trip itinerary in all of Mexico. You set off in dreamy Cancun, and then drive south via Tulum and through to San Cristobal de las Casas. Then, you’ll make your way back to Cancun via the west coast of the Yucatan Peninsula.

This is a truly unforgettable road trip. Expect lots of driving in Mexico, as there’s plenty to see!

Day Trips From Mexico City

The region around Mexico City is truly fascinating. You can rent a car from the capital and go on multiple day trips, or combine them all into one grand road trip. Check out our curated travel guide.

Tulum and its Surrounding Areas

If a road trip around the entire Yucatan Peninsula is too much driving, check out our favorite things to do in and around Tulum. There’s more to Tulum than fancy resorts, and you won’t want to miss out on any of that.

Cabo San Lucas and Baja California

Cabo is a fantastic destination in its own right. Check out our travel guide on the best things to do in Cabo San Lucas. We’ve included a few small road trip ideas around Baja California, too!

What Is a Standard Car- Rental Car Basics

Knowing the different types of car categories offered by rental companies is a must. Here is what you can expect when booking a standard rental car.

A Ford Mondeo is considered to be a standard car in the world of rental cars.
a Ford Mondeo is classified as a standard car.

We have divided this quick guide into the following sections to make it as easy to follow as possible. Click one of the links below to quickly jump to each part of the blog post.

What Is A Standard Car?

A standard car is larger than an intermediate and smaller than a full-size. Frankly speaking, the name is rather self-explanatory. Standard rental cars are just that- standard. A prime example would be a Volkswagen Jetta, which can is a popular pick among rental companies worldwide.

All standard rental cars will share the following features:

  • space for up to 5 occupants (including the driver)
  • four doors
  • more cargo space than an intermediate car
  • good fuel economy
  • roughly the same size as a Volkswagen Jetta

Note that some rental companies offer slightly larger cars, such as MPVs and some crossovers, that are classified as standard. Continue reading to find out more about different examples of standard rental cars.

Standard Car Models

Keep in mind that you are not guaranteed a particular make and model when booking a rental car. You’re actually booking a rental car type instead. That’s why you’ll see the words Or Similar next to your rental car.

With that in mind, these are some cars you may receive when booking a standard car:

  • Volkswagen Jetta
  • Kia Sportage
  • Vauxhall Insignia
  • Buick Verano
  • Citroen C4 Grand Picasso
  • Ford Mondeo
  • Volkswagen Passat
  • Ford C-Max
  • Renault Laguna
  • Vauxhall Corsa

When You Should Rent a Standard Car

Standard cars are ideal when an intermediate rental car just doesn’t cut it in terms of space, for example on longer trips. After all, a standard car has enough room in the trunk for at least one more piece of luggage compared with an intermediate car. Rear-seat passengers can expect more legroom, too.

On the flip side, standard cars are harder to park in tight spots. Fuel economy may be worse than your average intermediate or compact car, as well.

If you’re planning to drive a few hundred kilometers with two to three passengers and their luggage, a standard car may just be perfect. If you crave more space, consider renting a full-size instead.

Know More About Your Rental Car Type

As mentioned above, you always book a rental car type as opposed to a specific make and model. Although you are not guaranteed a particular vehicle, you can work out many of its features and specifications.

Rental companies around the world use the four-character ACRISS code to classify their fleets. The code includes information on the car type, category, drivetrain type, transmission, and even whether or not it has air conditioning.

Don’t forget to book your next rental car through RentalmooseOur platform offers thousands of rental cars from trusted suppliers all across the world. Browse from over 15 000 different locations and find your ideal car today.


We plant a tree for every rental car booked with us, as a way of contributing towards a better tomorrow. Find out more about us here.

What is a Compact Car- Rental Car Basics

2021 Volkswagen Golf is considered a compact car by rental car companies.
Courtesy of Volkswagen

The car rental world is made up of nearly 20 different categories. Keeping up with them all can be difficult, especially if you haven’t rented a car in a while. Here’s a quick guide to help you figure out what exactly a compact car is according to rental companies.

Rental companies are constantly shifting their fleets, hence guaranteeing renters a particular make and model would be virtually impossible. That’s why rental companies actually rent car types, as opposed to particular models.

To keep things simple and clear, rental companies throughout the globe use the same unified car classification system. The ACRISS code consists of four characters that describe the type of car offered by the company.

The first letter in the ACRISS code describes one of the 18 different car categories. Compact is one of them.

We’ve divided this blog post into the following sections to keep it as short as possible:

Without further ado, let’s dive in!

What is A Compact Rental Car

Compact cars are medium-sized. They are smaller than intermediate cars and bigger than mini cars.

Remember that a rental company cannot guarantee you a particular make and model. For this very reason, the exact dimensions and specifications of compact cars can slightly vary. Some rental companies also classify small SUVs, such as the Nissan Juke, as compacts.

You can expect every single compact rental car to have the following:

  • space for up to 5 occupants
  • 4 doors
  • excellent fuel economy
  • similar in size to a Nissan Versa

In addition, some rental companies may also offer economy cars as well as compacts. Note that both of these types are very similar to each other, though a compact will typically be a little larger.

Examples of Compact Rental Cars

Compact rental cars are, despite the name, pretty spacious. As mentioned above, a Nissan Versa is considered a compact car. Some more examples of compact rental cars include:

  • Nissan Versa
  • Volkswagen Golf
  • Vauxhall Astra
  • Ford Fusion
  • Volkswagen Beetle
  • Nissan Juke
  • Ford Focus
  • Hyundai i30
  • Kia Soul
  • Peugeot 306
  • Opel Meriva

When Is It Best To Rent a Compact Car

As compact rental cars are smaller than intermediate and full-size sedans, they are ideal for driving around the city with friends or family. Compact cars can easily fit into tight parking spaces, and their small engines are renowned for exceptional fuel efficiency.

For example, a 2021 Volkswagen Golf can drive up to 39 miles on a single gallon of fuel. That equates to only around 6 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers. Rent a compact car and you’ll never have to worry about gas prices again!

If you’re planning a longer trip with more than two passengers and their luggage, you may be comfortable in an intermediate car, though. A couple going on a romantic weekend to Lake Tahoe from LA will be perfectly happy with a fuel-efficient compact.

Know More About Your Rental Car Type

We already mentioned that rental companies use a unified four-character ACRISS code to describe their rental cars. Did you know that you can figure out the car type, category, drivetrain, fuel type, transmission, and even if it has A/C, all by looking at its ACRISS code?

Remember that you are never guaranteed a particular make and model when booking a rental car. Instead, you’re actually booking a car type defined by its ACRISS code. That’s exactly why you’ll see the words or similar next to the make and model when browsing through rental cars.

Don’t forget to book your next rental car through RentalmooseOur platform offers thousands of rental cars from trusted suppliers all across the world. Browse from over 15 000 different locations and find your ideal car today.


We plant a tree for every rental car booked with us, as a way of contributing towards a better tomorrow. Find out more about us here.

What Is An Intermediate Car- Rental Car Basics

2020 Hyundai Elantra, an intermediate rental car, driving off into the sunset.
A Hyundai Elantra is an intermediate car. Photo courtesy of Hyundai USA

There are nearly 20 different vehicle categories in the world of car rentals. Keeping up with all of them can be harder than it seems. Find out what you can expect when booking an intermediate (or midsize) rental car.

Rental companies are constantly changing the vehicles offered at different rental locations. That’s why it’s simply easier to offer types of cars, as opposed to particular makes and models.

Suppliers throughout the globe use the same unified four-character code to classify their rental cars. There are 18 different car types within the ACRISS system, and intermediate or mid-size is one of them.

To keep this guide clear and simple, it has been divided into the following sections:

Without further ado, let’s jump right in!

What Exactly is an Intermediate Car

Simply put, an intermediate (also referred to as mid-size) car is larger than a compact and slightly smaller than a standard.

Although the particular make and model will vary depending on the rental companies’ availability at your desired location, all intermediate rental cars are similar. No matter which car you receive, any intermediate rental car will have the following:

  • four doors
  • space for up to 5 occupants
  • similar to a Toyota Corolla

You can also expect a similar amount of room for cargo and passengers across all intermediate rental cars. The fuel economy and engine specifications shouldn’t vary too much between the different makes and models, either.

Note that some rental companies will also classify some crossover SUVs as intermediate cars. In that case, the size may be a little bigger than the average sedan.

Examples of Intermediate Cars

As mentioned above, all intermediate cars are roughly the size of a Toyota Corolla. Here are a few more examples of popular rental cars that fall within the intermediate category.

  • Toyota Corolla
  • Fiat 500X
  • Hyundai Elantra
  • Skoda Octavia
  • Nissan Qashqai
  • Chevrolet Cruze
  • VW Jetta
  • Seat Toledo
  • Jeep Renegade
  • BMW 1-Series
  • Ford Mondeo
  • Peugeot 3008

When Is It Best To Rent an Intermediate Car

Intermediate, or mid-size rental cars, are larger than compacts. As a result, you can comfortably travel with up to 5 occupants and their luggage. Intermediate cars are perfect when you need more space than a compact car, and still want to maintain similar fuel economy.

An intermediate rental car can prove to be ideal for day trips from busy cities with your family or friends. If you’re planning to spend a weekend at Cape Cod and drive from Boston, for example, an intermediate car would be perfect.

Know More About Your Rental Car Type

As mentioned above, rental companies use the ACRISS 4-character code to classify their rental car types. By looking at the ACRISS code, you can find out what kind of car you’ll get, as well as its type, transmission and drivetrain, fuel type, and whether it has A/C.

Keep in mind that you never book a particular make and model when renting a car. That’s why you’ll see the words “or similar” when booking the vehicle.

You can check out our guide to ACRISS codes to learn more about rental car types. That way, you’ll always be prepared beforehand.

Don’t forget to book your next rental car through RentalmooseOur platform offers thousands of rental cars from trusted suppliers all across the world. Browse from over 15 000 different locations and find your ideal car today.


We plant a tree for every rental car booked with us, as a way of contributing towards a better tomorrow. Find out more about us here.

Driving in California-A Tourist Guide

California is one of the best tourist destinations in all of the United States. A private car is unarguably the best way of getting around, especially if you’re planning to visit multiple cities.

Even if you’re planning to stick to one city, like Los Angeles, you’ll be better off with a rental car. This particular city extends for nearly 45 miles (70km) from north to south!

Driving in California for the first time can seem a little scary, at least at first. We’ve prepared a guide to help you navigate through California’s traffic laws and regulations. That way, you can make the most out of your California holiday.

To keep this guide as convenient as possible, it has been broken down into the following sections. You can click one of the links below to quickly jump to each section.

Without further ado, let’s jump into this post!

Before You Leave- California Car Rentals

Planning is key to a fun and stress-free holiday. Ensure you’re all set before leaving for California using the information below.

Rental Cars in California

You can find your rental car via Rentalmoose. Rentalmoose features only verified suppliers across over 15 000 locations worldwide. Browse through rental cars from Hertz, Europcar, National, Enterprise, Alamo, and more. We plant a tree for every booking made with our platform.

Who Can Drive a Car in California?

Teens as young as 14 can be permitted to drive a car in California in special cases. Drivers between 16 and 18 can drive with a provisional license, and anyone over the age of 18 can apply for a regular driving license. However, you need to be older in order to rent a car in the same state.

In fact, most California rental companies will permit drivers who are at least 21 years old to rent a car, as long as they’ve had their driving license for at least a year. Note that young drivers may not have access to the entire fleet though. Luxury cars or powerful drop-tops are usually reserved for drivers with more experience.

Renters aged between 21 and 25 should prepare to pay an additional young driver fee. This daily fee will be added on top of your rental bill for anyone under 25, as well as seniors (usually over 65 years old).

Did you know that renters can face up to 20 additional fees when renting a car? You can learn how to avoid them in this blog post.

International Driving Permits- Are They Required in California?

An International Driving Permit is not required by tourists driving in California. You can simply use your foreign driving license. Note that some rental companies may ask for an IDP, even when it is not legally required by the state or country you’re in. It’s always best to double-check directly with the supplier before setting off.

You can check out this blog post for more information on renting a car in California. You’ll find out all about the standard insurance, how to avoid young driver fees, and more practical information.

California Traffic Laws and Regulations

Seatbelts and Other Mandatory Safety Measures

Seatbelts are an absolute must for all occupants in a car.

In addition, motorcyclists are required to wear a helmet at all times. This applies to their passengers, too.

Speed Limits

Watch your speed at all times, as the limits are strictly enforced throughout the state.

These are the speed limits in California unless there are signs that state otherwise:

  • 15-25mph (25-40kmh)- school zones, railroad crossings with poor visibility- under 400ft in both directions
  • 25mph (40kmh)- urban areas, such as business and residential districts
  • 55mph (90kmh)- two-lane undivided highways
  • 65-70mph (105-110kmh)- multi-lane highways, such as freeways or interstates
  • 55mph (90kmh)- maximum speed for vehicles towing trailers

As mentioned above, speed limits are strictly enforced in the state of California, much like in the majority of the US. The police can even use aircraft to enforce speed limits. If you’re caught speeding, you can expect to pay up to $900 for serious offenses.

Overtaking and Lane Changes

A general rule of thumb is to stick on the right lane on highways and use the ones on the left for overtaking.

Overtaking on the right side is allowed, as long as there are at least two clearly-marked lanes going in the same direction.

Lane Splitting

Lane-splitting is legally permitted for motorcycles in California. Be sure to look out for bikes when driving!

Carpool (HOV) Lanes

Carpool lanes are a clever way to reduce the number of vehicles on busy roads. You can spot them on some of the busiest freeways in the states, especially in big cities such as Los Angeles or San Francisco. They are marked by a distinctive diamond-shaped pattern on the surface.

You can use carpool lanes, as long as you have at least two (or three in some places) occupants in the vehicle, including the driver. Note that vehicles towing trailers are forbidden to use carpool lanes, no matter how many people are in the vehicle.

Turning Right at A Red Light

The ability to turn right at a red light continues to amaze many European tourists in many US states.

In California, it is legal to turn right at a red light, unless there are signs that prohibit it. Note that you must first come to a complete stop at the red light before turning right.

Pedestrians Have The Right of Way

Pedestrians have the right of way at any intersection. Crosswalks do not need to have lines painted on the road. What’s more, pedestrians are permitted to use unmarked intersections, unless there are signs that state otherwise.

busy hollywood boulevard lots of tourists in front of chinese theatre on a sunny day in hollywood california

Use of Mobile Phones, Texting and Driving

It is illegal to use a mobile phone when driving in California. This is a distraction that can have deadly consequences for you, as well as other road users. Keep your hands off your phone when driving.

Fully hands-free devices are the only exception.

Drinking and Driving

Much like the rest of the United States, California takes drinking and driving very seriously. Although the legal limit is 0.8%, you can still be charged for drunk driving if you’re impaired, even if the alcohol level is below the legal limit.

Drivers caught driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs will be arrested on the spot. Never drink and drive.

Smoking in The Car

If you’re driving with children, it is illegal to smoke tobacco products in the vehicle. Not only is it against the law, but also incredibly bad for your health.

Opened Containers

Driving under the influence is a very serious crime in California. To help reduce the number of drunk drivers out on the roads, the officials have made it illegal to have any open alcohol containers within the passenger compartment of a vehicle- including the glovebox. If you have any open alcohol bottle, it has to be transported in the trunk.

DON’T FORGET TO USE RENTALMOOSE TO COMPARE THE BEST DEALS FROM OUR TRUSTED SUPPLIERS.

Manual Rental Cars- All You Need To Know

Though most vehicles sold today are automatics, manual rental cars are not going anywhere! Check out this guide to learn all you need to know about stick-shift automobiles in the world of car rental.

Picking the right transmission car to suit your needs is absolutely crucial. This is particularly important if you plan to rent a car for a long period of time or take it for a cross-country road trip.

For this very reason, Rentalmoose has created a comprehensive guide on manual rental cars. We’ll cover everything from reasons to book a manual car, finding a stick-shift vehicle, all the way to driving one.

To keep things simple, this handy guide is divided into 5 different sections. You can click one of the links below to quickly jump to each part of the blog post.

Without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Manual Vs Automatic Rental Cars

Torn between an automatic and a good ol’ stick shift? Check out some of the reasons why some drivers prefer manual transmissions.

Full Control Over Gears And Shifting

This one is quite obvious. The reason why many drivers love manual transmissions is that they are in full control of the gearbox. As the driver, you decide when to shift. This may not matter to everyone, though some people simply find it more enjoyable.

Some cars offer a semi-automatic transmission where the driver can still shift up and down without a clutch, though that feature is mostly reserved for sports cars.

Long Trips and Driving In The City

While a manual transmission is perfectly fine when driving on a long highway, it could get annoying very quick in the city. Imagine being stuck in rush-hour traffic, constantly having to keep your left foot on and off the clutch.

If you’re planning to stick to city driving, you may want to re-think renting a manual car. For long journeys, however, manual rental cars can be the perfect pick.

More Driving Pleasure

According to some car fans, driving a car with a manual transmission is simply more fun than an automatic. While this is definitely a matter of personal taste, it’s pretty clear that a manual transmission is simply more engaging for the driver.

It’s Cheaper Than An Automatic

Renting a manual car will always be cheaper than an automatic.

If a rental company happens to have the exact same vehicle, the only difference being the transmission type, you can be sure that the manual will have a lower day rate.

Renters who want to drive stick can save a few bucks along the way, too.

Note that this does rule does not apply in the United States, as there aren’t any manual rental cars offered there. Keep reading for more details.

Where Can You Find A Manual Rental Car?

Manual rental cars are very common throughout European countries. In most cases, the cheapest vehicles offered by a rental company come equipped with a stick shift.

The majority of trusted suppliers, such as Hertz, Europcar, Budget, or Enterprise, all offer manual rental cars in Europe as well as other countries. You can use Rentalmoose to filter manual rental cars at your selected location.

Cars with a stick shift have become hard to come by in the US. That brings up another question.

How To Check If Your Rental Car Will Be A Manual- ACRISS Code

When browsing through rental cars, you should always keep in mind that you’re not actually booking a specific model. Instead, you’re booking a car category that meets the criteria you’ve picked. That’s why you’ll see the words “or similar” next to the model name.

With that in mind, there is an easy way to check what transmission type your rental car will have. The third character in the vehicle’s ACRISS code describes its transmission.

The letters A, B, D indicate that the vehicle is an auto. Take a look at the example below.

CCMN- a compact 2/4 door manual without air conditioning.

CCAN- a compact 2/4 door automatic without air conditioning.

Can You Rent A Manual Car In The United States?

Finding a manual rental car in the US is virtually impossible. Though there may be a few local rental companies that still offer stick shifts, a manual rental car is a rare sight.

Alamo and Budget still have some manual vehicles at select locations, though they’re very difficult to find.

The number of manual automobiles in the US is dropping rapidly. According to Carmax, less than 2.5% of cars sold in the US come equipped with a stick shift. That’s quite a drop from 25% a little over two decades ago.

As a result, just 1 in 5 American drivers know how to drive manual. While that may not necessarily be a bad thing, it dramatically reduces the amount of stick shift rental cars in the country. Most drivers simply prefer automatics, either due to comfort, a lack of skill, or both.

The lack of manual transmissions in the US is good news for drivers who prefer automatics, though. Renters don’t have to pay a premium rate to receive an automatic car, as opposed to Europe where the cheapest rental cars are typically diesel-powered manuals.

How Do You Drive Stick Shift?

Driving a manual can be a little tricky after a long break. However, you should be able to get the hang of it after a few minutes. You can also check out our quick guide to driving a stick shift, just in case.

If you’ve never driven stick before, it may be a better idea to go with an automatic rental car.

Rent A Manual Car With Rentalmoose

Rentalmoose has made renting manual rental cars easier than ever before. Simply go to our website, find a location, select pick-up and drop-off dates, and hit enter.

Once the results pop up, you are able to set additional filters. This can be anything from the renter’s age, the deposit amount, and the transmission type.

Hertz rental car key on return desk, Rentalmoose moose reaching out to key behind the desk.

Can You Rent a Car With a Debit Card?

Renting a car is a pretty straightforward process, as long as you have a credit card. While it is preferred, most rental companies will allow you to use a debit card when renting a car. This quick guide will answer one of the most confusing questions in the world of rental cars- can you rent a car with a debit card?

To keep things simple, we’ve divided this blog post into the following parts. Click the links to quickly jump to each section.

Without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Can You Rent A Car With A Debit Card?

The short answer is yes. However, it depends on a few factors:

  • the rental location
  • age of the renter
  • proof of a return travel itinerary
  • the name on the card

Continue reading to find out more.

Although it can seem a little bit complicated at first, it is possible to rent a car without a credit card. Rentalmoose has made renting a car as straightforward as possible. Virtually all of our suppliers allow renters to book a rental car using a debit card. This can, however, change depending on the location.

Rentalmoose insider tip: Some of our suppliers offer a quick way to check location-specific policies. Check out Budget’s Find A Location as an example.

Note that the policies can vary depending on the rental station. Always double-check with the supplier before finalizing the transaction. Otherwise, you may run into issues during the pick-up process.

Another thing to keep in mind is the age of the renter. While most rental companies allow a driver under 25 to rent a vehicle (a young driver fee may be applied), the lack of a credit card is an issue. You need to be at least 25 years old to rent a car with a debit card.

If you’re picking up your rental car at an airport, you will need to provide proof of a return travel itinerary. This is required by virtually all rental companies at airport locations, especially if you plan to use a debit card.

Last but not least, ensure that the debit card is registered to you- the renter. No matter whether you choose to book with a debit or a credit card, it has got to be under the name of the renter.

Don’t forget that while some rental companies won’t accept a credit card during the pick-up process, payment for the rental car at drop-off may be covered via a debit card. It’s best to get in touch directly with the supplier if you’re unsure.

Which Rental Car Companies Allow You To Use A Debit Card?

Rentalmoose only offers rental cars from trusted and verified rental companies. As a result, most of our suppliers will allow you to rent a car with a debit card.

You can always double-check directly with the rental company if you’re unsure whether your rental car can be booked with just a debit card.

Avis (Ace, Budget)

Most Avis locations accept debit cards, though the renter has got to be at least 25 years old.

Cards accepted by this supplier include Avis Charge Cards, American Express, AT&T Capital, China Union Pay, Diner’s Club, Discover, GE Capital, JCB, Mastercard, Sears, and Visa.

Aside from local policies, Avis also requires credit cards when renting premium vehicles, including the ones in the Avis Select Series.

Enterprise (Alamo, National Car Rental)

Enterprise typically accepts Visa, Mastercard, and Discover debit cards at most of their airport locations in the US and Canada.

Note that the renter needs to present a return flight ticket to be able to rent a car using a debit card at airport locations. Otherwise, only a credit card will be accepted.

Europcar

Europcar accepts debit cards issued by major operators at select locations. It’s best to refer to their terms and conditions before finalizing the booking.

Check out more reasons why you should always read the terms and conditions before booking your rental car.

Hertz (Dollar, Thrifty)

For the most part, it should not be an issue to use a debit card when booking a rental car with Hertz. As always, local limitations may apply depending on the rental location. Hertz requires a credit card when booking a premium vehicle, too.

Charge and debit cards accepted by this supplier include American Express, MasterCard, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, Visa, China Union Pay, Hertz Charge Card.

Similar to Enterprise, Hertz requires to present a return flight ticket at airport locations to be able to rent a car with a debit card.

Rental car deposits and holds on account funds

No matter what supplier you choose to book your rental car with, you can expect a hold on account funds.

By doing this, the rental company can make sure that the renter is actually able to pay for the rental car. In most cases, the holds on your account funds will be similar to the final rental car bill.

This fee will be returned to you within a few business days after the drop-off. Ensure you have enough funds on your debit card to cover this hold, as well as to pay for the rental car itself.

Most rental companies will take a security deposit. You can learn more about that in this informative blog post.

Now that you’re all set, it’s time to book your next rental car! Click the banner below to start browsing rental cars.

Car Rental Insurance In Mexico- A Comprehensive Guide

Mexico is filled with fun attractions and plenty of things to do for all kinds of travelers. It’s no surprise that this country attracts nearly 100 million tourists every single year. Traveling by car is unarguably the best way to see the best of what this country has to offer. Check out our insightful guide to car rental insurance in Mexico before setting off!

To keep things simple, we have divided this blog post into the following sections. Click the links below to jump to each topic.

Without further ado, let’s jump into the guide!

Pristine sandy beach in Cancun, Mexico. Insightful guide to car rental insurance in Mexico will help you discover this country by car.
Pristine beach in Cancun. Check out our Mexico road trip travel guide.

How To Rent A Car In Mexico

For the most part, renting a car in Mexico is exactly the same as in the United States. You will need the following items to rent a car in Mexico:

  • Major credit card under your name
  • Driver’s license issued at least a year before the start of the rental period
  • Valid passport

Note that there are common extra car rental fees that can be added to your rental bill. These include a premium location surcharge, mainly for airport pick-ups and drop-offs, a young driver fee, or a late drop-off fee.

Most rental companies will require a security deposit before handing over the keys. The deposit is usually taken from the credit card used when booking your rental car. While some local companies may allow you to cover the deposit via debit card, it is not common practice.

Rentalmoose insider tip: Booking using local currency may save you from overpaying for bad conversion rates.

Your US Insurance Is (Probably) Not Valid In Mexico

This is indeed quite a bummer. Many credit card plans come with rental car insurance (more info here). However, most providers don’t extend this coverage south of the United States.

Credit Card coverage will not be accepted in Mexico. Purchasing additional coverage in Mexico is the best way to go.

Note that this will also apply to travelers who drive their own vehicles into Mexico. Most US auto insurance plans are not valid in Mexico.

Mandatory Car Rental Insurance in Mexico

Just like the United States, Mexico has two types of car rental insurance- collision damage and liability. However, this is where the similarities between rental cars in the US and Mexico stop. Here’s why.

Personal Liability Insurance, also referred to as Third-Party Insurance, is mandatory when renting a car in Mexico. You cannot rent a car without this coverage.

Although this is the only obligatory type of insurance, it’s not always enough. In fact, it’s highly recommended to opt for additional coverage. You can also learn more about rental car insurance in other countries in this guide.

Personal Liability Insurance- Why It May Not Be Enough

As the name suggests, Personal Liability Insurance (a.k.a. Third Party Insurance) covers personal injury claims and material damage done only to the other driver.

That’s right, this basic coverage does not protect the renter or the rental car in any way. If you do happen to have a collision in your rental car without any extra coverage, you will need to pay for the damages out of your own pocket. The bill can quickly round up to tens of thousands of dollars.

Be sure to double-check the limit on your basic coverage before driving off. In most cases, basic liability insurance will only cover you up to 50 000 pesos, or $3800. Anything above that will need to be paid by the renter.

While we sincerely hope that you’ll never need rental car insurance, it’s always best to come prepared.

magical Día de los Muertos celebrations  in Mexico. The best way to discover Mexico is by car. Learn all about mexico car rental insurance.

Additional Rental Car Insurance in Mexico Explained

Be sure to check out the section below to avoid overpaying for what may seem like a great deal, at least at first. Avoid any misunderstandings and ensure that you have the exact coverage you want.

If you choose to buy additional insurance outside of your rental company, double-check whether it’s accepted. Some local companies won’t accept insurance bought outside of their company.

These are the different types of car rental insurance in Mexico. We’ll go over the details below.

  • Basic Car Rental Liability Insurance in Mexico
  • Supplemental Liability Insurance (SAI)
  • Collision Damage Waiver (CDW/LDW)
  • Personal Accident Insurance (PAI)

Basic Car Rental Liability Insurance in Mexico

You may be surprised to hear that basic liability insurance is included in your Mexico rental car. It’s a legal requirement for every rental company to include the basic liability in the day rate.

Every rental car in Mexico comes with this basic liability insurance. That said, you should consider adding extra coverage. Check out the options below.

Supplemental Liability Insurance (SAI)

As you already know, basic liability insurance is obligatory in Mexico. That has to be good news, right?

Well, not exactly. Many rental companies in Mexico will insist on purchasing SAI, or Supplemental Liability Insurance. This extended protection may come in handy, as it typically increases the coverage from the 50 000 pesos included in your basic insurance. However, this extended coverage is not mandatory.

Don’t forget that it’s always cheaper to purchase additional coverage in advance. If you decide to add extra insurance at the rental desk, expect to pay a higher fee.

Collision Damage Waiver (CDW/LDW)

A Collision Damage Waiver, also referred to as the Loss Damage Waiver, is not theoretically insurance. Instead, it confirms that your rental company is willing to waive some (or all) of the cost of damage done to the rental car.

Some credit card plans may come with a CDW policy, at least in the US. Note that most credit card insurance plans won’t work in Mexico. Double-check whether your provider offers extended insurance in Mexico. If not, you may want to consider purchasing CDW.

Personal Accident Insurance (PAI)

This is the only type of coverage that will protect you and other occupants in the rental car. For extra peace of mind, make sure you add PAI to your rental car quote. It will set you back under $10 per day.

Personal Accident Insurance will cover the cost of treatment, transport to the hospital, etc. Once again, we hope you’ll never actually have to use it.

What If You Decline Additional Car Insurance in Mexico

Here comes another bummer. When you decline additional coverage offered by your supplier and can’t provide proof of having external protection, the company may ask you for a larger security deposit.

This may seem like a good way to avoid paying for rental car insurance in Mexico at first. In reality, however, the security deposit can quickly become an enormous sum.

This security deposit can easily surpass $2 500. Make sure to have proof of separate insurance plans, and double-check with the company before picking up your rental car.

Damaged Rental Car In Mexico

Fighting rental car damage claims can be tricky, no matter which country you’re in. This should not discourage you from renting a car in Mexico. Nonetheless, every renter should be aware of the local procedures.

You may have heard about international tourists going to Mexican jail after a car collision. While this could happen, many of these horror stories are quite exaggerated.

Yes, you could get detained after a car accident in Mexico. The police do have the right to detain you until money matters are settled (this is where insurance comes in handy).

However, this only happens IF:

  • someone got injured during the car accident
  • police cannot determine who was at fault

Note that the local police can have your rental car towed and impounded, too. While the chance of this happening on your Mexico vacation is extremely low, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Bonus- Mexico Rental Car

Unsure where to book your rental car in Mexico? Be sure to check out Rentalmoose. We’re a global car rental broker that serves over 15 000 locations worldwide.

We only offer rental cars from trusted and verified suppliers.

Now that you’re all set, it’s time to continue planning your Mexico adventure! Check out some of our Mexican travel guides:

  1. Mexico Road Trip in The Yucatan Peninsula
  2. Day Trips From Mexico City
  3. Day Trips From Cabo San Lucas
  4. Best Things To Do In Tulum

No matter which destination you pick, be sure to book a rental car. The comfort of being able to adjust your itinerary on the go can only be achieved when traveling by car. A private vehicle is also a safe way to travel during the coronavirus pandemic.

We plant a tree for every booking made with our platform!

How To Drive Stick? Quick Guide To Manual Cars

Manual cars are nowhere near as popular as automatics, though they aren’t gone completely. In fact, many suppliers around the globe still offer rental cars with a stick-shift transmission. Here’s a short guide to driving a manual car, just in case you need a quick reminder. If you’re wondering how to drive stick, you have come to the right place!

To keep things quick and simple, you can click one of the links below to jump to each section of the guide.

Be sure to check out our blog for more handy tips. Young drivers should take a look at this post. Wondering if now’s the right time to book your rental car? This guide may help.

Without further ado, let’s jump into this guide!

The Basics

Manual cars certainly aren’t for everyone. If you’re renting a car in the US, you probably won’t come across any rental cars with a stick-shift transmission. In other parts of the world, however, manual cars can be quite common. Transmissions are determined by the car type you book, so you can always see whether your rental car is a manual during the booking process.

Check out this guide to learn more about different rental car types, ACRISS codes, and the mysterious “or similar” phrase when booking a car.

Once you’re behind the wheel of an automobile equipped with a stick-shift, you will see three pedals:

  • Clutch– left
  • Brake– middle
  • Accelerator– right

Before driving off, you may want to find out how to turn the engine on in the first place. To start a car with an automatic transmission, you’ll simply need to push the brake pedal and press the engine start button, or turn the ignition key.

Things are a little bit different when it comes to manual cars.

How To Start A Manual Car

The first step to learning how to drive stick is finding out how to turn the engine on. Keep reading to find out.

1. Put the car in neutral

First and foremost, make sure the vehicle is in neutral.

2. Push down the clutch

To start the engine of a manual car, you first have to push down the clutch. That’s the pedal on the left-hand side.

3. Turn ignition

Turn the key in the ignition to start the engine. Make sure the engine is on before letting go of the key.

How To Drive A Manual Car

Once the engine is on, it’s time to set off!

1. Disengage the parking brake

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten about this. The truth is, you will not get very far with the parking brake pushed down. Ensure the parking brake is disengaged before driving off. If you see a “P” icon on the display, the brake is engaged.

2. Put the car in first gear

To get the car in gear, you first have to push down the clutch pedal. With the pedal pushed down, grab the gear stick and put it in first gear. You can use the diagram atop the stick to help you locate the gear. It’s usually in the top-left corner, though that can vary depending on the rental car.

3. Get going!

This is arguably the hardest step when learning how to drive stick. You have to slowly take your left foot off the clutch pedal. Once the car starts to roll, you can gently press the accelerator and lift your foot off the clutch. Be careful not to lift your left foot off the clutch too fast, as you may cause the car to stall.

That said, don’t worry if you stall the car! It’s a common occurrence, especially if it’s your first time driving stick in a while. Simply go back to square one, turn the engine on and try once again. It may take you a few failed attempts to feel the clutch.

4. Switching gears

Switching from first to second gear, then to third and so on is a lot less scary than it may seem. All you need to do is:

  • Lift your right foot off the throttle pedal
  • At the same time, push down the clutch pedal using your left foot
  • With the clutch down, move the gear shift to the desired gear position
  • Once the gear is engaged, slowly lift your left foot off the clutch
  • Push down the accelerator with your right foot, and you’re all set!

Repeat the process whenever you need to switch gears.

5. Coming to a complete stop

When approaching a red light or a stop sign, you’ll obviously need to come to a complete stop. Though the procedure is a little more complicated than stopping an automatic car, you’ll quickly get used to it!

Whenever you need to slow down, it’s enough to simply push down the brake pedal with your right foot. Note that you may want to switch into a lower gear, depending on how much speed you’ve lost.

If you want to come to a complete stop, you’ll need to push down the clutch with your left foot whenever the speed is lower than around 5 miles per hour (8km/h). Otherwise, the engine may stall.

When you’re standing still in a stick-shift car, it’s typically recommended to leave the transmission in neutral and apply the brake with your left foot.

6. Parking a manual car

Parking can get a little tricky, even with an automatic transmission. To engage reverse, you may need to push down the gear shift to disengage a safety lockout first. The method can vary slightly depending on the vehicle, it’s best to take a look at your owner’s manual if you’re unsure.

Once the car is parked, it is highly recommended to leave it either in first gear or in reverse, with the parking brake applied all the way. That way, you can be sure that the car won’t roll down a hill.

Bonus: Starting on a hill

Starting on a hill is another task that can seem a little risky to those, who don’t have much experience driving a stick-shift.

The key to starting on a hill without rolling back is using the parking brake. Engage the parking brake first, then get in gear as you normally would and release the parking brake when you feel the car fighting against it. It may take a few tries to master, but it’s extremely useful to know this.

Now that you know how to drive stick, you’re all set for your next adventure!

DON’T FORGET TO USE RENTALMOOSE TO FIND THE BEST RENTAL CAR DEAL FOR YOUR NEXT ROAD TRIP!

Post your pictures from your next road trip online using #Rentalmoose! Our favorite ones will be featured in our travel guides.

Get your car from Rentalmoose, we plant a tree for every booking made with our platform.

How Old Do You Have To Be To Rent a Car?

Rental car age limits can get quite confusing, especially if you’re traveling around different countries. Simply being over 18 years old may not be enough to rent a car, depending on the location, car type, as well as the rental company and its policies.

To keep things clear and simple, this blog post is divided into sections based on different countries. Click the links to jump to each section.

Europe

North America

Rest of the world

Rental Car Age Limits in Europe

Young drivers will be happy to hear that they can rent vehicles in most European countries. In fact, the minimum age to rent a car in many countries in Europe is just 18. There are some exceptions, such as Bulgaria or Denmark.

Don’t forget to find your next rental car deal via Rentalmoose. Browse through thousands of locations and pick from the world’s most trusted suppliers. Rentalmoose cares about a better tomorrow, we plant a tree for every booking!

Rentalmoose insider tip: Are you a young driver? Perhaps it’s been a while since you’ve driven a manual car. Check out this handy guide to driving a stick-shift.

Keep in mind that your rental company can add extra policies on top of the limits in each country. Be sure to double-check the limits directly with your rental company before booking. That way, you can avoid any misunderstandings during the rental period.

Don’t forget that drivers younger than 25 can face a “young driver fee” added on top of their rental bill. You can learn more about rental car fees in this blog post.

Austria

You have to be at least 18 years old to rent a car in Austria. The country has no maximum age to rent a car, though rental companies may add a senior driver surcharge for older customers.

Belgium

The minimum age to rent a car in Belgium is 19. There is no maximum age to rent a car in Belgium. Young drivers who are less than 25 years old should expect to pay a daily young driver surcharge.

Bulgaria

Bulgaria has some of the strictest rental car limits in Europe. Drivers younger than 21 will not be able to rent a car at all, same as seniors who are above 70 years old. A young driver fee will be added for drivers younger than 25.

Croatia

Croatia is a spectacular Balkan country with scenic roads that make for a perfect road trip destination. Anyone over the age of 18 should be able to rent a car from most suppliers. Note that the maximum age to rent a car in Croatia is 70.

Cyprus

A road trip around Cyprus is the ideal way to actively spend time on this beautiful island. Most suppliers require the renter to be at least 21 years old. Interestingly, most rental companies require at least 3 years of driving experience in order to rent a car in Cyprus.

Czech Republic

Most suppliers require the renter to be either 19 or 21 to rent a vehicle, at the very least. There is no maximum age to rent a car in the Czech Republic.

Denmark

The absolute minimum age to rent a car in Denmark is 21, though some suppliers do raise the limit to at least 23 years of age. There is no maximum age, though it can be imposed by the rental company. As always, be sure to double-check with the supplier before finalizing the booking.

Estonia

Estonia, the home of Rentalmoose, is a vastly underrated tourist destination in the North-East of Europe. Most suppliers will rent a car to anyone over 19, as long as they’ve had their license for at least a year. Young driver fees for drivers under 25 years of age are common and should be expected.

Finland

You need to be anywhere between 20 and 97 years old to be able to rent a car in Finland. What makes renting a car in Finland unique is the fact that most suppliers won’t charge a young driver surcharge. That said, it is completely up to the rental company to add a young driver fee for anyone between 21 and 25 years of age.

France

France has some of the lightest rental car limits in all of Europe. Anyone over the age of 18 should have no issues renting a car, as long as they’ve had a driving license for at least a year. Young driver fees are common and can add up to 40 EUR per day, on top of your rental car bill.

Germany

Germany is the perfect destination to explore by rental car. You can drive through the wonderful Black Forest, or discover Munich and its jaw-dropping surrounding area.

Most suppliers will rent a vehicle to anyone over the age of 18, though some raise the minimum age limit up to 21 years of age. Young driver fees will be applied to most renters aged between 18 and 25, depending on the rental company and its policies.

Greece

No matter whether you’re going to mainland Greece or one of the country’s spectacular islands, a private car is the most convenient way of getting around. In order to rent a car in Greece, you have to be at least 21 years old. Some suppliers also require the renter to be younger than 75.

Hungary

Much like Greece or Denmark, you need to be at least 21 years old in order to rent a car in Hungary. Most suppliers won’t let seniors over 85 book a rental car, either. Both young and senior drivers should expect an additional surcharge on top of their rental bill.

Ireland

Ireland is infamous for its strict rules when it comes to booking a rental car. Although the legal limit to rent a car here is 21 years of age, most suppliers won’t rent an automobile to drivers younger than 23. What’s more, drivers older than 75 may be required to prove that they have had a clean, accident-free driving history for the past five years.

Italy

You have to be at least 18 years old to rent a car in Italy. However, some suppliers raise the minimum age limit to 21 years. It’s best to double-check with your rental company before finalizing the transaction.

Netherlands

Young driver fees are commonplace in the Netherlands. The minimum age to rent a car varies from 21 to 23, depending on the rental company. As always, be sure to read through the terms and conditions before booking. Here are 9 other reasons why you should always read the T&Cs.

Norway

Norway’s spectacular natural beauty makes for a perfect destination to be discovered via rental car. You will have to be at least 19 years old to rent a car in Norway. Most companies will add a young driver surcharge for renters under 25.

Poland

When it comes to cheap tourist destinations in Europe, Poland may be one of the best picks. The vibrant city of Warsaw, or the scenic Baltic Sea coast are ideal for a summer road trip.

When it comes to renting a car in Poland, most suppliers require the renters to be at least 18 years old and have a year of driving experience at the very least. The young driver surcharge is typically only applied when the renter is below 21 years old.

Be sure to check out our guide on driving in Poland before going on your adventure.

Portugal

Portugal is yet another European country with relatively light limitations when it comes to renting a car. As long as you’re over 18 years old and have had your license for at least a year, booking a rental car should not be an issue. Note that seniors who are over 80 years old may not be able to rent a car at all.

Serbia

Rental companies in Serbia will not permit anyone under 21 to rent a car. There is no limit for senior drivers, though.

Slovakia

The rules in Slovakia are rather relaxed when it comes to young drivers. Most suppliers won’t have any issues, as long as the driver is over 19 years old. Drivers younger than 23 years old should expect a daily young driver surcharge.

Spain

Spain’s Costa del Sol or the Northern tip of the country are best explored by car. When it comes to young drivers, most rental companies set the age limit of at least 21, while others raise it to 23 years of age. Drivers younger than 25 will face a young driver fee, too.

Sweden

Sweden’s age limits for car rentals are among the most confusing in all of Europe. They can vary greatly depending on the rental company, ranging from 18 years of age with no young driver fees all the way to 21 or even above. Once again, don’t forget to double-check with the supplier before booking your rental car.

Switzerland

Most tourists will think of Switzerland as a winter wonderland, though the country is worth visiting all year long! The rental limits are far more relaxed than Switzerland’s infamous traffic laws. Most companies require the renter to be either 19 or 21 years old at the very least. There is no maximum limit for seniors.

Turkey

Driving across the sunny Turkish Riviera is a perfect way to spend the summer holidays. Most suppliers require the renter to be at least 21 years old, with at least a year of driving experience. Drivers younger than 25 should expect a daily surcharge. Seniors older than 70 may have limited access to the inventory.

United Kingdom

While a rental car may not be the ideal way of getting around London, it is extremely convenient to have a car if you’re planning to travel between different cities in the United Kingdom. Most companies require the renter to be at least 21 years old, though some may rent their vehicles out to drivers as young as 17. Young driver fees apply to all renters younger than 25, and they can add up to 40 pounds per day.

How old do you have to be to rent a car in North American countries?

Note that the rental limits vary depending on the region and the supplier. In the end, it all depends on the rental company and their policies. Ensure you are eligible to rent a car before booking your vehicle. Contact the supplier directly for verification, if necessary.

Canada

If you want to rent a car in Canada, you have to be at least 21 years old. Like in most other countries, you are required to have held your driving license for at least a year. Note that a young driver fee may be added for renters younger than 25.

Mexico

A road trip around the Yucatan Peninsula, or exploring Baja California by car should land on the bucket list of any traveler. Young drivers may find it difficult to rent a car here, as virtually no supplier will rent a vehicle to someone younger than 21. Young driver fees will be added if the renter is between 21 and 24 years old.

United States of America

Car rental age limits in the US are perhaps the most confusing in the world. The rules vary greatly depending on the state and the rental company. In most states, the renter has to be at least 18 years old. Many suppliers raise the minimum age to 21 years, though.

Young driver fees can be added to the bill if the renter is under 25, though that too depends on the state and the policy of the supplier. Most states don’t have a maximum age to rent a car, though seniors may only have access to a limited part of the inventory.

Rental Car Age Limits in Different Countries Around The World

Australia

You need to be at least 21 years old to drive a rental car across the Great Ocean Road, for example. The minimum age to rent a car in Australia is 21. Drivers younger than 25 should expect a surcharge. As always, be sure to double-check the limit with the rental company, as some locations may have a higher limit than others.

Indonesia

Few holiday ideas are as fantastic as a road trip around Bali. Note that you need to be at least 23 years old to rent a car in Indonesia. At least 1 year of driving experience, based on the issue date of your license, is required.

New Zealand

The vast majority of suppliers set the minimum age limit to rent a car in New Zealand to at least 21 years. Hertz, however, does allow 18 year olds to rent cars in some of their New Zealand locations. Drivers below 25 years of age should expect young driver surcharges.

Singapore

In order to rent a car in Singapore, the renter should be between 23 and 70 years old. However, some suppliers may allow drivers as young as 21 to rent a car. It’s all down to the company and its individual policies, hence it’s best to directly get in touch with the supplier before booking.

Don’t forget to use Rentalmoose to find the best rental car deal for your next road trip!

Post your pictures from your next road trip online using #Rentalmoose! Our favorite ones will be featured in our travel guides.

Get your car from Rentalmoose, we plant a tree for every booking made with our platform.

Renting a Car in California Explained

California is truly one of the greatest destinations to rent a car, no matter if you want to get around San Francisco, drive along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway, drive up Highway 395 to Lake Tahoe, or go for a road trip over to Nevada. Either way, California makes for an ideal starting point for your journey.

Check out our guide to ensure that booking your next rental car is a seamless, fun experience. Here’s all you need to know about renting a car in California.

How Old Do You Have To Be To Rent a Car in California?

You have to be at least 21 years old to rent a car in the state of California. However, this wasn’t always the case. In fact, virtually all rental companies required the renter to be at least 25 just a couple of decades back. Here’s why.

Back in the late 20th century, renters under the age of 25 weren’t exactly profitable for suppliers. Young drivers were, on average, more likely to have an accident or get caught driving under the influence. Renting cars to young people was a risk that most companies did not want to take. Instead of modifying the rental agreements to better suit young drivers, they chose not to permit them altogether.

Luckily, times have changed. Renting a car shouldn’t be an issue for most drivers aged between 21 and 25. Some local rental companies may even let drivers as young as 18 rent a vehicle, as long as they’ve had their license for at least a year. There is one major catch, though.

Extra Fees For Young Drivers

If you’ve ever rented a car in the past, you are probably well aware of this. Pretty much every single rental company will charge an additional young driver fee, also referred to as a young driver surcharge. The fee is calculated on a per-day basis and added on top of your rental bill.

You can expect the young driver fee to be anywhere between $20 and $90 per day. The fee can vary, depending on the location, the car type, and the rental period. In the end, it all boils down to the rental company and their policies. It’s best to double-check directly with the supplier before booking your vehicle.

You can also dive into the terms and conditions for more info on fees. Here is why we recommend thoroughly reading the T&Cs before booking your vehicle.

Once again, you may be surprised to hear that there are a handful of exceptions to this rule. Some 18-year olds may be exempt from paying a young driver surcharge. Keep reading to find out more.

How To Avoid Young Driver Fees

There are a couple of ways to make your way around the young driver surcharge. Some of them are quite sneaky!

AAA Members

One of the easiest would be to become a member of the AAA. Memberships start at just around $60 per year, and most rental companies waive young driver fees to AAA members. If you’re planning to rent a vehicle for more than a few days, it may be worth getting an AAA membership.

Military and Government Employees

Young government and military employees, aged anywhere between 18 and 25, can often benefit from no young driver fees. In addition, most companies will even let an 18-year old government/military employee rent a car! In the vast majority of cases, this only applies to official business trips though.

USAA Members

The majority of rental companies waive young driver fees to all members of the USAA. To become a member of the USAA, you have to be a member of the US military. This applies to both active as well as former members, as well as their spouses and children.

Do You Need An International Driving Permit in California?

No! California does not require foreign drivers to obtain an International Driving Permit. Tourists can legally drive on California’s roads using their local driving license.

As long as the driver is at least 18 years old, has a lawfully issued driving license from their home country, and the license covers the vehicle type that they are driving, you’re all good to go! In fact, the same applies for most states in the US.

Note that some rental companies may require renters to obtain an IDP. While this is uncommon, it’s not completely unheard of. Once again, it’s best to double-check with the supplier before finalizing your booking.

Renting A Car in California- Tips and Tricks

Now that you’re all ready to being your California adventure, don’t forget to take a look at our tips and tricks. They may just make your trip even better!

Consider Extra Coverage

Unlike Europe, rental cars in the United States do not come with CDW or Theft Protection as standard. Basic protection is extremely limited, and it is strongly recommended to purchase additional coverage. You can learn more about rental car insurance in this blog post.

Check with your credit card company, many US residents have rental car insurance included in their credit card plan! Note that in some cases, you may only be eligible for coverage if you’ve paid for the rental car using that particular card.

Keep in mind that if you choose to purchase additional coverage directly at the counter, you will be charged more! It’s always cheaper to purchase coverage online, prior to your trip.

Beware of the Fees

It’s crucial to be aware of all the extra fees that are right around the corner. We have a list of nearly 20 of the most common extra fees that can quickly add up to your rental bill. Take a look at them right here.

Airport Pick-up and Drop-off

It is unarguably the most convenient to pick up your rental car directly at the airport terminal, and drop it off right before heading on the plane. Note that virtually every rental company will charge you an extra “premium location surcharge” for airport pick-up and drop-off.

If you want your rental bill to stay low, it’s best to pick a different location.

High Fuel Prices

Last but not least, don’t forget that California has some of the most expensive gas in the entire country. While fuel prices in Cali are still lower than those in Europe, it is over a dollar higher than the national average. You should take the high prices into consideration, especially when planning a long cross-country road trip.

You can check the current gas prices by state right here.

Now that you know how old do you have to be to rent a car in California, the tips and tricks to California car rental, and lots of other useful info, it’s time to go ahead and book your adventure!

Don’t forget to use Rentalmoose to compare the best deals from our trusted suppliers.

Rental Cars For A Road Trip- This Is Why You Need One

Wondering whether you should get a rental car for your next road trip or vacation? Check out this blog post to see why rental cars for a road trip may be the perfect choice for you.

While prepping for a road trip may not be the most exciting part of the journey, it is certainly crucial. Afterall, you should double-check to pack all of the road trip essentials (we’ve recommended at least 30 items on our packing list!). Check out our rental car checklist that will help you plan your next adventure.

We’ve listed 10 reasons why you may want to get a rental car for your next road trip (click to jump to each section).

Without further ado, let’s jump into each one of them!

Better Fuel Economy

You may be surprised to hear that getting rental cars for a road trip can save you some money. The majority of cars offered by rental companies are modern, fuel-efficient vehicles.

Naturally, this may not apply to you if your vehicle has good fuel economy.

Booking your rental car via Rentalmoose? Check out our GoGreen filter and browse through electric and hybrid rental cars. Simply tick the green GoGreen boxes after selecting your location.

Adding Miles To Your Vehicle Lowers Its Value

If you plan to sell your vehicle soon, finding a buyer may become difficult if the car has lots of miles on the odometer. This can easily be avoided by opting for a rental car instead.

Instead of adding thousands of miles to your ride, consider getting rental cars for a road trip. That way, you do not have to worry about the resale value dropping dramatically.

Practicality- Cargo Space and More Seats

Planning to travel with many friends? Perhaps there is a lot of cargo you want to take on the road with you. Whatever the case may be, there are situations where your personal vehicle simply won’t cut it.

Wondering when’s the best time to rent a car? This blog post may help!

If your car is a 5-seater and you want to go on a road trip with 6 of your friends, consider renting a minivan. If you drive a small coupe, you may not have as much cargo space as a large SUV. The list goes on.

Rental Moose mascot posing with tourists in the heart of Bangkok.

Reliability

It is no secret that not all cars are created equal. Some automobiles, like a Toyota Camry or a Volkswagen Golf, are a lot more reliable than others.

If your car is notorious for reliability issues, a rental car may be the safest way to go. Afterall, the last thing you want is to cancel your road trip halfway due to a vehicle breakdown.

All Wheel Drive

An all-wheel-drive system delivers power from the engine to all four wheels of the vehicle. As opposed to rear-wheel-drive or front-wheel-drive cars, AWD automobiles perform best in harsh weather conditions. If you know you’ll be driving in winter or off the beaten path, an AWD-powered car is a must.

More Miles On Your Vehicle Means More Maintenance Costs

Let’s not forget that going on a long road trip in your vehicle can generate additional maintenance costs. Using your car to drive long distances leads to an array of extra costs. Anything from frequent oil changes to fixing damages can add up to a hefty bill at the repair shop.

When booking rental cars for a road trip, on the other hand, you do not have to worry about the maintenance at all. You simply pick up the vehicle and begin your adventure. Once your rental period is over, all you have to do is return the keys to the rental car. Do not worry about the wear and tear.

Be sure to contact your rental company as soon as possible if you notice any technical problems with your rental car. Make sure to inspect the condition of the car inside and out before driving off.

You Can Begin The Road Trip Anywhere

When going on a road trip in your personal car, you do not really have much choice when it comes to picking the starting point. Sure, there are lots of different places you can go. However, every road trip will have to begin from your house, or wherever your vehicle is at the time.

However, this is certainly not the case when renting a car for a road trip.

When booking your rental car through Rentalmoose, you can pick from over 15 000 different locations worldwide. That way, your road trip can begin anywhere! From sunny Florida all the way to Bali, the possibilities are just endless.

Leased Cars Have A Monthly Mileage Limit

Let’s not forget that cars that are leased often have a monthly mileage limit. If your vehicle is leased, you may not be able to go on a long road trip due to the car’s limited amount of mileage. If this is the case, it is more convenient to get a rental car for your road trip instead.

Planning to go on a road trip in a vehicle that is leased? Ensure that you won’t surpass the monthly limit specified in your lease agreement. Otherwise, you may be subject to additional fees.

Roadside Assistance

Additional insurance packages for that extra peace of mind are another reason why you could pick a rental car for your next road trip.

rental moose mascot posing next to broken down mercedes. Dont forget to purchase roadside assistance when booking rental cars for a road trip.

Rental cars in the US usually don’t come with any additional protection. While third-party liability is included in the basic protection package, a collision damage waiver or theft protection needs to be added separately.

Roadside assistance or additional protection packages can prove to be extremely useful, especially during long road trips. Double-check with your credit card company before leaving- many credit card plans include additional rental car protection. That way, you don’t have to purchase extra packages from third-party companies.

Check out this blog post to learn all there is to know about rental car insurance.

It’s Fun, Plain And Simple

Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget that renting a vehicle will enrich your adventure. Driving a rental car, especially one that you’ve never experienced before, will add up and make your road trip even more unforgettable.

No matter whether you pick an eco-friendly plug-in hybrid, or a drop-top convertible for those coastal drives, you’re bound to have fun in a rental car.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I get a rental car for a road trip?

Getting rental cars for a road trip can save you money, as a rental car can be more reliable and fuel-efficient than your personal vehicle. Don’t forget that you can rent a car anywhere and start your road trip far from home!

How much does it cost to rent a car for a road trip?

While the prices vary greatly depending on the region and car type, expect to pay between $50 and $70 per day.

What is the best car to rent for a road trip?

Don’t forget that rental cars are grouped by their ACRISS codes. In practice, it means that there is no guaranteed car model when renting a car. Hence the “or similar” phrase next to the image of the car.

Looking for more travel inspiration?

Head over to our curated travel guides, where you’ll find tens of itineraries and road trip ideas around our favorite destinations around the world. Find anything from the most Instagrammable places in NYC through to a trip around Costa Rica or Rhodes in Greece.

Get your car from Rentalmoose!

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