Renting a Car: the most frequently asked questions

Find the answers to your doubts with the rental car FAQ! Keep reading and learn how to discover what you are covered for, how to change your reservations, where to pick your rental car, if you have to bring it back full of gas, and a ton of other topics.

what do you need to rent a car
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Are you ready? Let’s go!

What do you need to rent a car?

First of all: is it convenient to choose a rental car? Well, the answer is often yes for many reasons.

Rental cars are a great way to see the countries, indeed, especially if you are on a budget. You can find the best price on a price comparator and the best tips on rental cars online and choose the best option for yourself.

Even if it is believed to be expensive, rental cars are convenient and affordable.

Think, for example, of Ireland: it would be impossible to see all its beauty without your own car.

At the same time, public transport is pretty expensive and it doesn’t cover all of the roads, especially the most beautiful ones. Renting a car, then, it’s the best choice.

Read also some useful tips to choose the right rental car.

Rental car insurance: what am I covered for?

Some of the most important rental car questions are about insurance. How many insurances are there? What do they cover? Are they already included in my personal one?

Let’s clarify that there are four types of insurance when it comes to rental cars, which they are:

  1. Liability insurance: it covers damages to other people’s property, as well as medical costs, for other people’s injuries in an accident you’re legally responsible for.
  2. Collision damage waiver: it’s offered by the rental car company. It covers damages and thefts. These waivers typically include a deductible.
  3. Personal effect coverage: it covers the theft of possessions from the rental car, up to a set dollar limit. Check with your personal insurance because usually it’s included in that one.
  4. Personal accident insurance: it includes medical, ambulance, and death benefits for you and your passengers. You also probably already have this kind of benefit included on your personal insurance.

It seems trivial, but it is important to pay attention to these matters before getting into trouble and having to pay out of pocket.

Car Rental FAQ: what if I need to change my reservations?

You can change your reservation whenever you need. You will be charged a fee, but it’s the best option if you cannot pick up the car on the day of your reservation.

In this case, you can:

  • change your reservation online: you will need to log in on the rental car company website for example Rentcar360.com, go to the dashboard with your reservation, modify it and wait for the confirmation by email. You can pay the difference by PayPal or with a credit card.
  • Change the reservation at the rental counter: if you prefer, you can go physically at the desk and tell them that you need to pick up the car on another day. You will need the booking code and a document, then they will complete the procedure.

Where can I pick up my rental car?

You can choose to pick up your car wherever you want: at the airport (in arrivals area) or train station, at a rental car location, at a hotel, or at a friend or family member’s home.

Some companies also offer you the possibility to pick up your car at the harbor office as well. If you are going on a cruise and you want to explore the country during a long stop, the rental car will then be delivered in front of the cruise ship.

Rental car questions: do I have to bring the car back full of gas?

Yes. According to the biggest rental car companies, you should usually bring it back with a full tank of gas, but what happens if you are unable to do it?

In case you are in this situation, you should check your contract or, at least, you should ask the company about the refueling fee in accordance with the distance traveled. Especially if you choose a local rental car company.

Anyway, normally you’ll be charged a fee. 10$ if you return the car with less than ¼ tank of gas and 25$ if you return the car with less than 1/2 tank of gas.

How old do I have to be to rent a car?

Most of the rental car companies ask you to be 18 years old at least, this parameter depends also on which country you are in.

In fact, in some countries, the age required is 25 years. The reason is related to the statistics which show a higher correlation between the 18 – 25 age group and road accidents.

Can I get a rental with a debit card?

Yes, you can… but you may face some restrictions.

In fact, while most companies accept debit cards, they look for specific types of cards and require you to take additional steps.

For instance, you might be asked to offer proof of your insurance, undergo a credit check, or show a return ticket.

This happens because the companies take a risk, since to debit an amount they need the PIN, which is not necessary with a credit card.

Some companies will also accept prepaid cards and others will only accept debit cards that are linked to a checking account.

Can someone else drive the rental car?

Yes, they can. Usually, your spouse or domestic partner can drive your rental car, without any additional charge. They just need a valid driver’s license and the minimum age required.

You can also add an additional driver to your rental car for a daily fee, which can be between 5$ and 15$ per day.

Jasper has been an enthusiast of the automotive and IT industries since the age of 16. He independently writes on the auto industry's recent happenings.