Renting a car gives you complete control over your trip, whether it’s for a vacation or for business. And it’s a pretty simple process, but there are a few things you need to know first:
1. Different countries (and companies) have different requirements for who can rent a car
You might be allowed to drive a car at 16, but that doesn’t mean you can actually rent one. Most car companies around the world won’t let you rent a car until you’re at least 21. Many American companies require renters to be 25 or older. They might let someone under 25 be a secondary driver, but you won’t actually be able to rent a car yourself until after your 25th birthday.
That rule changes depending on where you are though. For example, in Iceland you only need to be 20 to rent a car. So if you’re between the ages of 20 and 25, look up the laws where you’re going to make sure you’ll actually be able to rent a car.
2. You will require a credit card
It is technically possible to Car rental companies do regularly inspect and perform maintenance on their cars, but sometimes small damage escapes their notice. If they find the damage later and think you caused it, you can then get charged for that damage—and it can cause all sorts of problems when you’re on the road.
Take note of any existing damage, however minor, before you get in the car. Write it down and tell your rental company right away. This will help you avoid being blamed for any damage later on, and depending on the damage you might be able to get a discount or a free upgrade to a better car.