Car & Electronics

5 Common Mistakes Foreigners Make When Renting A Car In The US

Growing population, higher living standards, a rise in purchasing power, and the steep disposable income expansion are related to the tourism industry’s demand. And when you plan for a luxurious vacation and stay, the US tops the list. It is home to beautiful places, beaches, national parks, shopping, and much more.

Roaming in the US in taxis can go out of your budget, and what’s better than renting a vehicle and driving around the most beautiful places. Renting a vehicle has benefits like no waiting time, fewer expenses, driving in a car you like, and flexibility of movement.

All you need to do is find an authentic source, check your requirements and choose the vehicle you like the most based on the pricing and availability. You can consider rental websites like as one of your options for rental requirements.

5 Common Mistakes While Renting A Car In The US

But, while renting a vehicle in the US, there are some potential things that you tend to ignore. Ignoring such things can impact your trip. Hence, it is better to learn about some common mistakes and take some steps to avoid the same.

● Rental Insurance

Over or underbuying rental car insurance is the first and most obvious mistake foreigners tend to make. There might be chances that the auto insurance policy covers rental cars. Also, there are chances that your credit cards will also help. You can use them for bookings and payments. In the latter case, rental businesses are smart enough to extract more money if you have inadequate insurance.

What To Do: So, always check before booking, and if you don’t have one, get one for your trip. It will safeguard your position as a tourist in a foreign country like the US with proper norms and laws for driving.

● Transmission Problems

Manual transmissions work fine if you want to rent a car in the US, but you need to get an automatic transmission. If you are not signing up for automatic transmissions, the experience can be problematic. It is a myth that manual to automatic transmission is time-consuming, skill, and expertise. The booming US economy deals in automatic cars, and that’s what to need to ensure on priority while renting a vehicle.

What To Do: You can check if there are any manual car rentals in the US. If you want to experience the working of automatic cars as rentals, you can go for an advanced booking and learn the basics. It is not difficult. Some basics will help you drive the car on a trip.

● Fuel Tank Filling

The car rental company may or may not offer gas when you rent the vehicle. So, there are two ways to go about it. Either you can fill the gas tank on your expenses and use it to the level you took it for your ride, or you can ask the rental business owners to give you a car with a full gas tank. You can pay them the amount at the base rate agreed upon by both parties.

What To Do: The former option is beneficial as the rental agents may charge a higher rate than the prevailing rates. Also, don’t be quick on deciding as you can compare and contrast the rates to choose the best one. Just in case there are no options for you to choose, choose the latter option. It will be expensive until the budget does not concern you.

● Exploring And Booking Options

Car rental companies in the US are functional in separate locations, and there are high chances you have one around your stay location, too. But does it mean that you can reach your holiday location and then go for a rental booking?

Well, try and avoid it to the extent that you can.

On-the-spot bookings can be expensive as your urgency will urge you to pay any amount that comes your way. Also, you might not get the car you wish to rent for a trip. It can be both normal sedans or luxury vehicles.

Another mistake associated with this is not exploring car rental options. According to the information by the IBIS World, there will be 15,577 rental businesses in the US in 2024. So, once you sit down to see your options, you’ll find many.

What To Do: Take some time off your routine and see the options before heading to the location. Don’t go for the first option that you come across. You can set a budget and choose accordingly.

● Forgetting To Inspect The Rental

Renting is affordable and convenient if you want to enjoy your trip to the fullest. Car rentals may or may not be in the best position, and if there is damage from your end, you will have to pay for the extra expenditure for repairs. In some unfortunate incidents, if you forget to inspect the car before taking the car for your use, and there are damages, you will end up paying hefty amounts. So, always for inspection before beginning to drive the car. Update the owner related to the same. Try for written discussions that can act as proof for later use.

What To Do: You can follow a two-step process. The first one is to inspect the pictures of the car while booking. You will be able to do the second step once you see the car physically. Check for any scratches and dents on the car before taking possession. Discuss the same with the car rental owner. They should know it so that there are no risks on your end. Also, you can make a video of the car before driving it in case of any future confusion.


That’s all you should know about the commission of possible mistakes while hiring a car rental during your US trip. Take utmost care and precaution to avoid the same so that you have good memories to cherish by the end of your trip.

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