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How to Rent a Car: The Ultimate Guide

Are you considering renting a car the next time you travel but don’t know where to begin? You might be asking yourself “How does renting a car work”? Most people wonder the same thing, since there is a lot to think about when looking into reserving a rental vehicle. If you’re one of those people, then you’re in the right place… we’ve put together this guide just for you, and it contains all the information you need.

At, we offer value-priced car rentals at 15,000+ locations worldwide, connecting directly with 150+ car rental companies, so we are just the people to answer all your questions on how to rent a car. What mileage and fuel policy do you need? What car rental insurance should you get? This guide is here to help you find the answers to these questions.

One of the most daunting parts of renting a car is deciding which company to go with. You might search for a rental company and see dozens of rental suppliers. So how do you know which one to go for? Well, you might not know that there are actually only three big players in the car rental industry: while you might look around an airport arrivals hall and see several different counters, all seemingly in competition with one another, most U.S. agencies are, in actual fact, owned by one of the big companies, Avis, Hertz, and Enterprise. Budget, Dollar, Thrifty, and Alamo are owned by the major players. That said, there is more choice out there, and that’s where we come in. To give you the best chance of finding a great deal on a rental car, we list lots of other local companies who offer competitive rates.

With so many things to consider before, during and after the rental, take a look at this comprehensive guide before you book your rental and get behind the wheel. It’s true, there is a lot to know about car rentals, but we’re here to help you get your head around all the tips and tricks you need to get the best deals on a rented vehicle and get the most out of your trips.

Use the list below to help you get started with everything you’ll need to know about how to rent a car:

Looking For a Rental:

  1. Compare prices and shop around;
  2. Include the cost of buying insurance, if you need it;
  3. Consider your pickup and drop-off location and how this will affect the total price;
  4. Pay for the rental (credit cards vs debit cards)

During The Rental Period:

  1. Check the cross-border regulations/policies;
  2. Review your rental contract and discuss any questions with the customer service agent;
  3. Check the car over before you leave;

Handing Back Your Rental:

  1. Refill the gas if you need to and ensure the car is clean;
  2. Bring the car back at the agreed time;
  3. Hand over the keys and get a receipt.

Throughout this guide, we’ll delve a little deeper into the above steps and provide you with key car rental terminology in order to answer all your questions about how to rent a car. Book your car with and we’ll be with you all the way.

The information provided in this guide was accurate at the time of publication but is subject to change at any time. Please check your car rental company’s terms for the latest information. For questions concerning specifically, please refer to our FAQ page.

Want to know the know most popular places to rent a car in America? These are the top favorites!
Los Angeles, CA
Las Vegas, NV
Orlando, FL
New York, NY
Denver, CO