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Which Mileage Policy Should I Choose?

foggy mountain road

When it comes to renting a car, you’ll increase your chances of finding the best rental rate by simply knowing what you need, and this includes knowing how much fuel and miles your travel itinerary demands. Every car rental company has a different policy, and fees and discounts can vary dramatically depending on the choices you make when booking your rental, so it helps to be well informed. Read on before you rent your vehicle for all the need-to-know information on the mileage policies available.

Limited vs. Unlimited Mileage for Car Rentals

When choosing your rental car package, you’ll need to decide if you want to go for limited or unlimited mileage.

Limited mileage can work well if you plan to rent a car for a few short journeys and you are able to keep track of how far you drive. You’ll be given a mileage cap, so you should calculate all your driving distances in advance. With limited mileage, each additional mile that you use in addition to your given mileage allowance will be charged at a fee and, although small, the additional charges can amount to a sizeable cost if you end up covering a lot of ground and clocking up several extra miles in your vehicle. For this reason, it’s wise to plan your driving very carefully if you intend to rent your car with a limited mileage rental agreement.

Unlimited Mileage Car Rental Benefits

The unlimited option gives you a lot more freedom with your rental, however. Renting a car with unlimited mileage usually doesn’t cost much more than if you opt for a vehicle with a mileage limit, and is sometimes even the same price. Unlimited mileage car rentals also mean you can forget about watching the vehicle’s odometer for fear of hefty end-of-rental fees and concentrate on the road as well as admiring the views from your car rental.

If you’re still having trouble deciding whether a limited or unlimited mileage car rental is right for your travels, use our tips for how to calculate your gas mileage below to find out which option suits you.

map in a car

Gas Mileage Trip Calculator: Get The Best Option

The best way to run a calculation of your miles and figure out the distance you’ll cover in your car rental is to plan your journeys in advance. Use our gas mileage trip calculator and note down how many miles your road trip or shorter journeys will amount to, checking that it matches the number of miles provided by the rental company when making your rental booking. If it seems as though you’ll exceed the mileage limit, you might want to consider going down the unlimited route.

Most car rental companies in the U.S. offer an unlimited mileage, understanding that most car rental drivers want to be free from surprise rental charges at the end of their trip. If you decide that you don’t need unlimited miles and you want to rent a vehicle with a mileage cap, make sure you know how much you are driving and use a mileage calculator for accuracy.

Calculate the cost of fuel for your trip using our fuel calculator below. Choose the location you’re traveling to, then input your trip distance (miles or kilometers), the fuel efficiency of your vehicle (miles per gallon or liters per kilometer) and local price of fuel. These factors will auto-populate the total estimated fuel cost for your trip. While the calculator adjusts based on the local currency of your trip location, please note that it does not take into account fluctuations in exchange rate.

Where Are You Traveling

Trip Distance

Fuel Efficiency

Cost of Fuel

Total Fuel Cost


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.


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