Can you take a rental car out of state?

Can you take a rental car out of state? Major car rental companies will allow you to take a car out of state, while smaller companies usually have more restrictions or a daily mileage limit.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Insurance Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Jun 6, 2022

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What You Should Know

  • Car rental chains often charge a drop-off fee for returning the car to a different rental location
  • Rental companies often install GPS tracking devices and will be able to determine if you cross state lines or ignore rental restrictions
  • Most companies allow you to rent a car if you’re at least 21 years old, but in some states, the minimum age is 18 years old

Are you looking forward to an upcoming road trip across state lines? If so, renting a car might be your ideal road trip solution. But when planning to cross state lines in a rental car, knowing the rental restrictions helps reduce your risk of paying unexpected fees. So, can you drive a rental car out of state?

Most major rental chains are fine with you driving across state lines. It’s the smaller chains that may have tighter restrictions. 

Then, other restrictions like mileage caps may impact your trip budget too. And, of course, you need to consider rental auto insurance as well.

Before you hit the open road, read this guide to prepare for your trip. But before you learn more about taking a rental car out of state, make sure you have the insurance you need. Enter your ZIP code to compare rates from top companies today.

Can you take a rental car out of state? 

Major car rental chains have tons of locations across the nation. So, they have the network to support customers driving rentals out of the state. 

If you’re looking to rent from one, the three major rental groups and their national chains are:

  • Enterprise Holdings own Enterprise, Alamo, National
  • Avis Budget Group owns Avis, Budget, Payless
  • Hertz Global Holdings own Dollar, Hertz, Thrifty

Are you planning a one-way trip? Remember that car rental chains may charge a drop-off fee for returning the car to a different rental location. 

Verification for Driving a Rental Car Out of State

While most major chains will allow out-of-state driving, it doesn’t hurt to review the rental agreement or tell them about your travel intentions. 

For example, if you rent from Budget specifically:

  • Rentals from Las Vegas can only travel to certain states like Arizona, California, Nevada, and Utah.
  • Rentals from Hawaii cannot leave the island.
  • Most rental locations in Alaska are also restricted from leaving the state. 

When it comes to car rental restrictions, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Make sure to contact the rental car company for their specific regulations.

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Rental Cars to Drive Out of State: Smaller Chains

Are you interested in renting from a smaller car rental company? Out-of-state travel might be a bit trickier.

Smaller, regional chains tend to be more affordable, but they often lack the nationwide network of larger chains. Their restrictions on travel may be stricter, especially for one-way trips.

Before making a final decision, you can compare your options to see which company works best for your trip and your car insurance coverage.

Car Rentals and Unlimited Miles Out of State

Most major chains offer unlimited mileage, even for out-of-state road trips. But some may have different rules depending on promotional offers or bank partnerships. 

To give an example:

  • Enterprise offers unlimited mileage for most vehicles even if you’re driving across state lines or taking a one-way trip. 
  • Yet, Hertz has a program with USAA where they may offer members unlimited mileage or mileage caps where they’ll charge you if you exceed the cap. 

It all depends on which company you choose, but unlimited mileage is ideal for long trips. With it, you can travel without worrying about extra fees or tracking your mileage. 

Can you take a rental car out of state? Other Considerations

With rental restrictions, it’s important to check the fine print of your rental agreement. While rental companies are okay with you driving out of state, certain restrictions may limit your trip or cost you extra. 

Here are a few specific considerations to take into account before your road trip:

  • Special promotions such as a discounted weekend rate may have a mileage limit that could shorten your trip or cost you extra for every mile you go over. Read our guide on how to get discounts on car rentals to learn more. 
  • If you’re preparing for a long trip, some companies may have a mileage cap and charge you extra for going over it.

With GPS tracking, rental companies will know if you break any of their restrictions. It’s best to be honest and upfront with the rental company about your plans.

Age Restrictions for Rental Cars

Your age won’t necessarily interfere with your travel plans, but it may cost you extra. Most companies allow you to rent a car if you’re at least 21 years old. In states like New York and Michigan, the restriction minimum is 18 years old.

But, if you’re under 25, you’ll likely have to pay an underage fee for a rental vehicle. They’ll also limit you to specific vehicle classes. 

To rent a car, the renter will have  to meet the following:

  • Proof of identification
  • A valid form of payment, often a credit card or debit card
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Surcharge fee payment

Make sure you are aware of any rules particular to the company, as well.

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Can you drive a rental car out of state? The Bottom Line

Additional fees because of rental restrictions can cost you more than you planned for, especially when crossing state lines. To find the best car rental deal and save in the long run, it’s important you know your options.

It’s also important to make sure you are covered with the right insurance. Make sure that your insurance policy will cover you in a rental car, and if you choose to buy the rental car company’s insurance, make sure it covers you in other states.

Before you book a rental car to drive out of state, get the insurance you need. Enter your ZIP code now to compare auto insurance rates from top companies right now.

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