One of the most important things when organizing Route 66 is the car. When we think about booking the car hire in another country, there are many questions that come to our head. These are some of the ones that came to me, with their answers.
How far in advance will you book the rental car?
The best thing is to book it as soon as you decide that you are going to make the trip. The sooner, the cheaper the rates. It should be noted that one thing is the rental rate and another is the “drop off”.
The rental rate for a 20-day trip booked 6 months in advance is about € 500. It will vary according to the season and prices will go up as the date approaches.
The drop off varies according to the companies, but minimum is € 100 per week, which at the end of the trip is almost the same as the basic rate. The further you return the car, the more expensive it will be.
Where to rent a car?
Although there are many car rental companies in the USA, my recommendation is to use an international one, especially if you do not speak English. At the rental office, you may find some Latin, and you can do the paperwork in Spanish, but that is not the biggest problem.
The problem can come when you have a breakdown on the road, and you need telephone attention. Explaining what happens in your language saves you time and especially patience.
What kind of car to rent?
Knowing that the usual thing in the US is that they offer you a better car than the one you have reserved (upgrade), it is best to make the reservation with the most basic car. Unless you are clear that you want to bring a good car from the beginning.
We did so, and as we had read, they offered to change cars. We accepted the offer and changed the basic car to a Jeep Patriot or txiki jeep, as I baptized him.
In the US most people carry large (or giant) cars, so it is not very common to see small cars.
It is advisable to think about how much is the maximum you want to spend in the car because once traveling costs less to make use of the card and what you spend on it, will reduce your budget for other things.
If you have booked a small car and plan to visit national parks, do not hesitate to make the change to a bigger one, but in areas like Monument Valley, you could have problems.
Where to pick up the rental car?
This depends on whether you start the trip as soon as you arrive in the country or a little later. If you are going to stay for a few days there, the most comfortable thing is to pick it up or return it in the city center, but it is true that in the case of wanting to change models they have much more variety of vehicles at the airport.
Is it easy to drive in the United States?
Yes, and it is quite boring. I mean, the US highways are long and curvy. In addition, all cars are automatic, and you can put a speed limiter, so most of the trip is like driving a toy car in which you just have to move the steering wheel.
Do I need a special driver’s license?
To drive in the United States, you need to carry the international driver’s license. As in Spain, it is not very common to be stopped on the road, and it is not mandatory to take it, although it is advisable.
How do I get my international driver’s license?
You have to go to the traffic department with your ID, photos and a form that will be delivered to you there. It is a gray booklet in different languages in which you enter your data and has 12 months of validity. Its price is 10.10 €.
What type of insurance contract?
Car rental usually covers basic damages and breakdowns. When making the rent check everything included and if you think that when you pick it up you need to extend the coverings, do it. There are insurance extensions ranging from € 5 a day and in some cases worthwhile.
How many drivers does the rent include?
Usually, includes a driver and the additional must be included, except some websites that offer offers from the beginning. Do not hesitate to reserve that second driver, because they are many kilometers and driving a single person can turn the trip into a nightmare.
Are there any age restrictions?
It will depend on the company of your choice. The minimum age to rent a car is 21 years, but usually, ask drivers to be over 25 years old. Otherwise, they may apply a charge to the final rate. This is an important fact to keep in mind if you are only traveling with one person.