What happens if you take a rental car out of state?

Most of car rental firms do not pose any problem when one wants to cross the state line for a trip, but it is advisable to know their stand on the matter. Some of the limitations may include; One-way drop off fees or limited areas to travel to. Having this policy makes the crossing of the state line such a breeze!

The Freedom of the Open Road

Imagine this: you have the keys in your hand, the road is open, and cross-state travel is at your feet. However, before you step on the accelerator and crank up your Favorite Road trip songs, there is one very important thing you need to know – will you be crossing state lines with your rental car?

Car rental

The good news is that in most of the situations, you can! Most of the car rental companies in the US including Hertz, Avis, and Enterprise permit their vehicles to tag along on your interstate adventures. This flexibility gives that extra confidence that the rental car is going to be your companion on that cross-country drive or that business meeting across the state line.

But a little planning goes a long way in making the out-of-state rental a successful one. Here’s a comprehensive guide to navigating rental car policies and avoiding any unexpected surprises on your adventure

 Understanding Rental Company Policies: Do not ‘wing it’!

It is just a few minutes that one would take to look for the policy on the rental company’s website or even just ask the personnel at the pick-up counter. Here are some key areas to pay attention to: The following are some of the areas to look at:

  • Limited Travel Zones: Few firms restrict themselves from traveling to some states but there are those that do so. This could be due to insurance limitations or some company’s policies on such matters. For instance, some car rental firms in Hawaii may not allow their cars to be driven outside the island while some firms in Las Vegas may not allow the cars to be taken to other states. It is advisable to call the rental company if they allow travel to the intended state to avoid complications in the later hours in searching for other means of transport.
  • One-Way Drop-Off Fees: The benefit of returning your rental car in a different state is that you do not have to drive it all the way back, but you will be charged for the one-way drop charge.
  • This fee is charged to cater for the transportation of the car back to the initial renting point. The fee can range from one company to another, from city to city, and depending on the type of car rental. If you are sure that you would have to leave the car in another state, then include this fee when comparing the rental car prices.
  • Mileage Limits: Some of the promotional rental car deals may come with a certain number of miles that could be used including when driving out of state. This implies that in case you go over the provided number of miles in the contract, you will be charged a certain amount of money. It is also important to know the number of miles allowed in the rental agreement and any plan to drive to other states.

Beyond the Big Guys: Recruiting from Other Regional Players

Car rental out of state travel

 However, large rental companies that are based at the national level are somewhat more flexible when it comes to out-of-state traveling; nonetheless, it is always good to be aware of the fact that some small-scale rental companies may be more rigid. These restrictions could include:

  1. Prohibitions on Out-of-State Travel Altogether: Some of the companies in the regions may not even make their vehicles available to be used in other states at all.
  2. Limitations on Specific States You Can Visit: Some of the regional companies may only operate in a few states just like the national companies do.
  3. Higher One-Way Drop-Off Fees: The local companies may be more expensive especially when it comes to one-way drop-off than the large national companies.

 Preparing for Renting from a Regional Company Here’s What to Do:

  • Read the Rental Agreement Thoroughly: There are always conditions provided in the rental agreement, which also include rules and regulations of the firm, outstation traveling included.
  • Contact Customer Service: In case the agreement is not clear on the out-of-state travel policies, it is advisable to contact the company’s customer service and inquire about the same.
  • Be Prepared for Variations: Anticipate that some of the restrictions that have been put on you may be tighter or that the fees charged to you may be higher than those charged by the national car rental firms.

Insurance Considerations: Are you an out-of-state student?

Another thing which should be considered is the insurance of the car which is rented and particularly if it will be used out of state. Here’s what you need to know:

  Reviewing Your Coverage: It is recommended to check with the rental car company but the insurance that is provided with the car might be adequate for out of state.

Understanding Liability: The liability coverage will assist you in the event you are involved in an accident and you are to blame while driving the rented car. Ensure that the coverage goes to other states and if it does not then it is advised that one buys more coverage.

Conclusion: Out-of-State Perfect Rentals Planning

Hiring a car and going to another state is an added advantage to the kind of enjoyment one is able to have. However, one must mention that a little preparation before the trip can help to avoid many problems during the trip. This way, you will be informed of any charges that may be incurred or restrictions to traveling to other states, which the rental company may have placed.


 Q: Should one always be allowed to cross state borders with a rented car?

A: Both yes and no, but mostly yes, most national rental companies allow the car to be taken across state lines. But always it is advisable to go through the policy of the company one is renting from to avoid any nasty surprises.

 Q: Are there any fees that one is likely to be charged when driving a rented car across the state?

A: Potentially. One-way drop-off charges are possible if the car is returned to a state that is not the renting branch state. However, there are some car promotions that come with some miles allowed in a year, if you go beyond this number, then there are other charges that you are bound to incur even if you are only using the car out of state.

 Q: What if I wish to return the rental car in a different state than the one, I hired the car in?

A: Most car rental agencies permit one-way rentals; however, you will have to pay a one-way drop fee. The fee depends on the distance and area of the pickup and drop-off point and the type of car to be hired.

 Q: Is there anything else I need to know concerning the rental car insurance if I intend to take the car across the state?

A: Not necessarily. The insurance that you get with the car rental may permit you to drive to another state; nonetheless, it is always wise to consult the car rental firm. In this case, if there is any uncertainty over the available cover, it is advisable to purchase more of liability insurance.

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