What Do You Need to Rent A Car? The Required Documents

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What Do You Need to Rent A Car? Discover the essential requirements for car renting hassle-free, from documentation to age restrictions and everything you need.


What Do You Need to Rent A Car? Nothing beats the feeling of driving around the open roads of a new country or place you visit.

This is why most tourists will choose to rent a car over using public transportation, especially in areas where public transport is unreliable.

However, at times, car rental can be an intimidating experience and can leave you frustrated. You will need to have the correct documentation, duly completed forms, and valid forms of payment.

Having the required documents at Explore Rentals ensures that the process is seamless. Join us as we discuss the proper documentation of what you need to rent a car for a memorable road trip experience.

Renting A Car

Renting a car is not rocket science. You’ve probably settled for renting a car because you are on a long road trip with your family, spending a short time with your family or you just need the car to move some of your things.

The reasons aside, you must be familiar with the car renting process to ensure you get the best deal.

You should understand the basics, including the car rental process and different strategies for locating affordable rental cars.

You should know the intricacies of making reservations and remitting payments and the functioning of various types of insurance.

Most importantly, you will also need to understand what is required of you when returning the car. You must complete several prerequisites before renting a vehicle for your planned road trip.

Knowing the details will facilitate your communication and agreement with the car rental company. This will get you the keys in less than 10 minutes. Here are some of the must-have items you need before renting a car;

  1. A Driver’s License

Having a driver’s license is a must with no compromise, as it’s the critical thing that fulfills the stipulations of all rentals.

Driving without a valid driver’s license is a criminal offense, and attempting to obtain one by presenting a forged license is also considered larceny.

The license must be current and issued from the appropriate source. To confirm the proper license areas, consult the rental company’s online rental agreement terms or call them.

Travel documents, including a valid driver’s license and passport, are required for non-U.S. citizens.

You must possess a valid driver’s license, passport, and an International Driving Permit before renting a car in the US. Moreso, you’ll need to provide proof of your return ticket flight.

  • A Clean Driving Record

Ensure you are a law-abiding and courteous driver before renting a vehicle. You may be required to pass a digital DMV check or sign a statement attesting to your compliance with specific requirements.

Some corporate-operated sites may contact the Department of Motor Vehicles before any rental agreement to verify that the driver has spotless driving records.

Additionally, they will verify that the renter and any additional chauffeurs possess valid and current driver’s licenses.

There are driving infractions, including multiple accidents within 36 months, driving under the influence of alcohol or recklessness, vehicle theft, or license revocation or suspension. This may trigger a denial of car rental by the rental company.

  • Insurance Policy

When renting a vehicle and you’re wondering if you’ll need insurance, the answer is yes. There are a few factors, however, you will need to consider.

Confirm if the insurance coverage you have includes your travel. If your credit card policy covers car rentals, you will also be exempt from purchasing the rental car business policy.

Specific costly insurance options, such as accident damage waiver and liability coverage, are available when renting a vehicle.

These could cost $30 to $60 per day. Before selecting any option, consider whether you require additional rental car insurance. Personal vehicle insurance may provide coverage for damages incurred while renting a vehicle.

Additionally, several credit cards provide secondary insurance when used to pay for a rental car. Few of them, however, offer primary rental car insurance. However, you will need to confirm this and let it not be a matter of just speculation.

While some credit cards provide coverage, others offer no coverage whatsoever. You must confirm this with the rental as it could help you save.

You must get your insurance policies and covers right before renting your car. Foreigners will be required to get insurance policies for the vehicles they are renting.

Whether primary or comprehensive, the type of cover you decide to go for will depend on your confidence and driving skills.

  • Driver’s Age Limit

Some rent-a-car companies prohibit drivers under the age of 21. While the majority presently comply, doing so may incur a substantial daily fee if the driver is under 25.

Car rental drivers are initially required to be at least 21 years old. In certain jurisdictions, however, such as Michigan and New York, the minimum age is set at 18.

The additional charge if you are under 21 or 14 in some cases is “Young driver surcharges.” Moreso, restrictions may apply to the categories of vehicles that are available for rental by young drivers.

Before reserving your next rental car, know the company’s policies and restrictions. You must inquire about the age restrictions by contacting the car rental company. They will elaborate on your circumstances and help you select the rental car.

  • Get Cheaper Car Rental Rates

One way to ensure you get the best car rental rate is to plan. Booking two weeks in advance results in the best deals.

However, verifying reservations one month in advance and reassessing them as the date approaches is advisable.

Having company in the car makes it simpler to share driving time with another driver; however, the expenses increase in quantity.

Determine whether your car rental company provides complimentary second drivers or whether you can add one for a few days rather than the entire journey.

To get the best deals and offers from the rental company, ensure you sign up for their email lists and join their online communities. The coupons and discounts will be helpful, especially during holidays and off-season.


What do you need to rent a car? By reserving your rental car in advance, you can benefit from its convenience without incurring additional charges.

Consider your wants and needs before renting a vehicle. Ask all the questions you need to ask for clarification and ensure you got everything right.

Renting a car opens up a world of convenience for travelers, but understanding the necessary prerequisites is equally essential.

Ensure you meet the requirements and have the proper documents to embark on your journey with confidence and peace of mind. You will have every reason to smile when the rubber meets the road. Happy travels!

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