Which car rental places let you drive out of state?
March 24, 2010 8:56 PM   Subscribe

Which car rental places let you drive out of state?

I'm planning on driving from Texas to Arizona and back. Even if there are extra fees or restrictions, I just want to know which companies even allow it?

(It doesn't look like Enterprise allows it, even though I once rented a car from them in Louisiana to drive to North Carolina)...
posted by and1 to Travel & Transportation (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Is this a problem? I rented from Hertz maybe 2 or 3 years ago and took it from Illinois to New Jersey overnight with no problems except that they held my security deposit for about 6 weeks.
posted by GilloD at 8:58 PM on March 24, 2010

Hell Avis will let you drive rental cars across the Canadian border if you give them the proper warning. I am surprised that crossing state lines is a problem.
posted by crazycanuck at 9:00 PM on March 24, 2010

I think it depends on where you are. In Tennessee I never had a problem renting a car with unmetered mileage to drive out of state. In New Mexico every car rental contract I signed said "THIS CAR MUST NOT LEAVE NEW MEXICO" (but many of the cars had out-of-state plates, I think including plates from Texas). In Virginia I have gotten both in-state and drive-anywhere contracts from the same company.

I usually check this on Travelocity, because you can read all the restrictions for several different companies at once.

An agent might help you out if you can't book anything online.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 9:10 PM on March 24, 2010

I've had no trouble driving Thrifty cars all over the place, as one example. You can usually make the reservations online and then call the place and ask specifically. If they say no, you can just say "Okay thanks" and cancel your reservation. Most rental places that I know of have zones... so you can drive the car around, say, New England, but not go to PA or go to Canada. When I asked an agent once "Look I may drive into the corner of PA, you're not going to flip out are you?" he laughed and said no and made a little note on my contract.
posted by jessamyn at 9:15 PM on March 24, 2010

I've never had a problem with all of the major rental car companies in the U.S. (I think). And, yes they often ask when you are renting--say at Dulles "are you going to stay in DC and VA?" and I'd reply "No, I actually need to go to MD and DE, too". I've never had a problem.
posted by fieldtrip at 9:39 PM on March 24, 2010

I've also picked up a car in one state and dropped it off at another. Picked up in CT and dropped off in NY. Just ask.
posted by fieldtrip at 9:40 PM on March 24, 2010

Hertz has let me do this online for the last few years.
posted by brujita at 10:33 PM on March 24, 2010

I've taken a Hertz car from Texas to California and back w/o a problem. The only thing that came up was when I brought it back the guy checking the car in did a double take due to the high mileage I racked up. Since it was unlimited miles it was no problem. I rent cars all the time and have Avis and Hertz cards so I rent online and there's no asking "where are you going?" They only don't want to taking the car into Mexico. They also only care if you want to drop the car off in a different place than you rented it (that costs mucho more money)

The only time I've ever seen a "you can't take this car out of state" was when I rented a car from Enterprise.
posted by birdherder at 11:14 PM on March 24, 2010

We've used Budget many times to drive from Michigan to Georgia and back.
posted by Oriole Adams at 1:32 AM on March 25, 2010

Are you sure? Enterprise has let me take a rental car from Texas to Louisiana several times, I just had to tell them that's what I was doing. Apparently taking the car out of state without permission is super bad (while waiting, we once overheard a phone conversation between an Enterprise employee and someone who totaled the car out of state...doubleplusungood situation).

Are you just seeing this policy online, or have you picked up the phone and called them about it?
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 3:43 AM on March 25, 2010

Most times I've rented from Budget, the stated rule was that you could go one state away, but not two.
posted by Malor at 4:28 AM on March 25, 2010

It's weird that this is really still and issue with some companies. One of the only reasons I rent cars is because I'm generally driving out of or damn near across the state.
posted by june made him a gemini at 4:31 AM on March 25, 2010

If you book through Priceline the mileage is unlimited and there aren't restrictions on where you can go. I also found when trying to plan a long distance trip that different Enterprise affiliates had different rules about where you could drive the car (example - neighborhood location had a mileage limit, airport location was anywhere east of the Mississippi, etc).
posted by mcroft at 4:56 AM on March 25, 2010

Alamo for sure.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:30 AM on March 25, 2010

I rent several times a year from National or Alamo (same parent company), specifically with the intent of driving rather far away. I've even told the person at the rental counter in CT that I'm going to 'load it up with camping gear and drive out to Lake Michigan,' and they didn't blink an eye.
posted by spinturtle at 7:51 AM on March 25, 2010

I rent frequently in both the US and Canada and I've never had an issue with this. I am completely agnostic when it comes to company, they're all about the same and I often care more about price or availability than brand.

A big problem though is that I often can't remember who I've rented from, either before pickup or upon return. Avis won't take Enterprise cars. Something to remember when doing a late night drop off.

That is all to say, if you discuss it with the agent at the time of rental, when they draw up the contract, it can be taken care of. Do not worry about what the web or phone booking agents say---a reservation means nothing more than "we will probably have something with four wheels in the lot that you can rent". Out of zone driving may cost more, and pickup and drop off in different cities almost certainly will. This is why this needs to be specified in the contract. They'll usually only do that in person, at the time of rental. You don't need to worry about it too much in advance.
posted by bonehead at 8:09 AM on March 25, 2010

Enterprise locations in Buffalo allow travel by default in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Ontario; basically, they allow international travel. Maybe check another Enterprise location?
posted by elmwood at 8:10 AM on March 25, 2010

I've always used Enterprise, and have always been told that you can travel to states/provinces that border the state in which you are renting the vehicle.
posted by jenny76 at 9:08 AM on March 25, 2010

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