Whether you need to get back home to your loved ones or you’re seeking an alternative way to get to work right now, renting a car can provide a safer, social distance-friendly solution to your essential travel needs. We’ve rounded up our tips for renting a car during this unprecedented time, along with the precautions rental car companies are taking to keep customers safe. Not ready to book? We’ve also covered what to do when you’re ready to travel again in the future.

What to know about booking a rental car right now

Avoiding public transportation or ride shares is one way for people to limit their exposure to the virus.

While many people are transitioning to working from home, some professionals still need to commute to work each day. Avoiding public transportation or ride shares is one way for people to limit their exposure to the virus. Renting a car provides a viable solution to keep a safe distance from others. Customers can also rely on rental cars being thoroughly sanitized after each use. 

If you’re planning to rent a car right now, take these steps to practice an abundance of caution:

  • Always self-park the car. Avoiding valet service will help limit your contact with others.
  • Keep the windows open so that air can circulate inside the car. If you use the air conditioner, keep the external air circulation function activated.
  • Before you reschedule or cancel a reservation, check your rental car company’s current policy. Many companies are relaxing their policies (more on that below) during this time and their flexibility may suit your changing needs.
  • Always follow the travel-related guidelines released by local authorities.
  • If your travel plans have changed, you can modify your reservation with RentCars.com free of charge. 

What our rental car partners are doing

If you’re planning to book a rental car during this time, rental car companies are offering flexible bookings to accommodate unexpected plans. Hertz, for example, has waived its fees for young drivers and lowered the renter age to help college students return home. Many companies are also waiving the fee for renting a car in one city and returning it to another.

From flexible reservations to safety precautions, find out what our partners are doing to put customers first: 

Is it safe to rent a car right now?

While there’s still not much we know about COVID-19, one thing is for sure: renting a car and driving it yourself is safer than many other forms of transportation, such as public transportation in general, buses, planes and more.

How has the pick-up and drop-off process changed?

Right now, rental companies are doing what’s possible to reduce human contact to bare minimum. At pick-up locations, hand sanitizer is provided for everyone and places with no automatic doors remain with their door open at all times. After each client, items such as tabletops, pens and more are meticulously cleaned to insure the safety of everyone.

How has the cleaning of rental cars changed during this time?

The cleaning up process has alway been thorough. During this time, all vehicles are being sterilized after each rental. The car handles, the wheel, the dashboard and clutch — all surfaces are sterilized. This is performed based on instructions given by health authorities.

Are there any extra precautions being taken by rental companies?

Yes. If needed, the rental company may quarantine a vehicle and it won’t be rented to another client for a period of time. This is to make sure that all rentals are safe.

What to do when you’re ready to travel again

We know that value is of top of mind for many customers during these uncertain times. Rental car companies are currently offering a number of deals to make life easier for those who still need to travel in the near future.

Click here to check out other deals!

Dollar Diamond & Thrifty Sapphire

Upgrade on categories Economic through SUV.

Valid for airport locations SFO, LAX, LAS, MIA, MCO, FLL, SFB, HNL, OGG, KOA, ORD, IAH, JFK, BOS and SFB (Dollar Diamond only). 

Book from one of the participating categories and receive a free upgrade to the next category. 

Restrictions and Blackout dates may apply. 

Please see rules and regulations.


Valid for all US and Canada locations except Richmond (RIC).

Valid for all categories.

Booking period: until 03/31/2020

Pickup period: 06/01/2020 – 08/24/2020

No blackout periods.


Free sunpass included in all rentals.

Valid for all categories. 

Unlimited time.

No blackout periods. 

Attention! All efforts were made to validade the information published in this blog at the moment they were written, however, Rentcars.com does not take responsibility for inaccuracies or future adjustments that can happen as a result of different offers and conditions. The posts here published, as well as the eventual comments from its readers, are merely informative and it is the client's duty to confirm with Rentcars.com and/or suppliers any content that may affect their vacation plans.

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