Do Car Rentals Come with Unlimited Miles?
Last updated Tuesday, November 7th, 2023
Finding the Right Rental Plan For Your Travel Needs
Renting a car is a fun and convenient way to explore a new place.
Whether traveling for business or a vacation, rented cars allow you to follow your own schedule. You can save time and money instead of repetitively calling an Uber or using public transport.
But unlimited convenience doesn’t mean you’re entitled to unlimited mileage.
Many rental companies set a fixed maximum mileage limit in their rental agreements. So don’t be surprised if you get stuck with a bill much greater than anticipated if you cross this limit. It’s because they’ve charged for every mile you’ve driven beyond the specified limit. So keep an eye on the miles you’re clocking in throughout your trip.
In this article, we’ll explore the mileage limitations set by car rental companies to help you keep your trip as cost-effective as possible.
Mileage Matters: Understanding Rental Car Policies
Some cars allow you to drive as much as you want during the rental period while others have a fixed mileage limit.
Most customers end up being attracted to the ones with mileage limits at first. Why? Because they’re priced more attractively compared to cars with unlimited mileage.
There are two steps you need to take to decide which option is better suited for you:
- Get a ballpark figure of the number of miles you’ll be covering during the trip
- Read the rental agreement carefully to identify any mileage limits and fees
Popular car rental companies like Avis allow you to input your trip details to see the best rental options available. The cars with limited mileage will clearly specify “no miles included.”
Unlimited Miles: The Industry Standard
Airports are one of the most popular hotspots for picking up a rental car. It’s fairly uncommon for mainstream car rental companies at U.S. airports to not offer unlimited miles.
It’s become a standard practice at this point to give customers a stress-free driving experience. They’ve chosen to provide more flexibility on the rental period. You can rent a car for a few hours to a few weeks at special rates.
One-way rentals allow travelers to customize their trip without being tied down by the rental obligation. You can simply drive and drop the car at the closest drop-off location designated by the rental company. Different companies like Avis, Alamo, National, and Hertz have their own drop-off fees. You need to verify them before signing the agreement.
Expert Tips: Avoiding Mileage Surprises
The actual bill for your car rental may come as a rude shock. It may be nowhere close to the price quoted when you put in your trip details on the rental company’s website. You may not know how much you actually owe them until you reach their office counter.
A lot of additional expenses like excess mileage fees are hidden in your rental agreement’s fine print. So do your due diligence and go through it. Make it a point to directly consult their customer support if you have any doubts. Some policies may offer unlimited mileage within certain areas while others may have a fixed mileage limit no matter where you go.
Crossing the limit can be a costly decision because you may have to pay nearly 35 cents per mile beyond the limit. Check your receipt properly once you receive it to ensure it matches up with your usage. Take a picture of the odometer once you’ve finished using the car for reference.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do all rental cars come with unlimited miles?
No. Although it’s become an industry standard to offer unlimited miles for many operators, some of them still maintain maximum mileage limits.
How can I avoid unexpected mileage charges?
You need to verify with your rental car operator about the terms and conditions for your travel mileage before signing the agreement. Go through the agreement with their agents to understand their policy and excess mileage charges clearly.
What should I do if I discover mileage discrepancies on my receipt?
You can file a complaint with the rental company about any billing discrepancies. It’s recommended to take a picture of your rental car’s odometer to maintain a personal record of your usage. If they fail to resolve it, get in touch with our reputed car rental accident lawyer to protect your rights.
Are there any car rental companies that consistently offer limited mileage?
Yes. Several budget car rental companies lead people in with attractive pricing by offering limited mileage.
Is it common for loyal customers to receive goodwill gestures in such situations?
Most rental companies offer loyalty programs to their customers to give them a variety of benefits for regular usage. You may be able to get better rates, convenient pick-up and drop-off services, and a better variety of vehicles to choose from.