Questions about renting a car

Questions about renting a car

Saving Money on Airport Car Rentals

Q: We are taking a trip to Denver for nine days and will be renting a car. The one week car rental rates are very reasonable, but the extra days seem quite high. Is there any way to get a better deal on this type of car rental? Also, car rentals away from the airport are considerably cheaper; do you find the convenience of on-airport rentals worth the extra cost?

A: Unfortunately, there’s rarely any way around the extra cost of additional days.  One solution is to not rent a car for the first and last day or your nine-day trip. In fact, if you’re arriving into Denver International Airport late in the day do you really need a car just to get to your hotel? You might look into public transportation from the airport to downtown Denver, using skyRide (the local transportation authority’s dedicated airport service). It costs between $6 and $10 each way. Not only will you save a day’s rental, but your hotel (assuming you’re staying in one) will probably charge for parking so you save there, too. Then, on your second day you can rent a car from an in-town location rather than the airport. And chances are you’ll only need a car on your last day to take you back to the airport. More information on public transit at

On-airport rentals are definitely more convenient, especially if you have a lot of luggage or kids in tow. They are also more expenisve because of airport surcharges. But only you can decide if the convenience is worth the extra cost.

Credit Cards Don't Cover All Rental Car Accidents

Q: I don’t own a car, and when I rent one on a trip I decline all the optional insurance because I figure my credit card covers it. Am I making the right move?

A: You might want to ask yourself what would happen if you ran your rental car over a curb and hit a pedestrian and got sued for all you’re worth. Because you don’t own a car, you probably don’t have personal liability insurance. And your credit card won’t provide that. Although your rental car company probably has its own personal liability coverage, in most states it is limited to a very small amount, typically $25,000 to $50,000, not enough to cover a major liability judgment. So depending on your taste for risk and your assets, you might want to consider buying extra liability coverage next time you rent a car.

Older Drivers in Europe

Q: We will be 78 years old when we next visit the UK and Ireland. Is there an upper age limit for renting cars in those countries? If rentals are not an option, can we hire a car and driver? 

A: It used to be that upper and lower age limits were prevalent in the rental car industry throughout Europe. Lower age limits still exist almost universally, at least among the major rental firms, although some firms will rent to under-25 drivers for an additional daily fee. Upper age limits vary with the rental company. Avis, for example, has no upper age limit restrictions in Europe except for Ireland, where the age limit is 74. Europcar has a 69 age limit in Ireland, and 74 in the UK. Hertz has no upper age limit in the UK, but a 79 limit in Ireland, so you’ll just squeak by. If you decide not to drive, most rental car agencies can arrange a car and driver as well, or your hotel can arrange one for you.

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