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The Complete United States Driving and Rental Guide

The United States is usually more suitable for automobile compared to public transportations. Travelling by car is thus a good way to get around to see sights of the country, whether you are planning a complete road trip, or just using a leg of your trip by taking a car to visit the cities. Here is a guide we have prepared to help you familiarized yourself with driving in the USA.

  • Speed Limit and Traffic Signs
  • Seatbelt and Child Safety
  • Parking, Fuel and Toll
  • Traffic Violation
  • Driving Licence and Age Requirements

Speed Limit and Traffic Signs

Driving is on the right with the steering wheel on the left-hand side of the car. Since traffic rules differ from state to state, it is better to review the regulations for each individual state in which you are planning to drive. Pedestrians have the legal right of way in all states.

Speed Limit

The speed limit varies from state to state, butis of 65 miles per hour (equals110 km p/h) in the majority of the states. Speed limit is frequently monitored by radar guns.

Traffic Signs

Many US states comply with the same road signs standard, but some of the states and large cities such as New York City have adopted an extent of localization or a supplement. 


Although there is a variety of regulatory signs throughout different states, they are usually self-explanatory, with explicit wordings marked on the signs.

United_States_of_ America_Traffic_Sign_StopStopUnited_States_of_ America_Traffic_Sign_Yield_Give_WayYield(Give Way)United_States_of_ America_Traffic_Sign__Yield_to_PedestriansYield to Pedestrians, New York CityUnited_States_of_ America_Traffic_Sign_Passing_Zone_EndsPassing Zone EndsUnited_States_of_ America_Traffic_Sign_Passing_Zone_BeginsPassing Zone BeginsUnited_States_of_ America_Traffic_Sign_No_ParkingNo ParkingUnited_States_of_ America_Traffic_Sign_No_Parking_Here_to_CornerNo Parking; Here to cornerUnited_States_of_ America_Traffic_Sign_No_Parking_Except_SundaysNo Parking; Except Sundays

Among regulatory signs, there is one category which indicates ‘No Standing’, and may be unfamiliar for foreign visitors or international travellers. ‘No standing’ signs indicate that stopping temporarily to load or unload passengers is allowed, while parking is not allowed. The signs are also usually red on white, but local variations exist.

United_States_of_ America_Traffic_Sign_No_Standing_Any_TimeNo Standing Any TimeUnited_States_of_ America_Traffic_Sign_No_Standing_Any_Time_New_York_StateNo Standing Any Time New York StateUnited_States_of_ America_Traffic_Sign_No_Standing_Cars_Towed_Away_BaltimoreNo Standing Cars Towed Away, Baltimore

Warning signs feature yellow background colour and black pictogram, with a few exceptions.

United_States_of_ America_Traffic_Sign_Road_Slippery_When_WetRoad Slippery When WetUnited_States_of_ America_Traffic_Sign_Curve_With_Speed_AdvisoryCurve With Speed AdvisoryUnited_States_of_ America_Traffic_Sign_Stop_AheadStop AheadUnited_States_of_ America_Traffic_Sign_Yield_AheadYield AheadUnited_States_of_ America_Traffic_Sign_Railroad_Crossing_CrossbuckRailroad Crossing(Crossbuck)United_States_of_ America_Traffic_Sign_Railroad_Crossing_AheadRailroad Crossing Ahead

Information signs provide guidance and feature rectangular shape.

United_States_of_ America_Traffic_Sign_Toll__Road_Pass_OnlyToll Road Pass OnlyUnited_States_of_ America_Traffic_Sign_Toll_Road_Pass_or_HOV_2+Toll Road Pass or HOV 2+United_States_of_ America_Traffic_Sign_Toll_Costs_at_Intersections_or_HOV_2+Toll Costs at Intersections or HOV 2+United_States_of_ America_Traffic_Sign_Hospital_signHospital Sign

You may refer to this for the unified standard that is used by the states.

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.com will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Seatbelt and Child Safety

Seatbelt Laws

All drivers and passengers are regulated by law to wear seatbelts. A fine applies if a driver or passenger is caught without a seatbelt on.

Booster Seat Laws

Even though regulations vary by state, almost all states require children to be in a child seat facing backwards in the front of a car, or facing forward in the rear. As a minimum guide, children should use a booster seat until they reach 36kg to 45kg or 145cm high. 


For a specific guidance regarding child safety rules, you may click here.

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.com will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Parking, Fuel and Toll

Parking

You must always park in the direction of the traffic flow on the near side of the road. Often, parking spaces are diagonally aligned and ‘head-in’, which means the front of your car must be facing the pavement (sidewalk).


· Parking Restriction

In some cities, parking restrictions are indicated by the kerb colour; for example, a red kerb indicates no parking at any time, a yellow kerb may signify a limited truck loading zone, a green kerb indicates a limited parking period, a blue kerb for disabled parking only, and a white kerb passenger loading and unloading. No parking areas, for example, at street corners, may be indicated by yellow lines. Therefore, you should always read all pavement markings carefully.

United States Red Kerb No Parking(Image from aarestriping.com)

United States Yellow Lines No Parking(Image from merchantcircle.com)

United States Yellow Kerb Loading Only(Image from timeout.com)


 · Paid Parking

Parking in most cities and towns isn’t usually a problem and on-street parking is usually metered, along with permissive parking signs specified with a restricted amount of time. It’s advisable for you to estimate your parking time and reserve a bit more parking fee as a precaution to avoid the fine for overtime parking. 


The signs are green and white, and local variations do occur with additional information or slightly different designs. 

United States Traffic Sign Parking with Time RestrictionsParking with Time RestrictionsUnited States Traffic Sign Parking With Time Restrictions (New York City)Parking With Time Restrictions New York City

Fuel Prices

The average price for USA gasoline and diesel during July to October 2017 is US$0.74.

Toll

It has more than 5,000 miles of toll roads in the USA. From bridge and tunnel tolls to express and high occupancy lanes, most states have some sort of toll road system. 


Nowadays most tolls are collected electronically via transponders that are typically placed on the windshield of the vehicle. As many toll roads no longer accept cash. It is recommended to check the individual websites of each state's toll system to inform yourself about the payment options along with your route. 


If you are hiring a vehicle from Enterprise, National or Alamo in the USA, you can review and pay the tolls online via Highway Toll Administration site; if hiring from Avis or Budget, you can check the e-toll site. For Hertz, Dollar, Thrifty and Advantage, toll charge can be checked on PlatePass.

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.com will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Traffic Violation

DUI Laws

Depending on states, drivers are charged with a fine or a crime with 0.08% or 0.05% BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) limit by volume. 

Traffic Fines

Extra care should be applied to abide speed limit when driving in the United States, as speeding fines can be ranging from $36 to $1000 for first-time breaker states by states. A Nation-wide average speeding ticket is US$150


Failing to understand and follow the parking signs will potentially result in a hefty fine. This is especially the case for big cities like San Francisco, New York City and Chicago. For example, stopping, standing or parking where signs, road markings or traffic control devices do not permit you to do so will incur a fine of US$115 in New York City. In San Francisco, obstructing traffic without a permit in San Francisco will result in a fine as high as US$1000


Failure to pay traffic infringement fines will likely result in your car rental company collecting the fee from you, with an additional administration charge. These policies are generally illustrated in the terms of the contract on which you signed at the rental desk. For any further questions concerning these matters, you are welcomed to contact EasyRentCars’ 24/7 customer service team for assistance.

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.com will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Driving Licence and Age Requirements

To drive in the United State, the driver must have a valid driving licnece that has been held for at least 1 or 2 years(according to different car hire company). The licence must be valid at the time of rental, and remain valid throughout the rental period.


The minimum age to rent a vehicle in most locations in the U.S is 21 years (age may vary by state and car category), and the driver must have a valid driver's license held for at least one year. For certain specialty and larger-sized vehicles, the minimum age of 25 years of age applies. If you're 21-25, you are likely to have to pay a young driver fee which is about $25-per-day to $50-per-day.

*Please be aware that rules are subject to change. QEEQ.com will try the best to maintain the accuracy of this information.

Guest reviews

1 /
T.Burk

May 28, 2020

Destination: Orlando

2.7No show service

Never showed for pickup. Said they closed at 9:30 so why would they allow a reservation at that time? Also at the time of booking hours were 24, then the changed them without telling us. So I was left stranded at the airport. Could not reach them by phone and tried calling since 9:20 pm. Will never use fox again. They didn't even apologize for their error. Poor customer service!

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J.Hall

May 28, 2020

Destination: Los Angeles

8Pain in the ass getting the car at LAX from thrifty

Thrifty’s LAC office is closed due to covid. They didn’t say so on the reservation. Thrifty had a sign that said they were closed, but didn’t tell me I needed to go to Hertz to pick up the car. Better communication would be helpful!

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Aleksei Alekseev

May 25, 2020

Destination: New York

9Excellent

I am ordered full size care but get minivan.

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D.Rivera

May 23, 2020

Destination: Orlando

8.7Bien

No encontraba el lugar de alquiler en el aeropuerto

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R.Maupin

May 22, 2020

Destination: Los Angeles

4Average

Paid for a Lyft to Fox and unfortunately pulled out the wrong credit card after that they wouldn't let me change cards or rent from them again until the next day. Poor policy for travelers especially when it's a mistake.

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May 20, 2020

Destination: Reno

8Fast and Easy !

Always friendly !

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A.Martinez

May 18, 2020

Destination: New York

10overall good

very helpfull when booking was different from reservation

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ST

May 15, 2020

Destination: Fort Lauderdale

5.3Dissapointing

The quality of the car was poor.

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Ret Army Vet

May 13, 2020

Destination: Seattle

8.7Returning customer

I always receive excellent service from the staff (Dollar rental). I wish I could reserve the same car every time, I like having things familiar.

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Juan M. Davila

May 13, 2020

Destination: Orlando

10Excellent

The cars exceed expectation , they gave me free upgrade

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I.McGowan

May 6, 2020

Destination: Conyers

7Great experience

Staff was very conciderate and helpful

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Joseph

May 4, 2020

Destination: Los Angeles

9.7Great experiences which helps in providing a great trip!

The whole process of collecting the car is very smooth and the counter staff is able to explain very clearly on the terms and conditions. The staff will ask if you need the insurance coverage from them but she did not try to hard sell to me. My recommendation is not to subscribe to any insurance from the online car rental portal you are using but to purchase directly at the Alamo counter. This approach will give you a worry free trip as you are able to call Alamo for direct assistance if required instead of calling the insurance agency direct while overseas.

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A.Farah

May 3, 2020

Destination: Charlotte

2 The Hertz and dollar said they only use a chip not swipe and my chip couldn’t and they refuse to sw

I did not pick up the car the representative refuse my card and she was so rude to swipe she said she can only use the chip but not swipe so I took uber so I need refund back as soon as possible

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S.Brown

April 27, 2020

Destination: New York

10It was simply perfect

My experience was excellent, I had no issues from the time that I picked the vehicle up till the time I dropped it off

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John Montoya

April 25, 2020

Destination: New York

5.7Excelente pagina, empresa de alquiler regular.

Difícil llegar a recoger el vehículo, muy sucios por dentro. No me gusta la política de la empresa de cobrar los peajes 15 días después, deberían ser inmediatos.

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D.G.

April 16, 2020

Destination: Los Angeles

9Smooth and simple booking site.

I requested a small car to keep the fuel costs down. The car I was given was a Nissan. Sentra, which at the time seemed good but it turned out not only to be a gutless wonder but a gas hog to boot! The car was really noisy as well, so must not have been very well insulated. I will say though that the staff were friendly, polite & helpful.

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T.Stacy

April 13, 2020

Destination: Fort Wayne

9.7Good

The car was fine, but it didn’t have a full take of gas, this is the 2nd time this has happened but other then that I usually have no problems

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S.Atkinson

April 12, 2020

Destination: Gulfport

9.3Excellent

At drop off the counter staff was rude

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R.FERRETTI

April 9, 2020

Destination: Seattle

10Excellent

Loved the car. More space than expected!!

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C.Lahne

April 8, 2020

Destination: Tampa

9.3Good experience

Took a lot of time. Kept wanting me to upgrade.

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I.Gomez

April 8, 2020

Destination: Pittsburg

9.3Excellent

It’s was easy fast and affordable

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April 3, 2020

Destination: Hailey

10Great rental! Quick, easy and painless.

Staff is great!

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April 3, 2020

Destination: Boston

7.7Relatively painless, though customer service from Thrifty could be improved.

The car was great, but finding the rental counter in Boston was complicated, and it ended up taking far, far longer than it should've.

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K.NOZAWA

April 2, 2020

Destination: Fort Lauderdale

9Excellent

予想以上に良い車を借りれたが、タイヤがパンクした時に工具はあるのにスペアタイヤがなかった。仕方なく、ロードサービスに電話連絡したが、トーサービスのトラックの到着が約束の時間より2時間半以上かかり、待ち時間が長く、空港へ台車をトリに行かねばならなく、無駄な時間を過ごさねばならなかった。

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F.Alharbi

April 2, 2020

Destination: Richmond

7As a whole, it was not bad

They made a mistake in the of returning the car and it was a big trouble contacting them to solve the problem. Even I was told to go back to the same counter where I picked up the car to solve the problem. One time I went to different location and I asked them to change the date if return, the guy this is Richmond office mistake. They have to resolve it which means I have to go them. Also they charged my visa card 100 $$ twice which mean they charged me 200$$ as total They should be refunded . I am still waiting for the refund

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March 31, 2020

Destination: San Diego

4Don't recommend

I don't know why but they charged me extra $120

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R.Thomsett

March 30, 2020

Destination: Orlando

7.7Late Horror Show

Our overall review on the hire company during my stay was very good. I was dealt efficiently at the desk and returning the car was simple. Now I've returned to the UK my opinion has completely changed. At the desk I was asked if I required any further excess insurance but I told the agent that I already had that cover through a company in the UK. He seemed fine with that. At that point he asked me to sign the paperwork but unbeknown to me I was signing for the Excess Insurance which I had already told him was not required. At no point did he explain about the insurance so I'd been tricked into buying this cover. An obvious case of misselling but no doubt a good commission for him. The rental car fuel policy was full to full which is normal practice. He recommended that I pay for a full tank of fuel at approx $40 so that I could bring back the vehicle empty with no extra cost. That way when I came to fill up towards the end of the vacation it would be far cheaper than if I had to refill myself-another blatant lie as I filled up on a number of occasions in various parts of Florida and never cost me more than $30. Sounds like another little scam for the rental company. I wasn't of course aware of any of these issues until I returned to the UK. I'm now faced with a bill of $419.72 for Excess Insurance which I'm contesting. Unfortunately their malpractice has spoilt what was a wonderful vacation.

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R.Clapton

March 28, 2020

Destination: Los Angeles

9.3Smooth, simple and easy

Best price for LAX. No pushy sales tactics, no problems at drop off, all very smooth and professional. Got to choose any economy or compact car I wanted.

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Angelo Arroyo Prz

March 25, 2020

Destination: New York

10Espectacular

Excelente servicio. Gracias

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J.Fairless

March 25, 2020

Destination: Kissimmee

9.7Car good

I have had 2 additional charges added but sadly no information to explain what these are for

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March 24, 2020

Destination: Hawaii - Maui Island

8Very Good

A great experience! Nice car

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m.Kawahara

March 23, 2020

Destination: Hawaii - Oahu Island (honolulu)

9毎回イージーレンタカー&Alamo

過去からAlamoにしているので、勝手が分かっています。

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L.Fry

March 23, 2020

Destination: Orlando

6.3Poor choice of car rental. Not recommended.

Horsepower Car Rental is a very small company. The Toyota had 68000+ miles on it. There were very vary many small dents and scratches on the vehicle. Take pictures and video of the car and spare tire, always. The car had a toll transponder in it. I was never told until I picked up the car that I would have to pay $7.95/day for this service. This option was not by choice; it was required. I have ALWAYS paid Florida tolls as I go. Not a choice with Horsepower. It is MANDATORY! I will NEVER rent a vehicle from Horsepower again and I do NOT recommend them.

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March 23, 2020

Destination: Los Angeles

6.3Average

Didn’t have a van so gave me a pickup or told me to drive to another location that might have a van at 11pm after a 12hr flight. Made our house move very difficult.

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March 23, 2020

Destination: Los Angeles

9.7Excellent

Added on double in insurance they said I had to have.

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March 23, 2020

Destination: New York

5Average

They gave me a small SUV when I paid for mid SUV. Also charged me excessive amount for toll when I paid on every station that accepted the toll cash

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N.NISHIMURA

March 22, 2020

Destination: Waikiki Beach

10良かった!

とても良かった。スムーズに旅行できました!また利用したいです。

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N.Bolton

March 22, 2020

Destination: Orlando

9.7Good vehicle and service,

Long queue for service but agent was very friendly and helpful making the experience very good. Would certainly use again.

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G.Edwards

March 21, 2020

Destination: Houston

10Smooth and easy pick up and drop off.

The Budget counter Staff were very friendly and obliging. On receipt of the car I found out that the car allocated was a 2 door not the 4 door I'd ordered that wasn't a problem the counter staff immediately provided us with a 4 door.

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March 21, 2020

Destination: Orlando

8.7Dissatisfied with Flex Car Rental

Counter staff was rude and couldn’t clearly explain what the extra fees were that he was charging us. He also tried to scam us into paying $10/day for the EZPass for video toll roads. It’s actually quite easy to avoid going on those roads. Flex seemed like the economical way to go, but in fact, ended up costing just as much as a car rental in the airport terminal, which would have been much more convenient.

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T.Rucker

March 21, 2020

Destination: Oakland

10Outstanding

Professional and polite demeanor.

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T.Rucker

March 21, 2020

Destination: Burbank

10Excellent experience.

Nice clean suv. Classy counter service.

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T.Rucker

March 21, 2020

Destination: Los Angeles

10Super!

Wonderful and courteous agent. Counter service was pleasant.

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T.Rucker

March 21, 2020

Destination: Los Angeles

10Great experience

Professional and kind customer service.

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T.Rucker

March 21, 2020

Destination: Burbank

10Super satisfied with my experience. Thank you.

Great counter service.

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T.Rucker

March 21, 2020

Destination: Los Angeles

10Very satisfied with experience.

It was a smooth process. Great price. Clean car. Professional and courteous representatives.

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F.Hamdan

March 21, 2020

Destination: Orlando

9.7Excellent

It fine

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J.Diaz Figueroa

March 21, 2020

Destination: Phoenix

9.3Insuperable

Best price and service.

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A.Dyer

March 21, 2020

Destination: Orlando

9.3Good. Used advantage before and would use again

Couple of minor scratches and rear indicator block told garage attendant who made a note on pink sljip

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March 20, 2020

Destination: Hawaii - Oahu Island (honolulu)

8.7Very Good

Overall it was an easy experience with budget car rentals however was expecting a newer vehicle or similar to the one we originally chose.

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Best car rental deals in United States

Best rates found by QEEQ users in the last 30 days.

Top Car Rental Source Countries for United States

International customers with domestic driver's licenses listed below have already finished their rental journeys with us in the United States.

Frequently asked questions

Q1.What is an insurance excess?

The excess is the amount you'll only be liable for in case of damage(under Collision Damage Waiver) or theft(under Theft Protection) of the vehicle.
Information about the excess will be clearly stated in the price inclusion when you reserve a car on QEEQ.

Q2. How can I add an addtional driver?

You are advised to make a request upon your arrival at the rental counter. Additional charge per day will incur unless '1 Additional Driver Included' is stipulated on the rental.
Please note that the same licence and age requirement applys to the additonal driver. The addtional driver is supposed to present the required licence document along with the main driver at pickup.

Q3.What if I want to pick up or drop off my rental car out of office hours?

QEEQ will show you the car offers available at your chosen time on the search results.
However, pick-up or drop-off out of general opening hours may subject to an extra fee unless self-service pick-up or drop-off is available.
After you reserve a car on QEEQ, we will inform you of specific policy of the car hire company by email.

Q4. Can I take the hired car to another country or cross border?

If you want to pick up your car in one country and drop it in another, your search results will show you cars you can do that with.
If you're planning to cross any borders during your trip, bear in mind:
1. You may have to pay more.
There are often extra fees, taxes or additional cover you'll pay at the car hire counter.
2.It may not be allowed.
Depending on where you're hiring, you may not be able to take your car to another country.
Please email us if you want to take your hire car into a different country during your trip, and we'll talk you through your options.

Q5. Can I pick up my car at one location and return it at different location?

Yes. You can pick up the vehicle in one place and drop it off in another. An ‘one-way fee’ will incur. Whether it is inclued in the rental price or what additional cost may arise will be clearly stated at the time of booking on QEEQ.
Please inform the car hire company of your drop-off location when you pick up the vehicle or contact them directly during your trip. You will find a phone number on the rental agreement you signed at pickup.

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