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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 QEEQ’ 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 /
J.Paalani

February 8, 2023

Destination: Hawaii - Oahu Island (honolulu)

8Very Good

Counter staff and shuttle staff was AMAZING! The car was a little underwhelming. Very banged up, windshield wipers didn’t work good and it rained so much 2 of the days. The rental car even over heated one day so the shuttle driver came and swapped us a car. But we had to wait for 2 hrs for responses.

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A.Lang

February 7, 2023

Destination: Orlando

10Fantastic experience start to finish

Absolutely fantastic service. Very quick at the desk and then when the booked 7 seater arrived missing the rear seats Hertz quickly sorted another truck for us. Very impressed!!

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T.Pallotta

February 7, 2023

Destination: Fort Lauderdale

7.7Good

Car had high mileage and was older than other vehicles I rented in the past.

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N.O.

February 3, 2023

Destination: Los Angeles

4.3Average

Wait for pick-up car more than 2hours

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D.Marechal

February 3, 2023

Destination: West Palm Beach

9Prestations correctes pour le prix payé

La voiture que j'ai eu en premier, très jolie voiture,une Genesis 80, as due être retournée au comptoir car elle devait subir une maintenance. La deuxième voiture,en échange, Mazda 5,sortait de révision mais indiquait quand même une batterie de clef de contact faible. J'ai changé la pile,ayant peur de rester coincé . La deuxième voiture était moins propre que la premiere. Pensez a donner une voiture révisée pour les locations longues. Enfin,un détail qui est important,la première voiture avait un gps et pas la deuxième,ce qui est un problème.

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K.Langkan

February 2, 2023

Destination: Denver

6.3Dollar is terrible

Terrible scammers. They charge you for toll usage up front and promise to refund if you do not use it. I did not use one toll, yet they have still not refunded me. I try to contact them, but only get template replies.

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February 2, 2023

Destination: Palm Springs

9.3Good car, good staff, longer than expected wait to pick up

Wait time was almost an hour. They had room for one more staff member to check people in but maybe not the staff for it. Linda, who checked me in, was positive and cheery and gave me a list of restaurants to try.

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D.Wright

February 2, 2023

Destination: Washington D.C.

9.7Everything went according to plan.

One of the fastest counter services I’ve had.

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J.Shah

February 1, 2023

Destination: New York

6.7Average

Counter staff was terrible. She does not even knew about QEEQ and was telling me my booking is not valid. She was trying to sell me insurance even though I had full coverage, while booking on Qeeq. Won’t recommend dollar due to counter staff.

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C.Long

February 1, 2023

Destination: Hawaii - Oahu Island (honolulu)

9.3Easy drive in and out with the perfect car.

It was easy to select the appropriate car and process to pick up and drop off was smooth and fuss free. Would definitely hire again in the future!

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A.Urbaez

February 1, 2023

Destination: Green Bay

10Perfect

Good

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Xiomara Gonzalez

January 31, 2023

Destination: San Antonio

8.7Fácil de usar y reservar.

El personal que me atendió, tanto en la recogida como en la devolución, fue muy amable y atento.

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Bob Hentrich

January 31, 2023

Destination: Fort Lauderdale

8Good, could be better.

Took quite a while to fill out out the documents - this could be a smoother and quicker process, I believe.

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J.Kearns

January 30, 2023

Destination: Hawaii - Kauai Island

8.7Very Good

Great counter rep at thirty's in Lihue. Airport

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Yuantso Cheng

January 30, 2023

Destination: Hawaii - Oahu Island (honolulu)

9.3Wasting time

Wait for car over one hour. Time wasted.

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January 30, 2023

Destination: Chicago

10easy process

it is off site to the usual rental area but they are great and send a shuttle to collect you and drop you off at the airport. otherwise easy to deal with

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H.GENDRON

January 29, 2023

Destination: Orlando

7.7Car soso, and terrible waiting time

Way too long at the counter… way!

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January 22, 2023

Destination: West Palm Beach

10great experience

Impressed with counter people

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A.Covington

January 22, 2023

Destination: Orlando

10rental car

Increíble experiencia de alquiler de autos sin estrés. No había colas en el mostrador DE seven auto y había muchos vehículos limpios disponibles para elegir. La entrega fue muy eficiente y no se agregaron cargos ocultos. Definitivamente voy a alquilar de nuevo seven auto por medio de vip car

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S.Fuz

January 19, 2023

Destination: Hawaii - Oahu Island (honolulu)

9.7Excellent experience with our rental.

Excellent in all aspects. Would highly recommend.

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N.Anzuinelli

January 18, 2023

Destination: Austin

8Very Good

Didn't receive any payment receipt!!!!

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My Account

January 18, 2023

Destination: Los Angeles

10very nice ,and so good

very nice ,and so good

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J.TEMAUI

January 17, 2023

Destination: Los Angeles

10Excellent

ALAMO IS A GOOD LOCATION FOR RENTING CAR

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m.arnould

January 16, 2023

Destination: Chicago

9Excellent

Impeccable .

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C.Bruning IV

January 15, 2023

Destination: Vail Eagle

10Great

Yes-Buick Enclave was a suitable substitution for to originally designated Nissan Pathfinder

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January 15, 2023

Destination: Tampa

7.7Good

Nice, fairly new car. I would haver preferred to have advance checkin instead of having to wait in line at the Alamo desk to get our car.

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S.Svendsen

January 13, 2023

Destination: Orlando

7.3Besides the 1. car was broken and the next was dirty. The overall experience and the staff was good

I need the Budget contract number as my bonuspoint dont go through

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Alessandra

January 13, 2023

Destination: New Orleans

9.7Superaccessorized car

I booked a small SUV but the car was much bigger (honda Pilot, 500 inches long, 8 seats), I still got along well even though I was worried at first because I am not used to such big cars. The car was superaccessorrized, with leather seats and lots of technology options and every comfort, much appreciated! The car was very clean except for the trunk which they may have forgotten to clean.

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Leonardo

January 13, 2023

Destination: Miami

9.7Great experience and very competitive prices.

The car exceeded my expectation, however they mentioned that I NEEDED to contract the SLP insurance, so I got a little confused about the contract. Inspite that factor Alamo is an excelent company with new vehicles.

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Patricia Nunez

January 12, 2023

Destination: Orlando

9Good

Great, but it should have the choice to include the tolls when the customer is doing the choice. I'm still waiting for the 224$ refound. I dropped off the car on January 9th

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January 12, 2023

Destination: Boston

6Car was poorly described and didn’t meet expectations

Car booked was a “mystery” car for “5 passengers”. What we got was a Chrysler Trax which is a subcompact SUV. It was very small. How is was supposed to accommodate 5 passengers with any luggage is unclear.

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C.Magagnoli

January 12, 2023

Destination: Boston

6Average

The car didn’t match the one I rentes. I rented a Toyota 4 RUNNER specifically for the purpose of my trip, turns out ai get a Ford Edge non compatible with my requirements for this trip.

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Dave

January 11, 2023

Destination: Fort Lauderdale

10great

Amine from Sixt was great to deal with. We have been to these guys for a solid 9 months now.

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Dave

January 11, 2023

Destination: Fort Lauderdale

10textbook style

Really simple and easy rental, thank you.

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GS

January 11, 2023

Destination: New York

10Smooth experience, got exactly what I ordered.

car received was the actual car I booked - same make and model! This is rare nowadays and good to see. Staff did not try to upsell me any unwanted extras.

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a Foreign Traveller

January 11, 2023

Destination: Las Vegas

5.3Terrible Experience. I recommend no one should rent a car in Las Vegas, especially from Dollar.

They spent valuable 2.5 hours within the 8 hours for which I rent a car. That prevent me from going to the place I originally planned to visit. They also make me buy whole gallon of gas only by the explanation that the unit price is cheeper than in the gas station nearby. I never choose Dollar.

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S.Harris

January 11, 2023

Destination: Santa Ana

2Flight from Seattle to Orange County was faster than picking up rental car.

The car was fine, but I don’t want that to increase my score for Dollar. They suck so much. There was a huge line (1.25 hours) for Dollar/Thrifty/Hertz all combined. Counter staff kept pulling Hertz customers to the front of the line. I finally got to the counter and was told I’d now be put on a waitlist for 2 hours, and they’d call me when the car was finally clean and ready. Never again.

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G.Nunez

January 11, 2023

Destination: Orlando

10Excellent

Excelente experiencia, 100% recomendada. El mejor precio, excelente atención en mostrador, auto mucho mejor que el que esperaba, sin costos adicionales

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K.Kull

January 11, 2023

Destination: Des Moines

8.3Different expectations, but good experience.

I was under the impression that the vehicle class I reserved would be all wheel drive, which it wasn't. But the car was new and overall reliable and in great condition. I hardly needed any money in gas. It just looks like they didn't have time to really clean the car before I got it. But I mentioned that at the drop off and customer service was great.

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Mack

January 10, 2023

Destination: San Francisco

4.7Average

It supposed to be Errocar but the booking was through Fox. Bad experience with fox, unnecessary wait at pick-up, extremely inefficient, very disappointed experience

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C.Bramley

January 10, 2023

Destination: Boston

9.7Excellent

Good counter service but vehicle not where it was supposed to be and when found it needed refuelling which was disappointing as we wanted to get away whilst still light. Overall delay about 20 minutes but staff were helpful throughout.

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J.Boyhan

January 9, 2023

Destination: Boston

10Once again I’m a very happy customer

Love Hertz received warm welcome, shown kindness, received car booked in excellent condition. Easy car return very happy.

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AAC

January 9, 2023

Destination: Tucson

9.7Perfext

Slight issue with the car meant we had to return to the pickup location and swap, got a free upgrade so all was good

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F.Ibanez

January 9, 2023

Destination: Miami

8.3Very Good

Me quieren cobrar un cargo de 149 euros o dolares.

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S.Kurtz

January 9, 2023

Destination: San Francisco

10First time, went well

Nice clean car

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Adam Tseng

January 8, 2023

Destination: San Francisco

8.3Thrifty overbooked their rental cars

Thrifty overbooked their rental cars, which caused we waited more 2 hours. The staff solicited me to raise cost to upgrade car & get car soon, otherwise there will be 2 more hours waiting. I provided my phone number to get their notice. After 2 hours waiting by the counter, they did not inform me the car was ready until I approached asked the staff, then he said my car was ready....

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T.KOSAKI

January 8, 2023

Destination: Hawaii - Oahu Island (honolulu)

7.7Good

すごい並んでいたのにカウンターの人が2人しかいなかった為、手続きをするまでにすごく時間がかかった。予約していた車に乗りたかったが、同等クラスの別の車になってしまって残念でした。

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Lisa M.

January 8, 2023

Destination: Hawaii - Maui Island

10Easy, good deal, overall great experience!

Car was perfect! Pick up was on-site at the airport. The line was really slow due to only two people working, but the staff member I worked with was excellent and efficient. Drop off was super easy.

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P.Papadopoulos

January 7, 2023

Destination: New York

7.7Good

I had to wait 2 hours because there were not cars available during pickup

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E.Patricio

January 6, 2023

Destination: Dallas

6.7Car rental accepts credit cards only. Its so inconvenient for people who don’t have it. Terrible!

Budget should accept multiple modes of payment (cash, debit cards, online banking, etc.)and should not rely on credit card payment only. Because not every customer has a credit card and some has the ability to pay in CASH!!

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Best car rental deals in United States

  • Hawaii - Oahu Island (honolulu)

    from USD 0.89 /day

  • Miami

    from USD 1.59 /day

  • Los Angeles

    from USD 2.07 /day

  • Orlando

    from USD 4.81 /day

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

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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