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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 /
s.pringle

May 27, 2022

Destination: Orlando

9.7Good

The car could have done with a wash and the windows were quiet dirty

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F.S.

May 27, 2022

Destination: Fort Myers

9Alles ohne Probleme. Sehr guter Service von Hertz und QEEQ

Alles ist reibungslos gelaufen. Meine Erfahrungen wurden übertroffen.Ich mußte nicht warten. Die sehr freundliche Mitarbeiterin Barbara am Schalter hat meine Buchung sofort und schnell bearbeitet. Das Zählerzeug war hilfreich. Die Abgabe des Mietwagens verlief auch reibungslos und ohne Beanstandungen.

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Richard B

May 27, 2022

Destination: Santa Fe

7.3Had a great time booking and renting with Budget. But please bear in mind that safety comes first.

It was a great car. Steady and comfortable. There were lots of scratches here and there. Also the car wasn't totally cleaned when picked up, which I'm ok as there was a notice informing of water shortage in Santa Fe. The only downsides, which are actually quite grave are... 1. The front tires are totally worn out. I always have to continually remind myself of the safety risk it poses to my wife and daughter as passengers. I wouldn't drive a car with such tires back in Malaysia. 2. Not only the front tires were worn out, all the tires weren't properly inflated. Half way on the way to bandelier at some obscure roads, the tire warning lighted up. I had a hard time looking for gas stations that provide air pump as most were out of order. Budget should place safety as the highest priority. We are talking about human lives here.

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K.Mason

May 27, 2022

Destination: Dover

5.3Counter staff great, but where was the cleaning & maintenance crew?

Counter staff were genuinely really nice & professional. Mechanically, the car ran well. However, car was not ready at pick-up time, exterior & interior were dirty & smelled of cigarette smoke the whole week of my booking. I would have been embarrassed to have had anyone else in the car with me. If I didn’t have to get on with my trip, I would have taken it back to request another car. However during pick-up, I was about to be assigned another car, but that one needed an oil change. In the 37 minutes I waited for my car to be processed (it’s on the receipt), I saw only one member of staff in the lot, cleaning vehicles; he also had to help one of the office staff with a booking query. Perhaps the rest of the crew were having their lunch, but the car was just not clean by pick-up time — and this is especially concerning when Covid numbers are going up again.

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Hansal Modi

May 27, 2022

Destination: Saint Louis

10Excellent

Car exceeded my expectations

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May 27, 2022

Destination: Seattle

9.7初めてこのサイトでレンタカーを借りた

車は走行距離が少ない綺麗なくるまでした。カウターの対応もスムーズてました。

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F.Cordera

May 27, 2022

Destination: San Francisco

8.3Me tarde casi 2 hs en la fila de Budget para recoger el auto.

Buen presupuesto

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May 27, 2022

Destination: Orlando

8Good customer service, car functional but not pretty to look at!

The customer service was excellent at the counter - no hard-selling and a small queue which were things we had previously experienced with other trips. The agent was really helpful and gave advice about the weather and toll pass. The young man who assisted us on the return was lovely too. The car itself was disappointing though, not clean inside, previous customer's paper work was still inside with personal details suggesting the car had not been cleaned, in addition there were food particles in the cup holders. I cleaned everything with anti-septic wipes as we were concerned about covid. There were dents on the driver's door, scrapes on the boot and damage to the bottom of the front and back passenger doors and the trim was hanging off. The car was clearly well used as had 27,000 miles on the clock which is unusually high for a rental car. The car ran well and we had no mechanical problems. We arrived later than expected due to a delay at Heathrow and it was getting dark so we didn't see the condition of the exterior of the car and I was able to clean the interior myself, in addition we had a long drive ahead the next morning which was why we didn't take the car back to change it, if we had stayed locally we probably would have asked to exchange it. It didn't spoil our holiday in any way but we were disappointed with the car's condition

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Freddie Yip

May 26, 2022

Destination: Boston

10Great

Good car

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May 26, 2022

Destination: Oakland

10Sans faute

Surclassement car plus de véhicule de la catégorie réservée. Personnel aimable et rapide. Explications claires et conformes.

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S.Parsons

May 25, 2022

Destination: Cincinnati

10Amazing Service to get me to Nashville!

I accidentally booked for the weekend after, instead of the weekend I needed the car for, but the Budget staff were SO helpful and managed to get me a car to use for the weekend. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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May 25, 2022

Destination: Newark

7Good

more than 2 hours to collect the car. the car had been used by a smoker and we could not drive with the windows closed

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D.Tay

May 25, 2022

Destination: Los Angeles

8Probably the worst (so far)

I prepaid for the tank of gas & was told that it would be prorated. I returned the car with more than half tank but was billed for the full tank...

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D.Tay

May 25, 2022

Destination: Raleigh

10The best experience so far...

I was upgraded to an MPV due to the lack of available cars in my category.

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D.Tay

May 25, 2022

Destination: Los Angeles

7.7Great service, but unaccounted charges arrived later (again).

1) Overall good experience 2) I was charged for tolls that I have yet to receive an itemized breakdown.

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A.Pates

May 25, 2022

Destination: Seattle

10Awesome

Based upon my pick up and return hours Everything was great!

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c.turbayne

May 25, 2022

Destination: San Francisco

10Very easy to use and I would use again

Car was very clean and easy to operate. Counter staff were efficient and easy to understand

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P.Betlinski

May 25, 2022

Destination: Miami

8.7Very Good

Very, very long lines to the desk ... waited more than one hour. It was Sunday in the middle of the day. But every other office had long lines too.

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JLJ

May 25, 2022

Destination: Dallas

10Good experience

A brief overview of the car would be helpful. I have an old car and had some problems using the ignition, radio and cruise control. The staff at pick up and drop off were friendly and helpful.

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B.Brownlie

May 24, 2022

Destination: Hawaii - Oahu Island (honolulu)

9.3Seamless car rental experience.

Long queue on arrival at Hertz counters. Only 4 position open of 13 available. Had to then endure a hard up-sell to more expensive vehicles (up to $100 per day extra). Twice had to have the rental contract changed to get back to the Rogue that had been ordered.

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G.Krebs

May 24, 2022

Destination: Orlando

10excelente

el auto cumplio con todo lo comprometido y supero las expectavias

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J.Kalil

May 24, 2022

Destination: Boston

8.3Very Good

The Payless counter is hidden withinh the Avis desk. I walked the area 2x before I found someone that told me that. Then, The car I received was not in its spot. I had to go all the back to counter and start the process over. it set me back a good 30-60 minutes ☹️

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J.Flynn

May 24, 2022

Destination: Austin

6Average

Car was discussing we had to clean it ourselves.

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May 24, 2022

Destination: Minneapolis

10Easy to book and excellent value

No car in the group (compact) was available when I got to the car area but no problem as they quickly allocated another car and we were on our way quickly.

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Nuno Baptista

May 23, 2022

Destination: San Francisco

10Brilliant

I received exactly the make and model that I wanted.

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May 23, 2022

Destination: San Francisco

7.7Good

Livraison longue. Intérieur de la voiture très sale.

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S.Ruiz Rodriguez

May 23, 2022

Destination: Chicago

10Excellent

El coche superó mis expectativas

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P.Fraser

May 23, 2022

Destination: New York

9.3Excellent experience!

We had a small problem with our own smartphone and it’s connectivity to the vehicle for Satnav. A team atone of your Midwest drop offs helped us immensely and even provided a portable backup Satnav unit.

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R.Kellermann

May 20, 2022

Destination: Fort Myers

9.3Amazing deals with well known rental agencies

The first car was fine but we had to change it twice due to problems with the car.

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A.Orhue

May 20, 2022

Destination: Miami

7.7Lovely no issues

Great experience,good customer service.

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J.Uribe

May 20, 2022

Destination: Orlando

4.7Bad

Terrible I will never recommend this company. You contract something and in the last minute change the things and you have to pay for services that you don’t need

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May 19, 2022

Destination: Hawaii - Kauai Island

8OK and easy

The "surprise car" was a Dodge Caravan. Too big for us as we were only two people. However, it appears that the big car was very useful for us during the trip. The car was not totally clean, lot of dust, mud, and sand inside and outside the car.

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J.Flynn

May 19, 2022

Destination: Oakland

8Very Good

Very pushy to upgrade the car as the one I had booked was not very good. So she told me. Offered me a upgrade for $130 a day. I said no. She then said I could have it for $70 as day. On principle I said no as I didn’t like her attitude. The first price should always be the best price. She got very grumpy and I left. We go a upgrade anyway as they didn’t have any of the cars I had book.

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Mike j

May 19, 2022

Destination: Los Angeles

10Couldn’t be bettered

Friendly fast staff. Loved fact didn’t upsell

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Phil Coates

May 19, 2022

Destination: Jacksonville

10Top class

Upgraded car on pick up brand new Nissan rogue. Great staff at jacksonville can't fault them.

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J.Rodriguez

May 19, 2022

Destination: Charlotte

9Excellent

No cuenta bien el Tema Del Cover

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Hilde Bugge

May 18, 2022

Destination: New York

10Just perfect!

Everything was perfect! Just as we expected:)

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J.Carras

May 18, 2022

Destination: Oakland

8.7Excellente

Il m’a été remis un véhicule 4 portes au lieu de deux un model légèrement supérieur me semble-t-il Le temps de récupérer le véhicule à été un peu long je suppose qu’il n’était pas préparé la carrosserie était encore mouillé mais cela ne m’a pas gêné Satisfait du service Hertz Cependant ayant eu un dommage sur le véhicule bris de pare-brise j’attends avec impatience comment va se régler ce sinistre

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M.Lauther

May 18, 2022

Destination: Fort Lauderdale

7Good

I rented a van and was given an suv as an upgrade. There was very little room for luggage. Vehicle had a hole in the carpet on the driver’s side.

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J.Fialho

May 17, 2022

Destination: Orlando

4Fuja da Thrifty!

Carro velho, cheio de pequenos defeitos. A locadora cobrou taxas que não estavam contratadas.

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A.Johnston

May 17, 2022

Destination: Cincinnati

9.7Quick and efficient

Good car, no insurance up-sell. Quick and easy.

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R.Chaffin

May 17, 2022

Destination: Tampa

10Very smooth

Everything went smoothly and the counter person was very helpful

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Fabiano

May 17, 2022

Destination: Orlando

8not the best service nor the best price

few attendants, the tank was empty, the vehicle's license plate was not the one given

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Sandro

May 17, 2022

Destination: Los Angeles

9Not very good at all

I was quoted 900 dollars and ended up paying 1450, with lots of hidden stuff impossible to understand from the invoice. I have already filed a complaint

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P.Reeves

May 16, 2022

Destination: Orlando

10Very good car was great to drive only a Kia Soul but loved it 2300 miles

Very good great car good price must say I will be using them again

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May 16, 2022

Destination: Orlando

10Una buena experiencia

Excelente presupuesto.

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May 12, 2022

Destination: San Diego

6.3V poor pickup experience

Pre-ordered baby seat wasn’t in car at pickup, had to drive 30 min to another Hertz outlet to pick it up. Very annoying.

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W.Snyder

May 12, 2022

Destination: Philadelphia

10Great experience.

Beautiful roomy clean car with updated features.

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J.Bustamante A

May 12, 2022

Destination: Miami

10Buen auto, precio ok,fácil recojo y devolución. Que mas!

No tuve mayor contacto con el personal del Alamo. Todo fue facil.

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Roger

May 11, 2022

Destination: San Diego

9Faultless

Excellent service from agent in San Diego.

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Best car rental deals in United States

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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