When renting a car, make sure to understand all the requirements and terms and conditions properly, so you don’t face any issues in the middle of your trip. Here is everything you would need to know about car rentals in Seattle:
Requirements for Renting a Car in Seattle
Every car rental companies have a set of different requirements that you would need to meet when you wish to rent a car, but a few of them which generally remain the same for all companies are:
- Minimum Age: Most car rental companies require you to be at least 21 years old to rent a car, though the age requirements may vary slightly from one company to another. There is usually no maximum age limit. Furthermore, you may be required to pay what is known as the “Youthful Surcharge” if you fall within a certain age group, and this is usually charged per day.
- Payment methods: Credit cards, debit cards, and cash are usually the accepted forms of payment when you rent a car in Seattle -
- Credit card: This is a prevalent mode of payment when renting a car, accepted at both airport and non-airport locations with MasterCard, VISA, American Express, JCP (Japan Credit Bureau), and Discover Network the most widely accepted.
- Debit card: Although debit cards are more often than not accepted when renting a car in Seattle, there is a possibility that you may be required to adhere to additional conditions. This payment method is accepted at both airport and non-airport locations.
- Cash: Many car rental companies accept cash, while others don’t (for security reasons). When you pay in cash, make sure to check how you need to pay your deposit since it is usually paid using a credit or debit card.
- Driver’s license: Of course, when you seek to rent a car, it goes without saying that you would need to have a valid driver’s license. You would need to present one which is at least valid for the entire rental duration and includes a photograph of you.
- US/ Canadian residents: You must present a valid driver’s license issued by the US or Canadian government, including your photograph.
- Foreign residents: Even if you possess a foreign government license, it works for a certain period as long as it is valid and in English. On the other hand, if your license is in another language, get in touch with the concerned authorities to get an International Driver’s Permit. Keep in mind that it is merely a translation of your original one and won’t be accepted independently.
- Deposit payment: When you rent a car, you would be asked to pay a certain amount of money as a deposit in case of any damage to the car, and this amount depends upon the company, the location, and the vehicle. Ensure the payment method is accepted for it since many car rental companies only accept credit or debit cards and not cash.
Things to Note While Driving in Seattle
Driving around in Seattle means that you need to be aware of all the city’s traffic rules and follow them. Here are 10 such rules that you must abide by if you rent a car here:
- Be aware of the speed limit and always follow it.
- Always keep your driver’s license, permit, and rental papers on you so that you can present them to the authorities in case there is a need.
- You’ll find many people biking around in the city, and they aren’t always required to use a bike lane, thus coming into the traffic. Keep your eyes open for anyone on a bicycle.
- Be aware of High Occupancy Vehicle(HOV) lanes, which require over 2 or 3 people to be inside the vehicle, depending on the day's time. Buses, carpools, or vanpools generally use these.
- If you aren’t a resident of Seattle, you may not be able to identify one-way streets and may end up needing to go all the way around if you miss an exit. Try to use a GPS or find out about the one-way streets on your route.
- It may sometimes be challenging to figure out if a road allows for one or two lanes, especially since many have space for parking. Unless there is a stripe down the middle of the road, it is not a two-lane road.
- Never take your hands off the steering wheel and always avoid using your phone, doing makeup, eating, or other such activities while driving since the city has strict laws against it.
- Know when you want to merge, and don’t forget to turn on your directional signal when doing the same so you don’t risk being blocked by others.
- Whenever you intend to park your rental car for a while as you do something, always keep some cash on you since there may not be a credit card machine or staff.
- If you find yourself driving on a hill, keep your speed constant, and do not shift from the brake pedal to accelerate with a jerk; do it gradually.
Cost of Renting a Car in Seattle
How much you would need to pay when you rent a car in Seattle will depend mainly on the company, the model or type of car, and its size. Though the prices may vary, the following is the average per day cost of renting a car in the city:
- Sedan: USD 15/day and above (depends on whether it is a compact, economy, standard, full-size, intermediate, premium, or luxury sedan)
- SUV: USD 30/day and above (depends on whether it is compact, full-size, intermediate, standard, or luxury SUV)
- Minivan: USD 50/day and above(depends on the size)
- Convertible: USD 60/day and above(depends on the model)
- Truck: USD 35/day and above (depends on the size)
5 Car Rental Companies You Can Choose From
There are several car rental companies in Seattle that you can choose from, with many of them providing you with the option of booking and paying online, picking up the car from an airport or non-airport location, and other amenities. Here are 5 rental companies that you can check out if you are looking to rent a car for your stay in Seattle:
1. Enterprise Rent-A-Car: A trendy choice regarding car rental companies in the city, Enterprise Rent-A-Car offers you different car options like SUVs, sedans, trucks, minivans, etc., that you can pick up from the airport and non-airport locations.
Address: 1601 3rd Ave, Seattle, WA 98101, United StatesTimings: 7:30 am to 7:00 pm (Monday- Friday), 7:30 am to 4:00 pm (Saturday- Sunday)2. Sixt Rent A Car: Whether you are looking for sedans, SUVs, convertibles, trucks, or even sports cars to make your stay in Seattle much more convenient, Sixt Rent A Car is definitely an option to consider given their excellent service quality and amenities.
Address: 1521 2nd Ave Unit R2, Seattle, WA 98101, United StatesTimings: 7:30 am to 5:30 pm (Monday- Friday), 7:30 am to 4:30 pm (Saturday- Sunday)3. Avis Car Rental: Avis Car Rental is a car rental company that has branches in Seattle and other parts of the country. If you choose to rent from them, you would have the option to pick from vans, sedans, SUVs, convertibles, and much more.
Address: 1919 5th Avenue, Seattle, WA, 98101, United StatesTimings: 8:00 am to 2:00 pm (Monday-Thursday), 8:00 am to 4:00 pm (Friday- Sunday)4. Kayak: If it’s too much effort going over different car rental companies and trying to find the best deals, Kayak is there to help. The website shows you offers from different companies and lets you compare prices to choose what’s best for you. You can pick up your car from the airport itself.
Address: 17801 International Blvd, Seattle, WA 98158, United StatesTimings: Available 24 hours5. Seattle Exotic Car Rentals: Seattle Exotic Car Rentals is the one to choose if you are interested in renting an exotic or luxury car to make your trip even more fun. You can choose from a wide range of fancy cars like Lamborghini, Ferrari, or Mercedes and can either pick it up from their facility or have it be delivered to you.
Address: 16017 Aurora Ave N, Shoreline, WA 98133, United StatesTimings: 7:00 am to 9:00 pm (Monday- Friday), Saturday- Sunday closedIt is an entirely different kind of fun renting a car when visiting a new city since it lets you explore much more on your own time. There are many car rentals in Seattle which provide you quality service and are likely to add to your experience while in the city.