How to Rent a Car in Arizona

Make a Reservation

1.

Contact a local rental car business in your Arizona area. Ask for a quote for the type of vehicle that you would like to rent. See if the vehicle is available on the dates needed. Some rental companies like Enterprise advertise lower rates if you reserve your vehicle online. Inquire about any specials and if your travel dates are flexible you might inquire about a lower rate for weekdays or weekend packages.

2.

Bring your credit card and driver's license to the car rental agency. Your driver's license name must match exactly with the credit card name. You may not rent a vehicle for another person with your credit card or use a credit card in another person's name to pay for your rental in Arizona. Expect to have funds available for the total cost of the rental plus an additional authorization charge. Many car rental agencies will authorize your credit card for more than the cost of the car rental. Phoenix Enterprise authorizes a 20 percent additional fee, Hertz authorizes $140. Thrifty charges an additional 15 percent. Note that you might never be charged this amount; however, your credit card funds will not be available until you return the vehicle in good condition. Alamo only authorizes the exact amount of the rental.

3.

Bring proof of insurance. Many rental agencies will not ask for it and will try to sell you their own private insurance; however, some companies will expect for you to provide proof. Be aware that insurance companies only will pay up to a certain dollar amount per day for your rental vehicle, such as $30 for a standard-sized vehicle. Expect to pay more out of pocket for a larger vehicle, such as sport utility vehicle. Pay the difference between the amount your insurance cover will pay for the rental and what the total charge from the rental agency.

4.

Be of age. Expect to pay $10-$25 extra per day on top of the other charges if you are under 25 years old. Thrifty, Enterprise, Hertz, and Alamo all accept rentals from drivers under 25, but charge a young-driver fee.

5.

Return the vehicle intact. The rental agency will take pictures and document the vehicle before you leave the parking lot. Inspect the vehicle thoroughly before leaving and note any dents or stains to the car rental agent. Have the information documented so you will not be accused of being responsible for the damage. Return the vehicle in a clean condition to avoid unnecessary cleaning fees charged to your credit card. Any portion of authorized charges that were not accrued will be refunded to your credit card.

Tips and Warnings

  • Keep receipts of your rental for the insurance company. Write down the current mileage of the vehicle when you pick up the vehicle. Monitor your mileage usage so you do not go over your limit; this can result in very hefty fees. Also, be sure to refill the gas tank, otherwise expect to be charged a high fee for fuel.
  • Do not purchase the private insurance offered by the car rental agency. This is a ploy to get you to spend more money.
  • You are stranded in the Arizona desert because your car has broken down. Or maybe you are on vacation and are going to sightsee the Phoenix area. Maybe you're in Arizona for one of the many sporting events that take place throughout the state. Or perhaps you want to go to Flagstaff to visit the Lowell Observatory and need a car. If you decide to rent a vehicle, you will want to be sure to follow important steps to make the process easy and painless.