Posted by Ronan Kelly Services

Car rental in the USA, what you need to know before you go on a visit!

Maybe you’re finally going on that family holiday to Orlando, or perhaps you are embarking on a J1 or a part of the postgraduate visa program. Heres what you need to know before you rent a car in the land of opportunity.

Drivers License

Despite what you may think an international drivers license is not required for the most part when renting a car in the US. However if the car rental agent fails to understand or recognize your license it will be handy that you have the international license as a backup, but this shouldn’t be an issue for Irish licenses.


Age is just a number some say, but in the USA age is going to have a much larger impact on what you can and cannot do. We already know about the age restrictions for alcohol, and despite it being less restrictive around driving it will be a lot harder to get a rental car if you are under the age of twenty-five. Most companies simply won’t trust drivers younger than that age.

Shopping around

It’s important to understand that the prices are competitive in the rental market. Ensure that you shop around and spend some time so that you get the best deal for yourself and company. Location also matters, the most competitive states for this will be the ones who have big tourist industries, think Florida and California, perhaps New York also.


Make sure you check your insurance at home to see it will cover you in the USA. Otherwise, you can check with your American bank card issuer who will sometimes offer insurance for free if you use their card to rent the car. Alternatively, you may be looking at expensive insurance for the rental car. However, it’s important to get insurance as you’ll be in quite an expensive situation in the case of an accident or theft.


Make sure you have a child seat or request one from the agency. If your traveling with a child two years old or under its illegal not to have one.

Automatic Transmissions vs Manual 

It’s going to be very hard to get a manual car for rental in the USA, as automatic is the normal type of vehicle over there. Make sure you know this and consider this before you get behind the wheel, as it’ll be extremely rare that you get a manual car over there.

We wish you all a happy new year from Ronan Kelly Motors and hope you drive safe and well in 2019. Be sure to pop into the garage for your annual service.

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