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Hotwire Car Rental Tips – Cautions – FAQ

Use these Hotwire car rental tips to maximize your savings and to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Hotwire car rental tips & cautions space bar

1. Best Hotwire car rental deals?

For lowest prices per day —

  • Rent at least 5 full days (at least 120 hours), or

  • Rent weekends – These rates sometimes start as early as Noon Thursday.

2. Will I get a crummy vehicle?

Unlikely. Hotwire "Hot Rates"—the low rates you want—come from

  • Alamo
  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Enterprise
  • Europcar (international only)
  • Hertz
  • National

These usually offer the most convenient airport locations.

3. What's the catch with Hotwire?

No refunds or changes with Hotwire Hot Rates.

4. One-way rentals?

Yes, but you pay more if not returned to same airport location.

5. How late can I book?

Currently, two hours prior to pickup, if discounts still available.

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6. Unlimited mileage with a Hot Rate?

Nearly all come with unlimited mileage. If not, Hotwire warns you before you pay.

7. What if my flight will be late?

Hotwire car rental policy: "Hot Rate rentals are held for up to 24 hours after your scheduled pick-up time . . . If an airline cancellation or schedule change prevents you from picking up your car within 24 hours of your scheduled pick-up time, you will be able to cancel your reservation upon Hotwire's verification of the changes. Be sure to include your flight information during the checkout process so the rental agency will be aware of any schedule changes or delays."

8. How old do I have to be?

  • At least 25 to book a Hotwire Hot Rate.

  • At least 21 to book a less discounted rate.

9. Do I have to buy collision insurance?

No, but otherwise you are liable for full value of the vehicle. If you may already have insurance, make sure that it applies.

10. Can I pay for someone else?

Yes, but book reservation with name of driver, not yours.

At the rental counter, driver must present her credit card with a name that matches her driver’s license. There must be adequate available credit available, even though rental prepaid.

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11. Can other people drive?

  • Yes, if at least 25 and meet rental company requirements, such as having a credit card in their name.

  • Add extra drivers to rental contract when you pick up the car. The person named on the reservation must be with them. That person cannot give the reservation to someone else.

    Rental car companies may charge extra for additional drivers, which you pay at the rental counter.

  • NEVER let anyone not listed on your rental contract drive. That voids your insurance.

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12. Other Hotwire car rental tips & cautions?

  • Take along a printout of your confirmation. Otherwise, it's your word against theirs. They hold the keys. :)

  • Note restrictions listed in the contract that could void your insurance. Typically for example, you are not allowed to drive on dirt or gravel roads.

  • Meticulously—this is very important—examine the vehicle for damage before driving off. Have an employee list anything whatsoever found not right and get a copy.

    Be especially careful checking windows for small scratches. Replacing these can cost seemingly a fortune—unlike Hotwire rental cars!

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Enjoy your Hotwire car rental!

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