Most of the answers to your questions can be found here. Still need help? Use the Quick Enquiry form and we'll get back to you
Questions about driving in North America…
- How old do I need to be?
There is usually a minimum age of 21 when renting a car in America or Canada, although in addition any driver under 25 would normally incur a surcharge of around £17 per day. Rules can differ slightly from place to place, so just drop us an email and we’ll clarify the rules and costs for you and your planned trip.
- Is it difficult or scary to drive over In America or Canada?
All of our cars come with an automatic gear box, and the option of Sat Nav and as such getting around is pretty easy. The roads are usually well maintained, wider and less busy and thus easy to drive on. Your Itinerary pack also comes packed with loads of top tips on driving stateside.
- Will any fees be payable locally when collecting or dropping off the rental car?
Your quoted price usually includes unlimited milage, collision damage waiver, theft protection, premium location fees & local taxes. Sometimes though, you’ll need to pay for certain things locally. These may include one way fees (where applicable), additional extras requested at time of booking or purchased locally (for example child seats), deliveries & collections and supplementary insurance to cover injuries to drivers &/or passengers.
- Can I do a one-way rental?
Many of our trips have a different end destination to the starting point, so yes this is not a problem. Please note that a fee sometimes applies for a one way rentals between different regions or states, which will normally be paid to the supplier directly when collecting the vehicle. We’ll endeavour to inform you of this charge within your quote.
- What car insurance will I have?
As experienced “road trippers” we know how annoying it can be to unsure of what is and isn’t covered in your car insurance. Furthermore, it can be a tad annoying when faced with expensive insurance “top ups” when collecting the car. Thats why when you book with The American Road Trip Company you can be confident that you will have satisfactory cover for you and your family or friends, often with little or no excess to pay in the event of an accident. Please check you booking details within your individual Itinerary Pack for full details.
- What do I need to take to collect the vehicle?
When collecting the vehicle the principal driver will need to bring the rental voucher from within their itinerary pack, their full driving license (both parts if a UK license, including the paper part of the license) and a credit card in their name. It is often useful to bring a further means of identification – e.g. a passport.
- What should I do if I am involved in an accident?
In the event of any mechanical difficulties or accidents involving your car, it is important that you advise the local car rental company as soon as possible, (within 24 hours). In the case of an accident the local police should be advised and a police report completed, and the full details of the 3rd party should also be taken. You will need to complete a full accident report form when returning the vehicle to the supplier. The car rental company must give authority to replace or repair a vehicle. It is important that you retain a copy of all documentation for your own records.
- How do I know where to find the supplier?
Your car rental voucher within your itinerary pack will clearly state the address of your vehicle supplier. Usually, our cars are collected on the site of the airport. We will be happy to assist in the event you cannot locate the office and can be reached via our help line on +44 1244 342 099.
- What do I do if I have points on my license?
It may still be possible to rent a car, depending on what the points are for and when they were received. Please contact a member of our team on 01244 342 099 or firstname.lastname@example.org who will be able to check with our car rental partners whether they will accept a booking with your endorsements.
- I can't find the vehicle I want to rent?
When requesting a quote, you’ll be asked to choose your preference from a list of car sizes. Please email email@example.com or call one of our team on 01244 342 099 if you wish to discuss any addition vehicles options that maybe available to you.
- Is it possible to reduce the vehicle excess?
It is normally possible to reduce the excess on the vehicle by purchasing additional products from the supplier locally. These products are sometimes called Master cover or Super CDW & can reduce the excess down to anything as low as zero in some cases. Alternately, you can also request that a Damage Excess Refund Product is added to your quote.
- Are snow chains/ tires guaranteed?
Snow chains & tires are available at some locations and should be requested at the time of booking. Unfortunately due to demand these cannot always be guaranteed, so the earlier these can be requested the better the chance of securing these. These options will incur a fee, which will be payable to the supplier locally at the time of pick up.
- What is the facility charge at Miami and Las Vegas International airports?
A facility charge has recently been introduced at both airports to contribute towards building new facilities. This charge, if not included in your rental, is payable to the supplier locally when collecting the vehicle.
- What should I do if the car breaks down?
In the event of any mechanical difficulties it is important that you advise the local car rental company as soon as possible, (within 24 hours). The car rental company must give authority to replace or repair a vehicle. In the event of any unresolved difficulties, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team. Please note it is not advisable to leave your vehicle in the event of a break down as contents are often not covered.
- Is mileage always unlimited, if not, when isn't it?
In almost all cases your rental will include unlimited mileage, however with some speciality/prestige vehicles and rentals in remote Canada there will be a limit to the miles above and beyond which a charge will be levied. The mileage policy will be clearly shown at the time of booking and on your rental documentation. Should you have any further questions regarding this, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our team.
Questions about the Accommodation…
- Am I limited to certain hotels or chains?
No, far from it. We are able to book rooms in an incredible 95% of North America’s Hotels and Bed and Breakfasts. So, let us know if you have a preference when you request a quote and almost always we’ll be able to accommodate you.
- Can I add extra nights to the road trips?
Not a problem. If you are lucky enough to have extra time to explore more places or add more rest days, then just let us know and we’ll adjust your trip to match your preferred timescale.
- How do I know the accommodation will be of a good standard?
We have preferred hotels that we use regularly, these have been tried and tested by the ARTco team and we work with the hoteliers to ensure standards remain high. If we are looking to book a room somewhere new, then we’ll always put in the time and effort in to ensure the accommodation has a reputation of the highest order.
- Will there be any other charges to pay locally?
We try to insure that any and all costs are included within your quoted price. Although sometimes fees maybe payable locally, these can include small resort fees or occasionally car parking fees.
Questions about the Flights…
- Where do I clear Customs and Immigration?
Upon landing in the in the States or Canada, you’ll need to clear Customs and Immigration, before either leaving the airport or catching a connecting flight to your final destination.
- How much Luggage Allowance will I have?
For flights on our preferred carrier British Airways or other trans atlantic carriers, you’ll get a free baggage allowance which will vary depending on the class of travel and ticket type you book. You can take extra bags with you for an additional charge and save money when you pay online before you fly. Any bag that is heavier than the free weight allowance may incur an overweight baggage charge, payable at check-in.
British Airways allows one checked bag per person of 23kg to placed in the hold free of charge, when traveling in Economy or Premium Economy. Your main piece of hand baggage can be up to the following dimensions of 56cm x 45cm x 25cm (22in x 18in x 10in), including the handle, pockets and wheels. This also has a maximum weight of 23 kg that applies.
For more details concerning baggage limitations on BA flights please follow this link: http://www.britishairways.com/travel/baggag/public/en_gb
- How early do I need to check in for my flight?
If you are checking baggage on a domestic flight, checking in at least 90 minutes prior to departure time is recommended. International travel requires check-in two to three hours prior to departure. Check with the airline you are traveling on. You may want to allow more time if you’re travelling out of a major airport during peak periods.
Questions about your travel documents…
- When will I get my travel documents and Itinerary Pack?
We usually deliver your travel pack 3-4 weeks in advance of your trip.
- What’s included in the Itinerary Pack?
You’ll get all the travel documents you require, top tips for every element of your road trip, maps and suggested scenic routes, a day by day itineray, destination guides and much more.
- Is my passport valid for a trip to North America?
Please ensure your passport is valid to cover the whole of your trip, including your date of return or onward travel. If your passport was issued on or after October 26, 2006, you will require a biometric passport. If it was issued between October 26, 2005 and October 25, 2006 it need only be machine readable, and the photograph digital. If issued before October 26, 2005 it need only be machine readable. If you have any questions concerning your passport, we suggest that you contact the UK Identity and Passport Service at http://www.ips.gov.uk/passport/index.asp.
- Do I need a Visa to enter America?
If you hold a full UK passport, then you’ll qualify for the Visa Waiver Program as long as you are visiting for leisure or business purposes and have a return or onward ticket due to depart within 90 days of your arrival. You’ll just need to apply for an ESTA at least 72 hours prior to departing, access to your flight will be refused if you fail to complete this process. Apply via https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/
- What is an ESTA?
ESTA stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorisation, it is not a visa, but is part of a post 9/11 system to increase security for travellers entering the US from countries included in the Visa Waiver Programme, such as the UK. Any UK national travelling to the US as a tourist or on business for 90 days or less must have an ESTA or they will not even be able to board a flight. Even if you are just passing through America in transit, you are still required to have a valid ESTA. Babies, who don’t necessarily have a plane ticket, are still expected to have an ESTA. However, if you enter the US by land from Mexico or Canada, you will not need to have this authorisation. Apply via https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/
- Do I need a Visa to enter Canada?
UK citizens travelling to Canada on holiday don’t require a visa for their trip, however please ensure you have a valid passport for the entire length of your stay.
Questions about Travel Insurance…
- Must I have travel insurance?
We strongly advise you seeking travel insurance for your holiday to cover you against medical expences, theft and other financial costs. Feel free to shop around, however we do recommend Direct Travel Insurance at http://www.direct-travel.co.uk/
Questions about your money…
- Is my money protected?
Yes, any trip containing a flight is protected by The American Road Trip Company’s ATOL licence. This means that in the unlikely event that we stop trading prior or during your trip, the CAA will ensure that your adventure isn’t effected and that you return home safely. Flights bought directly from Airlines don’t enjoy this same back up, so it pays to go via a ATOL holding tour operator.
- Does it cost more to use a credit card?
Credit card firms charge expensive fees for companies taking payments via a credit/debit card. So in order to give our clients the opportunity of paying the very lowest price possible, we request our customers pay any outstanding balance by bank transfer or cheque and thus we don’t have to price in these fees to the cost of your trip. Should you prefer to pay the balance by card then we’ll simply add a processing fee to the outstanding amount. Some travel firms claim that they don’t charge their clients these fees, however we believe this is disingenuous – we all know that those fees are hidden in the price you pay.
- Is my price guaranteed not to go up?
A deal is a deal, so it is extremely unlikely that your price would be subject to any change. And whenever possible, The American Road Trip Company will be happy to absorb any cost increases. However, surcharges are permitted to allow for increases in transportation costs, taxes or fees for certain services, and exchange rates. Please review our T&Cs for more information.
- What is included in the price?
Your price will usually include the 3 elements of flights, accommodation and car hire, subject to certain exceptions listed in answers to previous questions above.
- What is not included in the price?
Some local hotel fees such as “resort fees”, occasional local taxes and parking (if applicable) will sometimes be payable locally. Fuel isn’t included also – however, “Gas” or petrol as we call it sells for around 60% less on the other side of the pond, so you can explore without worrying too much about the bill. Lastly, if you are interested in any excursions or activities, then these don’t form part of your package and as such will be quoted and paid for separately.
Not found an answer to your question? Click on the “Quick Enquiry” button on the right of the page, leave a question and we’ll get back to you just as soon as we can. Or call us on 01244 342 099 - we are open 10am - 6pm Monday to Friday and 10am - 2pm Saturday for your convenience, whether you are home or on the drive of your life.