Car Rentals: Child Safety Not Included
Author: Family Travel Forum StaffTags : Baby, Health, Insurance & Safety
One would think that at any car rental agency, child seats would be available without much fuss. Think again. According to Consumer Reports Travel Letter, a number of the major agencies won’t unconditionally guarantee child seat availability. Rates can also change depending on location, and some car rentals don't have a policy for a maximum rental charge.
Here's what we found to help you make an informed decision about your next carseat rental.
Alamo (800/GO-ALAMO) will guarantee a carseat with your rental in the US and Canada at airport locations, but they are subject to availability outside the US. Average rates are $9.99 per day for each carseat with a maximum $60 charge per rental per month.
Avis Rent-A-Car (800/331-1212) Please ask for a seat when you make your reservations. Seats are available for both infants and toddlers at most U.S. Avis locations. Rates vary by location, but are generally $13 per day, per seat, with a $65 maximum charge per rental.
Budget Rent-A-Car (800/527-0700) guarantees a seat at corperate-owned franchises. Rates vary by location, and average at $13 per day, with a $65 maximum.
Dollar Rent-a-Car (800/800-3665) offers child safety seats at most locations. Average prices start at $12 per seat, per day and a maximum fee varies depending on location and duration of your rental.
Hertz (800/654-3001) Child seats are available at all U.S. locations for $12 per day with an $84 maximum fee.
National Car Rental ( 800/CAR-RENT) guarantees child seats and requires that children under the age of 5 years ride in a federally approved seat. Rates vary, but average $9 per day.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car (800/261-7331) seats are available at most airport locations, but you must contact the specific location to make a request. Prices vary.
Thrifty Car Rental (800/847-4389) Seats are available at most airport locations for $12 per day.
Bottom line: when making rental car plans, inquire specifically about child seat availability and get a guarantee with your confirmation number. Ask about their policies on cleanliness and safety before booking.