Last Updated on November 30, 2023 by Kristin

maximum miles rental car
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You can’t beat the freedom a rental car provides. But before you start daydreaming about a cross-country road trip, there may be one big restriction you know about when it comes to rental cars. You should confirm the number of miles you’re allowed to drive. So what is the maximum number of miles you can put on a rental car?

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Most car rentals in the U.S. do not have mileage limits, meaning you can put as many miles as you want on the vehicle. Sometimes, however, your contract may put caps the distance you can drive. When that happens, unintentionally going over your allotted miles can spell out big fees when returning the car.

Here’s how to know the maximum number of miles you can put on your rental car.

Mileage Limits Vary Depending on The Rental Car Contract

While most rentals don’t have mileage limits, some note restrictions in the terms attached to your rental reservation. Here are a few of the most common scenarios.

Unlimited Mileage

With unlimited mileage, you can drive as far and as much as you want during the reservation without additional charges. Major car rental companies usually display this information when making a reservation, but if in doubt you should read over the terms and conditions before booking.

Mileage Limits

While mileage limits are the exception rather than the norm for U.S.-based car rentals, you may occasionally see some rates that include caps on how far you can drive.

These restrictions may pop up with promotional fares, like with one-way rentals designed to get you from the airport to downtown. Those rentals usually max out at 150 allowable miles, with an additional charge of $.10 for every mile over that threshold.

You may also see mileage limits for long-term rentals. Europcar, for example, says that rentals for 28 days or more automatically have limited mileage.

Zero-mile Rentals

In some rare cases, you might run into zero-mile rentals that charge you for every mile you drive with the car. These tend to be more common with international rentals, or rentals in remote areas.

Don’t Get Stuck With Geographic Restrictions

Even if your car rental comes with unlimited miles, there’s another limitation to be aware of: geographic restrictions that limit your ability to drive the car to other states. For example, you might rent a car in Florida with plans for driving to Atlanta, only to find out later that the rental’s terms and conditions geographic restrictions prohibit you from crossing state lines.

Just like with mileage limits, geographic restrictions are uncommon. However, they do exist. Fox and Sixt are two examples of car companies that may implement geographic restrictions on their rentals, depending on the state.

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Geographic restrictions are also common for rental reservations near international borders. Even if you have an unlimited number of miles to burn during your reservation, most rental car companies won’t let you cross into Mexico from the U.S. without purchasing additional insurance.

The Bottom Line

Before renting any car, be sure to check for any mileage restrictions as well as geographic limitations your vehicle might have.

One easy way to do this is to ask AutoSlash for a quote on your next car rental. The process is free, fast and easy. When renting a quote you’ll be able to find the best rentals with unlimited mileage, and get a heads up when rates have mileage caps.