Last Updated on May 1, 2024 by Michael


What would be the worst car rental for a USA road trip?

When choosing a car rental company, the top of your requirements should be unlimited mileage and very few geographic restrictions. That’s why Sixt is perhaps the worst car rental company for U.S. road trips.

Don’t get us wrong. Sixt is a great car rental company for many occasions. It’s ordinarily one of our favorite rental car companies due to its excellent vehicles and upgrade policies. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that the brand is expanding in the U.S. But if you’re renting a car for a multi-state road trip, then Sixt is not a good choice.

Sixt Limits Where You Can Travel

We think Sixt is the worst car rental for a USA road trip for one reason. Unlike most major national car rental companies, Sixt imposes strict limitations on where you can drive its rental vehicles.

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Why does Sixt restrict where you can travel? While Sixt is one of the world’s largest rental car companies, it has relatively few locations in the United States. It has a presence in about 25 U.S. states. Consequently, the company does not have the support network in place in much of the country. If you have a mechanical issue in much of the country. There are many places where you are more than a day’s drive from a Sixt location.

That seems reasonable enough. But the upshot is that, depending on your location, Sixt limits which state lines you can cross. Sometimes these rules can seem illogical. For example, if you rent a car in Florida, you can’t drive it across the Georgia state line. If you rent a car in New Jersey, you can drive to Washington, DC. But if you rent a car in Philadelphia, you cannot take it to D.C.

Sixt road trip

Read the Fine Print

You can learn about these restrictions in the fine print of the company’s rental policy and rules. It’s an example of why it’s so important to always read the fine print before you reserve a rental car.

Sixt road trip
Before locking in a reservation, be sure to read the rules.

Sixt’s geographic restrictions are far more stringent than those of every other major rental car company in the U.S. For instance, Alamo allows you to drive its cars anywhere in the U.S. and Canada.

What Happens if You Break Sixt’s Rules

Don’t blow off these rules with the idea that Sixt will never find out you crossed state lines. You can get stuck paying 50 cents per mile for violating a rule that was disclosed in advance. And the 50 cents per mile is for each mile, not just the overage.

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There are several ways Sixt can find out where you traveled. If there’s an accident or the car has a mechanical breakdown outside the restricted area, Sixt will find out. If you get a parking or camera-generated ticket, Sixt is going to get a citation in the mail. Moreover, Sixt will know where you went because of its connected cars. This technology lets Sixt locate cars within its fleet. Here’s how it looks in the fine print:

You acknowledge that the Vehicle may be equipped with a telematics device, global positioning satellite (“GPS”) technology, electronic locator device, and/or event data recorder. We may find, monitor, or disable the Vehicle through such systems if we deem it necessary. This can be done without warning or notice, to the extent permitted by applicable law. Remote monitoring may include the collection of Vehicle data: location, odometer, oil life, and other elements we may deem necessary. You should have no expectation of privacy related to the use of this Vehicle.

We are not responsible for the operability of any telematics navigational or other system included with the vehicle. You acknowledge these systems may use cellular telephone, wireless technology, or radio signals to transmit data. Therefore, your privacy cannot be guaranteed. In addition, you authorize access to location information, automatic crash notification, and reporting conditions as permitted by law.

You shall inform any and all drivers and passengers of vehicle of the terms of this section and that you have authorized release of information as provided herein. You agree to release us and agree to indemnify, defend and hold us harmless for any damage to persons or property cause by failure of the telematics device to operate properly, or otherwise arising from the use of the telematics device. Third party telematics service providers are not our agents, employees, or contractors.

Sixt is Still a Great Choice for One-Way Road Trips

There’s an important exception. For one-way rentals, there is no geographic restriction on where you can drive. Also, there is no penalty for crossing any state lines, so long as the car is dropped off on time.