car rental for disabled drivers

Rental car companies can provide a wide array of adaptive driving services for customers with disabilities at no extra charge. These include hand controls, left foot accelerators, spinner knobs, and pedal extenders. Be aware, however, that companies generally need a few days notice.

 

Rental Car Company Policies for Customers with Disabilities

 

Each of the major rental car companies has published a commitment to the needs of disabled customers. The policies are available for a good reason, as rental car companies are considered public accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

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Here's how long in advance you should reserve a car with adaptive driving devices:

  • Alamo: In general, reserve up to three business days notice depending on the location of the branch. At some major airport locations, vehicles with adaptive driving devices may be available with as little as 8 or 24 hours advance notice. To make a reservation, call (800) 651-1223.
  • Avis: Reserve at least one day in advance via phone reservation at (888) TRY-HARDER.
  • Budget: Reserve assistive devices within 48 hours of car pickup. To make a reservation, call (888) 221-1203.
  • Dollar: Reserve at least 24 hours in advance of the rental. To make a reservation, call (800) 800-4000.
  • Enterprise: In general, reserve up to three business days notice depending on the location of the branch. At some major airport locations, vehicles with adaptive driving devices may be available with as little as 8 or 24 hours advance notice. To make a reservation, call (866) 225-4284.
  • Hertz: Reserve at least 8 hours notice at major airport locations or with 24 hours notice at other major locations. To make a reservation, call (800) 654-3131.
  • National: In general, reserve up to three business days notice depending on the location of the branch. At some major airport locations, vehicles with adaptive driving devices may be available with as little as 8 or 24 hours advance notice. To make a reservation, call (800) 328-6323.
  • Payless: Reserve at least 72 hours notice in advance of pickup. To make a reservation, call (800) PAYLESS.
  • Thrifty: Reserve at least 24 hours in advance of the rental. To make a reservation, call (800) 847-4398.
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    Disabled Persons Can Rent a Car with a Surrogate Driver

     

    Customers with disabilities who do not have a driver's license can still rent when accompanied by a surrogate driver with a valid driver's license. Minimum age restrictions and other normal rental qualifications apply, but there is no additional driver charge for the surrogate driver and the surrogate driver does not need to have a credit card as would normally be required.

     

    How to Rent a Wheelchair-Accessible Car or Van

     

    Most major rental car companies such as Alamo, Enterprise, National do not offer lift-equipped cars or vans for rental. A notable exception is Budget; call the Budget Special Needs department at (888) 221-1203.

    In many major cities, specialty companies such as Accessible Vans of America, Wheelchair Getaways and Wheelers Accessible Van Rentals rent vehicles equipped with wheelchair lifts and other devices.

     

    How to Rent an Adaptive Driving Devices

     

    AutoSlash is able to request limited accommodations on a customer's behalf (such as hand controls) when making reservations. Other requests should be made, confirmed, and reconfirmed directly with the rental car companies.

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    Upon arrival at airports, shuttle buses are routinely accessible for wheelchairs and luggage storage. To avoid shuttle buses completely, customers can check their AutoSlash price quotes to identify the "In Terminal" rental options versus the "Shuttle" rental options. Some airports, such as Baltimore-Washington Marshall International (BWI), have a consolidated rental car center that's nowhere near the terminal—taking a shuttle is the only option for renters.

    While rental car companies rarely describe special assistance for returns, one notable exception is Hertz. All Hertz corporate locations have designated accessible parking at car return areas. When returning your rental car to a Hertz location, you should inform the Hertz representative of any special needs, and they will direct you to the accessible parking area.

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