Renters often ask if their cars come with unlimited mileage. In many cases, they would be better served asking whether there were any Geographic Restrictions on the rental car. A rental car with the designation of "unlimited" refers to the number of miles, not that the vehicle can be driven everywhere. We mention these restrictions in various blog posts, such as cross-border U.S. / Mexico rentals and cross-border U.S. / Canada rentals. We even mention why Sixt is never appropriate for long road trips because that company implements state-by-state restrictions. And now that AutoSlash supports some of the third-tier discounters, those Geographic Restrictions become even more clear, such as with Fox Rent A Car. Those discount companies you rarely see tend to have more rules, and those rules tend to be less customer friendly.
Fox's Florida restrictions are a heartbreaker and not foxy.
How Bad is Fox's Geographic Restriction Policy?
If one rents a vehicle in the desert southwest, Fox's Geographic Restriction policy is not so bad at all. If one rents a vehicle in the State of Florida, it's abysmal. Renters from Florida Sixt locations are limited to Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. Renters from Florida Fox locations are limited to Florida. Just like with Sixt (and all other rental car companies) Geographic Restrictions are listed in the Rules a renter accepts when making a reservation.
What Happens if I Break that Rule?
Sixt publishes the penalty as 50 cents per mile for all miles driven but Fox doesn't declare the penalty. Unless a vehicle is equipped with GPS or a service like OnStar, the rental car company usually only learns about violations if something bad happens. Common ways for a rental car company to learn about geographic restriction violations include accidents, mechanical breakdowns, or citations (parking tickets, speed cameras, or red-light cameras). In addition to any financial penalty the rental car company will charge directly to a credit card or seek in collections, a notation on the company's permanent Do Not Rent list are exceptionally likely.
Yet these greatly-constrained geographic restrictions are easily averted -- rentals with the major companies from AvisBudget Group (Avis, Budget, and Payless), Enterprise Holdings (Alamo, Enterprise, and National), and Hertz Global Holdings (Dollar, Hertz, and Thrifty) tend to have lenient policies in the United States and often even Canada. Fox's "Florida and Florida only" policy is just another reminder that renters should Read the Rules to ensure a rental meets their needs. Our team has no qualms about renting a cheap Fox car on a Florida rental when we're staying in Florida but we're clearly going to be looking for rental alternatives elsewhere when we're embarking on a major road trip!