Tips for taking your dog in a rental car


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We’ve already covered tips for taking your dog on vacation with some handy tips on travelling with your dog in a car on longer journeys, however what if you plan to rent a car for our vacation? Have you considered whether dogs are even allowed in rental cars at all? The good news from the start is that most car rental agencies to allow dogs in rental cars but there are some things you need to know first.

Car Rental Cleaning Fee

Depending on the type of dog you have and type of travel / walks you plan for your vacation may well depend on how likely it is that you’ll end up with a rental car cleaning fee when you return the car. You really should take extra care to keep the inside of the car clean from excess mud, dog hair and smell, as if any of these are deemed excessive when you return the car you could be landed with a cleaning fee of up to $250. It might be wise to have the car cleaned inside and our before returning, whilst you wouldn’t normally be expected to clean a rental car before returning, the cost of a valet could be significantly less than the rental agent might charge you!

Damage to the rental car?

Whilst taking care when it comes to cleanliness of the rental car is largely within your control, unforeseen damage to the rental car could lead to an unexpected bill on returning the car. If your dog is partial to chewing, whether it’s the rear headrests, seats or steering wheel, if you dog damages the rental car it’ll like come back to bite you. If you’re concerned that your dog might damage the inside of a rental car, you should consider a crate. For smaller breeds, soft travel crates are increasingly popular and a worthwhile investment. Your dog may have never damaged the inside of your own car, but travelling in a different car, possibly on longer journeys and to unfamiliar places could lead any dog to cause unexpected damage to the inside of a rental car.

In general, it stands to reason that if you take sufficient care when travelling with your dog in a rental car you should be fine, however if you are concerned at all take measures to protect the rental car, inside and out to avoid unwanted cleaning or damage charges from the rental agent.

Top tips for taking a dog in a rental car

  • Check if you’re allowed to take your dog in a rental car in the first place
  • Protect the inside of the car with a blanket / cover
  • Never leave your dog unattended in a rental car
  • Crate your dog if you are concerned if might cause damage to the car
  • Use a boot liner / protector
  • Cover all seats with blankets / protectors if dog travelling in the car itself
  • Plan regular stops to ‘calls to nature’ if planning a long journey

Don’t forget to check that dogs are allowed in rental cars before you book, have provided a handy guide to which rental agents allow dogs in rental cars.

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