Car Rental Tips: Fastest and Easiest Way to Rent a Car

Find out how to save time when renting a car, and get to your vehicle in minutes, with no lines! Check out this and other car rental hacks on

When it comes to family vacations, anything you can do to ensure a smooth trip — like picking up your rental car and getting on your way in minutes — is a must. Here are five tips to help you navigate the car rental process at Alamo with ease, so you can spend more time enjoying your vacation.

Skip the Counter with Online Check-In

At many of the most popular U.S airport locations, you can use’s Online Check-In to “Skip the Counter” and go straight to the rental lot to choose your vehicle. To get started, visit and fill out our Online Check-In form with your driver’s license information and confirmation number. You can then choose your driver preferences, such as GPS and car seat options. Handling all the details ahead of time means you’ll be on your way in no time when you arrive to pick up your car.

Visit the Kiosk

To streamline your rental experience, utilize an Alamo Self-Service Kiosk during check-in. The kiosk allows you to save time by skipping the rental counter. All you need to check in at the kiosk is your driver’s license and credit card. The kiosk also allows you to upgrade your vehicle, add drivers and purchase options. When you’re finished, just show your rental agreement and driver’s license at the exit booth before you hit the road. 

Visit the Kiosk

Consider the Payment Method

When renting with Alamo, credit cards are usually the easiest form of payment. Just present a credit card with the renter’s name at the time of rental. In the U.S. you can pay with a debit card, but there are additional requirements, such as proof of your round-trip travel ticket.

A credit card in the renter’s name is also required to prepay online. When you prepay online at least 24 hours in advance, you’re eligible for a 5 percent discount.

Don’t Fuel Up When Returning the Rental Car

As a renter, you can choose to fuel up the vehicle before returning it or you can save time and avoid making an extra stop en route to the airport by pre-paying for fuel ahead of time. When you pay for a full tank of gas at the time of pickup, you can return the vehicle with an empty tank for no extra charge. You’ll save yourself a trip to the gas station, meaning there’s one less task standing between you and your journey home.

Get a Toll Pass

If you’re driving a lot during your trip, ask about Toll Pass when you pick up your rental. How does it work? When you drive on toll roads, the charges will automatically be applied to the card on file for the vehicle rental. This handy option saves you time because it allows you to breeze through tolls without stopping to pay.

Keep these five tips in mind, and you’ll navigate the rental process like a pro.


Is Alamo open during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak?

Yes. Alamo is an essential services provider that remains open to meet critical transportation and personal mobility needs.

How do I rent a vehicle from Alamo during the COVID-19 outbreak?

You can make reservations via our website or Alamo mobile app. To save time at the rental counter, you can check in online with your driver’s license information and rental confirmation number.

To streamline your rental experience further and enable you to safely practice social distancing when picking up your rental vehicle:

  • You can skip the counter (for select locations) in advance after activating Online Check-In. Then, you can go straight to your car without visiting the counter or kiosk.
  • Another option is Alamo’s Self-Service Kiosk at select locations. All you need to check in is your driver’s license and credit card. When you’re finished, just show your rental agreement and driver’s license at the exit booth before you hit the road.

What steps are being taken to clean the rental cars?

Clean vehicles have always been important to us, but at this moment in time, we know vehicle cleanliness is even more critical. Each rental vehicle is thoroughly cleaned between every rental and backed with the Complete Clean Pledge. This includes washing, vacuuming, general wipe down, and sanitizing with a disinfectant that meets leading heath authority requirements, with particular attention to more than 20-plus high-touch points including:

  • Key / key fob
  • Steering wheel
  • Steering column
  • Seat belts
  • Center console
  • Door interiors
  • Door pockets
  • Interior door handles
  • Exterior door handles
  • Seat pockets / seat surfaces
  • Areas between seats & consoles
  • Areas between seats & doorjambs
  • Cupholders / compartments
  • Instrument panel
  • Accessory panel / touchscreen
  • Rearview mirror / side mirrors
  • Visors / visor mirrors
  • Dashboard / vents
  • Gear stick / gear shift
  • Trunk release
  • Among other high-touch areas

As part of the Complete Clean Pledge, we've also extended our already rigorous cleaning protocols to our shuttles and rental locations.

Read more COVID-19 FAQs.

Vacation Stories

More Travel Hacks & Tips 

Car Rental Tips: Save Money & Earn More Rewards

Car Rental Tips: Save Money & Earn More Rewards
Love to travel but need to do it on a budget? Here are some car rental tips to help you increase savings and reap more travel rewards.

Car Rental Tips: How to Find Key Vehicle Features

Car Rental Tips: How to Find Key Vehicle Features
Renting a car can be an exciting experience but navigating an unfamiliar vehicle can take some getting used to. Follow this road map to locate key features.

Car Games That Go The Distance: The Banana Game

Car Games That Go The Distance: The Banana Game
If you’re getting tired of the same old car games, we’ve got a new one for you. The Banana Game is unexpected, spontaneous, and fun for all ages.

Planning Your Next Trip?

Find a rental car location