Home Rental Cars Why You Might Not Want To Use This Rental Car Company For Road Trips

Why You Might Not Want To Use This Rental Car Company For Road Trips

by SharonKurheg

Some people would rather drive to distant places instead of flying. After all, depending on where you’re going, it could be cheaper. Or not. But either way, you get to see much more than just the inside of an airplane, so you’ve got that going for you.

For those who choose to drive, some decide to rent a car, rather than put the mileage on their own vehicle. Most rental car companies are awesome for this, and offer unlimited mileage. However there’s one car rental company that doesn’t, and if you plan to do a long distance drive in a rental car, you might want to avoid using them.

The company is Sixt.

Unlike Hertz, Alamo, etc., Sixt only allows you to drive your rental car in the state in which you rented it, and a handful of other states in the surrounding geographical area (they call them “regions”). For example, if you rent your Sixt car in Florida, you can only drive it within Florida, Alabama and Georgia.

Here are the regions Sixt limits you to:

If you rent your car in: You can only drive it in that state plus:
Arizona California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington
California Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington
Colorado Arizona, California, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming
Connecticut Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont
Florida Alabama, Georgia
Georgia Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee
Hawaii One-way rentals and rides outside Hawaii are not permitted (Note from Sharon: Well, DUH!)
Illinois Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri
Indiana Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio
Massachusetts Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont
Minnesota Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin
Nevada Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah
New York Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington D.C., West Virginia
Pennsylvania Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia, Washington D.C.
Texas Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon
Virginia Region New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, New York, Washington D.C., Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida
Washington Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon

If you go outside of your designated “region,” you can expect to pay an extra 50 cents for every mile that the vehicle was driven during the rental.

Why do they do it?

Sixt is popular in Europe but not super established in the U.S. – they’re only in 17 states. If you rent one of their cars in California and decide to drive it the whole length of Route 66 and back, that’s a whole lot of states where they don’t have a presence to get their car back if something happened to it, like if there was an accident or mechanical problem. So they want to make sure their cars always stay within an area where they’re not too far from a Sixt rental location.

How can they tell?

Sixt cars are equipped with a GPS that lets them know where your car is. They’ll also find out if you have to contact them because of an accident or mechanical issue, or they’ll be contacted if you go through an electronic toll, red light camera, speed camera, etc.

The one exception

If you rent the car as a one-way rental (say you pick it up in California, drive Route 66 and drop it off in Illinois), that’s OK and Sixt will allow it. Of course, you’ll be paying a premium for a one-way rental. I guess they’ll use that money if the car breaks down in Missouri, I dunno? But there ya go.

So yeah, Sixt may not be the best company to rent a car from if you’re doing a long distance road trip. It all depends on your plans. So it’s definitely a Your Mileage May Vary situation.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


DaninMCI March 17, 2020 - 6:23 pm

I’ve never had issues with Sixt in Europe like that. Weird.

SharonKurheg March 17, 2020 - 6:35 pm

Sixt is much more popular in Europe, with more locations. Europe is almost more condensed that the U.S. So that would kinda make sense, I think.


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