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|
|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