Top 7 National Pet-Friendly Rental Cars

Wanna play “Born to Be Wild” at full blast while your pup gets a huge whiff of that fresh freeway air, ears flapping in the wind? If you’re thinking of using a rental car for your epic road trip, it’s best to be prepared so you can avoid cringey Clark Griswold moments—like hefty cleaning fees and misunderstandings. We sniffed out 7 pet-friendly rental cars so you and your fren can have a movie-worthy adventure. 

A few words to the wise before we get to the main event: To minimize shedding, groom your pet before you get in the car. Be sure to pack a crate when required, lint roller, seat cover, or blanket. When you call to make the reservation, let the rental agent know you’re traveling with a pup and confirm they are dog-friendly. Upon returning the car, remember vacuums are your friend. Oh yeah—and it ain’t a road trip without snacks.

1.  Alamo Rent A Car 

Wanna avoid the awkward exchange with the car rental agent? Alamo Rent A Car offers a skip-the-counter service for free at select locations so you and pup can get right to the adventure. Just remember to keep your doggo crated while driving, and make sure the car is hair-free upon return. 

2. Avis Car Rental

If you’re planning the ulti-mutt cross-country trek, Avis Car Rental boasts unlimited mileage. Be sure to call the pickup location first to confirm they are pet-friendly. Dogs aren’t required to be crated while on the road; however, please get rid of hair and smells to avoid a spendy cleaning fee. Looking at you, Bailey.

3. Budget Car Rental

Budget Car Rental is a good option for penny pinchers. Well-behaved woofs are allowed on the ride, and no crate is required. But if your pet leaves hair behind or causes damage, cleaning and detailing fees may apply. And spoiler: pup’s not chipping in.

4. Dollar Car Rental

Dollar Car Rental loves dogs so much they have a hashtag #DollarPetRoadTrip. For spontaneous thrill seekers and dogs who hate to be confined to a crate, it’s the perfect fit because no crating or advance notice of Fido ridin’ along is required. Just be sure to pack a seat cover to avoid fees.

5. Enterprise Rent A Car 

When it comes to car rentals, Enterprise Rent A Car is known for being top dog. Whether he wants to roll up in a hatchback or a Jaguar, Fido knows Enterprise will come through. Furry frens must stay crated in Enterprise cars. And for dog’s sake, make sure the car is hair-free upon return to avoid those cleaning fees!

6. Hertz Rentals

Another household name with thousands of US locations, Hertz Rentals was voted J.D. Power’s best car rental company in 2020. Be sure to give ‘em 24 hour advance notice so they can provide you with a car that has protection grates to keep your dog in her own space (so she can keep backseat driving per usual).

7. National Car Rental

Does the thought of renting a boring family sedan make your dog turn his nose up? Rent a convertible or luxury vehicle at National Car Rental! Make sure pup stays crated and the car remains hair-free, lest you be tacked with hefty fees your pal will literally feel no remorse for whatsoever. 

What has your experience with pet-friendly rental cars been like? Woof at us in the comments and don’t forget to take #SidewalkDog in all your road trip adventures. 

Featured Photo: Emerson Peters

Sidewalk Dog’s mission is to help dog parents spend more time with their puppers by discovering and sharing activities they can do and places they can go—together! Sniff out our award-winning newsletter and Instagram, then check us out on Facebook and Twitter.

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