Dollar Rent a Car Review Review
Rating 3.5/5

Dollar Rent a Car Rental Review

Dollar Car Rental is a smaller car hire company with a name that sticks, with the innuendo of affordable services. Indeed, it seems as though the company offers economical car rental options for the savvy traveler who is on a budget. 


Overall, Dollar seems to have the lowest additional driver fees, decent middle-of-the-road pricing, and a generous Dollar Express rewards program for frequent flyers.

Who is Dollar Car Rental?

Dollar Rent a Car, Inc. was established in 1965 by Henry J. Caruso in Los Angeles as Dollar A Day Rent A Car. The company was bought by The Chrysler Corporation in 1990 and became a part of the Chrysler Pentastar Transportation Group. 


Interestingly, the company’s parent organization is the well-known The Hertz Corporation, which bought it in 2012. Since its inception, the fledgling company has grown to include 9,700 locations worldwide, including at airports. Because the company values their clients’ time, the Dollar Express Rental Program makes the process faster and easier for frequent business travelers with shorter lines and faster reservations.

Dollar Car Rental Options

Dollar Rent A Car offers a range of options to choose from when you wish to rent a car. Whether you’re looking for a temporary runner to get you around town, a prestige car, or an SUV to fit the whole family, Dollar has the luxury car rental, minivan rentals, prestige rentals and convertible car rentals to suit your needs and your budget.


It can be hard to find the perfect rental car for your needs, but also for your budget. Dollar Rent a Car makes it that much easier with their affordable range of options, which include:


  • Economy class:  Chevrolet Spark or similar (4 people, 2 bags)
  • Compact class:  Nissan Versa Note or similar (5 people, 3 bags)
  • Standard class:  Chevrolet Cruze or similar (5 people, 4 bags)
  • Full-size class: Chevrolet Malibu or similar (5 people, 4 bags)
  • Standard convertible:  Ford Mustang Convertible or similar (4 people, 2 bags)
  • Mid-size SUV: Jeep Compass or similar (5 people, 4 bags)
  • Standard SUV:  Hyundai Santa Fe or similar (5 people, 4 bags)
  • Full-size SUV:  Nissan Armada or similar (7 people, 4 bags)
  • Standard Pickup Regular Cab:  Dodge Ram 1500 or similar (5 people, 4 bags)
  • Mid-size Pickup Regular Cab:  Nissan Frontier or similar (5 people, 4 bags)
  • Minivan:  Nissan Quest or similar (7 people, 5 bags)


These high-quality rental cars make it easier than ever for you to drive to your destination in a comfortable, fun way. Dollar Rent A Car vehicles are non-smoking, and the company continues to add new fuel-efficient options to the list to continuously bring you savings. 


What Do I Need to Qualify for a Dollar Car Rental?

To rent a car from Dollar Rent a Car, you need to provide two proper forms of identification, which must be a valid driver’s license issued in the United States or a foreign country and one of the following:


  • A Government-issued ID with a name matching the credit card and driver’s license.
  • A valid alternative debit or credit card embossed with the same name as that on the driver’s license (for identification purposes only).
  • Military Identification Card (US or foreign).
  • Passport (US or foreign).
  • Non-government-issued photo ID, such as store membership cards, company ID badges, or current monthly utility bill statement.These documents must be issued in the same name as that of the renter.

Dollar Rent A Car Pricing

Our research has shown that although Dollar has an average pricing structure, that is more expensive than its sister company Thrifty, it is cheaper than Hertz, the parent company, and the generous rewards program makes Dollar a great option if you rent often. 


Renting an economy car for one day averages approximately $86, or $222 for one week. 

Renting a compact car for one day averages approximately $86, or $228 for one week.

Renting a full size car for one day averages approximately $99, or $247 for one week.


While their average daily rental is slightly more than other companies, they have one of the cheapest weekly rates.


The company charges $10 per additional driver.


As is the case with all other car rental companies, the airport locations, which are conveniently located, tend to charge extra fees on top of the rental costs. 

Payment Options

Dollar Rent a Car has done away with credit checks, and no longer require travel plans when you book more than 24 hours in advance. 


When making a last-minute reservation, or when you want to rent a luxury, premium or convertible car, you can pay by non-prepaid Discover, Mastercard or VISA debit card even if you are under 25 years of age. Be sure to bring along your return travel plans and government-issued ID. Dollar Rent A Car will not perform a credit check, however the transaction is contingent upon meeting the requirements and having the available funds to cover charges plus a US$200 authorization.  You can use a debit card that draws funds directly from a linked bank account from the outset to pay for your rental, provided the reservation was made 24 hours prior to pickup. If the reservation was not made ahead of time, or if you’re renting a convertible, premium or luxury car, you can still use a debit card, provided you can show a valid driver’s license and another form of identification, and proof your return travel (airline or cruise) ticket to coincide with your rental. 


The company will place an incidental hold waiver of $200 plus the cost of the rental on the card for your first rental, but it will be waived after your first rental if you are a Dollar Express member with a VISA on your profile. You cannot use a debit card at the outset in areas of Philadelphia, areas of Manchester, areas of Boston, areas of Detroit, areas of Hartford, and the New York Metropolitan Tri-State Area (CT, NJ and NY).


It’s easy to rent a car from Dollar using your American Express, MasterCard, Carte Blanche, Diners Club, Discover, JCB, Visa or China Union Pay credit card. The company will place a hold on your card during your rental.  


You can also pay for your Dollar rental car in cash, if you are prepared to pay an upfront deposit and you are in possession of a Cash Deposit Identification Card.To apply for a Cash Deposit ID Card, you must be at least 18 years of age in New York or Michigan, or 20 years or older elsewhere. Applying for the Cash Deposit ID Card can take up to 30 days, and requires a $15 non-refundable processing fee that offsets the cost of a modified credit check. 


Optional Extras

The company offers a range of additional features to ensure you’re comfortable on the long road. 


More than 30 Dollar Rent a Car locations offer in-car Wi-Fi with their Wi-Fi hotspot. 

PlatePass will cover you when you pass toll roads during your travels. 

Left your music at home? No problem! Dollar Rent a Car offers SiriusXM® satellite radio.

Keep your little ones safe with car seats, available on request. 

Refueling your rental car

If you’re on a tight timeline, save yourself unnecessary last minute stops by buying your fuel in advance. By prepaying for fuel when you rent the car, you can return it without stopping for gas. 


The Prepay The Fuel (PTF) option, also known as Fuel Purchase Option (FPO) means that you will pay for a full tank of gas from the rental facility. The price is based on an estimate of current fuel prices and the largest tank size of the vehicle class reserved. That means that the actual price may differ from the quoted price. 


It’s important to note that you will not receive a refund on fuel left behind in the tank, so only use this option if you intend to use up almost all the fuel. 


Alternatively, consider stopping to refuel before returning the vehicle. That way, you won’t have to pay a fuel refill fee and premium rates. It is typically cheaper to refill at a tank.


Dollar Rent A Car Deals

Dollar Car Rentals offers a range of discounts and deals on top of their already good base rates. Be sure to check the deals before your next trip. 


Manager’s Special: The company offers a Manager’s Special, whereby you can book a Compact car, and the company will choose a vehicle of either Compact size or larger at the time of pick-up. That means that the car will have space for a minimum of five passengers and two pieces of luggage. Depending on what’s available, you might end up with an SUV, Full-size, Mid-size or Premium vehicle at the rate of a Compact car.


Exclusive AAA Rental Car Discount: Use your AAA car rental discount code to save 10$ on your Dollar Rent a Car rental.  


10% OFF Weekend / Weekly Base Rate: Save 10% on all Weekend or Weekly car rentals until December 31, 2019. 


20% OFF Prepay Deals:  Save 20% when you book and prepay on all car classes. (Some exceptions apply).


In addition to these great discounts, Dollar Rent a Car also offers a range of partner car rental discounts in conjunction with Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, Alaska Airlines, LifeMiles, and American Airlines. These discounts may help offset the additional concession fees charged by airport locations, so it is worth looking into. 


If you belong to a Car Rental Association, take advantage of the following savings:


AAA members receive 10% off all Dollar car rentals as well as no charge for authorized additional drivers.

American Institute of CPAs members enjoy savings at participating locations. 

BJ’s Wholesale Club members enjoy savings at participating locations. 

Union Plus members will enjoy savings at participating locations. 

IHG Rewards Club partners will receive 125 points extra per rental day on qualified rentals.


You can also save with:

  • Park ‘n Fly Network
  • PlatePass
  • Orlando Makes Me Smile
  • Veterans Advantage
  • Travelers Advantage


Take advantage of the Dollar Express Rewards program, which allows you to earn points towards free car rentals. It is free to join for customers over the age of 18, and more generous than most other car rental rewards programs. You will earn 1 point for every qualifying US$1 spent. Earn as little as $500 for a free weekend car. 


There are several other benefits to the Dollar Express Rewards Membership, including the fact that you can bypass the counter and head straight to the lot. A customer service agent will verify your driver’s license, payment method and profile before directing you to the stall that holds your reserved vehicle. 


Dollar Rent A Car Locations

Although Dollar Rent A Car is owned by Hertz, it is one of the smaller car rental companies, with only 230 locations based in the U.S. and others in 53 countries around the world. Unfortunately, many of the locations in the US are based at airports, which means that there is no home pick-up service. However, you can make use of the handy parking lot shuttles.


Have you already rented a car with Dollar Rent a Car Review? leave a review in the comments section down below about your experience