FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What are the eligibility requirements?

  • You must be over 21-years old, and hold a current, valid (non-temporary) driver’s license (no major moving violations, DUI convictions, or similar infractions) and present your license to RealCar when you receive your vehicle.
  • If you are under the age of 25, you may be required to demonstrate at least two years of current, U.S.-licensed driving history.
  • If you hold a foreign licence, you must be at least 25 years old, and will be required to show your passport and a photograph of your license.

All renters must be physically present at the time of the rental. Unfortunately, RealCar does not allow 3rd parties to pick up vehicles, and our employees must physically hand the keys to the car’s driver.

What information is required of renters?

  • Payment card information : The renter must also provide their payment card information.
  • Driver’s license information : Every renter must submit his or her driver’s license number, in addition to the name and address on their driver’s license.
  • Identity verification questions : RealCar asks domestic applicants to provide the last four digits of their Social Security number, and may also ask them a few straightforward questions which they should be able to answer readily without reference to documentation to confirm their identity.
  • International Drivers:Non-US drivers are required to provide additional information, valid passport, and driver’s license from their home country.

Are my passengers allowed to drive? How do I add a driver?
Additional drivers may be added at no additional charge by selecting “+additional driver” in “my profile” under the “my account” menu of the RealCar website. Each additional driver must submit a valid driver’s license and will be subject to the same age, licensing and driving-record restrictions as the primary renter.

May I add a driver once the trip has already started?
Yes, you may. After signing in to “my account”, select “+ additional driver” in “my profile” on the RealCar website.

May I have car Delivered / Pick-up?
You may choose to pick up / return your vehicle directly to your home, office, hotel, airport, or other location at no additional cost. Please note: All pickup & delivery arrangements must be confirmed at least 24 hours in advance in order to guarantee on-time service. Any changes to pickup or delivery times/locations with less than 24 hours notice may incur an additional transportation fee.

What times can i get car delivered?
Our normal delivery hours are between 9am and 9pm. Any deliveries outside of those hours must be pre-arranged with us. We’ll do our best to work around your schedule.

Can I extend my reservation?
Yes, you may, unless another renter has already booked the vehicle. If a trip is not extended and the vehicle is kept beyond the scheduled trip end time, you will be subject to significant late fees.

What are parking rules for street parked cars?
It is the renter’s responsibility to carefully check all signs on the street where the car is parked in order to ensure that the spot is valid for at least 12 hours. If the vehicle is towed and/or ticketed within 12 hours of the car being returned, the renter will be responsible for the towing fee, any applicable tickets that were received, and an administration fee of up to $25.

Do you have any cars that I may smoke in?
All of the cars in the RealCar fleet are strictly non-smoking.

Smoking Policy
Renters or their passengers are not permitted to smoke in any vehicle in the RealCar fleet. RealCar takes reports of smoking very seriously. If smoking is detected after a reservation has ended, the renter will face fines of up to $250. If the smell of smoke is detectable at the start of a reservation, please report it via email to hello@realcar.nyc (with subject line “Smell of smoking Prior to Reservation”) at the very beginning of your reservation so that you are not held responsible for the fee.

What is your cancellation and refund policy?
We offer a 24-hour grace period to make changes to or cancel your reservation (unless the rental is within 7 days), after which time you will be charged a cancellation fee of 50% of the total rental cost, or $500 (whichever is greater). If you cancel or reschedule fewer than 7 days before your rental begins, you will be charged a cancellation fee of 100% of the total rental cost.

Do I receive a refund if I end a reservation early?
Unfortunately not. You will be charged for the full cost of the reservation regardless of when you return the car, so please plan your trip accordingly. If you do wish to return a vehicle early, please confirm it with us at your earliest convenience.

What uses of a RealCar vehicle are prohibited?

Our rental vehicles may not be used:

  • by anyone not licensed to drive or whose driver’s license has been suspended or restricted.
  • for any illegal purpose, or in connection with any illegal activity.
  • while the driver is under the influence of
    • alcohol above the legal limit or
    • any drug or medication under the effects of which the operation of a vehicle is prohibited or advised against.
  • to carry persons or property for hire.
  • to push or tow anything.
  • to exceed posted speed limits.
  • in any speed test, speed contest, race, rally, speed endurance contest, demonstration, or on or near any racetrack or road course.
  • to teach anyone to drive.
  • to the intention to cause damage, or with wanton, willful, or reckless disregard for safety.
  • on any unpaved surface.
  • Using vehicles without reservations or outside your reservation time constitutes unauthorized use.
  • when it has been loaded beyond its rated capacity or with more passengers than the vehicle has seat belts.
  • to transport any flammable, toxic, volatile, poisonous, dangerous or illegal substances.
  • Making any alterations, additions or improvements to any vehicle.
  • Smoking in the car.
  • Fueling a vehicle with an improper type of fuel.

In the event of a violation of these prohibited uses, we reserve the right to end your rental and retrieve the vehicle.

Can I drive out of the country?
RealCar rentals are allowed to be taken throughout North America only. Please note: Renters must communicate their intent to take the rental into Canada and receive consent from RealCar before booking your trip.

What happens if I receive a ticket?
The renter is responsible for all parking, traffic, speeding or other tickets or violations issued while the vehicle is being rented and must pay for any fees, penalties, towing charges, or impound costs. If you notify RealCar that you are going to take care of the ticket, you will not be charged any additional administration fees. If RealCar receives the ticket from a violation bureau, the credit card used for the reservation will be charged immediately for the amount of the ticket. You may be charged an additional fee.

Who is responsible for toll fees?
Renters are responsible for paying all toll fees incurred during their use of a rental. Failure to pay a toll properly will result in an administrative fee in addition to any charges associated with paying the toll fee. In the case that there is an all-electronic tollway with no way to pay manually, it is the responsibility of the renter to reimburse RealCar directly so the proper fee can be added to the rental charges. Failure to do so will result in an additional fee.

What is my daily/weekly/monthly mileage limit?
Daily and weekend rentals include 200 miles free per day, weekly rentals include 1,000 miles and monthly rentals include 3,000 miles free, unless stated otherwise. Each additional mile driven will be subject to a charge at the stated mileage rate.

I only want it for one day on the weekend. Can I do that?
Because of the huge demand we get for weekend rentals, RealCar isn’t able to guarantee one-day rentals on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays in advance.
If you definitely need that car for a single day special event over the weekend, the only way to guarantee availability is to book for an entire weekend (Friday-Sunday, 72 hours or more).
RealCar does offer “non-guaranteed” (i.e. stand-by) one-day rentals on weekends. Please give us a call on the morning of, and if the car you want is available, we’ll gladly rent it to you same-day for just that single day.

Am I responsible for a flat tire?
Yes. Unfortunately, flat tires are a fact of life in driving cars, and you, as a renter, are responsible for any flat tire that occurs during the reservation, as well as any related damage that may result from that flat tire.
The only exception to this policy is if it is professionally documented that the flat is the result of a tire that was either 1) defective, or 2) had been subject to excessive wear such that it was unsafe to be driven as of the start of the reservation.
In the event of a flat, the renter should use the spare tire, and then coordinate with RealCar to determine how to resolve the issue. Repair may, in some instances, be appropriate; if the sidewall is damaged or a repair is not possible, the renter is responsible for replacement of that tire, but is not responsible for replacement of any of the non-damaged tires. The renter needs to receive approval from RealCar for a replacement tire, and must replace the tire with one of equal or greater quality.

Will the insurance or coverage I have through my credit card cover my RealCar rental?
American Express offers a program called “Premium Car Rental Protection.” This service is available directly from American Express and provides coverage for your GDC rental vehicle. This is option may be purchased in addition to your regular insurance policy, providing an extra layer of protection. Please carefully review the terms provided by the credit card, and ask them if you have any questions about the specifics of their coverage.

I returned the car, and RealCar didn’t mention that there was any problem, but now I’m being told that there was damage to the car. What should I do?
While you’re renting the car, you’re responsible for any damage that might occur. The best way to ensure you have no liability is to document the condition of the car at the beginning and end of the reservation with RealCar. You can do that with the rental checklist, and you may also email pictures of any damage to hello@realcar.nyc at the start and end of the reservation.

When do I pay for the trip?
You will be charged for your trip when the rental is booked. If you incur additional fees such as mileage overages, parking tickets, cleaning fees, etc. you will be charged after the trip ends. We will charge to the card on file, so please make sure that you have the proper funds available.

Are pets allowed in the car?
Yes, pets are allowed in our cars. However, please note that RealCar reserves the right to assess a service fee of $150 if the vehicle requires additional cleaning up after your pet.

Fees & Fines
Excess Mileage Fee
$0.75 per excess mile driven

Late Return Fee
50$/30 mins, started in 30 mins of your late

Gas Fee
Cost to replace gas not refilled

Toll Fee
Cost of toll (including governmental charges)

Ticket Fee
Cost of ticket (including governmental charges)

Cleaning Fee
Up to $250

Pet Fee
Up to $250

Smoking Fee
Up to $250

Who is responsible for normal “wear and tear” of the vehicle?
Normal “wear and tear” that is part of the normal operation of a vehicle is an inherent part of renting out a car; the renter is not responsible for wear and tear resulting for normal usage of the car. Wear and tear may include engine wear, brake and suspension wear, weathering of the paint or minor scuffing of the interior surfaces, as well as small (less than 2 inches in length) nicks, scratches, abrasions or dents to the exterior (including wheels) normally associated with street parking, shopping cart bumps, and the like.
However, renters are fully responsible for, and RealCar does not provide any protection to renters for 1) any damage related to “misuse” or Prohibited Uses of the vehicle, 2) any damage to the interior of the car, or 3) any mechanical damage resulting from a renter’s improper driving (e.g., clutch damage from rough driving, suspension damage from running over speed bumps at high speed or into curbs, continuing to drive with warning indicator lights illuminated, etc).