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In Seattle, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to urban or rural adventures. Explore diverse neighborhoods – enjoy art in Pioneer Square, delicious food in Ballard – hike up Mount Si or amble through North Cascades National Park. Or go even further – hop in a rental car and in 2.5 hours, you’ll be in Vancouver, Canada.

Renting a Car in Seattle: What You Need to Know

If you’re looking to rent a car in Seattle, you’ll have a few questions on your mind. We’ve answered the most important ones.

How old do I have to be to rent a car in Seattle?

In general, you can rent a car from the age of 21. However, if you are under the age of 25, this will come with an additional charge, commonly referred to as either a ‘young driver surcharge’ or a ‘young driver fee’.

Likewise, drivers over the age of 70 may be subject to an extra charge. Check with your rental provider for specific terms.

Do I need to be bring any proof of identification when picking up my rental car?

Yes. If you’re a US resident, you must present a valid driving license and a credit card in your name.

If you’re travelling from overseas, along with your full home country’s driving license, you are required to present an International Driving Permit (IDP) and a credit card.

Is a deposit required when booking a rental car?

A deposit is only required at pick-up. Note, most car rental firms only accept a credit card payment.

Do I have to pay at the time of the booking?

This varies, but in general, for Seattle rentals, you can ‘reserve now, pay later’. You will be required to settle your bill at pick-up.

What car rental companies operate in Seattle?

Seattle is home to numerous car rental operators, including Alamo, Avis, Budget, Hertz, National and Thrifty. All have particular requirements, so do shop around.

Explore Seattle: Highlights of the Emerald City

From the vibrant heart of the city to the lush green parks and forests that surround it, Seattle will leave you wanting more. If you’re in town, here are a few destinations we recommend.

Downtown Seattle

For a one-stop-shop experience of the Pacific northwest city, you can’t go far wrong with Downtown Seattle. As you navigate your way around its sparkling glass skyscrapers, grab a bite of your choice at the historic Pike Place Market, head to the Pier 57 for scenic views and the iconic Seattle Great Wheel, and catch a musical at the 5th Avenue Theatre.

West Seattle

Step into West Seattle, and it’s is almost like you’ve entered into an altogether different world. The city’s largest neighborhood has more in common with a beach town than a metropolis, with Alki Beach Park one of the main attractions. Beyond that, you’ve got West Seattle Junction for shoppers and Lincoln Park for lazy afternoons.

Mount Rainer National Park

If you’re keen on experiencing more of a road trip, then make some time for Mount Rainier National Park, located to the southeast of Seattle. Whatever time of year you visit, this expansive area of natural beauty guarantees plenty, from the grandeur of the epic mountain to quiet of the Wonderland Trail.