How to Rent a 7, 9, 12 or 15 Passenger Van (A Complete Guide)

Petr Novák

Hiring a van in the USA is not complicated. Most rental companies offer a “van” for 7, 12, or 15 people, no special license is required to drive, and unlimited mileage is standard. Find out what to look out for when renting a van and how to save money below.

How to Rent a 7, 9, 12 or 15 Passenger Van (A Complete Guide)

  1. Table of Contents
    1. How to Rent a Van in the USA
    2. USA Van Rental Price
    3. How to Save Money When Renting a Van in the USA
    4. What You Need to Rent a Van in the USA
    5. What You Need to Know About Renting a Van in the USA

    How to Rent a Van in the USA

    Most traditional van rental companies offer van rental in the USA, including Alamo, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, National, Sixt, and Thrifty. Car rental companies in America are often referred to as Car Rental, Rent A Car, Rent-A-Car, Rental Car, or Car Hire.

    A vehicle designed to carry multiple people is often referred to as a “7 Seater”, “12 Seater”, “15 Seater”, “People Carrier”, or “Passenger Van”. Rental companies usually offer larger vehicles for 7, 12, or 15 people. The most common vehicles are the Ford Transit, Dodge Grand Caravan, Nissan Quest, Chrysler Pacifica, or Chevrolet Express.

    To rent a van, you’ll need a passport, credit card, and a driver’s license. In 99% of cases, you won’t need an international driving permit.

  2. USA Van Rental Price

    Determining the exact cost to rent a van in the USA isn’t straightforward. It depends on the model you choose, the pickup location, current demand, and other factors. In May 2023, I reviewed RentalCars listings in several cities and these were the lowest prices I found. These are daily rates, including all fees and full breakdown insurance.

    Car Model Number of Seats Price for 1 Day
    Nissan Quest 7 seats from $55
    Chrysler Pacifica 7 seats from $58
    Ford Transit 12 seats from $59
    Ford Escape 5 seats from $63
    Dodge Grand Caravan 7 seats from $68
    Ford Transit 15 seats from $152
  3. How to Save Money When Renting a Van in the USA

    💸 How to Save Money When You Book a Van Online

    To rent a van, I recommend using, a platform that brokers van rental services from all over the USA. I’ve rented cars through them around the world, including in the USA, Japan, Argentina, Oman, and Scotland, and it’s always been hassle-free.

    RentalCars collaborates with multiple companies in most airports and cities to provide more cars at lower prices. They also offer benefits such as a lowest price guarantee, full insurance inclusion, free cancellation, and the option to return the van to another location.

    🏷️ Passenger Van Rental Price

    The cost of van rental varies depending on location, current demand, length of the rental season, and the company or model chosen. Generally, the cheapest rental can be obtained two to three months in advance. Prices tend to rise during the summer holidays, around Christmas or Thanksgiving.

    📅 When to Book a Passenger Van

    Unlike standard cars, rental companies tend to have a limited supply of vans. Therefore, I recommend booking a van as soon as possible, knowing that you can cancel your reservation at any time.

    ✅ Lowest Price Guarantee offers van and other car rentals worldwide. The entire portal is available in many languages and is backed by the giant, which enables it to offer a wide selection, excellent customer support, and most importantly, a guarantee of the lowest rental price.

    If you find an offer to rent the same minivan from a competitor, RentalCars will match it.

  4. What You Need to Rent a Van in the USA

    👩 Driver’s Age

    Terms vary from one USA state to another, and rental companies may also have different terms. In general, however, the minimum age required to rent a van is 21.

    Moreover, if the driver has not yet reached their 25th birthday, they will be charged the usual “Underage Driver Fee” for each day of rental $25.

    🪪 USA Van Driving License

    Road rules vary slightly from state to state in the USA, but in 99% of cases a regular EU driver’s license is sufficient to drive a van. An international driver’s license is not needed unless you encounter a difficult rental car employee or police officer. If I were driving an entire group on a road trip across America, I would acquire an international driver’s license beforehand.

    A regular driver’s license is sufficient to drive a van with a maximum capacity of 15 people; no special permit is required. Minivans with a capacity of 16 or more people require a USA Class C Driving License.

    💳 Credit Card

    When renting a van, you will need to pay a deposit, the amount of which depends on the company and model of car you choose. This can usually be paid by debit card, although the terms and conditions will usually state that a credit card is required. I believe this is because credit cards are predominantly used in the USA, so the term “credit card” generally refers to both debit and credit cards.

    What is the difference between a debit card and a credit card? With a debit card, you spend your own money, up to the maximum balance of your account. With a credit card, you spend the bank’s money, up to a set limit. You then either have to pay it back within an interest-free period (usually around 55 days) or you start accruing substantial interest on the amount you borrow.

    🛂 Passport

    The passport is presented when you take delivery of the car and is used to verify the driver’s identity. The rental company will usually photocopy or scan it.

  5. What You Need to Know About Renting a Van in the USA

    ⚙️ Vans Have Automatic Transmissions

    All vans in the USA are equipped with automatic transmissions. There is no need to shift gears while driving; simply use the brake and accelerator. If you’re not accustomed to automatic transmissions, don’t worry. You’ll adapt quickly, and driving will be more comfortable thereafter. For guidance, read how to drive an automatic.

    ☂️ Rental Van Insurance

    When booking a van, I recommend you ensure that full insurance is included. Specifically, SLP (third party liability insurance), CDW/FDW (collision insurance), SCDW (additional insurance for chassis, windows, and tires) and TP (theft insurance).

    Vans rented through typically come with full insurance. Personally, I always scrutinize two things very carefully when renting a car: what the exclusions from the insurance are and the amount of any deductible. If comprehensive insurance is not included, I always purchase it from RentalCars.

    For detailed information on car insurance, see car rental in the US.

    🚘 Driving a Car in America

    American roads are of relatively high quality, so driving a van is not a major problem. However, it’s good to keep a few things in mind. Distances and speeds in the USA are given in miles, traffic lights are positioned after the intersection, and daytime running lights are not mandatory.

    You can turn right on red at most intersections. Unless there is a sign at the intersection indicating the right of way, cars depart in the same order they arrived at theintersection.

    For information on parking, understanding road signs, and speed limits, refer to driving in the US.

    ⛽ Refuelling in the USA

    In the USA, you pay for fuel at the pump first, then fill up. To facilitate this, gas stations are equipped with a payment terminal to authorize the transaction. If you are prompted to enter a ZIP code, enter the ZIP code of your residence.

    Regular gasoline is referred to as Regular in the USA, higher quality gasoline is sold as Midgrade, and the highest quality sports car fuel is Premium. Diesel engines are uncommon in America. For a complete guide, see gasoline in the USA.

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