The Impact of a DUI on Your Ability to Rent a Car in California

March 16, 2023 by Madison Ferguson in California  DUI  
Thumbnail for: The Impact of a DUI on Your Ability to Rent a Car in California

Can I Rent a Car with DUI Conviction?

A DUI conviction results in many limitations. The consequences of a DUI extend beyond just monetary fines and imprisonment. A conviction for driving under the influence while intoxicated can result in mandatory attendance at a DUI school, suspension of driving privileges, limitations on driving activity, and participation in community service. Besides the legal consequences, you may experience a rise in insurance prices, adverse effects on your employment, and even be obstructed from traveling to other states.

Many individuals fail to consider that a DUI conviction can impair your ability to rent a vehicle. Even if your license is reinstated, a California DUI conviction may limit your option to rent a car. Numerous individuals rely on car rentals for various purposes, such as business trips outside their city, family outings, and commuting to work when their vehicle is unavailable.

What Are the Car Rental Companies’ Feelings Regarding DUIs?

To reduce financial losses and legal issues, most car rental businesses examine driving records before providing their services to clients. Major car rental companies, including Dollar, Thrifty, and Avis, have a policy of not renting to anyone found guilty of a DUI within the past 48 months.

Customers with three or more traffic convictions in the past two years can also not rent cars from car rental companies. Driving carelessly, fleeing from the site of a collision, getting caught driving under the influence, and operating a vehicle while holding a revoked license may all lead to the refusal to rent a car. Furthermore, as rental agencies do not offer ignition interlock devices, individuals who are only authorized to drive with such devices cannot rent a car.

It is important to remember that while a car rental company may not initially review your driving history, they may choose to do so after you have finalized the rental agreement. If you raise doubts among the workers of a rental car company, they might inspect your driving history. Even if a car rental company doesn’t review your driving history, informing them about your DUI is crucial. In this manner, you can avoid bearing the entire expense in case of a mishap with your hired car.

Renting a Car With a License That Has Been Suspended

If you are arrested for a DUI (prior to being convicted), your license will be confiscated by the police, and you will be given a temporary license that is valid for just 30 days. Your ability to drive will be temporarily revoked after 30 days. Request a hearing with the DMV within ten days to maintain your driving ability. It is vital to contact a DUI attorney promptly following apprehension.

If your license is suspended, you are prohibited from legally operating a vehicle in California or any other state. Typically, you cannot rent a car from any car rental company within the United States. It is advised not to provide an invalid driver’s license to the car rental agency in an attempt to rent a car, or it may lead to legal and financial constraints if you are pulled over or get into an accident.

Would Car Rental Companies be Held Responsible for Any Damages Caused by a Driver With a DUI Record After Renting a Car to Them?

Vehicle rental companies are permitted to lease a car to a motorist on the condition that they possess a legitimate license and insurance. Courts in California determined that the car rental company cannot be held responsible for an accident caused by a car driver under the influence of alcohol if the driver possessed a legitimate license during the incident and did not display any indications of being intoxicated. Car rental companies are not responsible for reviewing a driver’s DMV records. Nonetheless, due to legal accountability concerns, car rental companies might decline to lease a vehicle to an individual with a DUI conviction.

If you require a car to rent and have a DUI, you must seek alternative options from rental companies to travel or get around while your vehicle is being repaired or on a trip. Despite being more expensive and less convenient than renting a vehicle, options such as Uber, taxi services, and public transportation will still transport you from one destination to another. Although it is possible to rent a car with a DUI, it would be wise to seek the advice of a DUI lawyer. They can help decrease your DUI accusations or eliminate the case, enabling you to rent a car without difficulties and relish other liberties in life.

Need an Attorney? CALL NOW: 310-274-6529

Seppi Esfandi is an Expert Attorney who has over 21 years of practice defending a variety of cases.

Contact Us:         
Esfandi Law Group QR Code
Esfandi Law Group
Lara S.
December 3, 2019
Seppi had my case reduced to just an infraction, and thanks to him I was able to keep my job. Jorge was extremely helpful too, the reason I went with this law firm. Overall pleased.

How to Win Your Case

We cannot stress enough that you read, understand and follow these 10 basic rules if you are criminally charged or under investigation:

  1. Don’t ever talk to the police
  2. Do not discuss your case with anyone
  3. Everything you tell your lawyer is confidential
  4. Tell police you need to contact your attorney
  5. Never consent to any search by the police
  6. If the police knock on your door, don't answer!
  7. Realize the consequences of a criminal conviction
  8. Your lawyer (not you) will contact any witnesses
  9. Information on your cell phone is evidence
  10. Early Intervention is the key

Get a Free Consultation

    Free Consultation Form