Renting A Car In Des Moines

The Tourist and Business Travelers Guide to Renting a Car in Des Moines

Renting a car in Des Moines is one of the best decisions to explore this beautiful city. In this article, we'll guide you on how to find great deals on rental cars in Des Moines and provide essential information about renting a car in Des Moines. Plus, we'll give some tips on what attractions await you in Des Moines to make your trip as memorable as possible.

Which car rental companies are in Des Moines?

Des Moines International Airport is a small but well-equipped airport in Iowa. It boasts of having several car rental companies that cater to the needs of tourists and business travelers. Among these are Alamo, Avis, Budget, and Hertz.

Alamo offers hassle-free rentals and excellent customer service for those who want to explore the region at their own pace. Avis provides affordable rates with a wide selection of vehicles suitable for travel. Budget provides quality cars at low prices while maintaining great customer service.

Hertz prides itself on offering top-notch safety features and an extensive range of vehicles perfect for any occasion or budget. National Car Rental emphasizes speed and convenience by allowing customers to choose their vehicle upon arrival. Thrifty offers affordable rates while still providing great customer service and quality cars.

To compare prices and check the availability of rental vehicles, see car rental services in Des Moines.

Driving directions to Des Moines Airport

Driving to Des Moines Airport is easy and convenient for tourists and business travelers. The airport is on Fleur Drive, five miles southwest of downtown Des Moines. If driving from downtown Des Moines, follow Fleur Drive south until you reach the airport's main entrance.

If you're coming from out of town, take Interstate 35 or Interstate 80 to Fleur Drive. Follow Fleur Drive north for approximately two miles until you see the airport signage.

From the North

Take Interstate 35 south to Interstate 80, then travel three miles east on Interstate 80 to Highway 65. Drive roughly 15 miles on Highway 65 South and West. Three more miles on Highway 5 West will bring you to the Fleur Drive exit. Travel two miles on Fleur Drive to the north. On the left, there is the airport's entrance.

From the South

Follow Highway 5 (Des Moines Airport) from Interstate 35, heading north. Seven miles east on Highway 5 will bring you to the Fleur Drive exit. Drive about two miles north on Fleur Drive. On the left, there is the airport's entrance.

From the East

Take the Interstate West (Highway 65). For about 15 miles, travel south and west on Interstate 65. After three miles, turn off at the Fleur Drive exit by continuing west on Highway 5. Travel two miles on Fleur Drive to the north. On the left, there is the airport's entrance.

From the West

To get to Interstate 35 South (Kansas City):

  • Take Interstate 80 East.
  • Take Interstate 35 south for about four miles, then get off at Highway 5 (Des Moines Airport).
  • After traveling seven miles to the east on Highway 5, turn north onto Fleur Drive.
  • Approximately two miles to the north lies the entrance to the Des Moines Airport.

Ensure enough time for traffic and potential road closures due to construction or accidents. It's a good idea to check Google Maps or local news sources before departing to anticipate potential delays en route to the airport.

What are the benefits of renting a car in Des Moines?

One of the main benefits of renting a car is convenience. Instead of relying on public transportation or costly ride-sharing services, you can have your vehicle waiting for you upon arrival. It provides more privacy and comfort than shared transportation options.

It allows visitors to explore destinations that may not be accessible by other means of transportation. From small towns to scenic routes, renting a car opens up endless possibilities for exploration.

Having a rental car also provides peace of mind regarding unexpected weather conditions. In Des Moines, where snow and ice are common during winter, having a reliable rental car with proper tires can make all the difference in staying safe on the road.

What do you need to know about car rental insurance in Des Moines?

When renting a car in Des Moines, it's important to have insurance coverage. Most rental companies offer various types of insurance policies that you can purchase alongside your rental agreement. However, before signing up for any policy, there are a few things you need to know.

The minimum liability insurance required by Des Moines law must cover the following: $20,000 for bodily injury to or death of one person in a single accident; $40,000 for bodily injury to or death of two or more people in a single accident; and $15,000 for damage to or destruction of other people's property in a single accident.

Check if your personal auto insurance or credit card company provides coverage for rental cars in Des Moines. If so, you may not need additional insurance from the car rental company.

Understand the types of coverage offered by the car rental company. These include collision damage waiver (CDW), loss damage waiver (LDW), liability insurance, and personal accident insurance.

Carefully read through each policy's terms and conditions before making a decision. Some policies may have exclusions or limitations that affect your coverage in certain situations.

In most cases, your auto insurance will cover your car and the rental automobile. Most likely, you don't require rental car insurance. For instance, you won't require the collision damage waiver if you have comprehensive collision insurance.

Don't be pressured into purchasing unnecessary add-ons or upgrades by sales representatives at the car rental counter. Stick with what you need and what fits within your budget while providing adequate protection during your travels in Des Moines.

Frequently Asked Questions about Renting A Car in Des Moines

Q: What type of documents do I need to rent a car in Des Moines?

A: You must provide the rental company with a valid driver's license, proof of insurance, and a major credit card. Additionally, you may need to present other forms of identification depending on the rental company's policies.

Q: Are there age restrictions when Renting a Car in Des Moines?

A: Yes, most rental companies require that you are at least 21 years old to be able to rent a vehicle. However, some companies may allow drivers as young as 18 if they have additional documentation, such as an International Driver's License or another form of approved identification. Your service provider can provide this information.

Q: Are there any additional fees when Renting a Car in Des Moines?

A: Yes, depending on the type of vehicle rented and the rental company's policies, there could be extra fees added to your total costs, such as sales tax and airport surcharge fees, if applicable.

In Des Moines, vehicles designed to carry nine passengers or fewer that are rented for 60 days or less are subject to a 5% state excise tax. This is in addition to any relevant local choice sales taxes and the 6% state sales/use tax.

What are the requirements for Renting a Car in Des Moines?

You must possess a valid driver's license from your home country or state. If the license is not in English, it should be accompanied by an International Driving Permit (IDP).

Learn more on how to obtain an International Driving Permit for driving in the United States.

Most rental companies require renters to be at least 25, but some may allow younger drivers for an additional fee. In Iowa, the minimum requirement is 21. You will also need a credit card with sufficient funds to cover the security deposit and rental fees.

When picking up your rental car, inspect it thoroughly for any damages before driving off the lot. This will help avoid being charged for pre-existing damages when returning the vehicle.

Always bring all necessary documents when picking up your rental cars, such as proof of insurance coverage (if required) and reservation confirmation information.

What are the payment options for renting a car in Des Moines?

Carefully review all payment options and related fees before choosing your rental company in Iowa. Most car rental companies use credit cards as the main payment method for security reasons. However, alternative payment methods may be accepted depending on which provider you go with—as well as your location and choice of vehicle.

Some companies may require a credit card, while others may accept cash or debit cards. It's important to check with your rental company beforehand to see what payment methods they accept.

Many rental car companies will put a hold on your credit card for the amount of the rental cost plus an additional deposit for incidentals like tolls and damages. This hold is released when you return the car without any issues.

If you plan on paying with cash or a debit card, be aware that some companies may place additional restrictions on these forms of payment. For example, they may require extra identification or proof of insurance before allowing you to rent the car.

It's important to consider additional fees in Renting a Car in Des Moines. These can include taxes and fees for returning the car late.

Do I need snow chains for car rentals in Iowa?

If you're visiting Iowa during winter, snow chains may be necessary for your rental car. Snow and ice can make driving conditions hazardous, and local laws require drivers to use appropriate tire chains or other traction devices when needed.

However, snow tires are only allowed during the year's cooler months. Iowa law allows chains on tires when required for safety because of snow, ice, or other conditions that cause a car to skid. Snow or winter tires are allowed from November 1 through April 1.

Before renting a car in Des Moines during winter, check with the rental company about their policy on snow chains. Some companies may include them as part of their standard equipment, while others may offer them as optional. Knowing how to install and remove them properly is important before hitting the road.

Driving cautiously and avoiding sudden turns or stops that could cause skidding or loss of control is essential when using snow chains. Always adjust your speed according to the road conditions and stay alert for any weather or traffic patterns changes.

Remember that failure to comply with snow chain regulations can result in fines or penalties from law enforcement officials.

What to do if the traffic police in Des Moines stop you?

It's important to remain calm and follow their instructions. Pull over immediately and turn off your engine. Keep your hands visible on the steering wheel as the officer approaches.

  • Be polite when speaking with the officer. Answer their questions truthfully, but avoid admitting fault or guilt. If you receive a ticket, review it carefully before signing anything.
  • It's important to note that Iowa has strict laws regarding drinking and driving, so never drink alcohol before driving. Suppose an officer suspects you of driving under the influence. In that case, they may ask you to take a field sobriety or breathalyzer test.
  • If you feel that your rights have been violated during a traffic stop, do not argue with the officer at the scene. Instead, note what happened and contact an attorney as soon as possible.
  • Remember that traffic stops can be stressful for drivers and officers alike. You can help ensure a safe outcome for everyone involved by remaining respectful and cooperative.

What are the parking and traffic laws in Des Moines?

Before renting a car in Des Moines, it is important to understand the state's parking and traffic laws. In Iowa, drivers must wear seat belts at all times while driving. Children under 18 must be properly restrained in an appropriate child safety system.

Iowa also has strict laws regarding cell phone use while driving. Drivers are prohibited from texting or using handheld devices while operating a vehicle. You can face fines and even license suspension if caught breaking this law.

Parking on sidewalks or crosswalks is illegal, and vehicles must be parked perpendicular to the curb unless otherwise indicated by signs or markings. In addition, always remember not to park within 10 feet of fire hydrants or blocking driveways. Parking in designated handicapped spots without proper permits can result in hefty fines.

A railroad crossing must be at least 50 feet from where you park. You must leave at least 25 feet between your vehicle and a fire station to park there. However, you must be at least 75 feet away if the station has posted any signs. Local laws will control where you can park concerning the fire station, so pay attention to any signs that specify where you can park.

To learn more about the parking locations in the area, see parking options in Des Moines.

What attractions can I visit using a rental car in Des Moines?

Iowa State Capitol Building

One of the most popular destinations in Des Moines is the Pappajohn Sculpture Park, which boasts dozens of sculptures from renowned artists.

Another must-visit attraction is the Iowa State Capitol, where you can take a guided tour to learn about Iowa's political history and marvel at its stunning architecture. For art enthusiasts, head to the Des Moines Art Center, featuring an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art pieces.

Visit Blank Park Zoo for families traveling with kids. And you're looking for outdoor adventure. In that case, Gray's Lake Park offers a beautiful lakefront view perfect for kayaking or walking trails around it.

Foodies will be delighted by Des Moines' growing culinary scene that features farm-to-table cuisine at several specialty restaurants in the area. Whether you're exploring solo or with family/friends, many attractions await your arrival in Des Moines.

The city offers a diverse selection of tourist attractions that can be visited - see more tourism offerings in Des Moines.

What accommodations are available in Des Moines?

For those looking for something more budget-friendly, numerous mid-range chain hotels throughout the city offer comfortable rooms at affordable prices. Bed & Breakfasts provide a unique experience with local flavors so visitors can get up close and personal to discover what makes this city great. Travelers who prefer staying in self-catering accommodation will find options such as furnished apartments or vacation homes that allow them to feel like they're living like a local.

The area's accommodation typically ranges from around $70 to over $180, depending on the type of hotel and time of year. Budget-minded travelers can find rates as low as $50 a night at some hotels throughout the city. However, prices tend to be higher during peak seasons such as summer vacation or holidays like Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Luxury hotels also tend to have higher starting rates - often into the hundreds per night - but they may offer additional amenities worth considering if you’re looking for something special.

To discover a range of hotels in and around the city, see detailed information about available finest hotels and accommodations in Des Moines.

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