Can You Rent a Car with a DUI on Your Driving Record?

Categories: DUI Defense

Glenwood Springs DUI Lawyer - handcuffs car keys and a drink

*This article has been updated in August 2021.*

A car rental company has the right to refuse to rent a vehicle to anyone with a DUI, and most of them do. However, the time between your DUI conviction and when you request a rental also plays a factor in whether or not you will be denied.

You may need to rent a car during vacation or perhaps while on a business trip, and now you are wondering if that previous DUI on your driving records will prohibit you from getting around. If you have a DUI on your record, it is difficult to rent a car.

That is just one of the many long-term consequences drivers do not think about when it comes to a DUI conviction. If you have been arrested for a DUI, you must speak with an attorney about your possible conviction so that you can avoid some of the long-term consequences just like this one.

How a Car Rental Company Views Your Past DUI Conviction

A car rental company will check your driving record. After all, they are about to lend you a car and want to make sure you are not a risk for their investment. Most companies, even big-name rental services like Avis, will reject anyone that has a DUI on their record.

However, they all have limitations on how far they look and consider a DUI in their rejections. For example, Avis will only reject someone convicted in the last four years.

Other companies may have a strong policy about refusing anyone who has had three or more violations in the past two years – whether all three are DUIs or not. Therefore, you may have speeding tickets, a DUI, and another citation and be rejected.

How Your IID Requirement Impacts Your Ability to Rent

Car rental companies do not have rental cars with ignition interlock devices installed. Therefore, if you are still required to have an IID installed in any vehicle you operate, you would not be able to rent a car, to begin with.

You May Be Stuck with Alternatives

If you have a DUI, it is best to contact a few rental car agencies where you are traveling and see their policy regarding DUIs. Some will allow you to rent a vehicle after a few years have passed, but the more recent your DUI conviction, the less likely it is that you can rent a car.

Rental companies do have the right to refuse service to individuals with a DUI – as they want to reduce any risk of loss.

That said, you still have alternatives even when you cannot rent a vehicle. Public transportation is always an option, but you also have ride-sharing services that might be in your area.

Do Not Drive a Vehicle If You Are Required to Use an IID

When a rental car company does a precursory check on your driving record, they may not realize that you need an IID. However, it is your responsibility to use an IID if the court has given you that as part of your probation. If you are pulled over in a rental vehicle, and the officer realizes that you are driving a vehicle not equipped with an IID, you could face serious punishments – including jail time.

DUIs Are Not the Only Traffic Violation That May Exclude You from Renting in the Future

While a DUI is a good reason for rejection,  you can be rejected to rent vehicles for other reasons. For example, you might be rejected for operating a vehicle without a license, unpaid parking tickets, or recent car accidents on your record.

What If the Company Does Not Do a Driving Record Check?

Not all rental car companies do precursory driving record checks. Therefore, they may not know about your past convictions. That said, if you are not allowed to operate a vehicle, or you have a suspended driver’s license, do not try to rent a vehicle out of state and hope that the rental car company won’t notice. Even if they allow you to rent the vehicle, you are breaking the law.

Being Rejected for Rental Vehicles Is Just One of Many Long-Term DUI Consequences

It can be devastating when you need to rent a vehicle and can’t because of a past DUI conviction. This is only one of the numerous long-term effects when convicted of a DUI.

If you have been arrested for a DUI, you must contact a defense attorney immediately. An attorney can hopefully negotiate a lesser plea or get the case dropped with the right amount of evidence. One thing you should never do is plead guilty or make a deal with the prosecution without consulting a criminal defense attorney first.

Just some of the long-term consequences outside of jail time and fines include:

  • Loss of Employment – If you have to serve time in jail, it is unlikely your employer will hold your place at work – especially if you are gone for several Also, if your job requires you to drive a company vehicle, you may no longer be eligible for employment. Some jobs, such as school teachers, do not allow individuals with a criminal record to be eligible. Therefore, you may have to change careers entirely.
  • Government Benefit Programs – Certain programs will prohibit benefits from going to those with criminal convictions.
  • Increased Insurance – Because you have been convicted of a DUI, you are now a liability to your insurance company. Therefore, you are more likely to have increased insurance rates – regardless of how safe you drove in the past.

Hire a Local Attorney to Avoid the Long-Term Harsh Consequences of a DUI

If you have been arrested for a DUI, contact attorney Mark S. Rubinstein at the Rubinstein Law Offices. You can schedule a no-obligation case evaluation now by calling 970-248-0984 or requesting more information online.

Mark Rubinstein has helped countless defendants get the most favorable outcome possible in their criminal cases. Whether it is your first DUI or subsequent, never go to court without an experienced attorney by your side.