Do Not Rent List: What Is It and How To Avoid Landing in It

Do Not Rent List: What Is It and How To Avoid Landing in It

You need a rental car and decide to stop by your favorite car rental location. But when you apply for a car rental, you find out that you’ve been placed on a “do not rent” list. You’re told that you will not be able to rent a vehicle from that specific rental agency. What gives?

Today, let’s break down what do not rent lists are for car rental companies and explain how you can avoid landing in them in the first place.

Do Not Rent Lists Explained

In a nutshell, a do not rent list is a semi-secret blacklist maintained by given car rental companies. The list includes specific individuals’ names, Social Security numbers, and other identifying information. 

When a customer is placed on a do not rent list and attempts to rent a car from a company, the attendant enters the information into the company’s computer system and is warned not to give them a rental contract.

If you end up on a car rental company’s do not rent list, you will not be able to rent a vehicle from them no matter how much your credit improves. It’s very rare for a company to change its do not rent list since there are always plenty of other customers available.

Why Do Not Rent Lists Exist

Because, frankly, some drivers are so irresponsible that certain companies have decided not to take the financial risk of renting a vehicle. In many cases, individuals are placed on do not rent lists after they have broken the trust of a rental company more than once or if they have committed a particularly serious infraction just one time.

Do not rent lists protect rental car companies from liability and prevent them from having to spend extra cash recovering losses from irresponsible drivers, such as those who get into accidents frequently.

Are Do Not Rent Lists Shared by Companies?

Yes, but not between all of them. The vast majority of car rental companies are owned by a handful of larger companies, such as Enterprise Holdings. Enterprise Holdings owns the Alamo, National, and Enterprise car rental companies.

Therefore, if you end up on the do not rent list for Alamo, for example, you can expect your name to be shared between each of the above three car-rental companies. In such a case, you wouldn’t be able to rent a car for many of these companies since they share the same customer information between them.

But you could, theoretically, go to another car rental agency like Avis and get a car.

Still, it’s a better idea to simply never end up on a do not rent list in the first place!

How To Avoid Landing on a Do Not Rent List

Luckily, there are many ways you can alter your driving behavior to ensure you don’t land on a do lot rent list at all.

Follow All Rules

Naturally, you’ll need to follow all the rules laid out by the car rental company in question. If they have rules regarding the use of the vehicle, how many people can be in the car, or where you can take the car, follow them to the letter.

If you don’t break any rules, the company has no reason to put you on their do not rent list or eliminate you as a customer. The rules are usually laid out in your contract and explained to you by the attendant when you receive your rental vehicle.

Don’t Use Fake IDs

Of course, you should also avoid plainly breaking laws when applying for a rental vehicle, such as by using a fake ID or providing inaccurate personal information. Always apply for a rental car using accurate information, even if your credit score isn’t the best and you think you won’t be approved.

Don’t Let Unauthorized Drivers Use the Rented Vehicle

Similarly, don’t risk being put on a do not rent list by letting unauthorized drivers (i.e. those who are not on the contract as authorized drivers) use your rented vehicle. If you think you may need someone else to drive your rented car, put them on the contract and pay the extra fee. It’s smarter than getting fined extra cash at the end of the contract and potentially being put on a do not rent list.

Pay Bills and Tolls Promptly

If you have any bills from the car rental agency, pay them as soon as you get them (preferably before you walk out the door). While you’re on the road, you may pass toll stations to use certain freeways. Pay these fees as soon as the rental agency charges you for them to stay in their good graces.

Don’t Break the Law

Of course, you also shouldn’t break the law in any way while driving a rented vehicle. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Speeding
  • Driving inappropriately
  • Driving while under the influence
  • Road rage that leads to an accident

Be a safe, legal driver and you won’t get in trouble with your rental company.

Drive Within Permitted Regions Only

Most car rental contracts include limitations on where you can drive the vehicle (typically based on national borders). For example, if you rent a car in the US, don’t try to drive it to Mexico or Canada unless your contract specifically allows this.

Check for Road Requirements

Some rental car contracts also include requirements that you drive the car only on paved roads. If this is the case for your contract, avoid any unpaved roads that could cause excessive damage to the vehicle and place you want to do not rent list in the future.

Don’t Dispute Charges Needlessly

If you get ancillary charges from your car-rental company, don’t dispute them unless you truly need to or you think there’s been a genuine error. Car rental companies will catch on quickly if you simply like to dispute all charges to try to save a quick buck.

Avoid Promotion or Bonus Abuse

Lastly, don’t abuse any bonuses or promotions that may come with your contract. For example, if you rent a car with a contract that gives you “unlimited” miles, don’t drive it back and forth across the country for no good reason. Keep your mileage within reasonable limits even though the contract may technically allow you to drive it as much as you like.

Abusing bonuses or promotions can easily land you on a company’s do not rent list.


Ultimately, staying off a car rental company’s do not rent list is pretty straightforward. So long as you are a responsible driver, the odds of you appearing on one of these lists is minimal. But now you know exactly what you can do to maximize your rental options and ensure that you don’t have any black marks on your driving record.

If you still need to rent a car and ended up on another company’s do not rent list in the past, Advantage is here to help. With a fleet of quality vehicles and rental options at major US airports, we’re the best car rental company for schedule flexibility and discounted rates across the US.


Perspective | Here’s what can get you banned by airlines, hotels, and rental car companies | Washington Post
Enterprise Holdings | Forbes
Is a Credit Check Required to Rent a Car? | Experian

Recommended Articles