Car Rental Policies
HOW IT WORKS:
- You make a reservation online or by calling the office, 406-922-0179.
- A representative from Explore will meet you at Bozeman Airport shuttle lane, right outside of the arrivals terminal. Unless you choose to pick up the rental vehicle at the office, 1.2-miles east of BZN in order to avoid paying the BZN Airport Concession Fee (10%). If you are arriving after-hours, we will send all paperwork electronically (via Adobe EchoSign) 2-days prior to your arrival, including BZN, or after-hours Office, pick-up protocol.
- An Explore representative will shuttle you back to the office, less than 4-minutes away to sign the paperwork, go over any additional rental gear, maps, etc.
- You head off to your Montana Adventure.
- About 1.5 hours before your flight, stop by the Explore office. A representative will then drop you off right in front of the Bozeman Airport departures terminal. This process will take about 6-minutes.
If you need to be at the airport prior/ post to our opening hours, you will leave the car in Premium Parking section E1, right across from arrivals, leaving the keys for us locked inside the vehicle. We will pick up the car with the second set of keys and charge the balance of your rental to credit card on file.
- Primary renter must be at least 21-years of age and possess a valid driver’s license.
- A credit card. You can pay the balance due with cash or a debit card, but all reservations require a 15% credit card deposit.
- Renter must have insurance that will act as primary coverage in the case of an accident.
- Accidents happen, but we prefer to not rent to people who will consciously make bad decisions. Examples of bad decisions that have happened, and the renters have had to pay (a lot) to have the cars repaired: Christmas tree on hood of car, standing on top of car for selfie, luggage on roof of car not on roof rack, melting the interior of a car. If you are prone to making these type of life choices, we are not the company for you.
- A 15% credit card deposit is required to confirm a booking. No exceptions, ever. If you do not have a credit card, we cannot help you. This can be completed via our online reservation system or by calling 406-922-0179, or we can email you a secure credit card authorization form.
- Upon picking up a rental car or rental gear, a valid credit card must be provided.
- Final payments can be made via all major credit cards, cash, local check, or previously arranged corporate invoice. All final charges are subject to audit.
- We do not charge for an airport (BZN) pick-up and drop-offs. However, the airport requires us to charge a 10% concession fee for all rentals originating at the airport. If you booked online, that 10% is included in your price. If you wish to make your way to the office to pick up your rental, please let us know and we can deduct the 10% concession fee. You must let us know 24-hours prior to your arrival, or we will be waiting for you at the airport and will have to charge the fee.
- No surcharge for drivers less than 25 years old (must be 21 years old minimum).
- No charge for additional named drivers, as long as they possess a valid driver’s license and are above 21-years old. Please note, if something happens when one of these listed drivers is driving, if they do not have a full coverage US auto insurance policy that provides primary coverage, responsibility will fall to the primary renter.
- Mileage = within reason. Within reason is defined as an average of 175-miles per day. Example: if you rent a car for a week and go to Glacier National Park and Yellowstone, this will be about 1,100-miles total, averaging 157-miles per day. Totally fine. Frankly, if you are driving more than that in a week, you are spending too much time in the car.
If you plan on driving to Sioux Falls, South Dakota in a three-day rental, which would average 530-miles per day, this is totally not “within reason.” It is simply not worth the wear-and-tear on our vehicles for long-distance, short-term rentals.
We will always be flexible and reasonable with our renters. In exchange, we expect full disclosure and honesty in return. If you need to drive to Texas, tell us you are driving to Texas. We will adjust the price accordingly for the additional wear-and-tear. If you lie to us, and say you are going to Yellowstone for three days, and actually drive to Texas (it has happened before), you will be billed $.20 per mile for any additional miles over the 175-mile per day average. Example: you don’t disclose you are going to Seattle in a 3-day rental and return the car with 1,400 miles on it (466/ day) you will be charged an additional $175 (1,400 – 525 mile allotment x $.20 = $175).
TAXES AND FEES:
- There is a 4% Montana Rental Vehicle Tax that will be applied to your vehicle rental total. Montana Rental Vehicle Tax extends to additional rental items that are securable to the vehicle, like roof boxes.
- Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport at Gallatin Field (BZN) requires a 10% concession fee to be applied to rental vehicles originating at the Bozeman Airport, Yellowstone Jetcenter, or Arlin’s Aircraft.
- Fuel. We ask all of our renters to return the vehicle with as much fuel as was in it upon arrival. If you run out of time or forget to do so, we will fill and charge at the current pump rate plus a $10 service fee.
- Any additional rental gear, unless if offered within the original quote.
- We do allow towing with some of our vehicles. There is a towing surcharge dependent upon how big and heavy the trailer is. Maximum allowable towing is 3,000lbs. Exceeding this amount voids our rental agreement.
- Damage repair. All of our vehicles are very well maintained, clean, and safe. If they are returned in a condition other than the way they were received, there will be charges involved. Broken windshields, dented bumpers, flat tires, etc. Even if the damage was not your fault, you as the renter, are still responsible. We will always be as fair as possible. All final charges are subject to audit.
- Damage to glass and windshields is a common problem in Montana. We will always try to be as upfront as possible with repair/ replacement costs, and if damage does occur we charge wholesale repair/ replacement pricing (unlike other car rental agencies who make a significant amount of money on windshield repairs). Damage to glass will be charged directly to the renter at the end of the rental. All applicable documents will be given to renter to seek reimbursement from their insurance agency. If we have to deal with your insurance agency for reimbursement, we will be forced to charge Loss of Use for the duration vehicle is being repaired, as well as the retail cost for replacement/ repair.
- Extra cleaning/ cigarette stink/ stain removal. If you return a car exceptionally dirty, smelly, or stained you will be subject to additional cleaning/ repair/ replacement fees.
Smoking is NOT allowed in our vehicles. A minimum $400 cleaning fee will be charged if you smoke in our cars.
Travel plans change. We will always try to be as fair as possible, but we are a small business- therefore cancellations without a decent amount of notice will adversely affect our business. Think of it this way; you reserving a car means we are effectively taking inventory off of the shelf to sell to you. By canceling, you are leaving us with unsaleable inventory, which equals loss of revenue.
- Cancellation outside of 14-days from your arrival date, your deposit will be refunded.
- Cancellation less than 14-days of arrival date, no deposit refunded.
- If you decide to shorten your reservation, you are liable for your unused days. Example: you reserve a car for 9-days and decide to shorten your reservation to 7-days last minute, you still need to pay for your 2-unused days. Think of it this way: if you order a steak at a restaurant and only eat half, you are not going to ask for a refund on your uneaten portion, correct?
- Cancellation stinks. If you stick to your original reservation, your rental with us will be the best rental car experience you have ever had. If you are the kind of person that is likely to ask for a refund on a half-eaten steak, we are probably not the right rental car company for you. We will always try to be as fair as possible and we ask the same of our renters.
- If you think our cancellation policy is harsh, compare it to the airlines and you will feel better.
- We are just like any other rental car agency. You will be required to sign a Rental Agreement which will provide coverages as required by Montana state minimums.
- It is the renter’s responsibility to know their insurance coverages.
- We encourage all renters to verify their personal auto insurance policy will act as primary coverage in the case of an accident. This should be about a 1-minute phone call to your insurance company.
- If renter does not have an auto insurance plan that acts as primary coverage on a rented auto in the US, we require the purchase of our offered Rental Collision Protection insurance for an additional $19 per day. This policy is for collision only, with a $250 deductible and $20,000 maximum payout. Renters also have the option to buy other, third-party primary insurance through American Express (best) or other travel insurance companies (second best). Regardless, the renter is responsible for having insurance coverage that will act as the primary in case of an accident.
- For more in-depth info on insurance, check out our FAQs: Car rental insurance explained.
We are the only rental car company that allows towing with our rental cars in the Bozeman area. Towing trailers less than 2,000 pounds is allowed only with advance permission and may require an additional fee. Towing is also only allowed with some of our rental cars. Renter waives certain rights when towing with our vehicles and assumes full responsibility for the rental cars.
We are happy to rent you one, or many, of our vehicles for production shoots or other commercial use. However, a Certificate of Insurance naming Explore Rentals, and verifying Primary Coverage for the commercial entity renting the vehicles, is required. Using one of our Sprinters, or any, of our rental vehicles for Commercial Use (i.e. transporting paying guests as a tour guide in Yellowstone) voids our rental agreement, and will most likely void your personal auto insurance policy (if that is the way you have been rolling). Unless you have a commercial insurance policy that covers non-owned autos, this places 100% responsibility on you personally if something happens to the vehicle during your rental period. If you are unwilling to provide a COI, or do not know what it is, we are not interested in renting a vehicle to you for commercial use.