Rental Car USB Port – Charging Phone in a Rental Car

Rental Car USB Port – Charging Phone in a Rental Car

Our phones have long been an integral part of our lives and whilst using a mobile phone whilst driving is likely to land you in trouble with the law, simply charging our phones whilst out on the road has become second nature. So what’s different in a rental car? If you’ve nearly exhausted your phones battery on the flight and it needs a charge, perhaps to use google maps for navigation, or just to catch up some messages, charging from the rental car on your journey from the airport via the USB seems an obvious solution. However, there are a few things to consider before you plug your phone into the rental car USB port, namely security and data.

Car Rental USB Port Charging

Do rental cars have USB ports?

Most rental cars are current model years and virtually all new cars now have USB connectivity enabling you to not only charge your phone in the car, but also connect to the infotainment system to safely enable hands free features whilst on the road or access the music from your phone. Whilst convenient and safe, when connecting your mobile via the USB port, you could also be potentially allowing the car to access to your personal data, call records, sat nav coordinates / locations and message logs. Some systems will automatically store this data (which is fine / convenient in your personal car) and it could be accessed / used by future renters or the car rental agency.

That’s not so say that it would be used maliciously, however in an age where personal data is highly valuable and also highly protected, you are potentially unknowingly exposing yourself (and your data) to risk. If you do connect your phone to your rental car via the USB or indeed bluetooth, we recommend checking the permissions on your phone / infotainment system and where you do allow access to your data, ensure you delete any data before returning the rental car.

Best way to charge your phone in a rental car

If you only want to charge your phone battery in a rental car, the safest way is via the 12v cigarette lighter point. 12v to USB adapters are cheap and widely available and will allow you to charge your device from your rental car without any access to your data.

Another option is to use a 'data blocker' device that plugs into the USB port in the car and allows your USB (male) to plug into. The data blocker prevents any data passing to the car and only allows for charging. These are also useful for public USB charging points such as in airports.

Wireless charging in a rental car?

More and more cars (and mobile devices) now boast wireless charging ports adding further convenience by merely placing your (wireless charging device) phone in the right place. Again, this is great for convenience, but you may be unknowingly connecting your device to the car and will want to restrict access / remove any data / history from the car before returning.

Most popular rental cars with USB / wireless charging;

US Rental Cars
Category
USB
Wireless Charging
Chevrolet Spark
Mini / Economy
YES
NO
Ford Focus
Compact
YES
Optional
Volkswagen Jetta
Standard
YES
Optional
Nissan Quest
7 Seat
YES
NO
Ford Fusion
Fullsize
YES
Optional
Ford Escape
SUV
YES
Optional
Ford Mustang
Convertible
YES
Optional
 
UK / EU Rental Cars
Category
USB
Wireless Charging
Fiat 500
Mini / Economy
YES
NO
Ford Focus
Compact
YES
Optional
Vauxhall Insignia
Standard
YES
YES
Volkswagen Touran
7 Seat
YES
Optional
Mercedes Vito
9 Seat
YES
NO
BMW 5 Series
Premium
YES
YES
Toyota Rav 4
SUV
YES
Optional
 
Oz / NZ Rental Cars
Category
USB
Wireless Charging
Suzuki Swift
Mini / Economy
YES
NO
Toyota Corolla
Compact
YES
YES
Kia Carnival
7 Seat
YES
YES
Toyota Camry
Fullsize
YES
YES
Mitsubishi ASX
SUV
YES
NO
Posted: August 27, 2019 by Phil Partridge | with 0 comments
Phil Partridge
About the Author

This article is written by: Phil Partridge - Travel writer, car rental guru, Phil has rented cars all over the world and shares his knowledge and experience on the Rhinocarhire.com Blog. Favourite country to visit: France.

Phil Partridge
Posted: August 27, 2019 by Phil Partridge | with 0 comments
About the Author -

Travel writer, car rental guru, Phil has rented cars all over the world and shares his knowledge and experience on the Rhinocarhire.com Blog. Favourite country to visit: France.

Last updated: Monday, November 11, 2019
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