How Old Do You Have to Be to Rent a Car?
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It used to be impossible to rent a car if you were under 25 years old. Car rental companies worried about the inexperience of young drivers and were hesitant to rent to them. Over time, things have changed and several companies have begun renting to younger drivers. However, even though many have lowered minimum age limits, there are usually additional fees and requirements. With a few simple steps, you will know if you’re old enough to rent a car.
Contact the car rental company
To find out if a car rental company will rent to younger drivers, contact the company directly. Most will rent to drivers over 21, but some policies give them the flexibility to rent to individuals as young as 18. For example, some companies will rent a car to an individual between the age of 18 and 20 who is in the military or works for the government if they have official orders. It is important to call the company for exact rates and policies, as they differ from state-to-state and rental locations.
Remember, not all car rentals companies have the same rules
Just because one car rental company will rent to younger drivers, it doesn’t mean they all will. Even if you find several locations that rent to drivers under 25, remember they each have their own set of policies and rules. Also, the fees and surcharges may differ significantly.
Since most companies don’t verify age requirements with online reservations, you can show up and be hit with unexpected charges. With this in mind, you should call to confirm the policies, fees, insurance options, and total estimated charges.
Understanding different car rental company policies
|Car Rental Company||Age Limits||Policy for Drivers Under 25 Years Old|
|Enterprise||Minimum age 21, with exception of military, which is 18 with approved orders or for specific states. No maximum age limit.||Young Renter Fee applies, increases rate on average $20 higher per day, but varies per state and rental location.|
|Hertz||Minimum age 20, with exception of specific states. No maximum age limit.||Subject to Age Differential Charge, which is based on state, rental location and type of vehicle.|
|Thrifty||Minimum age 21. No maximum age limit.||Underage Driver Charge varies depending on state and rental location.|
|Alamo||Minimum age 21, with the exception of governments employees and specific states. No maximum age limit.||Young Driver Fees apply, ranging in price based on state and rental locations.|
|National||Minimum age 21, with exception of government employees with approved orders and specific states. No maximum age limit.||Young Renter Fees apply, varies depending on state and rental location. Type of cars available is limited.|
|Budget||Minimum age 21, with the exception of military and government employees 18 and over with approved orders and specific states. No maximum age limit.||Underage Surcharge typically $27 per day, but can vary by state and rental location. Limitations on type of cars available to rent.|
|Dollar||Minimum age 21, with exceptions by specific states. No maximum age limit.||Under Age Drivers Fee varies by state and rental location.|
|Avis||Minimum age 21, with the exception of military and government employees 18 and over with approved orders and specific states. No maximum age limit.||Underage Surcharge typically $27 per day, but can vary by state and rental location. Limitations on type of cars available to rent.|
If you are under 25, it's not impossible to rent a car, but it may not be as easy or as inexpensive as you might hope. Sometimes, life dictates the extra effort and expense. The best way to know if you are old enough to rent a car is to contact rental companies directly. Make sure you review all the policies as you never know if your circumstances will result in reduced or waived fees.