How Old Do I Have to be to Rent a Car?

Under Age Car Rentals

For the longest time, trying to rent a car under the age of twenty-five was practically impossible. This wasn’t because there were ever any laws against car rental agencies renting to young people. Most agencies simply don’t trust young drivers. Many statistics show that younger drivers between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four have a higher accident rating than any other age group. Many reasons have been cited for these results, but the consensus is that young people who just learn how to drive are more reckless with their new found freedom than older, proven drivers. Since car rental companies reserve the right to deny service to anyone seen as an unfit driver, many decided to see all people under the age of twenty-five to be unfit drivers. This discriminate decision has been lifted by many car companies, but for a price.

Why are car rental agencies lifting their under twenty-five ban? Why is any other company amending their policies? The economy! Just about every industry, including car rental agencies, are hurting worldwide. The only way they can try to recoup some of their losses is to implement business building changes. Instead of lowering their prices, many rental agencies have decided to take advantage of the desperate under age market. They’re now willing to rent cars to anyone aged twenty-one or older, but if you fall within the twenty-one to twenty-four range then you’re going to have to pay a premium.

OK, How Much Will It Cost Me?

The premium for twenty-one to twenty-four year olds can range anywhere from ten to fifty extra U.S. dollars per day, (put in your correct age, and our booking engine above will automatically calculate exactly how much it will cost) meaning it could more than double your rental’s base rate. Add on top of that all the additional fees such as car insurance, which most under aged car renters would have to purchase, and you’re looking at paying a pretty fortune for the privilege of driving around for a few days. 

If you’re in the eighteen to twenty years old category, you’re still mostly out of luck. However, we do have advice for methods aspiring under age car renters can implement to try to get a car rental agency to make an exception. You may even be able to wave the additional fee entirely no matter how old you are.

The first suggestion, and this is for people under twenty-one, is to see if the car rental company will allow you to rent a car at an additional rate like most do for people between twenty-one and twenty-four. It’ll likely cost you an extra hundred dollars or more per day, but you’ll achieve your goal in the end. Although how many eighteen year olds could afford to pay that much more on top of all the usual rental car rates and fees?

OK, I'm too Young.  Now What?

The main thing you can do to try to nullify or lessen the blow of under aged fees is to speak with someone in person and plead your case. You’ll need to make sure you speak to someone who can actually pass judgment on your case, meaning a manager or someone else with authority. Convincing the clerk who just started last week isn’t going to get you very far. When pleading your case, make sure you know your facts too. If you can get a hold of someone who cares even a little bit, being able to prove the destructive impact the rate would have and your utter necessity for a vehicle can go a long way. You may not be able to get the rate to go away entirely, but you may be able to get away with one or two payments instead of paying extra every day.

Also, just because you’re under age doesn’t mean you don’t qualify for other discounts as well. Search for special offers and further discounts you may be able to apply in order to lessen your car rental’s overall blow. If you have to pay twenty-five dollars extra a day due to under aged fees, but are able to get twenty-five dollars a day taken off of your initial rate, then you’ll at least break even and only end up paying the rate everyone else normally pays. Times are hard right now for everyone. Be diligent and you’re sure to find a way around paying ridiculously expensive car rental prices just because other people your age can’t seem to drive correctly. 

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