How Old Do You Have to Be to Rent a Car? 4 Facts You Should Know

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how old do you have to be to rent a car

How old do you have to be to rent a car? No single answer exists regarding how old one must be to rent a car; different rental car providers establish different age restrictions.

Some rental suppliers waive underage fees for AAA members or government employees who rent cars from them.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Rent a Car?

Minimum rental age in most locations is 21; Michigan and New York allow drivers age 18-21. Drivers under 25 incur a younger driver fee.

Age Restrictions

The age limit on car rentals stems from rental companies trying to limit their liability risk. Young drivers tend to incur much higher insurance premiums and therefore, according to standard practice in the industry, age restrictions have become common practice.

Age limits depend on the car rental company and location; Enterprise does not impose an upper age limit at its corporate-owned locations in the U.K., Ireland, Germany, France and Spain while Sixt does impose one on Bulgarian locations.

State laws such as those found in Michigan and New York stipulate that rental agencies allow 18-20 year-old drivers to rent vehicles; however, young drivers typically incur an underage fee or Age Differential Charge and are restricted to certain car classes such as SUVs and performance cars. They may even be prohibited from renting them altogether.

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As a young renter, it’s wise to research policies across several rental companies in order to find the best offers. Some local car rental companies even waive underage fees in certain instances: Kyte does not levy additional charges for Boston area drivers under 25 while Hertz doesn’t add extra charges on drivers aged 21-24 in most locations (though there may be specialty car class restrictions). Therefore it is crucial that before booking any rental car that the specific terms and conditions be read thoroughly prior to making a reservation.

Underage Fees

Many rental car companies charge an underage fee when renting cars to drivers under 25. This charge serves to compensate for the increased risk associated with having someone younger than the driver operating a car.

Underage fees are determined based on statistical evidence that indicates younger drivers are more likely to cause accidents, damage their vehicles and cause other issues than older drivers; as a result, those under 25 typically pay more when renting cars than those aged 25 and up.

Underage fees can be an enormous deterrent for young people looking to rent a car. Unfortunately, they quickly add up and can make your rental more costly than necessary – but there are ways around them!

Rental car companies typically don’t check age when booking vehicles online, meaning if you are under 25 with an impeccable driving record and reservation receipt you could end up owing hundreds more at the counter than anticipated. Getaround, an app-based car rental service operating similar to Airbnb for cars offers one exception to this rule – their rentals begin at age 24 for the same cost as someone 26 or over.

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Younger Drivers

18 is considered the age of adulthood for many purposes: voting, purchasing a car and taking out college loans are all actions you can legally take as an adult; joining the military and fighting war are among others. When renting cars though, this age threshold becomes somewhat unclear: some rental companies accept younger drivers but most have minimum ages of 25 that make renting difficult for young drivers, especially since many rental agencies impose onerous Young Driver fees that often make renting even less cost-effective than ever.

Young drivers are generally defined as renters between 21-24, however this varies depending on your location. For instance, Michigan and New York both set minimum rental ages at 18 so those renting in those states won’t incur a young driver fee. Furthermore, US government employees on official orders may rent from as early as age 18 without incurring this additional cost.

Before renting a vehicle as an 18-25-year-old driver, make sure to research discounts from your rental company or other sources before booking it. Many airlines have partnership arrangements where their customers receive discounted rental car rates through rental car companies; universities may have agreements with certain rental car firms which waive underage fees for students and alumni; membership programs like USAA (United Services Automobile Association) may offer additional discounts or waivers for young drivers as well.

Older Drivers

Some car rental companies impose age restrictions that apply even to older drivers, like Hertz’s maximum rental age of 75. Customers over this limit can still rent from Hertz; however, they must present proof of current health coverage along with a doctor’s statement to prove their healthiness before renting from Hertz.

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Other companies may not place as stringent restrictions on older drivers when renting cars; indeed, some don’t restrict older renters at all! Before renting from any company in your area, however, if you are an older renter it is advisable to contact them first to confirm if any age limitations or fees exist in their contract – always do your research! Some firms offer different rules and fees specifically tailored for seniors while comparing policies is essential before booking any vehicle rental contract.

One way to avoid underage fees is to join programs like USAA, which offers rental discounts, reward points and secondary damage liability protection for members. Certain credit cards also offer this perk such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve Cards from Chase. Furthermore, some employers and universities have partnerships with rental car companies which offer discounted rates or other perks to employees and alumni of those institutions – be sure to inquire beforehand whether any such affiliation exists that might waive underage fees!