Can You Rent a Car If You Are Under the Age of 25?
Ah, age can be such a weird means of measure at times. As soon as you hit 18, you are considered an adult. This means you can drink, pay taxes, vote, and even go to war. Still, this didn't stop car rental companies from telling you "You can't drive our rentals".
The current statistics that car hire companies look at when dealing with people 25 and below is that they are more likely to get into an accident than anybody else. For this reason, they have penalized young drivers. It doesn't matter if you have a good driving record or not. One look at your age and you either get an underage fee or not be allowed to rent a car.
Two decades ago, the industry standard was not to allow anybody 25 below to drive a rental. Nowadays, the rules are a bit lax but still not enticing for young drivers. For those who are 21 to 24 years of age, they are now allowed to rent a car by larger car hire companies but with additional fees.
Depending on the location, this underage surcharge fee can range from $25 a day up to $100. Aside from this, younger drivers being limited in the type of cars they can rent. No high-end cars. Just the cheapest options. While there are still luxury car rental companies that are willing to rent specialty vehicles to younger drivers, the daily surcharge can get very high.
For those who want to rent a car within the ages of 18 to 21, you might want to recheck your options. Most car hire companies don't allow drivers of those ages to hire their cars. There are certain exceptions like certain states in the US like New York and Michigan. There, drivers 21 below are allowed to rent by law. However, car hire companies slap an obnoxious surcharge to either discourage rentals or to make up for the worst possible scenario.
So what can you do if you want to rent a car but you are still below 25? Here are some tips.
1. Shop around. Don't just settle for the nearest car rental company. If you can, do your research ahead of time. Some smaller car rental companies offer cheaper underage surcharge. Take time to talk to an agent over the phone to clarify any questions you might have. "While there is a strict policy with regards to renting out cars to drivers 25 below, we can make exceptions depending on the situation. For example, if you are 24 and have a good driving record, we can reduce the underage fee as long as you have a comprehensive personal auto insurance." says Alan, director at carhiremaltagroup
2. Find out if you are eligible for organizational or corporate offers. If you have a job or work as an intern, check if your company has a corporate account with a car hire company. Some partnerships allow employees to rent at discounted rates with some fees (including underage surcharge) waived.
Renting a car when you are below 25 can be tough. It's either expensive or you aren't allowed to rent a car. That's why it is highly recommended that you check all possible transportation options especially when you are 21 and below. Having your own car is the dream but it may not be worth it considering the expenses.
Just look at it this way, the money you saved from not renting a car can be saved towards your own car. With that in mind, you'll realize that taking the bus won't be that much of a bother after all.
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