How old do you have to be to rent a Car

Well, it depends on which company you are renting your car from. Most major companies require renters to be at least 25 years old; however, some car rental companies may still allow people age 18 or older (with valid proof of age) to rent their cars.

The minimum age requirements for renters in each nation are set by the local laws regarding driving privileges in that country. For example, minors in the United States must usually wait until they turn 16 before being able to receive a driver’s license, whereas in Canada the legal driving age is 16 or 17 depending on the province or territory where one lives. Some countries have no mandatory driving age so even children can legally drive when accompanied by a driver who is at least 18 years old.

The minimum age to rent vehicles in Europe varies between 16 and 25 depending on the country. Many European countries require drivers to be 18 or older, with some requiring renters to be 21 or 24. For example, in Portugal the legal driving age is 18 but for cars rented under one day the minimum age requirement for renting is 21; whereas in France the legal driving age to drive rental cars without an adult co-signer is 21; however, it can go down as low as 20 if you are already employed (see below).

Italy has two different types of car rentals: “Short term” (less than 15 days) the minimum driving ages are 18 for up/6-seater cars, 20 for 7-seater and minibuses. For long term, the age is always 21.

In Malta , the minimum age to rent a car or motorcycle at 17 years old, provided that an approved driving course certificate has been obtained less than 2 years before applying to drive the particular vehicle rented .

Licensing & Age Requirements in Europe

United Kingdom

United Kingdom resident must have held a full UK license for 12 months.

Spain

For Spain you require just your national driving license or an international driving license (the minimum age for that is 18).

Germany

For Germany no special conditions are necessary. However, the young driver must be at least 18 years of age and have held a full license for one year.

Netherlands

For Netherlands you must be at least 21 years old to rent a car, but in some cases it’s possible to get an exception if the renter already has a driver’s license.

Romania

For Romania there is no minimum age limit.

Denmark and Norway

No special requirements for Denmark or Norway, just that you have held your license for one year and are over 18 years of age.

Iceland

Minimum age to rent a car in Iceland is 20 and you also need to have had your license for at least 2 years.

Switzerland

For Switzerland the minimum ages are 18 (25 if the renter’s driver’s license is written in a language other than German, French or Italian).

Canada

In Canada, the minimum age to rent a car varies by province or territory.

Australia

For Australia , at least 21 years of age and with an Australian driver’s license for at least one year.

South Africa

For South Africa , at least 21 years of age and with a valid international driver’s license.

New Zealand

In New Zealand rental companies can set their own minimum age, so it could vary depending on the car company.

Japan

In Japan you need to be at least 20 years old and have held an international driving license for at least one year.

Guam

In Guam there is no minimum age for renting a car, but if you’re under 25 your insurance costs will increase.

What’s the minimum age?

The car rental companies we talked to require renters to be at least 25 years of age. The exact minimum age varies by company and type of vehicle, but as a general rule:

· Most companies that rent regular cars (examples: Toyota RAV4, Honda Accord) require you to be 25.

· High end luxury rentals may have an upper-end minimum age requirement (example: Mercedes E Class), usually about 30.

Is there a fee for underage drivers?

Yes – this is called an underage or young renter fee and it can cost $10 – $25/day. This means that if you are 21 and rent a car under someone else’s name, you will have to pay for the privilege.

What if I am under 25 but have a great driving record?

Many car rental companies are willing to waive young renter fees under special circumstances. This means that your history of safe driving could result in the company waiving the underage fee. The following are some common examples of when this can happen:

  • If you’ve had no accidents or moving violations over the last year while driving on another person’s policy, they may be able to waive it based on your personal insurance record.
  • If you’re an American Express Platinum card holder , some locations will waive underage fees for customers who rent with their AMEX cards due to the additional coverage provided by AMEX.
  • If you’re a member of an auto club like AAA, there is sometimes family membership benefits that will waive young renter fees.

How to Find the Best Prices on Car Rentals for Young Drivers?

There are two ways to get cheap car rentals for people under 25: Check different rental companies and choose the best deal, or if your travel plans are flexible, rent last minute.

If you want to check multiple companies in one sitting, make use of a comparison site like Kayak , which offers monthly deals from most major car rental agencies. This makes it easy to find the cheapest rate even if you aren’t sure which company you’ll end up renting from yet. In general though, prices tend to drop for rentals starting on Thursday evening or Friday, so if you are able to plan ahead, it’s best to rent your car around this time.

Another way to save money is by renting very last minute, often called an “oops rate”. Last minute rental rates are usually the same price as a young renter fee, but sometimes they can be significantly less expensive than normal rental charges. The easiest way to find these deals is by using an aggregator like Google Flights or Kayak , and checking multiple airports within your travel radius:

I want to rent a car soon – what do I need to bring?

You will need proof of age and proof of income . It’s usually easiest just to bring your driver’s license and credit card. A passport will work for many rental companies, but you may want to call in advance to make sure.

When I show up at the car rental company, what kinds of ID do they usually ask me for?

You will need two pieces of identification with your name and address . This could be a driver’s license or an official state/government issued ID (examples: passport, military ID). The following are NOT acceptable forms of identification : Social security card Birth certificate School photo IDs Credit cards Bank statements If you have just moved, it may take longer to rent a car until you get new bills in your name. Consider whether it is worth waiting until then before renting if you are under 25.

Why am I being asked for proof of income if I’m under 25?

Most car rental companies want proof of income regardless of your age because they don’t want to be stuck with a car for a week or two. But, many still think it’s fair to charge young drivers extra since there is little chance the renter will ever have an accident. It simply comes down to risk mitigation on the company’s part, but in most cases they do not require you to purchase their collision damage waiver insurance unless you are between 21 and 24 years old .

How much extra should I expect to pay for auto insurance when renting a car?

It varies by company, but most charge about $25 per day . This means that weekly rentals are usually waived, so renters only have to pay for insurance most weekends.

You can also purchase the rental company’s collision damage waiver (CDW) . Usually, they will charge $5 per day , and it is usually not a good idea to decline this because you could be responsible for the entire amount of damage if your car is damaged or stolen. There are certain credit cards that offer primary CDW coverage , so even if you plan on using your card to pay for the rental, check to see whether it has additional benefits like this built in:

I’m under 25 and I need full coverage car insurance – what do I do?!

Some car rental companies will allow you to buy their extra insurance without paying an underage fee. Read through line item carefully before signing up for an extra product and be sure to decline it if you don’t think you need the coverage.

What is a ‘young renter fee’?

Most car rental companies charge young renters between $13 and $25 per day , which increases the total cost of your rental by more than 50%. You can find these fees advertised on most company websites under their FAQ or Terms and Conditions. This price increase is usually accompanied by a slight decrease in liability insurance, so make sure you check the fine print carefully for any specific exclusions. There are some companies that do not have a young renter fee at all . Some will even waive the underage charge if you purchase their CDW plan, as mentioned above.

Is there anything else I need to know about underage car rentals?

Know that you will not be able to purchase the rental company’s CDW insurance if you are under 25 years old, and it is usually best to decline supplementary protection plans like personal accident insurance. This is because your own credit card might already provide supplemental coverage (see above). Some companies may only allow drivers over 25 to rent specific car classes , so check before booking online.

Conclusion

You can rent a car at 18 years old in most states. If you’re over 25, there may be restrictions on the type of cars that are available to you. For example, if your driver’s license is expired or doesn’t match the state where you’re renting from, then it might not be possible for you to rent an SUV even though they are available through Alamo Rent A Car