How to Know if You're Old Enough to Rent a Car

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There are many circumstances in life when you need transportation but don’t own a vehicle. Some of these situations include:

  • You need to get around while you’re traveling away from home
  • You need a reliable vehicle for a road trip
  • Your car is being repaired
  • You have family visiting and your vehicle isn’t large enough for everyone
  • You need an extra vehicle for a special occasion such as a wedding

Rental cars are an excellent way to get temporary transportation for any of these purposes. In many places you must be 25 or older to rent a car. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), accidents occur at an exponentially higher rate for drivers under the age of 25. The accident rate decreases dramatically after 25, and continues to drop as age increases.

Drivers below the age of 25 are a higher risk for car rentals, and are treated accordingly, but renting a car under the age of 25 is still possible. So how do you go about getting a rental car if you’re under the rental agency’s age limit?

Part 1 of 2: Determine if you are eligible for a rental

Many American rental agencies have an age policy when it comes to renting vehicles. That doesn’t automatically preclude you from getting a rental car, but it can limit your options.

Step 1: Check policies online. Research the rental policies online for each major car rental company in your area.

The most common car rental agencies include:

  • Alamo
  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Dollar Rent-A-Car
  • Enterprise
  • Hertz
  • National
  • Thrifty

  • Locate the rental age restrictions on their website or perform a web search such as “Hertz renting to drivers under 25.”

  • Read the information to discover if rentals are allowed under the age of 25. Some companies, like Hertz, rent cars to drivers in the 18-19, 20-22, and 22-24 age brackets.

Step 2: Call your major local rental car companies. Find the phone numbers of rental companies near where you need to rent and ask an agent if you are eligible to rent a car.

  • Most rental agencies will rent cars to those 20-24 with some restrictions or added fees. Typical restrictions include:

  • Limited vehicle choices

  • No luxury vehicle rentals

  • Extra “under-25” fees

  • Tip: Extra fees are usually not that expensive, with some rental car companies not charging an extra fee at all.

Step 2: Mention if you are part of a special group. Some large corporations or special interest groups have agreements with rental car companies that waive the extra charges for under-25 drivers.

  • Military, some Fortune 500 companies, and federal government staff may be exempt from the under-25 restrictions altogether.

Part 2 of 2: Rent a car while you are under 25

Step 1: Book your rental car ahead of time. It is especially important to make a reservation if you are restricted to the type of rental car you can drive.

  • Give the rental agent the information they need to complete your reservation including your credit card information if required.

Step 2: Show up to your reservation on time. If you are late for your reservation, you run the risk of your rental car being rented by someone else.

  • Tip: As a higher-risk rental for the car rental agency, they will be more at ease if you are on time and pleasant.

Step 2: Provide your driver’s license and credit card to the rental agent.

  • You may be subjected to a credit check or a driver’s license inquiry as you are under the age of 25.

Step 4: Complete the rental contract with the rental agent. Make careful note of any existing damage and the fuel level.

  • Because you are under 25 and you’re an added risk to the rental company, you will be under extra scrutiny.

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  • Make sure all dents, scratches, and chips are noted on your rental agreement.

Step 5: Purchase extra rental insurance. It is an excellent idea to cover yourself from any damage that could possibly occur while the rental car is in your possession, even if it isn’t your fault.

  • As an under-25 renter, you may be required to take the extra rental car insurance.

Step 6: Sign the rental agreement and drive away. Make sure you familiarize yourself with all the controls and have the seat in a comfortable position before you leave the lot.

Part 2 of 2: Use the rental car responsibly

Step 1: Drive with care at all times. Be aware of traffic around you to avoid collisions and damage.

  • Drive responsibly and within the speed limits.

  • Traffic violations the rental company receives at a later date will be assessed to you.

Step 2: Call if you’re going to be late. If you’re going to need the rental car longer than your rental agreement, call and advise the rental agency.

  • If your rental isn’t returned on time, you can be assessed extra charges or even have the rental reported stolen.

Step 4: Return your rental car at the agreed-upon time. Bring the rental car back in the same condition as you received it and with the same amount of fuel.

  • Any problems with your rental car or your dealings may prevent you from getting a rental in the future.

Renting a car when you’re young, especially if it’s to go to a fun event with your friends, can be a great experience. Follow the steps above and drive carefully to make sure you return your rental car in the same condition it was when you found it. This will make for a pleasant experience for you, the rental company, and for other under-25 year olds who want to rent a car in the future.


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Rigoberto

9 years of experience
706 reviews
Rigoberto
9 years of experience
Chevrolet Equinox - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Niles, Illinois
Rigo was great! He got there early, finished the job early, left everything clean. He changed my rear pads and rotors. The original quoted time was 90 minutes, he was done in about 60. He knows what he is doing and I am recommending him to all my friends and coworkers.
Mercedes-Benz C250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Chicago, Illinois
Rigo is a maverick hands down. Don’t take your car for work elsewhere. Especially great at Mercedes—this guy knows his profession! I will be using him for everything related to my car going forward.

Arturo

25 years of experience
35 reviews
Arturo
25 years of experience
Kia Forte - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Diego, California
ARTURO is great! very professional , fast, replaced my front brake pads and oil an filter change. everything now works and works well. Brakes have much improved stopping power and engine is smooth and quiet.Arturo is also kind and thoughtful. "Your mechanic" is very fortunate to have Arturo Lopez represent your company. I enthusiastically recommend him and "Your mechanic> as a fine operation Best regards to the Team Peter Marto
Nissan Maxima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - San Diego, California
Arturo was prompt and completed my brake repair, including new rotors in a very efficient manner. I am very pleased with the quality of the work and the parts and will definitely look to have him service our other car in the near future.

Scott

32 years of experience
345 reviews
Scott
32 years of experience
Lexus IS250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Denver, Colorado
Always on time, speedy, professional, and pleasant to interact with. The work is always consistent and we'll done. I can't reccomend Scott highly enough!

Michael

10 years of experience
15 reviews
Michael
10 years of experience
Nissan Sentra - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Conyers, Georgia
He was promptly on time and got the job done efficiently in a timely manner. I really appreciate the rapid respone on getting the job done! I would most definitely use this service again.

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