- › What’s the Minimum Age to Rent a Car?
- › What are the Young Driver requirements?
- › What documents do I need to hire a car under the age of 25?
- › Why is it important for me to check my age before booking a car rental?
- › Do I have to pay for any additional fees for car rental under 25?
- › Is there a way to avoid paying the additional fee?
- › Are there any vehicle restrictions, if I am under 25?
- › I am from the UK, what do I need to be aware of?
What’s the Minimum Age to Rent a Car?
Most of car hire suppliers prefer drivers over the age of 20 or even higher. This comes from the most recent available data on driver crash involvement and driving exposure, which has shown that most motor vehicle crashes are caused by young people between the ages of 16-24, making the risk of car crashes higher than among any other age group due to less experience.
In most European countries, the minimum age limit to drive a car is 18 years of age, meaning most teenagers over the age of 18 have already acquired their drivers’ licenses. In the US, there is a system of graduated licensing for novice drivers, where individuals under the age of 16 are eligible for a learner’s permit and can drive when accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. However, these rules do not apply when it comes to renting a car.
The minimum age to rent a car differs from country to country and from car hire supplier as well. For example, the minimum age to rent a car in most agencies across the US and Canada is 21 or over. In the UK most car hire suppliers prefer drivers over the age of 21. In some European countries, it is possible to rent a car from the age of 18.
The minimum age policy may also depend on the vehicle you wish to rent with individual car hire suppliers.
Make sure you check what that age is assigned by the country you are visiting and car rental companies terms and conditions to avoid any issues.
Country Minimum age to rent a car US 21 (depending on the state) Canada 21 UK 21 France 21 Spain 21 Italy 18 Germany 18 Portugal 18 Ireland 21 Greece 21 Iceland 20 Netherlands 21 Switzerland 19
What are the Young Driver requirements?
To rent a car in most countries, you must:
- be over the age of 21,
- have a valid driver's license (certain car hire suppliers require you to have had your driving license for a minimum of one year before renting a car),
- have a valid credit card (but be careful car hire suppliers only accept credit card with the main driver’s name),
- evidence of no penalty points or penalties.
We recommend you read the terms and conditions of the selected car hire supplier or contact them directly to check what their specific requirements might be.
What documents do I need to hire a car under the age of 25?
When you arrive at the car rental place or pick up, you will be required to bring the following documents:
- a full driving license,
- proof of identity in the form of a valid identification with a photo (ID card or passport),
- a credit card in the main driver’s name with enough credit limit (check how much of limit you need before renting a car),
- International driving permit (if required – only those with a non-EU driver’s license),
- DVLA code (for those hiring a car with a UK license).
Why is it important for me to check my age before booking a car rental?
Be careful when renting a car online and make sure you put the correct personal information into the booking form. Over the last couple of years, we have noticed a lot of our younger customers who car rental under 25, have forgotten to provide their actual age and have marked up the default driver age, which ranges from 30 to 65. This action may result in some un-wanted issues for both the young renter and car rental company or supplier.
It is very important to provide a car rental supplier with a young driver’s correct age. Knowing and having the correct age in the system will allow us to provide you with correct fees and car hire suppliers which allow young drivers under the age of 25 to rent a car. Furthermore, there are other additional fees which can affect your final price depending on your age. For example, drivers over the age of 25, can collect a car hire with just basic insurance and place a deposit on their credit card. Whilst, drivers under the age of 25, may have a car hire quotation that already includes insurance, in addition to a young driver fee (explained further down).
Therefore, make a double (age) check before finalizing your booking since!
Do I have to pay for any additional fees for car rental under 25?
The answer is (sadly) YES. Young drivers, under the age of 25, have a significant disadvantage when renting a car, meaning you will most likely have to pay additional young drivers or renter fee. This additional daily fee is added to your original car hire price and is a form of compensation for the “extra” risk the car hire company takes when car rental under 25. Many suppliers, especially in the UK, offer student discounts or have lower additional fees if hiring a car for longer periods.
The cost of the additional fee is set by the car hire supplier and can vary from company to company. The amount will be deducted from your credit card together with the rental car price when you finish booking online. Find out what your additional fee will be, please contact your car hire supplier.
Is there a way to avoid paying the additional fee?
As the popular proverb goes: “Where there's a will there's a way”. Certain rental car companies and suppliers will allow you to minimize or better yet avoid paying additional fees through individual memberships.
- AAA Membership – young drivers between the ages of 20 and 24, who live in the US and have the annual membership can avoid paying the Young Drivers or Renters fee. They will also be provided with roadside assistance. If renting a car outside the US, check the international clubs of the AAA Exchange to see where this membership can be applied.
- USAA – If you are a family member of an active or retired military service member, you can in some cases qualify for free waivers through USAA.
Are there any vehicle restrictions, if I am under 25?
In other words, what car can you rent if you’re a young driver, is your question? We must tell you, car rental under 25 years of age might affect (and restrict) your car selection with certain car hire companies.
No worries though, you will still be able to rent a full-size economy car, which will take you from point A to point B, no questions asked. However, keep in mind, if you had your heart set on the option for renting sports or luxury, higher class cars, is practically slim to nun.
I am from the UK, what do I need to be aware of?
Pretty much all the (mentioned) standard rules apply to you as well when renting a car under the age of 25. The biggest difference you will most likely experience is driving on the right side if you are traveling outside the UK.
You will also need to obtain the DVLA code through which the rental car company can check your driving record held in the DVLA database. In this database, they will be able to see penalty points (if you have any) and the vehicles you can drive. Once you receive the DVLA code it is valid for 21 days. So, keep this in mind, if traveling for longer periods.
If you are considering driving your rental car outside the UK, first check with the car hire company if this is even allowed and what kind of additional insurance you might need to purchase. If driving the rental car outside the UK is not allowed to rent a car in the country, which you are traveling to. Therefore, you will avoid any further issues and additional charges. Furthermore, if you are planning a road trip through Europe, there is a possibility to rent a car in one country and drop it off in another one. That way you won’t need to drive back to your starting point. However, this option can be a bit expansive.
In most European countries you will be required to have warning triangles, first aid kit, breathalyzers, reflective vests, spare car lamps and so on. Also, in countries like Austria, Switzerland, and Slovenia, you will be required to purchase a Vignette if case the rental car does not have one. If you will be driving your car rental under 25 in Spain and Italy, you will need to obtain the International Drivers permit as well.
We strongly suggest you check the driving regulations and requirements of the rental car company and country you will be visiting before embarking on your trip!
We here at Vehicle Rent wish you the most memorable and amazing road trip!