Guide to Rental Car Age Requirements (Under 25 & 21) [2019]

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Have you ever wondered if it is possible to rent a car under the age of 25? Well, you might be surprised to find out that it is possible to rent vehicles at the age of 21 and even at the age of 18 in some states.

What exactly is the catch?

Well, for starters you will have to pay additional fees for being a “young renter” and you also will have certain restrictions for different vehicles that you’re not able to rent. In this article, I will walk you through everything you need to know as a young renter, which is usually considered to anybody under 25. 

The policies are a little bit different for each rental car company but I’ll highlight the policies for Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, National, and Silvercar.


How old do you need to be to rent a car?

Generally speaking you will need to be 20 or 21 years old to rent a car in the US.  If you are between the ages of 20 to 24, you will likely be subject to the additional young renter’s fee.

There are some exceptions for those in New York and Michigan and in those states some rental car companies will rent to 18 year olds but you will have to pay even higher young renter’s fees. There are also exceptions for government employees who can rent at 18 years of age and avoid fees.

Below, I will discuss the age requirements for different rental companies here in the US and show you how much you might expect to pay in fees if you are considered a young driver.

You usually need to be 21 years old to hit the road.

How much are the young renter fees?

The young renter fees are going to vary based on the rental car company that you go through. They also might depend on your specific age and location. Generally, if you can expect to pay anywhere from $20-$50 per day.

If you are driving with someone 25 years or older, you might be able to get around these if you have them become the primary driver with the vehicle, so always keep that in mind. Also, you might be able to avoid these fees if you are an AAA member.


Why do younger renters have to pay more?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers who are younger than 25 are significantly more likely to get into accidents than older drivers. After age 25, the per-driver crash rate declines dramatically.

By forcing young renters to pay more, there will be fewer young renters on the road and they will be able to contribute to covering these losses more by paying the extra fees.


Documents needed

Young renters will be subject to the same requirements for documents that other renters have to comply with.

Renters must present a valid, acceptable credit card (debit cards are usually not permitted) and a valid driver’s license both in the renter’s name. Some rental car companies might also require your license to have been in good standing for at least one year.


Alamo 

Alamo will rent to young renters between the ages of 21-24 and fees will vary but should be comparable to the rates below for other rental car companies.

Michigan

  • The minimum age is 18 years of age.
  • A $40.00 per day additional charge applies to 18-20 aged renters.
  • A $25.00 per day additional charge applies to 21-24 aged renters.

New York

  • The minimum age is 18 years of age.
  • A $57.00 per day additional charge applies to 18-20 aged renters.
  • A $20.00 per day additional charge applies to 21-24 aged renters.

Government personnel

  • U.S. military personnel and government employers ages 18 or older will not incur a young driver surcharge when renting for authorized government travel.

Restrictions

  • Certain specialty and larger sized vehicles may not be rented to drivers under the age of 25.

Avis

Avis will rent to young renters between the ages of 21-24. For Avis, the young renter fee for ages 21 to 24 is an additional $27-per-day in the U.S. and $35 per day in Canada for drivers 21-24.

Michigan

  • Michigan, will continue its minimum rental age of 18 with a $41-per-day surcharge for customers between the ages of 18-20 and a $28-per-day surcharge for customers between the ages of 21-24.

New York

  • In New York State, the minimum age to rent is 18 with a $52-per-day surcharge for renters age 18-20 and a $35-per-day underage surcharge for renters age 21-24.

Canada

  • In Quebec, the minimum age to rent car groups A, B, C, D & E is 21 with an under age fee of $20 per day for renters age 21-24. For all other car groups, the minimum age is 25.
  • In Saskatchewan, the minimum age is 18. No underage fee applies.

Government personnel

Government Personnel (civilian or military) minimum age policy is as follows:

For Personnel (FEMA, U.S. Postal Dept., Navy and Army) not using the Government Leisure Pass, minimum age is
18 years (No underage surcharge will apply) with Government Travel or Purchase order
21 years (No underage surcharge will apply) without Travel or Purchase order

When using the Government Leisure Pass the renter is subject to underage fees as specified by the renting location.

Restrictions

Renters between the ages of 21-24 may not rent vehicles in the following car classes:

  • Full-Size SUVs
  • Luxury
  • Minivans
  • Passenger Vans
  • Premium SUVs
  • Signature Series


Budget 

Budget will rent to young renters between the ages of 21-24. For Budget, the young renter fee for ages 21 to 24 is an additional $27-per-day in the U.S. and $35 per day in Canada for drivers 21-24. Because Budget does not verify your age when you make a reservation, this fee is in addition to your quoted online rate.

Restrictions

Drivers between the ages of 21-24 will not be permitted to rent luxury cars, mini vans, 12-passenger vans, specialty vehicles, full-size SUVs or premium SUVs.

  • If a renter wishes to add an additional driver to the rental policy, the second driver must be 25 or older and present their valid driver’s license and credit card or, at some locations, a debit card is acceptable.
  • If you plan to pre-pay your rental and are under 25 years of age, underage charges will be added at the counter and will need to be paid at car return. Your prepayment amount will be used as a credit toward the final costs of the rental.

Michigan

In Michigan at corporate-operated locations, the minimum rental age is 18 with a valid, acceptable credit card and driver’s license, and an additional $41-per-day underage surcharge for drivers 18-20; $28-per-day for drivers 21-24 years old will be applied.

New York

In New York State at corporate-operated locations, the minimum rental age is 18 with a valid, acceptable credit card and driver’s license, and an additional $52-per-day underage surcharge for drivers 18-20; $35-per-day for drivers 21-24 years old will be applied. Drivers under the age 25 will not be permitted to rent luxury cars, mini vans, 12-passenger vans, specialty vehicles, full-size SUVs or premium SUVs.


Enterprise

Enterprise will rent to young renters between the ages of 21-24. For Enterprise, the young renter fee for ages 21 to 24 the average cost for the fee is approximately $20.00 per day but can be higher or lower based on the rental location.

Government personnel

  • A United States Government Employee can rent at 18 years of age, but must show the rental location his or her official orders.

Michigan

  • In Michigan, the minimum age to rent is 18 years of age as mandated by the state
  • Any driver 18-20 years of age will be charged an additional ‘Young Renter Fee’ of $40.00 per day
  • Any driver 21-24 years of age will be charged an additional ‘Young Renter Fee’ of $25.00 per day

New York

  • In New York State, the minimum age to rent is 18 years of age as mandated by the state
  • Any driver 18-20 years of age will be charged an additional ‘Young Renter Fee’ of $57.00 per day
  • Any driver 21-24 years of age will be charged an additional ‘Young Renter Fee’ of $20.00 per day

Hertz

Hertz will rent to young renters between the ages of 20-24. For Hertz, the young renter fee for ages 20 to 24 the average cost for the fee is approximately. Hertz is one of the only major rental car companies that rents to those who are only 20. (Thrifty is another rental car company that will rent to 20-year-olds.)

They do require for you to have a valid driver’s license in good standing for over a year so if you just received your license, there could be some issues there. 

Government personnel

  • Some United States Government Employees or military personnel can rent at 18 years of age, but must show the rental location official orders.

Michigan and New York

  • In both the states of Michigan and New York, the minimum age to rent is 18 years of age as mandated by the state government.

How can you avoid an Under 25 Car Rental Fee?

A popular way to avoid an Under 25 Car Rental Fee is to join certain membership programs. For example, at Hertz, we have a partnership with AAA. As a AAA member between the age of 20 and 24, the young driver fee is not applied if you meet standard rental qualifications. The AAA membership application can be found here.

Restrictions

Hertz renters under the age of 25 may rent any car except those from the Dream Cars, Prestige, and Adrenaline collections, and certain specialty vehicles.


National Car Rental 

National car rental will rent to customers between the ages of 20-24. For National, the young renter fee for ages 21 to 24 the average cost for the fee is approximately.

If you wish to know the cost of the ‘Young Renter Fee’ you may begin the reservation process to determine the exact amount of the fee for the location (please remember you will have the option to confirm or cancel the reservation).

Michigan

  • In Michigan, the minimum age to rent is 18 years of age as mandated by the state
  • Any driver 18-20 years of age will be charged an  additional ‘Young Renter Fee’ of $40.00 per day.
  • Any driver 21-24 years of age will be charged an additional ‘Young  Driver Fee’ of $25.00 per day.

New York

  • In New York State, the minimum age to rent is 18 years of age as  mandated by the state
  • Any driver 18-20 years of age will be charged an  additional ‘Young Renter Fee’ of $57.00 per day.
  • Any driver 21-24 years of age will be charged an additional ‘Young  Driver Fee’ of $20.00 per day.

Government personnel

– A US Government Employee can rent at 18 years of age, but must  show the renting office his or her official orders. For more information  on government travel, click here

Restrictions

  • Renters 21 through 24 years of age may be restricted to specific car classes.


Silvercar


Final word

If you are under the age of 25, and you can expect to pay an additional younger printer speed whenever you rent a vehicle. This fee will typically range from $20-$50 dollars to fifty dollars depending on your age and the location of the rental.

If you are in a AAA member or if you are renting with someone 25 years or older, you might be able to get around the species. And if you live in a special state like New York or Michigan you can get away with renting a vehicle at the age of 18.

UponArriving has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. UponArriving and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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