Most people assume you must be 25 to rent a car. Otherwise, you’ll get turned away at every car rental place in town. That’s what I thought until I Googled the subject for an hour and made a few phone calls. Now I know the truth. I’m writing this post to tell you that you don’t need to be 25 to rent a car. Years ago, 25 was the standard number, but things have changed quite a lot in recent years. So if that’s no longer the case, how old do you have to be to rent a car? Read on to find out.
So at What Age Can You Rent a Car?
Today, you don’t even need to be 21 to rent a car. So at what age can you rent a car? You only need to be 17. That’s the magic number.
You may be questioning my integrity at this point in the post. Perhaps you were just at a car rental place and they rejected you for not being 25. That can happen. That’s because 25 used to be the norm and, for some companies, their policy still states you must be 25. However, within the past decade, six major auto rental companies have changed their age limit from age 25 to age 21.
There are ways to get a rental at a young age from any car rental company. IMPORTANT: All car rental companies operating in Michigan and New York state only require drivers to be 18. But even if you’re outside of those states, there are still lots of ways to get into a rental when you’re young. I will tell you how later on. But there are hoops to jump through. No one likes jumping through hoops. What I’ll share with you right now is the names of car rental companies and their age requirements.
How to Rent a Car if You’re under 18 with Any Car Rental Company
Besides renting in Michigan or New York, you can rent a car if you’re on official government orders. You can also get any car rental under 18 if you work for a company that has a special arrangement with the car renter. The company I worked for allowed me to rent any car as long as I used the corporate credit card. Finally, if you list an older driver as the primary, you can be added as a secondary.
Age to Rent Car if You’re 18 or Younger and the Above Paragraph Was Not Helpful for You
Sixt Rent a Car
Sixt will rent to you if you’re only 17. You can rent a car with Sixt as long as you have at least one year’s experience under your belt. They do charge a fee and offer a limited selection of cars. Read complete policy here.
E-Z Rent-A-Car will happily rent to any 18-year-old. However, they slap you with a surcharge. But can you blame them? I know when I was 18, I drove pretty wild. With E-Z Rent-A-Car, drivers between age 18 and 20 are charged an additional $35 per day. Drivers between age 21-24 are charged $20 extra per day. Once you reach age 25, these surcharges are dropped.
I know surcharges aren’t fun, but it’s awesome E-Z Rent-A-Car is willing to lend out cars to young adults. You can read more about this small-ish rental company by visiting their FAQ section found here.
How to Rent a Car if You’re under 25 but over 18
You may be over 18 but not yet 25. This means you have more selection than your 18-year-old friends. Here’s a quick rundown of all the companies and their age restrictions:
Fox Rent a Car
You only need to be 19 to get a vehicle from Fox Rent a Car. Read it officially on this page of the Fox website.
Avis Car Rental
You must be 21 to rent with Avis. Avis just needs a valid drivers license and credit card. However, young drivers are typically barred from renting the cool vehicles like Corvettes. Sports cars are brutally expensive so who cares. And you will also be assessed a surcharge like with E-Z Rent-A-Car. Click here for official rules.
You must be 21 to rent a car from Enterprise. Click here for official rules.
Budget Rent a Car
You must be 21 to rent from Budget. Click here for official rules.
Dollar Rent a Car
Dollars car rental requires you to be 21. Click here for official rules.
Hertz Car Rental
Hertz only requires you to be 20. Although about 10% of locations require customers to be age 25 or older. An additional fee will apply but it varies by location and with regards to which car you want to rent. Read more on this page of the Hertz website. If your location doesn’t want to rent to you, I’d ask them for an exception. Because there website does state you can drive at 20.
Thrifty Car Rental
Thrifty Car Rental will gladly rent a car to anyone 21 years and over. Click here for official rules.
ACE Rent a Car
ACE Rent a Car is all over the board. Most locations rent to the 21-24 crowd. Some locations rent to those who are younger. You can read it on the ACE website by clicking here. Make sure there’s an ACE rental location near you before trying to book: Locations
In general, U-Save requires drivers to be at least 21. However, note that policies vary by location. To find out more about the restrictions at the particular franchise where you want to rent, visit the U-Save website and select a franchise. Then choose Location Website to reach the web page for that particular franchise. You can use the Contact form on this page to inquire about the minimum rental age.
At What Age Can You Rent a Car?
At what age can you rent a car? You can rent a car fairly easily at age 18. And the older you get, the easier it gets. Don’t listen to anyone who says you must be 25 to rent a car. You can rent one right now! Go have fun! Bring enough friends along so the surcharge amount isn’t a big deal. Go enjoy life.