4 Places to Rent a Car at Age 18 (+ Where You Can’t)

Rental car companies used to only do business with customers age 25 and up, but those rules have changed in recent years. Now, the minimum age at most rental agencies is 21. But it’s still possible to rent a car if you’re 18 — you just might have to pay a little extra. Here’s where to rent a car at age 18.

How to Rent a Car with Any Rental Company

In most cases, rental car companies can set their age limits at their own discretion. But state and federal laws mandate rental car agencies to do business with customers ages 18 and up in a couple of select situations.

You should be able to rent a car at 18 at most major car rental companies if you meet the following requirements:

  • You are renting a car in New York or Michigan, where state law requires car rental agencies to rent to drivers ages 18 and older. A young driver surcharge may apply.
  • You have a military ID and are traveling on government business. A young driver surcharge shouldn’t apply in this case.

Otherwise, you’ll have to find a company that specifically permits rentals to 18-year-old drivers. And in most of those cases, you’ll be subject to an under-25 young driver surcharge.

Underage Driver Fees

Rental car companies usually charge extra fees for drivers under the age of 25 because young drivers are far more likely to get into accidents, according to 2018 data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This data shows rental car agencies that it’s relatively risky to trust younger drivers with their cars. That leads to age restrictions and extra fees for drivers under 25. Read more about the under-25 fee and how to get around it in our article, Car Rental Without Under 25 Fee? Yes. Here’s How.

Rental Companies That Rent to 18-Year-Olds



  • Minimum age: 18 at most locations, but as high as 25 at others. Call the location you’ll rent from to confirm a car is available.
  • Young driver surcharge: Not specified, depends on the rental location.
  • Restrictions: For customers under 25 years of age, Rent-a-Wreck usually requires a credit card as payment.
  • Source: Rent-A-Wreck’s age policies
  • Begin the rental process on the Rent-A-Wreck website


Atwest Rent a Car (Los Angeles and San Francisco only)

  • Minimum age: 18 if the driver has proof of their own auto insurance; if not, the required age is 21
  • Young driver surcharge: Yes. They display as “CDW & Liability” during the reservation process.
  • Restrictions: Under-21 customers must provide proof of their insurance policy; if renter’s name does not appear on the insurance card, bring the page of the policy showing the renter as an additional driver on the policy.
  • Source: Atwest Rent a Car’s policies page
  • Begin the rental process on Atwest Rent a Car’s website

Rental Companies that Don’t Rent to 18-Year-Olds

We’ve included the following list in case you’re wondering, “But what about that place?”

The following rental car agencies have minimum age requirements above 18:

ACE Rent a Car

  • Minimum age: 21 (at most locations)
  • Under 25 fee: Yes, varies by location
  • Source: ACE Rent a Car FAQs

Alamo Rent a Car

Avis Rent a Car


Dollar Rent a Car


  • Minimum age: 21
  • Under 25 fee: Yes; amount varies by location. In Michigan, the fee is $13 per day for under 25 and $34 per day for under 21; in New York state, the fee is $20 per day for under 25 and $57 per day for under 21. In other states, you must begin the reservation process to find out the amount of the fee.
  • Source: Enterprise Requirements for Renting

Fox Rent a Car

  • Minimum age: 19, 21, or 25 depending on the location
  • Under 25 fee: 21-24, $20 per day; under 21, $25-$30 per day
  • Source: Fox Rent a Car Rental Policies.


National Car Rental

  • Minimum age: 21
  • Under 25 fee: Yes; amount varies by location. See the exact amount by selecting your rental location and beginning the reservation process
  • Source: National Car Rental’s website

Payless Car Rental


Sixt Rent a Car

Thrifty Car Rental



  • Minimum age: 21
  • Under 25 fee: Yes; amount varies by location but will be between $15 and $50 per day (highest in Michigan and New York)
  • Source: Visit the U-Save website to find a location, then choose Location Website to reach the web page and regulations for that particular location.

In Summary

And that’s where to rent a car at age 18. Zipcar is the only major U.S. rental agency that will rent to those under 21 or 25. However, if you’re 18 and have a military ID and are traveling on government business, you should be able to rent a car from most major agencies. Also, if you’re renting from an agency in New York or Michigan, state law requires that rental car companies rent to drivers ages 18 and up, though companies may still subject young drivers to an under-25 fee.

Need a hotel too? Here’s the List of Hotels That Allow 18-Year-Olds to Book

If you’re about to turn 19, you can find a complete list of car rental companies that rent to drivers ages 19 and 20 in our article, Rent a Car Under 21: Here’s Who Will Rent to You. Or, to compare several rental options or find the best price, see our car rental selection tool.


  • Hi
    I’m planning to rent a car in Miami and have my daughter (17 years old, clean driving license) as additional driver. Any suggestion regarding rental car company?
    Many thanks in advance

  • Hi,
    I am 48 years old and would like to rent a car at Miami int’l airport. I also want to apply my 19 years old son as an additional driver. What rental companies can meet my requirement?

  • Hi!
    I live in Danbury, CT I’m 18. I plan to go to Groton, CT. What would be the best choice for me if anyone could tell me, please?

  • I’ll be 20 soon and comute from Sacramento to Los Angeles every thursday-sunday, what rent a car companies would be a affordable rate with no fee pre however many miles,

  • Hi so I’m 18 and I plan to go to Portland Oregon, what would be my best option? Thank you

    • Kathleen Wilson says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Leo, it looks like your best option is to use Zipcar. If you’re enrolled in college, you have no underage driver fee.

  • I have a friend who is an international student and would like to rent a car in Los Angeles to drive to San Francisco before boarding a flight back home. My friend is 20 and only has a debit card with an international drivers licence. Is there any place that may be able to rent a vehicle to this friend? Checking on most of the sites indicated in this article, all say 21 years. My friend was to be leaving very soon too.

    • Laura Bachmann says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Corey,

      You’ll want to check out our list of companies that rent to 20 year olds. Its much longer than this list, so it should be more helpful. Also, could you friend get a Zipcar membership? As a student, their probably eligible. Zipcar is a great option for younger drivers. Good luck 🙂

  • my son is 18yo at school in Tulsa (no zip car no ace), a deer hit him on his drive out and his car needs to go into the shop, we live 4 states over, any suggestions…

    • Laura Bachmann says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Kim,

      It looks like his options are limited. The closest Rent-a-Wreck I found is in Pryor, OK. Rent-a-Wreck might rent to 18 year olds, but they’re not quite in Tulsa. He might have to look into other options, like car pooling with friends, while his car is in the shop. There’s also Uber and Lyft — both operate in Tulsa. Sorry we couldn’t give you better news!

  • Madison K says:

    Hi there. I’m going on a senior trip to LA in May and I will be 18 and my friend will be 19. Are there any places out there that will rent to us at our age?

    • Laura Bachmann says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Madison,

      If you’re in college and can get a Zipcar membership, they are one of the easiest options for young renters. Zipcar has a membership fee, but doesn’t charge an underage renter fee. If you aren’t eligible to join Zipcar, you should check for Rent-A-Wreck or ACE Rent a Car locations in LA. Be sure to call ahead of time to make sure they rent to 18 year olds, as not all locations will. If your friend is willing to do all the driving, check out our list of companies that rent to 19 year olds. It’s a much longer list than those that rent to 18 year olds. 🙂 Again for that list, be sure to call ahead to confirm the specific pick up location does in fact rent to 19 year olds. Good luck!

  • Hi, we are planning to have a road trip from NY to LA. We are all Japanese (with international driver licence) and 20 years old. I believe Hertz would rent us but are there any other companies (which would rent us with cheaper price)? thanks

    • Laura Bachmann says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Yuke,

      Yes, you should check out our articles on companies that rent to 19 year olds and companies that rent to 20 year olds. Keep in mind that some companies have additional limitations, for example on which types of cars drivers under 25 can rent, so you should always check that the specific location you’d like to pick up the car at to make sure they will rent to you.

  • Hi! I am 18 and would like to rent a car from Nashville, TN and drop it off in Virginia Beach, VA. I appreciate your help!!

    • Laura Bachmann says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Noah,

      While we don’t reply to location specific question that won’t help our future readers, I can help you with the question of which companies off one-way rentals. Of those on our list of companies that rent to 18-year-olds, ACE offers one-way rentals, at least at some locations. You can see this article for more info on one-way rental policies. ACE will only rent cars for one-ways (no trucks, etc.) and some locations will charge extra for one-way rentals. To get started, you should contact the ACE location where’d you like to pick up the car, and see if they are able to rent to you. Find a location here.

  • Hi I’m 19 and I wanna rent a car. Which place that I can rent a car in cincinnati or around?

    • Laura Bachmann says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Aslan,

      First, we have an article specifically on renting at 19, and I would recommend checking it out as the list is a little longer than this one. You can read the article here. Go to each company’s website and search for locations in the Cincinnati area. Then, if they have one, give the location a call to make sure they really do rent to 19-year-olds, as there are often restrictions and rules can vary by locations. Good luck!

    • Laura Bachmann says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Ken,

      The easiest place to rent a car at 18 is ZipCar, but you can only sign up at 18 if you are a college student (in a different city is ok). ACE doesn’t have any locations in the Seattle area. Rent-A-Wreck has two locations: one at the airport and one in Lakewood. You should try contacting them to see if they’ll rent to you. The numbers are (206) 922-3713 (Seattle) and (253) 584-1833 (Lakewood).

    • Laura Bachmann says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Emily,

      Zipcar has several cars in San Antonio, and they’re definitely your best bet at 18 if you’re a college student. Rent-A-Wreck’s closest location is in Austin, and you can call them at (512) 284-8495 to see if they’ll rent to you. ACE is the farthest for you — the closest locations are in Huston. ACE is also the least likely to rent to 18-year-olds. To contact either of the two Huston locations, you can call (877) 822 3872.

  • Hello, I live in Charlotte, NC (but South Carolina is close to me as well) and I’m 19 years old. I am wanting to go for a round-trip vacation to Florida for maybe about a week. Where can I find a rental car?

  • I’m only 18 and my boyfriend is 19 and in the military, we are traveling to Florida at the end of this month and can’t find any car rentals that will rent to us. He isn’t on orders just taking a vacation. What rentals can we get a car from?

    • Laura Bachmann says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Rachel,

      Your best bet is to check if the three companies on our list — Rent-A-Wreck, Zipcar, and ACE Rent a Car — have locations where you’ll be in Florida. Call the location you would be renting from ahead of time to confirm. Also, take a look at this article about companies that rent to 19-year-olds. The list is a little longer, but you wouldn’t be able to drive the car if you rent from somewhere that’s only 19 and up, just your boyfriend would be able to.