Can Someone Under 25 Drive a Rental Car?
There is a misconception that rental companies will not allow people under 25 to drive a rental car. May drivers believe that the minimum age to rent a car is 25 years, but this is not true!
An individual under 25 can drive a rental car in the United States, depending on the state and rental company restrictions.
Many car rental agencies in the United States allow people under 25 to rent a car for their road trips, weekend getaways, family vacations, camping trips, and more. However, underage drivers may need to meet certain conditions and pay additional fees to rent the car.
This article takes you through the vital aspects that you, as a driver under 25, should know while renting a car in the United States.
What Type of Rental Cars are Available?
Various car classes, such as economy cars, compact cars, mid-size cars, full-size cars, luxury cars, SUVs, and minivans, are available to choose from for underage drivers.
Economy cars: Economy cars are lightweight and inexpensive hatchback cars with a seating capacity of four people. These cars can provide a mileage of up to 35 miles per gallon (MPG).
Compact cars: Compact cars will also fall in the hatchback category and accommodate up to four people and two suitcases of luggage comfortably. The legroom and comfort in compact cars are better than in economy cars. As per the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the length of the compact car should be between 161 and 187 inches long.
Mid-size cars: Mid-size cars, also known as intermediate cars, are available in a wide range of body styles, including hatchbacks, sedans, wagons, and convertibles. These can accommodate five people and two bags of luggage. They can provide a mileage of up to 32 MPG.
Full-size cars: Full-size cars are the largest of all car classes. Available in body styles of station wagons and sedans, these cars offer greater seating comfort and superior legroom. With an interior volume of up to 160 cubic feet, full-size cars can accommodate five people comfortably.
SUVs: SUVs, also known as, Sports Utility Vehicles, can accommodate between five to seven people. These are preferred car classes for road trips, family vacations, and camping trips. Depending on travel requirements, budget, and number of people traveling, you can opt for a standard SUV, luxury SUV or premium SUV.
Minivans: If you are looking for an alternative to SUVs, you may love minivans as they offer additional cargo space, ample legroom, and advanced safety features. Minivans can accommodate between six and eight people comfortably.
Passenger vans: Passenger vans are large vehicles with a seating capacity of up to 15 passengers. They come with features such as dual AC, automatic transmission, and a superior music system.
It’s important to note that no two car rental companies have the same rules. Some renters may not allow underaged drivers to rent SUVs, minivans, and passenger vans. It is advised to check with the rental companies to know whether the type of car you need is available or not.
How to Qualify for a Rental Car Under 25
To successfully qualify for a rental car under 25, you may need to provide ample information to a car rental agency, check state requirements, prepare for additional fees, and book the rental car well in advance.
Provide Ample Information
Car rental companies want to make sure that they are renting the vehicle to an eligible person who can drive the car safely and pay rental charges without any dispute. They will be extra cautious while renting the vehicle to people aged below 25 years.
Therefore, it is advised for you to show proof that you have a valid driver’s license. Additional information like valid address proof, driving history, financial status, and history of renting vehicles in the past may help you project yourself as an eligible person for renting the vehicle.
A credit card with a sufficient credit limit and good credit history will also improve your chances of getting a car on rent. Overall, you should provide whatever information the rental company asks for to stand a better chance to sign the dotted line of the car rental agreement.
Check State Requirements
The minimum age requirements to rent a car vary from one state to another. For instance, rental agencies in states like Michigan and New York are required to offer rental services to licensed drivers who are 18 or older.
However, the minimum rental age in other states is 21 years. These states may feel that 18-year-olds do not have the financial means or adequate driving history to rent a car. Government employees serving the U.S. military are eligible to rent a car if they are 18 years old or more.
Prepare for Additional Fees
Unfortunately, the state laws haven’t issued guidelines on underage surcharges. For instance, the New York State Attorney states that car rental companies may charge a young driver surcharge for drivers under 25. The surcharge can vary substantially from one rental company to another.
All rental companies in the United States collect young driver fees when they are renting vehicles to people below 25 years of age to cover increased risks. Below is a chart that covers general fees drivers under 25 may experience based on state and car rental companies.
Underage fee for people aged below 25 years
In New York (for 21 to 24 years old)
In New York (for 18 to 20 years old)
In Michigan (for 21 to 24 years old)
In Michigan (for 18 to 20 years old)
Many car rental companies don’t collect extra fees from underaged drivers if they are members of the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the United States Automobile Association (USAA). You’ll want to talk to the customer support team of the rental company to see if they offer a policy to waive the underage fee for AAA/USAA members.
Call Ahead of Time
Young drivers should avoid last-minute rentals. If you book a rental car at the last minute, you may not get the time to explore the young driver fees charged by various rental companies or provide adequate information. Moreover, last-minute rentals may not allow you to choose your desired car.
If you are a young renter, book your rental car in advance. Booking in advance gives you ample time to explore young driver policies, young renter fees, additional driver policies, and state requirements. Moreover, it enables you to negotiate the rental charges and get reasonable discounts.
Secure Your Rental Car with AVR
All car rental companies in the United States allow underage drivers to drive rental cars. However, they collect additional young driver fees, which vary from company to company.
If you are aged 25 or below, you will be able to close the best deal by following the principles such as having a clear understanding of state requirements, exploring young driver fees charged by various rental companies, booking your rental vehicles well in advance, and providing the rental company with ample information.
Airport Van Rental (AVR) is a car rental company operating in the vehicle rental business for the last 12 years. We operate with 12 rental locations in the country. A few of our rental locations include Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Houston, Oakland, Orlando, and Tampa.
We rent vehicles to drivers aged 25 or below at nominal young driver fees. People who travel for road trips, family vacations, and weekend getaways will love to rent vehicles from us because of our flexible pick-up and drop-off options, premier customer support, ongoing discounts for AAA/USAA members, and a fleet of well-maintained vehicles.
Book a rental car with AVR at the best price in the market and enjoy a memorable journey!