Important facts described briefly below:
Young people also want to enjoy the freedom and independence of a car on vacation or at home. A rental car is often a practical solution for exploring foreign territories and making discoveries, abroad and at home. However, there are usually restrictions when it comes to age. In the following text, you can read all about age restrictions, young driver fees, and how drivers less than 21 can also experience the fun of a rental car. Please note that rental companies often charge an additional fee for young drivers, which can be found in the rental conditions.
From what age can drivers rent a car?
Ultimately, it is decided in the respective Country or state how young or old a driver may be when renting a rental car. Also, individual suppliers impose different rules.
In general, many rental car companies require that drivers, and additional drivers of the rental car, be at least 21 years old. Drivers, and any additional drivers, must have held their driver's license for at least twelve months, no matter how old they are. Some suppliers even require 24 months of driving experience. If you have your driver's license before you are of age, the rental company will only count the months from the age of 18. Exceptions can be for small vehicles, which in some Countries may be rented by 18 or 19-year-olds.
What is a young driver fee, and when does it have to be paid?
Even if the driver of the rental car is older than 21, a young driver fee will probably have to be paid. Many rental companies require this fee for all drivers less than 25 years of age. In some countries, only drivers under 22 years of age are required to pay a fee. Usually, these small differences are indicated at the time of booking under the category "details and rental conditions." It is best to check, in advance, from which age different prices apply.
Tip: If you turn 25 during your rental period, it is worth making two bookings for the time before and after your birthday. Although it is a bit cumbersome to drop off pick up another vehicle in the middle of your trip, it can be worthwhile financially.
Where can drivers less than 21 rent a car?
Countries often have different requirements when it comes to renting a car. In the following Countries, you can rent a rental car even if you are under 21:
- USA: In the United States, a rental car is often the most reasonable alternative for young travelers. Drivers less than 21 can rent a car. However, all drivers, and additional drivers, of the rented vehicle must be at least 20 years old. Drivers under 20 years of age are not allowed to rent. A young driver fee must be paid until the age of 25. However, it is worthwhile to browse through the various offers. Depending on the area, state, or city where you rent a car, you may also find cheaper offers for young drivers.
- Germany: In Germany, drivers under the age of 21 can rent a car. However, you must have held your driver's license for at least twelve months or have completed the trial period. However, young drivers are generally not provided with luxury cars, only with mid-range or small cars.
- South Africa: Suppliers such as Budget, Europcar, and Hertz already allow customers aged 18 to rent a car. However, a young driver fee must be paid until the age of 20. With Hertz, you even have to expect a corresponding fee until the age of 23.
- Canada: The minimum age in Canada to rent a car is usually 21. However, drivers less than 21 years of age can rent a car from Hertz.
- Portugal: In Portugal, some rental companies even allow 18-year-old drivers.
- Italy: In Italy, you can find corresponding offers for a rental car when you are 19 years old.
- Greece: In Greece, 19-year-olds can rent a car from the supplier, Europcar.
- Sweden: In Sweden, drivers must have held a driver’s license for at least twelve months. That means that renting a car is possible starting from the age of 19.
- Australia: In Australia, some suppliers make it possible to drive a rental car from the age of 20.
In many European countries, such as Spain, France, and Ireland, drivers are generally not allowed to drive a rental car before the age of 21. In France, customers under the age of 25 have high young driver fees.
Please note: Tax may be added to the young driver fee.
How can I save money on car rentals despite a young driver fee?
One fact that not all possible costumers realize is that there are day-limits for young driver fees.
In France, for example, the relatively high surcharge is only charged until the tenth day of the rental. In Spain, there is a minimum amount that you always have to pay, no matter how long you are on the road, and even if the daily fee is only five euros. This means that you pay a young driver fee for three days even if you return the car after only two days.
Please enter your age directly in the search, so that you will only be shown offers that already include the young driver fee.
Tip: It is always worthwhile to compare different offers. Don't just be tempted by low rental prices or offers without a young driver fee. Instead, always look closely at the amount you will receive at the end of your trip.
If you are less than 21 years of age, inform yourself in advance of the different policies.
For young drivers, it is usually difficult to rent a car. Drivers less than 21 years of age often have to pay extra young driver fees. They are also only allowed to rent a vehicle if they have had their driver’s license for at least twelve months.
Depending on which country you are traveling in, and which vehicle class you choose, customers less than 21 years of age can get a rental car from certain providers. However, specific searches must be done.