How Old Do You Have to Be to Rent a Car?

When you turn 18, you are officially an adult. How exciting is that? You can get married, join the military, vote, and even buy a lottery ticket or two. Unfortunately, one thing we have been taught is that you can’t rent a car. Bummer, right? In fact, due to insurance, there is a myth that you must be at least 25 years old to rent a car. If you are an adult at the age of 18, how is this true? Do you really need to wait until you turn 25 to drive a rental car

You have to be how old to rent a car?

Rental car signs featured at Terminal 1 of the Cologne Bonn Airport
Rental car signs | Horst Galuschka/picture alliance via Getty Images

The whole “25-To-Rent” myth started years ago. The reason? Younger drivers are less experienced, and there’s a higher chance of getting into an accident. Insurance companies have drawn the “invisible” line for many years at 25. So, even though this was an “unwritten rule,” the rental companies would charge 18- to 25-year-olds an even higher rate.

According to Hertz, ” Renters must be at least 20 years old to rent a vehicle at most locations in the U.S. and Canada. In Michigan, New York, and the province of Quebec, the minimum age to rent a vehicle is 18. In Alabama and Nebraska, the minimum age to rent a vehicle is 19.”

So, to answer this question, renting a car is going to be expensive until you’re 25 and it’s going to be difficult. If you want to save money, consider some of the alternatives. You can use public transportation or ridesharing services. If you’re set on renting a car, you will want to get quotes from different companies and compare before deciding.

What are the best car rental options if you’re under 25?

If you plan on driving around New York or Michigan, there are some state laws you should be aware of. If you have a valid driver’s license and are 18 or older, you can rent a car. The downside of this is that the rental companies can add on a young driver’s surcharge. Depending on the company, these surcharges may cost you between $40 to $70 per day.

Now, if you’re in one of the other 48 states, there are rental companies that just focus on the younger market. For example, Dollar Car Rental rents to drivers 20 and up. Another company, Fox Rent a Car, accepts 18-year-olds if they are active-duty military on travel orders (or any licensed driver over 19). There are many companies that will allow 18-year-olds to rent a car if the rental is an “insurance replacement” while their vehicle is getting repaired.

How much does it cost to rent a car?

 Keep in mind that renting a car isn’t always the cheapest option, but sometimes, it is the most convenient. The average price to rent a car in the United States is about $604.59 per week. New Zealand, Argentina, Jamaica, and Israel round out the top five, considering car rental and fuel charges, according to Auto Rental News.

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