Renting and driving a car is not necessarily an unfeasible task unless you are deemed “underage”.
So what is the minimum age requirement to drive a rental car? This article covers that, including legal requirements and policies of car rental companies.
Facts About Teenage Rights To Rent or Drive Rental Car
Depending on where you rent a car, different laws apply. Most American states permit rental car companies to set their minimum age requirements.
Although 25 years of age is the ideal minimum, this is not always the case because many states permit drivers of rental cars to be under 21.
For instance, drivers must be at least 18 years old to rent a car in Michigan and New York, even if they live outside of those states.
However, teenage drivers aged 18-19 have limited car rental choices and are required to pay an additional underage charge which could range from $20-$50 per day.
For top rental companies, this charge also applies to drivers aged 20-25.
The age requirements for renting and/or driving a rental car in some American states are listed below.
Are There Rental Companies That Accept Underage To Rent Car?
Although car rental companies prefer drivers to be at least 25 years old, many companies still rent to drivers below the minimum age restriction, albeit for an extra charge.
The minimum age restriction required by most rental companies across the United States is 21 years old.
Rental companies such as Avis or Hertz rent out to 18-year-olds in Michigan and New York. But due to the higher risk that is typically associated with underage drivers, they cannot be insured.
Furthermore, the minimum age requirements of top car rental companies in the U.S. are detailed below:
The minimum age for rental drivers with the Alamo fleet is 21. Renters between ages 21 and 24 are limited to some car classes and are charged an extra average of $25 per day.
Drivers aged 18 and older may rent in New York and Michigan. Military or government employees 18 years or older are permitted to rent without extra costs but must present their official orders to the rental.
Avis complies with the legal age requirement of at least 21 years in all U.S. states, except New York and Michigan, where the minimum age allowed is 18 years old. Still, under 25 renters will be subject to a surcharge.
You must be at least 21 years old to rent a car from Enterprise’s fleet unless you live in New York or Michigan, where the minimum age is 18.
18-year-old government employees in the United States will be allowed to rent, but must present their official orders. All renters below 25 are subject to a “young renter fee”.
Hertz’s policies are more lenient in allowing 20-year-olds and older to rent a car as opposed to the 21 years and over for most companies.
For New York and Michigan renters, the minimum age is 18. Additional charges apply to renters below age 25.
The minimum age requirement is 18 for New York and Michigan and 21 for other states. Renters below 25 are subject to a daily underage fee.
This rental company requires a minimum age of 21 years to rent a vehicle. Renters aged 21-24 will be subject to a “youthful surcharge,” which costs $25 per day on average. The minimum age required to rent in Michigan and New York is 18.
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What Risk If My 17 Years Old Drive Rental Car With A Learner’s Permit?
The only individuals who are authorized to drive a rented vehicle are those who are listed on the rental agreement, which means they must have met the age requirement.
If you allow a 17-year-old or any other underage person to drive your rented car, with or without a permit, and they cause a fatal accident that affects third parties, you would be solely responsible and liable.
You run the risk of having your rental agreement annulled and voided.
Can A 17 or 18 Teenager With A Licensed and Insurance Drive Rental Car?
For an 18-years old teenager, yes. It is perfectly legal as long as the rental car company is aware that a minor is operating a vehicle and has subsequently consented.
This is so that the legal owner of the vehicle remains the former and not the person who rented it.
Without the company’s permission, driving the car would be considered theft, and the original renter who turned the car over to a teen runs the risk of having the agency void his or her rental agreement and have his/her liability claims rejected.
Can an 18 year old drive a rental car?
An 18-year-old cannot legally rent a car without proper consent except in New York and Michigan. However, in most other states, if the car is rented by parents or an older family member, and the rental agreement includes the 18-year-old, then it is okay.
Which state can a 16 year old drive a rental car?
A 16-year-old cannot drive a rental car in any state. There are no permits or licenses in any state that would allow a 16-year-old to rent a car.
Most states require a minimum age of 21 for car rentals, with New York and Michigan requiring a minimum of 18 years.
Can a 19 years old rent or drive a car in California?
No, a 19-year-old cannot rent or drive a rental car in California. The minimum legal age allowed in California is 21, and the rule is strictly enforced. Only New York and Michigan allow 18-year-olds and above to drive a rental car.
Can you rent a car at 20 in Florida?
No, you cannot rent a car in Florida as a 20-year-old. Florida, like most states, only allows people aged 21 and above to rent cars.
However, US government employees or military personnel aged 20 may be permitted to rent a car as long as they provide official orders.
Can a teen drive a rental car as an additional driver?
It is entirely dependent on company policy. In most cases, additional drivers must be 21 years of age or older. However, it is not uncommon for rental car companies to allow qualified renters to add an underage driver to the rental agreement for an additional fee.
So there you have it; 17-year-olds are not allowed to drive a rental car. The policies surrounding car rentals are products of risk management.
Younger drivers are considered less roadworthy and cannot be insured. It is best to wait it out till you meet the age requirement before you can drive a rental car.
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