Can You Rent A Car With A Learner’s Permit and Drive it?

Author: Rohan Paulos
Published On:

Getting your driver’s permit is like a taste of freedom many have never experienced until that point.

You’re likely excited to hit the open road, stop at your favorite fast food restaurant, and do any of the other incredible freedoms that driving brings. 

However, it’s important to remember that while you’re one step closer to the ultimate freedom — a driver’s license — permits still come with some pretty steep restrictions.

This post will go over some commonly asked questions if you can rent a car with a permit?

Is It Possible To Rent A Car With A Permit?

If your new driver’s permit has you itching to take a beach vacation and rent a saloon car or even a Jeep, or maybe you’re moving and need to rent a truck to haul your belongings, you’re out of luck.

Unfortunately, not only do you have to be 25 years old to rent a car in most states, but you also must possess a full driver’s license. 

You may also be wondering – can you be added as an extra driver to a rental car if your parents or friends are the primary renter? Unfortunately, the answer is no. 

Even if you meet the age requirements to drive a rental car, you still need to be a fully licensed driver.

So, you should not plan to get behind the wheel of a rental car until you have your full driver’s license – even with a parent or legal guardian in the car. In other words, car rental for learner drivers is a complete NO!

Male driver holds a car key

Can You Rent A Car With A Temporary License? 

Temporary licenses are provided to drivers with a lost, expired or stolen license. For the most part, car rental companies will permit you to rent a car with a temporary license.

If your license has been lost or stolen, these are a great temporary solution.  The DMV will print you a temporary license while you wait for your official driver’s license to arrive by mail. 

Can I Rent A Car Without A License?

Unfortunately, you cannot rent a car without a license. You also are not permitted to drive a rental car unless you are a fully licensed driver that has been added as an additional driver in the rental contract. This is for the safety of both you and the rental car you are driving. 

Can You Rent A Car With An Expired License? 

No – a rental car company will not allow you to rent a car with an expired license. However, if you are in a pinch, you may be able to get a temporary license from the DMV if your license is expired. 

As we have covered previously, car rental companies will allow you to rent a car with a temporary license. 

Car key on a computer keyboard

Is Provisional License Allowed by Renters?

Some rental car companies will allow you to rent a car with a provisional license. However, there are usually extra fees, forms, and driving checks you must complete before being considered. 

Additionally, you will need to be at least 18 (or 21 in some states) to be considered for a car rental with a provisional license, as rental companies will not rent a car to a minor. 

Who Can Drive A Rental Car?

While specific age restrictions can vary from state to state, most rental car companies have age restrictions ranging from 18-25 years old.

However, some states will charge a daily “Young Renters Fee” for anyone under the age of 25. Additionally, you must be a fully licensed driver in order to drive a rental car. 

Most rentals will only cover a single driver, but you can often pay a weekly or daily fee to add an additional driver to the insurance. This can range from $5-$20 per day, depending on the company you are renting through. 

Your additional drivers will also need to meet the age restrictions within your state and have a driver’s license.

So, if you are planning a vacation or need a rental car for something different, you should be sure to check that you meet the age requirements listed in your state. 

lone female driver

Safe Driving Tips For New Drivers

If you or a loved one are learning to drive, here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

  • Follow All Speed Limits and Road Signs

We know that driving is exciting, but it’s critically important that you follow the speed limit and any other road conditions, such as closed lanes and detours.

Not only is this important for both the driver’s and passengers’ safety, it can also result in a very expensive speeding ticket. 

Some states will even take your license away if you are pulled over for speeding too many times.

  • Never Drive Impaired

Driving under the influence is a preventable mistake that could cost you your life and the lives of others. The only way to prevent these grave consequences is to avoid driving under the influence. 

Under no circumstances should you drive after consuming any alcohol or drugs while you’re a permitted driver.

If you plan to imbibe any substances, take an Uber or taxi, ride with a designated driver, or have someone sober pick you up. The risk is simply not worth it.

Man holds his drivers license

  • Pay Attention to Weather Conditions

Weather can change on a dime, taking your enjoyable cruise into a treacherous situation. That’s why it’s important to check the forecast before you drive anywhere.

If a thunderstorm or snowstorm is expected while you plan to be out and you don’t need to be, reschedule. It’s not worth risking your life in dangerous driving conditions.

However, if you do have to be out during the bad weather or it springs up out of nowhere, you should practice safe driving, such as slowing down, turning your headlights on, and pumping your brakes instead of slamming them during heavy rain and ice.

  • Invest in an OBD Scanner

An OBD2 scanner is a helpful tool that helps you to keep up with your car’s maintenance. The scanner lets you or a mechanic access your car’s data, including:

  • The vehicle’s VIN number
  • The vehicle’s speed, fuel efficiency, and engine RPM
  • Diagnostic codes

This information obtained by OBD scanner allows you or a mechanic to take a deep dive into what’s working and what’s not working in your vehicle, allowing you to find a solution and get back on the road ASAP.

Lady stands beside a Rolls Royce car

FAQ About Car Rental for Learner Drivers!

Can I Use A Rental Car During My Driver’s License Road Test? 

Because rental car companies will not allow someone with a learner’s permit to drive their cars, you cannot use them for your road test.

If you are looking for a car to use during your driver’s license road test, try asking close friends and family if they have a car you can borrow instead. 

The Bottom Line on Driving a Rental Car with a Permit

The nuances of rental cars can be a little complicated. But, for the most part, you’ll need to be 25 years old with a valid driver’s license or a temporary license in order to drive a rental car.

While you wait to get your fully valid driver’s license, you should get some practice before renting a car. Continue to follow our top safe driving tips in the meantime until you can rent a car of your own. 

Senior couple driving vintage a car


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