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Car Rental For 18 Year Olds: 7 Companies To Try Out

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On average, drivers must be 25-years-old or older to rent a car.

Many companies charge an extra fee for renters aged between 21 and 24 and may not even rent to anyone younger than 21.

However, some car rental companies do rent out to drivers as young as 18.

This depends on the state, the car insurance, and the company’s policies.

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

In most states, car rental companies will only rent out cars to drivers older than 21.

When drivers are younger than 25-years-old, there is a Young Driver fee that is factored into the price.

Some have exceptions, however, and this depends on the car rental agency and rental location.

Car Rental Age Policy

Regardless of a driver’s age, when renting a car they need to provide proof of insurance and make a credit card deposit to cover any potential damage to the car while driving.

Only three states set the minimum age that a car rental company can rent to, otherwise the rental company sets its policies.

The average fee for drivers under 25 renting a car is $25 per day, however, this varies based on the state’s policies.

State Exceptions

The states that will rent to drivers at 18 years old are Michigan and New York.

In these two states, there is an additional fee for renters between 18 and 20-years old.

There is a lower surcharge for renters between 21 and 24-years-old, and once a renter is 25 the charge drops completely.

Mississippi rental locations rent to drivers that are 21 years old at a minimum.

There is an additional Young Driver fee in this state as well that each company determines separately.

Companies That Rent to 18-Year-Olds

Below is a comprehensive list of car rental companies that will rent to drivers at 18 years old, and what types of vehicles younger drivers can rent.

Of course, you will need a valid drivers license to rent a vehicle.

Hertz

In Michigan, New York, and the province of Quebec, the minimum age to rent a car through Hertz is 18.

In Alabama and Nebraska, the minimum raises to 19, and in all other states, renters must be 20 years or older.

Renters under the age of 25 can rent a wide range of car classes to best suit their needs.

They do charge an additional $19 per day for renters under 25 years of age, but this fee is less expensive than other companies’ Young Driver fees.

Young renters cannot rent cars from the Prestige Collection or Adrenaline Collection.

They are only able to rent economy cars.

Budget

In nearly all states, one must be 21 years old to rent a car from Budget, but in New York and Michigan, one can rent at age 18.

There is an additional young driver surcharge until you are 25 that must be paid.

With Budget, this typically equates to $27 per day.

Young Drivers can only rent economy through full-size cars.

Thrifty

This rental car company typically only rents to drivers 20 years and older, however, they do rent to government renters under the age of 18 that are on official business.

New York and Michigan also allow drivers to rent at age 18.

Young Drivers can only rent economy through Luxury cars.

Avis

Similar to the companies above, Avis locations in Michigan and New York will rent to drivers 18 and older.

In all other states, they rent cars to drivers 21 and over and waive any additional charges for those 25 and older.

Renters younger than 25 can rent economy through full-size cars, premium cars, convertibles, intermediate SUVs, and standard SUVs.

Renters younger than 25 cannot rent full-size SUVs, luxury cars, minivans, passenger vans, premium SUVs, or specialty cars.

Dollar

In Michigan and New York, drivers 18 years and older can rent from Dollar Rent a Car.

In all other states, drivers must be at least 20 years old.

Regardless of age, drivers who want to rent from Dollar Rent a Car need a valid driver’s license that has been in good standing for over a year as well as a valid debit or credit card under the same name as the license.

There is also an additional daily fee.

Young Drivers can only rent economy through Luxury cars.

National

National Car Rental rents cars to 18-year-olds in Michigan and New York, otherwise, you must be at least 21 years of age to rent from them.

There is a $25 fee for renters under 25.

U.S. military personnel and government employees ages 18 or older do not have to pay the additional fee when renting for authorized government travel.

Young Drivers can only rent economy through full-size cars.

Alamo

Similar to National Car Rental, Alamo only rents to 18-year-olds in Michigan and New York.

In all other states, the age requirement minimum is 21, and there is a $25 Youthful Surcharge for those under 25.

Young Drivers can only rent economy through full-size cars.

How Much Do Underage Driver Fees Cost

Each company has policies regarding renters under 25 years of age, including an additional daily fee.

Average Fees

On average, renting a car under the age of 25 will cost about $25 a day.

Some companies have higher fees, others have lower.

Additional rental fees can be as low as $20 per day, and as high as $30 per day.

For example, Hertz charges an additional $29 for drivers under 25 but Alamo charges $20.

Drivers between 18 and 20 in New York pay between $25 to $65 a day, and in Michigan pay between $25 and $52 a day.

Drivers between 21 and 24 in New York pay between $20 to $45 a day, and in Michigan pay between $20 and $30 a day.

How to Avoid Underage Driver Fees

The fees when renting a car can certainly begin to add up.

Thankfully, there are ways to rent a car under the age of 25 without paying the additional daily fee.

Some rental car companies may charge an extra fee for liability insurance if you are at the minimum rental age.

This fee can change depending on the car class of the rental vehicle.

AAA

AAA, or the American Automobile Association, is a great program for frequent drivers and travelers.

At Hertz, Members of AAA can have the Young Renter fee waived from ages 20-24 so long as they meet standard rental requirements.

Renting from Hertz with AAA also takes off the additional driver fee, 10% off a tank of gas, and free use of one child infant or booster seat with every rental.

Employer Waivers

Some businesses have partnerships with rental car companies that will waive any underage driver fees.

They may also provide discounted rates and other benefits when renting a car, so it is smart to check this out before traveling.

University Waivers

Similar to employers, some universities provide benefits for students and alumni when renting cars.

The underage driver fee may be waived, and there may be discounts as well.

USAA

USAA, or United Services Automobile Association, is another beneficial program to check out if you or a family member are military personnel or veterans.

Signing up with this association can give you rental discounts, reward points, damage liability, and waive Young Driver and Additional Driver fees.

In Conclusion

Travelers looking to rent a car under the age of 21 do not have the same options as older renters, but there are still plenty of ways to rent a car.

Even though the price of renting a car under 25 appears high, multiple organizations can waive additional fees and make traveling more achievable.

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