- Eligibility: Renting a car at 19 is possible in certain states and with specific companies, though it often involves additional fees.
- State Variations: In Michigan and New York, 19-year-olds can rent cars with extra fees from several rental agencies.
- Alternative Options: Car-sharing services like Turo, Zipcar, and Getaround offer rental options for 19-year-olds, subject to certain conditions and fees.
- Cost Implications: Expect to pay underage driver fees, and in some cases, you might need to buy insurance through the rental company.
If you are a 19-year-old in search of a car, I would suggest first looking at Hertz.
Next, I’d consider options like Turo and Zipcar, but make sure to get the insurance if you rent with these – typical insurance policies usually don’t cover peer-to-peer rentals.
As a last resort, rent a pickup with U-haul. This is likely a more expensive option, but they rent to drivers as young as 18, so it’s a vehicle if you have no other options.
- Can You Rent a Car at 19 Years Old?
- Which States Allow Car Rentals for 19-Year-Olds?
- Who Offers Car Rentals for 19-Year-Olds?
- Rental Requirements for 19-Year-Olds
- Wrapping Up
Can You Rent a Car at 19 Years Old?
Yes, you can rent a car at 19 years old, but this option is available only in specific states and through certain car rental companies.
While the general minimum age for car rentals in the U.S. is often 20, several states and companies permit younger drivers to rent cars.
However, renting a car at this age often involves additional daily fees for young drivers, and you may also be required to purchase insurance through the rental company.
Which States Allow Car Rentals for 19-Year-Olds?
In the United States, rental car age requirements vary by state. Generally, the minimum age to rent a car from national companies is 20, and renters under 25 often incur additional fees.
However, some states have lower age limits:
- Michigan: Here, individuals aged 18 and older can rent vehicles from companies like Hertz, Alamo, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, and National, though they will face an underage driving fee.
- New York: In this state, 18-year-olds can rent cars from Alamo, Avis, Dollar, Hertz, Thrifty, National, and Budget, but they will also incur additional fees.
These exceptions make Michigan and New York notable for allowing car rentals for those as young as 18.
Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you’re under 25 years old – especially at age 19 – you’re going to have a very hard time renting a vehicle.
If a car rental company does offer rentals to 19-year-old drivers, the vehicle selection will likely be limited. Marathon, for example, only makes available a specific range of cars.
There are some rental companies, like Hertz, that rent cars to people as young as 18, but you’re going to end up paying a LOT more than you would if you were over the age of 25. For example, Hertz charges an extra $35 per day as an underage fee.
However, one trick that I found to getting these Hertz fees waived was with a AAA membership.
If you’re between the ages of 20 and 24, Hertz will waive the underage driver fees. As a AAA member you will also save 20% on the base rate of your rental, further offsetting the cost.
Who Offers Car Rentals for 19-Year-Olds?
Hertz permits 19-year-olds to rent cars in Quebec, Michigan, and New York. In the rest of Canada and the U.S., the minimum age for renting a car is 20.
Young drivers, including 19-year-olds in these specific areas, can choose from a variety of vehicles, from economy to full size. However, they are not allowed to rent cars from high-end collections such as Dream Car, Prestige, and Adrenaline.
To rent a car, they must have a valid driver’s license and a credit card.
AtWest is a car rental company operating in the Western United States, specifically in Southern California with locations in Los Angeles and San Diego. They offer rental services to drivers who are at least 18 years old.
However, for those under 21, there are specific requirements to rent a car. These include having a valid driver’s license, paying with a major credit or debit card, and showing proof of insurance.
Renters using a debit card need to present two forms of identification. If renters don’t have their own insurance, they can purchase it through AtWest when renting the car.
Turo is an online car-sharing service, accessible through their website or app. They collaborate with commercial brands but restrict under-21 users to booking only with peer-to-peer hosts, a branch of Turo’s service.
For 19-year-old users, Turo imposes several rules. They cannot rent cars valued over $20,000 and must pay a young renter fee of at least $50 per day.
Additionally, 19-year-olds are required to purchase a protection plan, with no option to waive this fee. They must choose either the standard or minimum protection plan.
Lastly, 19-year-olds are not allowed to book Deluxe Class, Super Deluxe Class, or specialty cars through Turo.
Getaround requires renters to be at least 19 years old, except in Los Angeles and Orange County. Renters under 21 must have a clean driving record with no accidents.
The company conducts driving record checks for all guests. Those under 21 can have a maximum of two at-fault accidents or minor violations in the past three years and must not have any DUI or drug-related incidents on their record in the last seven years.
Zipcar offers vehicle rentals for both short and long trips. Their policy for young drivers is clear-cut.
If you’re under 21, you’re only eligible to use Zipcar through their Zipcar Student program. This program involves partnerships with certain universities, providing students with access to rental cars.
Therefore, for those under 21, renting a car with Zipcar is exclusively possible through this specific arrangement.
Rental Requirements for 19-Year-Olds
To rent a car as a 19-year-old, expect to meet several key requirements:
1. Driver’s License
A valid driver’s license is mandatory for renting a car, regardless of age. If your license is misplaced, rental companies have policies to accommodate this, but typically, a physical license must be presented at the time of rental.
Suggested: Class A B C D driver’s license: The different types of licenses compared
2. Military or Government ID in Some Circumstances
For 18-year-olds, particularly those in the military, presenting official military orders and a military ID can be sufficient for renting a car. USAA members are eligible for waived young driver fees at certain companies like Hertz, Avis, and Budget.
3. Car Insurance Policy
Proof of car insurance coverage is required when renting a car. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need a personal insurance policy; being covered under a parent’s policy as an additional driver is often acceptable.
However, if you don’t provide your insurance, you might have to purchase insurance through the rental company, which can be costly. The requirement for physical proof of insurance varies by company.
Renting a car at 19 is not impossible.
There are ways to comply with the rules of a company and still rent a car, albeit at an additional cost.
Now that you have most of your questions answered about renting a car at 19, where will you go!