If you’ve arrived at this website, you have probably already realized the difficulty in renting a car if you’re under the age of 21. While so many other people just say that this is impossible and you should take cabs everywhere or not travel at all, these people have obviously not been to our site.
Fact is, you can rent a car at 18 years of age or older in most major metropolitan cities and even in some smaller towns. Since you’re already at our site, you’ve completed step one and now get to look below for additional tips and suggestions.
Findings the cars
We’ve done our best to compile these car rental companies into one place. Just click on the “Car Rental (18+)” tab to get started.
Renting the car
- In most cases, it’s best to contact the car rental company ahead of time to make sure you meet their requirements. Many companies have stricter standards for drivers under 21.
- A common requirement is a major credit card, sometimes in your own name, so try to have one available and bring it when you pick up the car.
- Find out what the surcharge for drivers under 21 is. Such surcharges usually top $10 per day and can approach $100 per day at the high end and just because it isn’t mentioned doesn’t mean there isn’t one. Almost every company charges this surcharge which they claim is to cover higher insurance costs. Fair or not, it’s something to be aware of.
- Look for all available discounts and especially student discounts. Some companies offer them and some don’t.
- Make sure to check with the rental car agency before booking. Some companies may have additional restrictions or may have changed their policies without informing us.
- Be aware of cancellation policies and any extra fees charged by the company.
- If you are flexible on dates, look at a few different dates and you could find rates are dramatically different.
- In the states of New York and Michigan, car rental companies are required to rent to qualified drivers age 18 and older. However, it still pays to shop around as young driver surcharges are still both legal and prevalent.
Need a hotel too?
Many hotels also have minimum check-in ages of 21 but most areas have several hotels that allow all adults to rent a room. For a selection of these hotels, take a look at our “Hotels (18+)” tab.