How old do I need to be to rent a car?

What is the minimum age to rent a car?

Age 21
You can rent a car at 21 years of age, however, in some cases you can rent a car at 19 or 18 years of age*

21 years old (or younger*)

…although not all car rental agencies will rent a car to 21 year olds. In some cases you may be able to be registered as a second driver on a car rental secured by someone 25 years of age or old.  So you may find the minimum age to rent a car is older with some rental companies, so be sure to check ahead of time.

Exceptions to the general car rental age rule*

You are eligible to rent a car under 21 as follows:

  • Fox Rent a Car if  you are 19 years of age. Military personnel can rent a car from Fox at 18 years of age on government orders. See further info on exceptions at Fox Rent a Car.
  • E-Z Rent-A-Car corporate rental car locations allow renter aged 18 to 20 years old to rent with an added underage surcharge.
  • Some car rental agency locations, some states, and some special corporate relationships with car rental agencies allow for car rentals at an age younger than 21, however see this article for details.

Age:

Generally speaking, you must be at least 21 years of age or older, and in some cases 25 years old. This is a guideline and is subject to the policies of the car rental agency.

Drivers ages 21 to 24 can rent at the following car rental companies, however call ahead to ensure all locations honor this policy:

  • Advantage
  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Dollar
  • Enterprise,
  • Hertz
  • National
  • Thrifty

In the exceptions noted in the section above, you can rent a car with certain companies under 21 if certain conditions are met. Typically, there are young renter surcharges.

See below for rules about renting a car outside the United States.

Identification:

Generally, you must show a valid driver’s license. And in some cases it must have be valid for one year (sometimes required in Europe).

 

 

Age to rent a car: 21 years oldPayment:

You will also need to provide a credit card on which the car rental agency will secure a deposit. Or you may be required to make a cash deposit.

Related facts:

  • It may be easier to book online with a debit or credit card.
  • Smaller car rental agencies may have rules and fees for younger drivers. There are company guidelines, not government laws.

How to avoid age related hassles when you rent a car:

  • Check ahead with the car rental agency for any age related rules.
  • Act professionally when you check in.
  • Dress well and be well groomed.
  • Act and speak respectfully.
  • Carry and present a driver’s license.
  • Present a credit card or a debit card.
  • A hold will likely be placed on your credit or debit account to secure a deposit.

International rules around minimum age for car rentals:

Car rental age rules for countries outside the U.S.:

Australia: Minimum age to rent a car in Oz is 21 years old. You must also have a valid license for one year. Driver surcharge may apply.

Canada: The most common minimum age to rent a car in Canada is 21 years of age or 24 years old. In the province of Saskatchewan, the a minimum age in 18 years old. Younger drivers under the age of 25  may not be able to rent some vehicles, such as as luxury cars, SUVs and minivans.

France: To rent a car in France you need to be at least 21 years old. In some cases, 25 years old. It varies by rental agency.

Italy
: The rental car age limit in Italy is typically a minimum of 18, but some suppliers will not rent to anyone under 21. Surcharges ma appl for younger drivers.
Spain:

Switzerland: To rent a car in Switzerland, you must be at least 20 years old, and have held a license for one year. Young driver surcharges often apply.

United Kingdom: The age to rent a car in the U.K. is generally 21, with some restrictions and exceptions and surcharges. For example, younger drivers may be restricted to certain size cars.

Want to rent hotel room as well?

See our related post on the minimum age to rent a hotel room.