The question ‘Do you have to be 25 to rent a car’ has been around for quite a while. It’s a common belief for everyone. Young drivers believe that they won’t be able to manage the rent on their own if they haven’t reached the 25 limit.
Car rental companies tend to be reluctant when they have to rent out to young drivers below 25. But is there the official regulation about it? Is there a federal law that clearly states that you need to be at least 25 years of age to legally rent a vehicle?
The Common Myth
When people are wondering do you have to be 25 to rent a car, it’s basically based on the common regulations amongst young drivers and renters. This belief has been around for a few decades because the car rental sector has their own concerns and fear related to young drivers.
Somehow, they have believed that people in their 25s will have better responsibility. They also pose lesser risks in terms of safety and driving aptitude. A few decades ago, the 25-year limit started, but the rule is getting more lenient in the recent years.
Come to think of it, having the 25 year limit is a bit ridiculous. You are allowed to move out when you are 18 because you are already considered an adult. And then you are allowed to drink when you hit 21. So, if you are already considered an adult and considered responsible enough for drinking, then why can’t you be allowed to rent a car at around that age? Why wait until you are 25?
Sure, there are reasons about responsibility and less experienced stuff, but still…. what’s wrong with the age restriction? Logically, if you are considered a legal adult who can come to clubs and have a drink, then surely, you know how to drive responsibly.
The Current Situation
It’s a good thing that people start to see the fault in the myth. Not to mention that the car rent industry is actually missing out the potential market. There is a good portion of the market where they can make use of the young driver renters.
If you have to put it into numbers and statistics, there are actually some promising markets for the young drivers. So, if you ask do you have to be 25 to rent a car these days, the answer would be mostly no. it’s mostly, because not all car rental companies agree about renting out to those under 25. Some companies are still adamant about renting out to those with at least 25 years of limit.
In general, car rental companies have 21 years of age restriction. So, if you are at least 21 years old, you may be allowed to rent. This regulation, however, depends on the states and also the company’s own policy. In New York, for instance, the age restriction is around 18 years and you can rent a vehicle. In the meanwhile, the age to rent a car in California is at least 21. So it varies from one state to another.
The rental companies also have different regulations concerning the age limit. Avis may allow renters with 21 years of age to rent, while Hertz allow their 20-ish customers to do it. Budget is said to lower their standard, allowing 18 years old customers to rent a vehicle. But it seems that it’s still in the testing stage and it hasn’t become the solid standard in the rental agreement.
It’s safe to say that the rental requirements may improve where young drivers are given more chances to rent a vehicle. But still, they need to come prepared with extra stuff, such as higher rates and extra documents before they are allowed to rent.
The Cost Factor
Do you have to be 25 to rent a car nowadays? No. When you are turning 21, there are some companies that allow you to manage the booking. Not all states have their age restriction regulations written and signed off officially.
Although most states claim that renters must be 25 years old when they rent a vehicle, it’s not really a regulation. In Michigan and New York, you are allowed to rent when you are 18. As long as you are 21 and you can provide the required documentation (and extra documents), you should be allowed to rent.
However, let’s not forget about the cost factor. If you are 25, it’s most likely that you will be charged the standard rate. But if you are between 21 and 24, you may face higher rates. For instance, young drivers in Michigan under 20 will be charged $36.50 a day for extra ‘Young Renter Fee’.
If they are between 21 and 24, the rate would be $15.75 a day. Definitely lower, right? In New York, those under 20 would be charged $64.75 a day while those from 21 to 24 would be charged $30.75. What about the rates for drivers passing the minimum age limit (25 years)? You can only imagine that they will be charged even lower.
How to Get Lower Rates?
There are some options to do when you are under 25. First of all, if you are a member of AAA (American Automobile Association) or USAA (United Service Automobile Association), there are some rental companies that work together with these associations. USAA memberships typically apply for US Military and also their families. AAA is for everyone.
So, if you are still wondering do you have to be 25 to rent a car, you know the true answer. But you shouldn’t be surprised with the extra efforts and additional preparation to go through the entire processing. Be ready with the higher rates too unless you can show them the membership of USAA and AAA.
In the end, it depends on the state, the rental company, and your own determination to pull it off. Are you willing to deal with the higher rates? Are you okay with the extra work? Now that you already know the facts for the question do you have to be 25 to rent a car, you should ask yourself: Are you willing to do it?