Car rental for under 25s

Everything you need to know about renting a car when you’re under the age of 25.

Renting a car makes it easy and convenient to get around while on holiday. But if you’re under the age of 25, not all rental companies are willing to let you hire a car.

Let’s take a look at which companies offer rental companies to drivers aged under 25, and what additional costs you need to be aware of as part of the rental agreement.

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Can I rent a car if I’m under 25?

Yes, you can. While the minimum age at which you can rent a car is mandated by each country, it’s then up to individual car rental providers to decide whether to keep that minimum or choose a higher minimum age limit.

So if you’re under the age of 25 and you need to rent a car on a holiday or business trip, the good news is that you should be able to find a provider willing to let you hire a car.

Which companies rent to drivers under the age of 25?

In Australia, the following companies rent vehicles to drivers aged from 21 to 24 years who hold an open licence:

  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Europcar
  • Hertz
  • Redspot
  • Thrifty

If you’re under 21, none of the major car rental companies will let you get behind the wheel. However, there are some providers, such as JUCY, that accept drivers as young as 18 years old who hold either an open licence or an Australian green P-plate (P2) licence.

Can I rent a car if I’m on my Ps?

Most major rental companies won’t allow provisional licence holders to rent a vehicle. However, there are some providers who do let P-platers drive their cars.

For example, Redspot accepts drivers 21 and over who have held their provisional licence for more than a year, provided you’re willing to pay a daily provisional licence surcharge.

Check the terms and conditions of different rental companies to find out which ones will let you hire a car while you’re on your Ps.

What is a young driver surcharge?

One of the unfortunate facts of hiring a car as a young driver is that you’ll need to pay more than drivers over the age of 25. Rental companies impose what is known as a young driver surcharge or an age surcharge, which is an additional fee imposed on drivers under 25 years of age. This fee is typically applied daily, so it can significantly increase the total cost of your rental.

For example, Hertz Australia requires renters aged between 21 and 24 (inclusive) to pay a $16.50 (including GST) daily young renter surcharge. This surcharge is capped at 7 days per 30 days rental period, but if you want to hire a car for a week you’re still looking at an extra $115.50 when compared to a driver who’s 25 or older.

Check the table below for details of the young driver surcharges imposed by some major rental companies in Australia.

Daily young driver surcharge Applies to drivers aged
Avis $28.50 21 to 24
Budget $16.50 21 to 25 (not available at all locations – many Budget locations require drivers to be over the age of 25)
Europcar $30.25 21 to 24
Hertz $16.50 21 to 24
Redspot $15 21 to 24
Thrifty $27.50 21 to 24

Things to consider when renting a car

Under 25 and want to rent a car? Remember the following tips when booking and picking up your hire car:

  • Limited choice of vehicles. Depending on the car rental agency you choose, young drivers are commonly only able to access a limited range of vehicles. For example, you may not be permitted to rent luxury vehicles and sports cars as they may have higher minimum age requirements.
  • You can’t get around the fees. It’s not possible to avoid the young driver surcharge by putting the rental in an older driver’s name. Anyone who will drive the car must be listed as an authorised driver on the rental agreement. If you’re not an authorised driver and you’re involved in an accident while behind the wheel, no cover will be provided by the rental car insurance.
  • Insurance restrictions. Some companies also impose restrictions on the level of insurance cover young drivers are able to access. For example, while collision damage waiver insurance may allow older drivers to reduce their liability to zero in the event of an accident, under-25 drivers may be liable to pay a specified amount.
  • Licence restrictions. Your rental company may specify that you will need to have held an open licence for a certain amount of time, such as one or two years, in order to rent a car. Check the terms and conditions that apply to a rental before proceeding with a booking.
  • Think about going local. Instead of going with a large national or international rental company, you may find better rates for young drivers at a smaller local rental company.
  • Check quotes closely. When you receive an online quote from a car rental company, check the fine print to confirm whether or not the quote includes the age surcharge. Remember, too, that this surcharge is paid daily and can significantly increase the total rental cost.

Picture: Shutterstock

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