Advertiser Disclosure

Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which we receive financial compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). However, the credit card information that we publish has been written and evaluated by experts who know these products inside out. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse. This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers that are on the market. See our advertising policy here where we list advertisers that we work with, and how we make money. You can also review our credit card rating methodology.

Age Requirements To Rent a Car in the U.S. [Rental Agency Breakdown]

Amar Hussain's image
Amar Hussain
Amar Hussain's image

Amar Hussain

Senior Content Contributor

801 Published Articles

Countries Visited: 63U.S. States Visited: 9

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications incl...
Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
Keri Stooksbury's image

Keri Stooksbury

Editor-in-Chief

36 Published Articles 3278 Edited Articles

Countries Visited: 47U.S. States Visited: 28

With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

We may be compensated when you click on product links, such as credit cards, from one or more of our advertising partners. Terms apply to the offers below. See our Advertising Policy for more about our partners, how we make money, and our rating methodology. Opinions and recommendations are ours alone.

Whether you’re looking to take a road trip with your friends or head home for the holidays, we all need to rent a car occasionally. The process is pretty straightforward for those 25 and over, but there are no clear-cut rules for younger individuals.

Rental companies define their terms for young renters individually, and all charge “under 25” fees ranging from $20 to $84 per rental day, depending on your age and location. These fees can often double the total rental cost, so check out our suggestions below on avoiding young renter fees.

Renting a Car Under 25

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that young drivers are more likely to be involved in road traffic accidents and pose a higher risk than older drivers when renting vehicles. This doesn’t mean you can’t rent a car if you’re under 25, but you will be charged a premium for the privilege.

Renting a Car Under 21

Car rental agencies have policies and fees for young renters (detailed below), and most have a minimum rental age of 21. There are several exceptions when 18- to 20-year-olds are permitted to rent a car.

Although most states require you to be 18 to rent a vehicle (as that is the age you can legally sign a contract), car rental agencies dictate minimum age policies. Typically, agencies rent to drivers 25 and over without incurring any additional fees. They usually rent to younger drivers 21 and over. However, a fee will be charged to cover the risk.

Minimum Rental Age by State

Several states legally determine the minimum age for car rentals. In Michigan and New York, car rental agencies must rent to those 18 and over; in Mississippi, it’s 21 years old. In Alabama and Nebraska, 19-year-olds may rent a vehicle. However, rental agencies charge even higher young driver fees when renting from these locations.

What Do You Need To Rent a Car?

To rent a car in the U.S., you will need to present the following items at the rental office:

  • Identification to prove that you meet the minimum age restriction
  • Valid driving license (some rental companies require a license to be held for at least 1 year before renting)
  • A valid form of payment, including a credit card or debit card with available funds
  • Young driver fees settled upfront at the rental office
Hot Tip:

Insurance is another must-have when renting a car, but this can be expensive when purchasing it directly from the car rental agency. Take a look at the best credit cards for car rental insurance coverage

How To Avoid Young Renter Fees

Book With Carla

Carla Young Driver Fee Waivered
Carla waives the young driver fee for many rentals. Image Credit: Carla

Carla is an online travel agent that offers many rental options with agencies such as Alamo, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, and National. Many offers waive the “under 25” fee, and these options are identifiable on the results page. This applies to some of its standard deals and Carla’s “Surprise Supplier” deals, where you don’t find out about the agency until after you’ve booked.

AAA Membership

If you rent with Hertz, aged 20 to 24, your young renter’s fee will be waived with AAA membership. A AAA Classic membership ranges from $38 to $74, so you’ll save money, especially if you rent more than once a year.

USAA Membership

You benefit from no young driver fees if you have a USAA membership available to active duty, National Guard or reserve U.S. military and veterans and their eligible family members. Renting with Avis, Budget, or Hertz, 18- to 24-year-old USAA members will have their fees waived. With Enterprise, this applies to 21- to 24-year-olds.

Government or Military

Most car rental agencies will allow customers aged 18 and over to rent a vehicle if they are government employees or serving in the U.S. military. Policies vary between the rental agencies, but many require the renter to travel on business to be eligible for the waived young driver fees.

If you’re active military, check out our post on the best military credit cards. Many issuers waive annual fees, and you can use car rental benefits offered by those cards.

Young Driver Policies and Age Requirements by Rental Agency

Alamo

Alamo Young Renter Fee
Alamo young renter fee. Image Credit: Alamo

Alamo requires drivers to be at least 21 to rent a vehicle. Renters between 21 and 24 pay a “youthful surcharge” at an average of $25 extra per day, depending on the rental location. The young person fee for those under 21 renting in New York is $65 per day and $42 when renting in Michigan.

Renters 21 through 24 years of age may be restricted to specific car classes.

Advantage

Advantage Car Rental
Advantage Car Rental. Image Credit: Advantage Rent A Car

The minimum age for renting with Advantage is 21. However, renters 21 to 24 are charged a $25 per day for young renters surcharge. Young renters must also hold their own full automobile policy or be a named driver. Young renters are only permitted to rent economy through to full-size vehicles.

Avis

Avis Young Renters Fee
Avis underage surcharge. Image Credit: Avis

The minimum rental age for Avis is 21. Renters between 21 and 24 can rent economy through full-size vehicles, minivans, small pick-up trucks, and intermediate SUVs.

In most states, the daily young renter’s fee is $27, with these exceptions:

Michigan

  • 18- to 20-year-olds: $41
  • 21- to 24-year-olds. $28

New York

  • 18- to 20-year-olds: $52
  • 21- to 24-year-olds: $35

Budget

Budget Young Renters Fee
Budget underage surcharge. Image Credit: Budget

Budget’s standard policy is to rent to those over 21. In most locations, young renters 21 to 24 are subject to a surcharge of $27 per day and are not permitted to rent specialty vehicles, passenger vans, and full-size or premium SUVs.

In Michigan and New York, specific young driver fees apply:

Michigan

  • 18- to 20-year-olds: $41
  • 21- to 24-year-olds. $28

New York

  • 18- to 20-year-olds: $52
  • 21- to 24-year-olds: $35

Dollar

Dollar Young Renters
Image Credit: Dollar

The minimum rental age with Dollar is 20 years in the U.S. and Canada. Renters 20 to 24 will be charged $29 per day in most states and may rent all vehicle classes, excluding some specialty cars. Young renter fees are not displayed when booking online, but you will be asked for identification when picking up the vehicle and charged accordingly.

In Michigan and New York, the following young renter fees apply:

Michigan

  • 18- to 20-year-olds: varies by location
  • 21- to 24-year-olds. varies by location

New York

  • 18- to 20-year-olds: $52
  • 21- to 24-year-olds: $35 to $45

Enterprise

Enterprise Young Renter Fee.JPG
Enterprise young renter fee. Image Credit: Enterprise

The minimum age to rent with Enterprise is 21 across all but 2 states (Michigan and New York). Renters aged 21 to 24 will be charged a young renters fee of around $25 per day and may be limited to specific car classes.

The following exclusions apply:

Michigan

  • 18- to 20-year-olds: $36.50
  • 21- to 24-year-olds. $15.75

New York

  • 18- to 20-year-olds: $64.75
  • 21- to 24-year-olds: $30.75

Hertz

Hertz Young Driver Fee
Hertz young renter fee waiver. Image Credit: Hertz

Hertz rents to young drivers aged 20+ and charges a surcharge of $19 per day at most rental locations. Young drivers may rent most vehicle classes, excluding Prestige Collection, Dream, and Adrenaline Collection cars.

For states with specific young driver mandates, Hertz charges the following fees:

Michigan and New York

  • 18- to 20-year-olds: $52
  • 21- to 24-year-olds. $19

National

National Young Renter Fee
National’s young renter fee. Image Credit: National

National has a minimum rental age of 21, with those 21 to 24 charged an average $25 daily surcharge on top of the standard rental charge. Young renters may be restricted from renting specific vehicle classes.

If renting in Michigan or New York, the following charges apply:

Michigan

  • 18- to 20-year-olds: $36.50
  • 21- to 24-year-olds. $15.75

New York

  • 18- to 20-year-olds: $64.75
  • 21- to 24-year-olds: $30.75

SIXT

young adults outside of a van
Image Credit: Monkey Business Images via SIXT

SIXT’s minimum rental age is 21, and drivers 21 to 24 are subject to a young renters fee of $25 to $30. Young drivers can only rent vehicles in the following categories: economy, compact, full-size, intermediate, intermediate SUV, and minivans. In New York, customers aged 18 to 20 can rent a vehicle for a higher surcharge of $53 and 21- to 24-year-olds for $37.

Thrifty

Thrifty Young Renters Fee
Image Credit: Thrifty

Thrifty allows customers aged 20+ to rent a vehicle, although young drivers up to 24 will be subject to a young renters fee of $29. Young renters are eligible to rent all vehicle classes, excluding some specialty cars. When renting in New York or Michigan, young renters are charged higher young driver fees of $35 to $52, depending on the location.

Hot Tip:

If you need help deciding which car rental agency to use, check out our car rental company guide, which looks at rates, service, loyalty programs, and more. 

Final Thoughts

Renting a car when you’re under 25 can be a pricey affair. Flying or taking the train to your destination may be more cost-efficient than renting a car. If you’re taking a road trip with friends, try to designate 1 driver, as any additional drivers pay “under 25” fees if they are also under 25.

If you’re hoping to avoid young renter fees altogether, book with Carla, but be prepared for your booking to be non-refundable should your plans change.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get around a young renter fee?

There are several ways you can avoid young renter fees:

  • You can book with Carla, an online travel agent that offers many car rental options that waive the “under 25” fee.
  • If you’re renting with Hertz, aged 20 to 24, your young renter’s fee will be waived with AAA membership.
  • If you have a USAA membership, you benefit from no young driver fees renting with Avis, Budget, Hertz, or Enterprise.
  • Most car rental agencies will waive the young driver fee for a government employee or serving in the U.S. military when on business.

What is the Hertz young renters fee?

Hertz rents to young drivers 20+ and charges a surcharge of $29 per day at most rental locations. For states with specific young driver mandates, Hertz charges the following fees: Michigan and New York:
    • 18- to 20-year-olds: $52
    • 21- to 24-year-olds. $19

Does Avis rent cars to under 25?

The usual minimum rental age for Avis is 21. In most states, the daily young renter’s fee is $27, with these exceptions: Michigan
    • 18- to 20-year-olds: $41
    • 21- to 24-year-olds. $28
New York
    • 18- to 20-year-olds: $52
    • 21- to 24-year-olds: $35

What rental car company does not charge for under 25?

Most rental agencies charge young driver fees for “under 25s” unless running a limited-time promotion. If you book your rental on Carla, many of the online travel agent’s offers waive the young driver fee.

Can someone under 25 drive my rental car?

Additional drivers can usually be added to your booking. However, if the driver is under 25, they will be subject to an additional young driver fee.

Amar Hussain's image

About Amar Hussain

Amar is an avid traveler and tester of products. He has spent the last 13 years traveling all 7 continents and has put the products to the test on each of them. He has contributed to publications including Forbes, the Huffington Post, and more.

INSIDERS ONLY: UP PULSE

Deluxe Travel Provided by UP Pulse

Get the latest travel tips, crucial news, flight & hotel deal alerts...

Plus — expert strategies to maximize your points & miles by joining our (free) newsletter.

We respect your privacy. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA. Google's privacy policy  and terms of service  apply.

Deluxe Travel Provided by UP Pulse
DMCA.com Protection Status