What to Do When You Pick Up Your Rental Car
Nov 4, 2021
Your driving record — Ask the rental car company if they check customers' driving records. Many do, and even if you have a confirmed reservation, recent driving violations may prevent you from getting the car.
Do I need rental car insurance? Every rental vehicle should come with third-party and damage waiver insurance as standard coverage to effectively protect you from having to pay the full cost of any damages to the vehicle. However, you can also choose to add additional insurance, depending on your needs.
Bottom line. Renting a car in 2021 is difficult. The lack of cars and the fast-recovering travel industry lead to car shortages — and given supply constraints, it's hard for rental companies to purchase new vehicles to expand their fleet.
Prices to rent a car in the U.S. hit record highs at the end of 2021, and it doesn't look like 2022 will provide a lot of relief. After a big selloff of rental car fleets in 2020, the rental agencies have been slow to increase the size of their fleets because new-car production dramatically slowed down in 2021.
Rental car prices have been surging because demand is high and supply is low, both due to the coronavirus crisis and the chip shortage.
The policy of a minimum age is still on to hire a vehicle, being the legal age to rent a car from 21 on. Why 21? Probably for being the average legal age worldwide. There are even agencies to rent a car Spain under 25 where they already allow 18 year old drivers to rent their cars.
A common question we are asked is “how long do you need a driving licence to hire a car?” The answer to that question is that drivers who have held their licence for less than 12 months are able to hire a vehicle in the UK at all major airport locations and some downtown.
Renting a car for someone else is a rather tricky subject but can someone else pay for your rental car? The definitive answer to this question is yes you can rent a car for someone else in regards to paying for their car rental.
Can You Rent a Car Under 25 in the US and Canada? Yes. The minimum age to rent a vehicle with Enterprise is 21 throughout the U.S., except in Michigan and New York where the minimum age to rent is 18. Any U.S. government employee can rent at 18 years of age but must show the rental location his or her official orders.
Can You Rent a Car at 18? In most parts of the U.S., drivers need to be at least 25 to rent a car from Budget without additional restrictions and fees. Car rental is allowed at age 18 in two states—Michigan and New York.
The only states that legally determine the minimum age for car rentals are Michigan, New York, and Mississippi. In Michigan and New York, car rental agencies must rent to those aged 18 and over, and in Mississippi, it's 21 years old.
The minimum age to rent a car (or drive a rented car) is 18 in Austria, Croatia, Germany, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden; 19 in Estonia and Norway; 20 in Bulgaria, Finland and Switzerland; 21 in Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France (but 18 for the buyback lease program), Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, ...
Insurance companies set a maximum age for car rental; usually the cut-off is 70 or 75. Different rental companies, however, will have differing insurance providers, so the only way you will really know if you're allowed to drive away in the reserved hire car is if you ask about age restrictions prior to your holiday.
In most of Europe, there is no car rental age limit for drivers over the age of 65. Germany, France, Spain and the United Kingdom all have all car rental over 80 years old. In parts of Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia there are restrictions or surcharges for senior drivers.
Germany rental car age requirements are varied and, although most minimums are 18 or 19, some suppliers set their age limit at 21. There are no maximum age restrictions, but young driver surcharges will cost anywhere from €10 - €20 per day.
To sum up, you may drive in Germany with your American license for up to six months. Afterwards, you need to obtain a German license (with or without taking a German exam, depending on where you acquired your U.S. driver's license), unless a reciprocity agreement is in place.
To rent a car in Germany, you'll need: Driver's license. International Driving Permit (IDP) Valid ID (Driver's license or passport can be used; for non-EU visitors, an International Driver Permit is required if your license is not written in English.)
You can use your valid Canadian driver's licence in Germany for up to six months, if it is accompanied by a certified translation or an international driver's licence.