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No major rental company can allow an underage driver to drive the rental cars. Underage car rental can only be present in some of the minor companies. An underage driver specifically a 16-year-old has no insurance and possesses no license.

Rental car companies have a higher age requirement for the driver which is mostly 25 years. Until recently any young driver under the age of 25 would not be trusted to drive a rental car. Statistically, drivers under the age of 25 get into more accidents than other age groups. 

Minimum Car Rental Age

The minimum rental age for cars is mandated by the different states. The car rental companies can also choose to keep the set minimum or increase the age required. Example, in Germany the minimum car rental age is set at 18 but the different companies only use this as their base age. There is also the minimum car rental age for specific types of cars. The big cars and SUVs have a higher minimum car rental age as compared to the smaller cars.

Under 25 car rental requirements

Rental companies require the providing of information on the age of the primary driver when applying for a rental car. This is because different car rental companies have various car rental insurance standards for drivers under the age of 25. Older drivers may be able to take rental insurance for the rental car and also use a credit card for payment of the insurance coverage but drivers under 25 years may be required to get the inclusive rate of insurance.

Underage Penalties

Drivers who are aged 18 to 21 are unable to rent cars from the big rental companies. Some states do not allow the renting out of cars to drivers with a minimum of 18 years and there are penalties involved when this is violated. There is an exception in Michigan and New York where the state laws require the rental agencies to rent cars to drivers who are 18 years and above.

However, this privilege is dearly paid for as most companies charge drivers under 21 years an additional fee in New York. The additional costs in New York are up to $100. In Michigan, the age penalties are not very high as they range from $20 to $50 per day.


Overall, renting a car is expensive until the driver is 25 years and above and is impossible or difficult until one is 21. Having own vehicles is good but the expenses may not be worth it if there are other transportation means. It is important also to consider the daily rental fees and the additional underage fees when deciding on which option to take when traveling. 

Post Author: Tammy Moreno