Rent a car under 25 years?

From minimum rental age to restrictions, young driver fee to possible kites& helpful tips for renting a car


in total, about 2 million vacationers are attracted to the USA every year. No matter if young or old, the USA are more popular than ever! Most of the numerous vacationers even decide to explore the land of unlimited possibilities on their own with a rental car. Especially young people like to sit behind the wheel themselves and love the freedom that a trip to the USA brings with it. but that’s where the problem lies – young drivers are either not allowed to rent a car yet or they have to pay a lot more when they reach a certain age! But where exactly is the age limit for renting a car in the USA and what additional costs do I have to pay if I am considered a "young driver"?? Young drivers do not have it easy – so many questions and hard to find an answer in all the confusion. Therefore, this article is intended to shed some light on the subject of "young drivers in the USA".

Minimum rental age

Generally there is a minimum age for renting a car in the USA of 21 years. But this can vary from provider to provider and from state to state. There is currently only one exception to this rule: in the state of new york, a minimum rental age of already 18 years! When you z. B. If you compare the prices of rental cars, you will find out that some providers like autoeurope or cardelmar your rental cars only from an age of 25 years rent, however cars& camper and dertour rent already from an age of 21 years. If you look at the offers closer, however, is in most cases an additional point, which says that for drivers under 25 years a young driver fee is added. Does not mean that in the former case no one under 25 years may rent, but this must pay an additional fee if he z. B. Only 23 is. The age can also strongly depend on the vehicle class to be rented, as described under the point "age" restrictions on the minimum rental age is explained in more detail.

My Tip: if you are between 21 and 25 years old, you should read the rental conditions of the offer very carefully when booking a rental car. From this is really fast& it is easy to see where the minimum rental age is for each provider and whether you can be younger if you pay an additional fee.

Restrictions on the minimum rental age

The good news is that most car rental companies already rent cars to 21 year olds. In the state of new york even already to 18-year-olds.

But now comes the big BUT: there might be a restriction regarding the rental car classes. According to this the provider cars& camper for example, a note in the rental conditions stating that the minimum rental age is 21, but the category LM (minivan 15ST) is only possible from 25 years onwards. So here is a restriction from the class LM. in the state of new york for example, 18-20 year olds are only allowed to drive vehicles from economy to intermediate rent& 21 to 24-year-olds only from economy to standard. So such or similar clauses could affect you as an under 25 year old. Therefore, I strongly advise you to read the rental conditions carefully or, if you are unsure, call the hotline (often referred to as "hotline" in the rental conditions). Helpline specified).

Young driver fee for under 25s

If you are under 25 years of age, then in most cases you will have to pay a so-called young driver’s fee. Many providers offer cheap young driver rates, where the surcharge is already included. However, if the supplement is not included, the prices may again vary from provider to provider. Some rates are as high as $45 per driver per day, but this is more the exception than the rule. But on average you can say that the surcharge for young drivers in the USA is about 25-27 US-dollars per day. At the provider hertz you pay for example 27 US-dollars per day, at cars& camper you pay 25 US-dollars per day. As you can see, it’s a real muddle and it can’t be emphasized enough, but the rental information will give you a quick answer about who you have to pay what and from when on.

The young driver fee is not only dependent on the provider, but also varies from region to region, as summarized below:

In the state of new york, the following applies:

  • Surcharge for riders 18 to 20 years old: about $57 per driver per day
  • For drivers 21 to 24 years old: $20,50 per driver per day

In the state of texas applies:

  • Surcharge of $40 per driver per day

It is clear that the younger you are, the more you have to pay!

What to do if you are between 21 and 24 years old?

The following 2 options are open to you if you have not yet reached the minimum rental age of the car rental companies:

  • If you are between 21 and 24 years (exception new york from 18) and you are traveling alone, then you will have to pay the young driver fee
  • You will find a main driver who is at least 25 years old.

Info: if you are thinking of registering as a second driver, please note that the second driver will also be checked for age. If the second driver is also under 25, he also has to pay the young driver fee!

What to do if you are younger than 21?

So if you fly to the USA and you are younger than 21, don’t think that the hope of renting a car is dead for you! You now have the following options:

  • The provider hertz even offers a rental at 20 years! Since you have to commit to the provider hertz in this case, it may be that hertz does not have the cheapest offer. (at hertz you always pay on average 10% more than the cheapest price comparison offer)
  • You could rent your car in the state of new york. A minimum rental age of 18 years applies here. Note, however, that you must have had your license for at least 1 year!
  • If you don’t fly to new york& if you are younger than 20, the only rule is: find someone who is at least 20 years old to be your main driver.


As a young driver, it is important to find the right& find the right offer. So be on the lookout and be sure to read the rental conditions in the individual offers. Only here you can find the exact minimum rental age of the respective car rental companies. It is also important to always compare the prices and contents with each other. An expensive rental with a low or even no young driver fee can end up costing you more overall than a cheap rental with a higher fee for under 25s. So it is of little use to you if you see a great bargain but it includes a fee for young drivers under 25 of 45 US-dollars per day. Elsewhere you might pay a few euros more on the rental, but your fee will be the average price of 25 US dollars per day. This $20 ($45-$25) difference is already quite a sum, considering the usual rental period of 14 vacation days!

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