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How to rent a car at 18 years old

Updated February 21, 2017

Renting a car is convenient if you are away from home or plan to travel a long way and do not have a reliable vehicle. Knowing where to rent a car and any restrictions is important in getting the best deal. Most companies have competitive rates and offer similar insurance coverage, but drivers must qualify. Most car companies will not rent to individuals under the age of 21, and anyone under the age of 25 will usually have an additional fee. However, a few options are available to rent a car underage, but you almost always will have to pay an additional fee, some daily, or have a credit card on file to pay for any damages.

Rent a car in New York or Michigan. Of course, this might be out of your way if you are not already in these areas, but these are the only two states as of 2010 in which the law requires that car rental agencies are required to rent to anyone at least 18 years old. Several other states have also proposed that there be no age discrimination against adults renting cars.

Choose a truck or larger vehicle. You might end up paying more for a larger vehicle on top of the underage fee, but many car rental agencies will rent a "less sporty" vehicle to someone who is only 18 years old.

Prove your status. Show your Military ID or any information proving you are a government official. Individuals with military or government status often have extra perks with several businesses, including being able to rent a car at a younger age.

Choose a small company. Find a company not run by a large corporation. Sometimes, if the rental car agency is locally owned, it might be more likely to rent a car to someone younger than 21.

Use your business account. If you are a professional travelling for business purposes, your company might have an account with a national rental chain. Your business might be able to secure a car rental through its existing account.

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