Why Under 25's Can't Rent a Car Easily

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Driver's under 25 looking for a rental car may experience their fair share of sticker shock, especially if they have a clean record. Statistically, drivers under 25 are in more car accidents than any other age group, and a scroll through the Internet to compare car insurance policies in Australia will show the price differences for younger and older drivers.

Although it makes sense why a car rental company may pass this cost to younger drivers, this knowledge won't decrease your frustration.

What is the Minimum and Maximum Age for Hiring a Car? 

Before you start comparing car rental providers, you need to first figure out if you can hire a vehicle at all. It's a common misconception that drivers need to be at least 25 years old to rent a car, but that isn't the case. Most car rental companies will accept young or newer drivers aged 21, 20, 19, or even 18-year-olds if they have an up-to-date license. 

What is true is that you'll be charged additional fees for being a new or young driver. Australians who have provincial (P) license plates will be charged even more when renting a car.

On the other extreme, older drivers aren't likely to see a maximum age limit from car rental companies. Sometimes, a hire car provider will ask for a medical certificate before handing over the keys to ensure they're well enough to drive. Most providers focus on younger drivers, but if you're concerned, read the companies terms and conditions on their website.

What Providers Don't Charge a Young Drivers Surcharge?

As of writing this, Apex Car Rentals is the only hire car provider that doesn't give younger drivers a surcharge. Truck Rentals, Advance Car, Got2Go, and Auz Rental Cars don't specifically mention a young driver's surcharge on their website, but additional surcharges may be added to supplement these costs. Always read your premiums carefully before signing up.

What Providers Charge the Most in Young Drivers Surcharges?

The 21 car rental places left in Australia that issue young drivers surcharges will likely charge using a lump sum payment. However, many other companies will increase or decrease the surcharge based on the driver's location and vehicle. You'll want to avoid companies that use this payment structure because you'll almost always pay extra over the course of your rental.

The companies that seem to charge the most in young driver's surcharges are Europcar, Thrifty, Budget, AVIS, Ace, Alamo, Sunny Cars, Sixt, National, Bayswater, and Alpha. However, most of these companies offer reasonable rates to anyone over the age of 25, so consider them later.

If you want a lower young drivers surcharge, consider the following companies:

  • Hertz: 25 or older. $16.50 per day, per driver with a low-cost vehicle. Capped at 7 days.
  • Redspot: 21-24. $15 per day, per driver regardless of the car.
  • Enterprise: 21-24. $15 per day, per driver.
  • East Coast Car Rentals: 21-24. $9.90 per day, per driver.
  • Firefly: 20-24. $16.50 per day, but capped at 7 days.
  • Koala: 21 or older. $15 per day with no limitations.
  • City Centre Car Rentals: 21-25. $10 per day with no limitations.
  • Burswood: 19 or older. $5 per day with no restrictions.
  • Juicy: 18-25. Quote determined by provider and location, but 18-year-olds can rent.

Depending on the amount you'll pay in premiums, you may consider avoiding rentals until you're old enough to not be charged the young drivers' surcharge. However, young drivers have plenty of options when it comes to rental fees, cars, and services, so you don't need to settle on the first rate you see. Consider looking at third-party insurance options as they're often cheaper.

Driving a rental car helps you get the most out of your vacation by saving you time and money spent on lost time. When you rent a car, you see more and won't need to go back twice.

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