What Do I Need to Rent a Car?


There are three requirements to rent a car from most national car rental chains: a valid driver's license, a credit or debit card, and a minimum age requirement. Some smaller rental companies may have fewer restrictions.

Traveler walks near car rental counters inside airport
Traveler walks near car rental counters inside airport (Image: Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

Minimum Age Requirement

The minimum age requirement is usually between 21 and 25. Some companies, such as Hertz, charge an additional fee for renters under 25 years of age.

Young woman driving car
Young woman driving car (Image: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Credit or Debit Card

A credit or debit card will be required at the time that you pick up the vehicle. Make sure that the card used has additional funds available because the rental company will authorize and hold additional funds for incidentals such as mileage overages and gas. These funds range from $100 to $300 depending on the rental company's policies.

Woman walking in car rental lot
Woman walking in car rental lot (Image: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

Driver's License

You will be asked to present your driver's license and can expect a photocopy to be made at the time of your rental. All rental companies require a valid driver's license.

Woman presenting identification at counter
Woman presenting identification at counter (Image: Keith Brofsky/Photodisc/Getty Images)


The car rental company does not require that you have car insurance, but will try to sell you theirs. Call your car insurance agent or provider to inquire if it transfers to a rental vehicle.

Hybrid vehicles at a car rental agency
Hybrid vehicles at a car rental agency (Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

Renting under someone else

If you are wondering whether you can bypass requirements by renting under someone else's name, the answer is generally no. The rental company requires information about anyone who will be driving the car, and assuming someone else's name could mean serious problems should you be involved in an accident. Most rental companies will allow someone to make a payment for them, but they still require a credit or debit card from the primary renter.

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