Rental Car Companies That Rent to Age 21

Younger drivers have a limited selection of rental car companies from which to choose.
Younger drivers have a limited selection of rental car companies from which to choose. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

If you are under the age of 25, renting a car may be a problem. Most major car rental companies rent to drivers under 25 only if they are part of a corporate or organization's discount program. Some independent companies near major airports and some national chain franchises will rent to "underage" drivers. These companies typically require a minimum age of 21, but a few will allow an 18-year-old to rent a car. In either case, they add a daily surcharge to cover the cost of higher insurance.

Alamo Rent-A-Car

Alamo Rent-A-Car started in 1974 in Florida and has locations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific Rim. In 2007, Alamo was bought by the Taylor Family of St. Louis, which also owns Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Alamo's policies allow underage drivers 21 to 24, but will assess a daily surcharge and will not rent certain specialty and larger vehicles. There are two states, New York and Michigan, that mandate rentals for 18-year-old drivers, but there is an additional charge added to the surcharge, and the total can be quite pricey.

Dollar Rent-A-Car

Dollar Rent-A-Car provides cell phone and child safety seat rentals and facsimile and express car return services. The minimum driving age for Dollar cars is 21 years old at most locations in the United States and Canada, but only under certain circumstances as noted in local policies.

Thrifty Car Rental

Thrifty is a worldwide car rental company and boasts over 300 rental locations in the United States. They offer a matching rate plus a 10% discount if a lower rate is offered at another company. They team with some airlines and hotels in giving frequent flier miles and hotel points. Thrifty policies do allow 21-year-old drivers at most locations, with specific information found under their terms and conditions. Again, extra charges apply to underage drivers.

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