If you are going on a road trip, you may have a necessity to share the wheel with someone else. Only one of you can be the main driver. In most cases, you are obliged to pay fees for adding additional drivers. However, you may find car rental companies which don’t require an additional driver fee in the USA. Read more here!
What is the Additional Driver Fee?
This is a daily fee you have to pay for adding an extra driver who will be able to drive the rental car along with the main driver. You can add one or even more drivers. Companies take extra money for young drivers and senior drivers. Keep in mind the policies of different car rental companies since not all of them have the same rules and requirements.
Who is the main driver?
You signed the contract and legally responsible for the car you have just rented. The insurance for that car is on your name. You are the MAIN DRIVER.
Who can be an extra driver?
This information should be checked individually. All extra drivers MUST:
- meet age requirements
- have valid driver’s license
- appear before the rental manager on pick up
- must have at least 1 year (sometimes 2 years) of driving experience
How to add additional drivers?
It depends on the company you are dealing with. It is possible to add the drivers when booking online or at the counter. But extra fee is taken only during pick-up.
How to Avoid Additional Driver Fee in the USA?
It is possible to avoid an extra fee for adding drivers, young drivers, drivers over 70 with a bit of planning. It is recommended to check the terms and conditions before booking.
How to waive additional driver fee for under 25 drivers in the USA?
If the main driver is over 25 years of age and holds a full driving license, you can add additional drivers to your rental contract if it is an individual:
- who is a validly licensed driver;
- who is at least 21 years of age (Young Driver Surcharge may apply for under 25 drivers).
The only way to avoid paying an additional driver fee for young drivers is to join your car rental company’s loyalty program. This strategy will not work in all cases, but it may help you to avoid additional driver fees for underage drivers.
How to avoid an extra fee for senior additional drivers?
Sometimes, it is absolutely impossible to waive the senior additional driver fee and you have to pay twice:
- for the additional driver;
- for adding the overage additional driver (Senior Driver Fee).
But you can always find some car rental companies in the USA that don’t charge either an additional driver fee or Senior Driver Fee. The list of this car rental companies depends on the location you are booking from and company’s rental conditions.
In addition, you can get the lowest rates and discounts if you join in local memberships. Read more about them below!
Memberships that Cover Additional Driver Fee in the USA
There are special organizations that protect drivers from the additional driver fee only if you got a membership.
You can take coupons from major AAA magazines or join the AAA club. You are offered a lot of exclusive savings and benefits, such as free child seats, navigation system. NO FEE for AAA members for car rental from Hertz, Dollar, and Thrifty.
Booking a vehicle from Avis and Budget, you can use AARP discount code to protect your trip from the additional driver fee.
This is a kind of financial service that gives exclusive benefits and discounts for U.S. citizens. Conditions differ. There is no extra payment for members, their spouses, adult kids when dealing with Enterprise and Hertz. There is no additional driver charge for company members, their families, and other USAA members at Avis and Budget.
Costco membership gives free additional drivers when dealing with Alamo and Enterprise in the territory of the USA, Canada, France, U.K., Ireland, Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands. Reservations with Costco discount at Avis and Budget are available only in the United States.
BJ’s members enjoy their club benefits. They are free from fees when dealing with Alamo.
How much is Car Rental Extra Driver Fee?
Additional drivers, whether free or paid, should meet all car rental company’s requirements. They must have the minimum driver’s age and a valid driving license. Your extra payment varies by country, city, and supplier.
It is important to check the company’s policy:
|Suppliers||Additional Driver Fee|
|Alamo||$12 per extra driver a day;
The additional fee is charged for any additional driver, be it spouses or family members.
|Avis||$13 per extra driver a day, maximum charge of $65;
The fee is additionally required for all USA states, except California, Nevada, and New York.
|Budget||$13 per extra driver a day, maximum charge of $65;
The additional fee is not required in California.
|Dollar||$10-$15 per additional driver a day;
The company takes an extra fee for additional drivers, including spouses.
|Enterprise||$12 per additional driver a day;
There is no additional driver fee for spouses and other family members in the USA and Canada.
|Hertz||$13 per extra driver a day, maximum $189;
No fee is required from Hertz Gold Rewards members.
|National||$12 per additional driver a day;
There is no extra payment for family members in California, Illinois, Missouri, Nevada, Oregon, and Wisconsin.
|Thrifty||$10-$15 per extra driver a day;
Thrifty waive additional driver fees for rentals made under their corporate and small business programs.
Additional driver fee is taken if you need additional help with the driving from your family members or other people. The cheapest extra fee starts from $10 per day. It varies from state to state depending on the local law.