Car rental under 21 in the USA

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Under 21? You can still rent a car with

In today's world of high technology, everyone wants to be free, mobile and independent. Renting a car while traveling allows you to fully realize your ambitions, but unfortunately, it’s often available only to people who are over 25.

So, what to do if you are a youngster, who wants to take advantage of car hire, but you’re not yet 25? No worries! is ready to meet everyone regardless of age, making under 21 rental car in USA a reality. This means that even if you are 18, 19 or 20 years old, then this is not a subject for refusal.

On the contrary, along with experienced drivers, you can pick up a car to enjoy an incredible road trip with your family, go to the beach with friends, or even have an official meeting with a business partner.

Car rental for under 21 persons won’t take much time and effort with – it’s all because of using a powerful search engine. What’s more, the company cooperates with leading car rental agencies and constantly maintains contact with them.

In turn, this is an advantage for the customer. Since the row of companies providing transport to young renters tends to change, you will always see suppliers who are glad to deal with you.

How old do you have to be to rent a car in the USA?

Basically, the U.S. age policy suggests that the driver’s minimum car rental age is 21 years old. Enterprise, Advantage, Sixt, Avis, Europcar, Budget, National and many other providers are authorized to rent cars for users who are 21-24 years of age and even younger.

However, each rule has exceptions, and the pleasant news is that car rental under age 21 is at the disposal of youngsters. As stated by the age limits of Dollar, Hertz, and Thrifty, the driver’s minimum age is 20 years old in order to pick up a car - this applies to most destinations in the United States.

What about those who are under 20 years old? In most cases, young 18-19-year old travelers are banned from picking up a car on the United States territory. As an exception, the New York (NY) and Michigan (MI) States legislatures allow people under the age of 18 to drive rental transport.

Also, special age conditions are enjoyed by military and official government employees for work needs. Those who fall under the action of government / military car rental under 21 rules can pick up a car starting at the age of 18 at any location in the USA and at special discount rates.

What car rental locations rent to under 21 in the USA?

Is your aim a rental car under age 21 in Orlando? Or maybe you want to reach Philadelphia and then visit Austin? You are lucky because each young driver has the freedom to get behind the steering wheel in many U.S. places. This is a superb chance to remove all geographical limits when having a road trip on the most iconic American highways.

For thoughtful planning, analyze the list of destinations offering rental cars in USA under 21:

How much does car rental under 21 cost in USA?

A car is a thing that always requires cost. Fuel spending, insurance…all this affects the price when it comes to car rental, and it doesn’t matter where you go - to California, Alaska, or Rhode Island.

Among the dominant aspects that influence on the eventual rate are vehicle size/class, pick up spot, and the supplier itself. The minimum price for a rental car starts at $10 per day in the USA, but in the case of car rental under age 21, it can grow significantly. Moreover, all drivers who haven’t reached the age of 25 must pay a daily additional fee in the amount of $25-30 per day.

Another limitation for young travelers is the inability to pick up SUVs, premium cars, and vans. However, this doesn’t apply to NY and MI, where local laws are loyal to 18-19 year old drivers. This opportunity is fraught with great risk for companies, so they are entitled to withdraw up to $70 per day in NY, and up to $50 per day in MI as an underage fee.

To avoid high age surcharges, check the conditions of all accessible companies in the desired location.

Concessions for special groups of renters are the next way to save. This applies to government and military renters, which benefit from using the service anywhere in the USA, starting from the age of 18.

Also, some suppliers have particular offers for corporate customers. For example, Avis cancels the young drivers’ fee for 18-24 years old renters who are USAA members. In turn, Hertz doesn’t withdraw age charges for 20-24 years old AAA members.

How to get a rental car under 21 in the United States?

Vigilant planning is the key to a headache-free journey. Therefore, get ready to meet established qualifications, and provide some important things so that car rental under 21 years of age with will bring you only positive experience:

  • At least 20 year of age is required (18 when renting in NY or MI).
  • An actual license that has been used for more than a year without big endorsements needs to be provided.
  • A valid debit or credit card under the major driver’s name is also a must-have thing.

Once you meet these preconditions, your under 21 car rental can be arranged in 3 easy steps:


Search for the car in the desired location, and according to the dates when you need it. Compare nearby pick-up spots to find a money-saving option. Use filters to select the exact vehicle that meets your criteria.


Fill in your contact and payment information and book your rental car. Don't forget to print your voucher and take it with you.


Upon arrival at your destination, find the company’s desk. Then, show your driver's license, credit card, and voucher. After that, the employee will gladly give you the keys to your car! allows you to count on savings. Here’re some tips to make car rental cheaper:

  • Search for the hottest offers 1-2 weeks prior to the actual date
  • Try car rental offers from different providers
  • Choose compact, mini, or economy car
  • Use full-to-full fuel option
  • Compare the rates in the neighboring locations
  • Avoid one-way deals
  • Save with long-term rentals
  • Check out your insurance
  • Find additional discounts and promotions

What rental car companies rent to under 21 drivers in the United States?

You probably wouldn’t want to stop in the middle of the Death Valley, or somewhere in the highlands of the Rocky Mountains due to a car breakdown. Thus, a reliable and highly trusted supplier is what every potential driver is searching for. The list of vendors is very long, and it’s absolutely problematic to find really worthwhile rental car companies that allow under 21 drivers among them.

National, Thrifty, Avis, Hertz, Payless, Advantage, Alamo, Enterprise, Dollar, Budget and NU are those providers who are supportive of young drivers. Especially for you, we have listed all American under 21 car rental companies with their customer ratings:

How much is under 25 car rental fee in the USA?

Underage deals are always associated with additional expenses. Subsequently, youngsters are subject to extra fees. Each company has a different approach to setting this price, and it will be very difficult for the average traveler to make a choice between, for example, Sixt and Enterprise car rental under 21 offers.

Thus, it’s advisable that you check the table which contains the primary car rental companies under 21, their average daily underage surcharges, as well as some vehicle type restrictions.

Company Minimum Rental Age Young Driver Fee Under 21 Michigan State Surcharge (18 to 20 years old) New York Surcharge (18 to 20 years old) Car Rental Restrictions
Alamo 21 $25 $40 $57 Economy through Fullsize vehicles
Avis 21 $27 $41 $52 No full-size and premium SUVs, minivans, vans, Signature Series
Budget 21 $27 $41 $52 No luxury vehicles, minivans, vans, speciality cars, full-size and premium SUVs
Dollar 20 $15-35 $48 $73 Varies depending on location
Enterprise 21 $25 $40 $57 Economy through Fullsize vehicles
EZ 21 $20 No Station in MI No Station in NY Varies depending on location
FOX 19 $25-35 No Station in MI No Station in NY Varies depending on location
Hertz 21 $27-$30 $48 $73 No Prestige Collection and Adrenaline Collection vehicles
National 21 $25 $40 $57 Economy through Fullsize vehicles
Sixt 21 $15-35 No Station in MI No Station in NY Varies depending on location
Alamo 21 $25 $40 $57 Economy through Fullsize vehicles
Thrifty 20 $15-35 $48 $73 No premium, luxury, SUV, speciality, minivan, van, wagon, convertible, and pickup vehicles

As you can see, standard age charges depend not only on a specific company but also on a pick-up location. For example, in NY and MI, they are fundamentally different from other U.S. spots.

Remember that the fee is normally not a part of the final reservation price and you will have to pay it directly at the desk. Otherwise, you will be refused to rent a car. The exception is the official government and car rental military under 21 deals, which don’t imply underage commission even for 18-year-old drivers.

Which is the best under 21 car rental company in the USA?

While examining car rental under 21 offers, in addition to the price we often compare some supplier’s parameters such as the young driver’s fee, the company’s rating among customers, and also reviews on the quality of services. A good combination of these criteria allows you to count on a truly profitable offer.

Among the global rental car companies under 21, Sixt and Dollar feature the most cost-effective deals. They are distinguished by the cheapest options for young drivers with daily fee of only $15.

If we look at suppliers in the context of various special promotions, then Hertz, Avis, and Budget allow canceling the under 21 fees for AAA and USAA members at all.

Car Rental USA Under 21 Video Review

Check out some of the video reviews made by our happy under 21 car rental customers:

🇺🇸 THRIFTY Car Rental at Denver International Airport [DEN], USA - Review of

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🇳🇿 Snap Rentals Car Rental in Queenstown Airport [ZQN], New Zealand - Review of

🇺🇸 Enterprise Car Rental at Reno-Tahoe International Airport [RNO], NV - Review of

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🇺🇸 ALAMO Car Rental in San Francisco Airport [SFO], USA - Review of

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🇺🇸 Review of FOX Rent A Car Car Rental in Miami International Airport [MIA], USA

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🇬🇷 AutoUnion Car Rental in Preveza - Aktion Intl. Airport [PVK], Greece - Review of

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🇭🇺 GAME Car Rental at Budapest Airport [BUD], Hungary - Review of

🇨🇿 Budget Car Rental at Prague Airport [PRG], Czech Republic - Review of

🇪🇸 WIBER Car Rental at Malaga Airport [AGP], Spain - Review of

How to waive under 21 car rental fee in the United States?

For a youngster, car rental can cost quite expensive, and many travelers would like to make a 21 and under car rental more affordable. wants you to travel as profitably as possible, and offers several ways to avoid under 21 fees:

  • If you’re an official governor, or a military person, then most companies are not authorized to charge you.
  • In case you deal with Hertz along with your AAA membership, then this fact will allow you to avoid age charges. Therefore, Hertz car rental under 21 is a good way to save.
  • Your choice fell on Avis, Budget, or Enterprise? Then you can take an advantage from the USAA insurance program. It allows you to completely remove the underage fee from expense items.

Which car rental companies don’t charge for under 21 in USA?

It’s absolutely superb to have a reliable provider at hand with whom it is pleasant to work with. And if it’s also the most financially profitable vendor, then it can be a real success for the customer.

In a row of the chief agencies, only Avis, Budget, Enterprise, and Hertz are authorized to eliminate the underage fees, making car rental for under 21 drivers much cheaper. For this, you will need to prove your participation in the AAA or USAA programs. Referring to age, there’s a wonderful prospect to avoid underage fees in case you’re:

Age Program Rental Car Company
Under 18 Not possible None
18 USAA Avis, Budget, Hertz
19 USAA Avis, Budget, Hertz
20 USAA Avis, Budget, Hertz
20 AAA Hertz
21-24 AAA Hertz
21-24 USAA Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz

Pay attention that all the above-mentioned vendors require proof of participation in the AAA / USAA programs, so be sure to provide relevant documents at request.

Why young drivers under the age of 21 are overcharged in U.S.?

Seemingly, many consumers think that suppliers simply profit from inexperienced renters. This is utter nonsense. The whole process of providing a rental car for under 21 customers can be quite risky for the vendor. Very often, the inexperience of the driver leads to dangerous circumstances, resulting in accidents on the road. The experience shortage is what distinguishes young renters from those who are 25 years old or more.

According to the multiple tests of world research centers, youngsters are much more likely to get into unpleasant situations on the roads, including collisions with pedestrians and other traffic users.

This provokes additional costs on the part of car holders for its repair and compensation for damage. And since the car is owned by a car rental company, it incurs an additional material loss.

To insure themselves against such possible losses in the future, suppliers ask for an additional fee. That’s why underage services are so expensive.

What types of car rental insurance are available for young drivers under 21 in the USA?

On vacation, no one wants to worry about anything. You just need to relax on the beach while enjoying a glass of fruit cocktail or leisurely explore the national park while driving your 4-wheeled friend. However, nobody knows what can happen on the road. Moreover, under 21 car rental is an increased source of danger.

In order to protect yourself from a financial standpoint, you need to be insured. What types of protection plans should be considered?

CDW/LDW – Collision/Loss Damage Waiver

This useful protection saves from material losses if your car was involved in the incident, while LDW means you’ll avoid responsibility in case of loss or theft of the vehicle. Very often, rental price already includes damage protector plans, and you shouldn’t purchase them separately.

PAI - Personal Accident Insurance

The use of PAI provides coverage of medical and ambulance spending, as well as accidental death. This option is offered not at the stage of reservation nut at the counter.

SLI - Supplemental Liability Insurance

SLI reimburses material losses of the third parties, affected by the incident. This cover type comes as an extra protection tool, and requires a daily charge.

SCDW/FCDW – Super/Full CDW

This is the most comprehensive insurance that takes into account 100% aspects, and allows you to count on zero liability. Of course, it’s best suited for a rental car for under 21 drivers, thereby saving them from unnecessary trouble while traveling behind the vehicle’s steering wheel.

Do I need Collision and Loss Damage Waiver Insurance for under 21 car rental in United States?

Potential matters on the road and related problems can ruin your vacation. CDW/LDW is designed to save you from worrying about your vehicle, specifically when the car’s technical condition is not constantly up to you. The basic CDW/LDW is usually included in the price of the rental vehicle in Europe, Africa, and Australasia; however, in the USA and Canada, CDW/LDW insurance often have to be purchased additionally.

You can be a disciplined driver who uses car rental under 21 years of age, but it’s simply impossible to predict the activity of other road traffic participants. Subsequently, your car may be damaged, but material responsibility is exactly your headache!

Let’s check another point. You left the car on a metered parking lot in some remote area of Chicago or Baltimore, but some vandal scratched your car. Unfortunately, the driver is also responsible for this situation.

CDW/LDW insurance covers collision damage, fire damage, natural phenomena, theft, and vandalism. Therefore, it’s highly recommended that you take CDW/LDW protection for your vehicle. There are several ways to organize it:

  • Very often CDW/LDW comes with a rental by default - try to clarify this question with online support at the stage of booking. If necessary, ask to add this protection package to your order.
  • Contact the representative of the bank that issued your electronic card. Perhaps one of the points of the contract will say that CDW/LDW is included.
  • Get protection kit from a car rental supplier, which is apparently not the cheapest, but the fastest and easiest solution.
  • An independent insurer can also be used for road trips in the USA. Typically, this option is cheaper and has more advantages.

How long must I have held my driving license to rent a car under 21 in USA?

The more you hold your driving license, the more competent driver you are, and the more the car rental dealer can trust you. This is the understanding that almost all suppliers stick to. Therefore, most agencies around the globe require that you have permission for at least 1 year before the current rental date.

As an exception, Alamo and National take risks allowing car rental for driver under 21 without limitation the period of license ownership, which greatly simplifies the general situation for youngsters.

Should I get an International Driving Permit to rent a car under 21 in the USA?

This simple document can greatly facilitate your travel process around America. If you were stopped by the police, or in case you need additional means of identification, then simply present your International Driving Permit.

An International Driving Permit is sometimes referred to as an international driver's license. In general, an IDP is an officially certified translation of your domestic driver's document that contains the major languages such as English, French, Spanish, Italian, and German. An IDP should be always provided along with your domestic license.

The IDP requirements are regulated by the policy of a particular agency. Thus, this issue should be resolved in advance so that rental car under 21 was successful and without unexpected situations.

Where can I get an International Drivers Permit for under 21 driver in the USA?

Probably your friends or acquaintances will say that your IDP can be pre-ordered online almost everywhere. However, this is not so – it’s possible to stumble upon scammers.

Only two U.S. authorities can issue this type of document. They are the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA). The paperwork will cost you pretty cheap - little more than $20.

Will I have to pay any extra charges when I collect my under 21 rental car in USA?

Always thoroughly study your contract in order not to be a victim of unexpected situations and additional charges. The underage fee is usually a single payment you must make at the counter. It already contains all additional taxes.

If you add some optional extras such as a child seat, ski rack, GPS device, snow chains, etc. to under 21 rental car, they will not be included in the total price, i.e. you will need to pay for them at the counter as well.

Is there a restriction on the car category I can rent if I’m a driver under the age of 21 in US?

Car suppliers have different underage policies that affect the ability to pick up a specific class of the rental car. Indeed, when providing a Mercedes S-Class or Bentley, the company may suffer more monetary losses than when renting a Ford, Fiat, or any other compact car.

Consequently, such car groups such as sports cars, premium cars, SUVs, or vans can’t act as under 21 rental car.

What’s more, in NY State, it’s completely forbidden to offer anything bigger than a full-size car for young drivers.

Each vendor has its own under 21 restrictions concerning the vehicle class. You can check them out in the following chart.

Car Rental Supplier Car Class Restrictions
Alamo Certain specialty and larger sized vehicles may not be rented to drivers under the age of 25.
Avis Under 21 renters may not rent Full-Size, SUVs, Luxury Vehicles, Minivans, Passenger Vans, Premium SUVs, Signature Series.
Budget Under 21 drivers will not be permitted to rent luxury cars, minivans, 12-passenger vans, specialty vehicles, full-size SUVs, premium SUVs.
Dollar Under 21 vehicle restrictions varies depending on the pick-up location.
Enterprise Compact, Economy, Mid-size, and Full-Size cars are allowed to rent for under 21 drivers.
Hertz Renters under the age of 21 may rent any car except those from the Dream Cars, Prestige, and Adrenaline collections, and certain specialty vehicles.
National Renters under 21 years of age may be restricted to specific car classes.
Sixt Under 21 vehicle restrictions varies depending on the pick-up location.
Thrifty Under 21 drivers are not allowed to rent SUVs, pickup cars, wagons, prestige cars, minivans, vans, convertibles

Can someone else drive my under 21 rental car in the USA?

On long-distance trips, fatigue can greatly complicate the driving process. For this reason, it’s possible to add another person who will be able to legally control the rental car by taking the Additional Driver option.

It’s really comfortable solution because rental car additional driver under 21 will turn a trip into a pleasant stroll, allowing you taking satisfaction together with passengers. When tired, just ask your companion to replace you at the steering wheel.

Of course, the additional driver needs to show a passport and a non-expired license. The same conditions and restrictions apply to him as to the main driver. If the extra driver is also under 21, he is obliged to pay an underage surcharge as well.

In general, you have to pay for adding each extra driver, but usually offers some deals with free additional drivers. You can also find offers with a free satellite navigation device or a free tank of fuel, which is much more cost-effective than if purchasing these optional extras separately.

Can I rent my under 21 rental car one way in the United States?

One-way rental provides many unique opportunities when traveling on American highways. From time to time you get tired of being attached to a single city/point and decide to travel wherever your heart desires.

What about arriving in sunny Fort Lauderdale, and then picking up a rental car under 21, crossing the U.S. from southwest to northeast, and ending your incredible trip in Seattle? Sounds great! With one-way car rental, your number of ideas will increase significantly.

The possibility of this option is controlled by the individual provider and destination. On, you can clarify this fact at the stage of car rental search - just enter the desired pick-up and drop-off locations. If a one-way rental is available, you will see the list of cars to select from.

This option implies a one-way surcharge. Its value depends on the cost of returning your rental car to your pick-up spot. Commonly its approximate cost is $25-30, but sometimes it may reach up to $100.

Can I cross the border of the USA on my under 21 rental car?

If you belong to road trip enthusiasts who don’t want to feel the boundaries when exploring America, then border crossing is another opportunity to expand the range of new experiences. This is an extra option offered by suppliers, and the prospect of its use depends on many factors.

For example, your upcoming aim is to cross the state border in a rental vehicle. Your immediate task is to contact the provider’s office and inform them about your travel intentions. Moreover, this should be done in advance, before receiving the car - only then will you be finally approved. The next measure - you have to collect certain additional documents:

From USA to Canada

Usually, cars registered in the USA are free to cross the Canadian border. However, before that you need to order special insurance from your provider – it’s called PERS. By the way, it’s better to do this at least 4 days before the future pick-up time.

From USA to Mexico

When using car rental to under 21, almost all the top-tier providers will reject the abroad opportunity with Mexico.

However, it’s still possible to resolve this issue. This is because border crossing with Mexico is quite problematic and requires advance preparation.

First, you only need to pick up a car in the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas or California only. Secondly, you should resolve this issue with the supplier in advance. Then, when crossing the border, you must purchase Mexican insurance - its cost is $38-48 a day plus taxes. Please note that Mexicans are prohibited to cross the Mexican border when traveling on the U.S. registered rental car.