Being a young driver can be a right pain in the pocket. But if you're smart you can keep the cost of renting a car down. Find out how you can get on the road and enjoy discovering the world for less.
Why and how are young drivers charged more for car hire?
If you’re a young driver you’re seen as a bigger accident risk than older road users, not only because you have less experience behind the wheel, but also because this age group is considered to be more reckless. This can seem unfair, but it’s a tried and trusted assumption used by car insurance and car hire companies the world over. Car hire companies want any driver to have held their full driving licence for two years. Most rental companies won’t rent to drivers under 21. Drivers between 21 and 25 (and sometimes even up to 29) pay a ‘young driver fee’ when they arrive to pick up their rental car.
How can young drivers cut car rental costs?
1) Book the smallest cheapest car
The easiest way to keep rental costs down is to choose the most economical type of car you can find. This will also help you keep fuel costs down, and keep your deposit and excess as manageable as possible.
2) Compare prices online
This makes it easy to see which brands have the best deals. Some companies offer deals for young drivers, especially the lesser known rental firms, so don’t restrict your search to only the most well-known brands.
3) Seek out cheaper pick-up spots
It’s worth checking out options on where you pick up the car. Airports are often more expensive than depots even just a little out-of-the-way. You might save money by getting a bus or train from the airport to a cheaper place. You can search online for locations that can work for you.
4) Travel with older friends
If you’re travelling with anyone who’s old enough to avoid paying the young driver fee, persuading them to be the driver can save you all money.
5) Stay safe
And finally, stick to the rules of the road, drive safely and park carefully to minimise the risk of returning the hire car damaged. That way you’ll get your deposit back, and do your bit to fight back against the reckless reputation of young drivers.
To find out more, see What is a young driver fee in car rental?
Tip: You’ll need a credit card in the main driver’s name to pick up your rental car. To find out more, see What to take with you when you pick up your rental car.