Car rentals in the United States can be done quite easily and there are also many different companies to choose from. The pricing is competitive and you will find that most places offer similar pricing for the same type of car. Some things to keep in mind, however, are that there are some strict policies and regulations that govern car rentals. Some of these which could surprise you are a minimum age requirement and varied costs that can apply.
Although the requirements change from state to state, for the most part there are some basic requirements that you should be aware of, starting with a valid driver’s license. You will have to put down a deposit, either via a credit card (the preferred mode) or else in cash. As a young driver, your costs are likely to be significantly higher, so do keep that in mind when budgeting your expenses, and make sure you have enough cash/credit to meet them.
While U.S drivers can get on the road at the age of 16, most car rental companies will ask that the driver be 25 years old. Why, you ask? Well, statistics say that drivers under the age of 25 get into more automotive accidents, and thus, this is what most of the rental companies go with. So, if you’re under that age, then you are likely to find that your choices are fewer, as there are only a limited number of companies that will rent a car to someone under 25, and even that only to drivers who are over 21 years old – this requirement is there in all but two states (New York and Michigan).
Please be aware that each rental car agency has its own pricing and rules, which vary from place to place. And, you should expect to pay more for the privilege of driving if you’re under 25, anywhere between $20 and $70 a day. Referred to as the Young Driver Surcharge Fees, this is applicable over and above the cost of the car rental, insurance, and other fees and often can be more than the actual daily rental cost of the car. The choice of car you can rent may also be limited when you’re under 25 years old – some places won’t allow you to rent large or high end vehicles.