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Can I rent a car for someone else?
September 7, 2021

Can I rent a car for someone else?

If you’re wondering, “Can I rent a car for someone else,” the answer isn’t always entirely clear. In the strictest sense, you can’t simply pay for a rental car and have a friend, relative or coworker pick it up and hit the road. There are some effective workarounds, but they do come with drawbacks. Here’s everything you need to know when renting a car for someone else. 

6 things to know about renting a car for someone else

Follow these six tips to learn how to rent a car for someone else. 

#1: The renter needs to present a credit card

Whoever is renting the car needs to be physically present at the time of pick-up in order to sign the rental agreement, present their driver’s license and put a credit card on file. Some rental companies do let you pay for the reservation online, so you could potentially make an online reservation for someone else and pay with your credit card.

But the primary driver still needs to be there to pick up the car and sign the paperwork. If you’re trying to rent a car for someone from out of town, you may not be able to make it work. 

#2: You can include an additional driver

One way to get around rental company red tape is to make the reservation for yourself and then add an additional driver. This lets you pay for the car with someone else actually driving it. The additional driver does have to meet the rental company’s driver eligibility criteria, which may include a minimum age (typically 25 years old) and a valid driver’s license. An additional driver can usually be added online or at the rental counter.

However, you both still may need to be present in order to rent the car. And depending on the car rental company, you both may need to supply your own credit card in order to complete the rental.

#3: Be prepared to pay a daily fee for an additional driver

There is one big downside to including an additional driver as your strategy for renting a car for someone else: Most major car rental companies require you to pay a daily additional driver fee. This is usually around $15 a day. On a week-long rental, that could add an extra $105 to your total car rental cost. Compare costs before making your reservation so you don’t end up paying more than you have to. 

#4: You can make an online reservation in someone else’s name

It can be tricky renting a car for someone else if you want to pay for it. But if you’re simply trying to save time on behalf of a friend or loved one, you can make a reservation on their behalf. You just need pertinent personal information, like their name, birthdate and rental dates. You may be able to pay for the rental online, depending on the company. If not, the primary driver will need to present payment along with their driver’s license when they go to pick up the rental car.

#5: Understand your insurance coverage in case of a collision

Use caution when you rent a car for someone else and put them on your reservation as an additional driver. If they get into an accident while driving the rental car, you may still be responsible for the expenses, depending on your collision insurance. 

One way to safeguard yourself is to pay for a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW). It adds a daily fee but covers the vehicle. You may be able to use your personal auto insurance and/or credit card rental car benefits instead of paying for the CDW, but that means your insurance record could be impacted if your friend gets into an accident. 

#6: Avoid additional driver fees by using Avail

Rather than worrying about workarounds and the nuances of your insurance policy, consider renting a car with Avail car sharing. There is no fee to add an additional driver to your reservation. In fact, there’s not even a fee for drivers under 25 years old. Avail partners with Allstate to provide insurance coverage while on the road. 

Bottom line

Ready to make a straightforward car rental reservation that works for you? Avail gives drivers a hassle-free, transparent process from start to finish. Our neighborhood car sharing locations are equipped for self-service pick-up and drop off. That means you’ll just book online, grab the car keys from a secure key box and hit the road without waiting in a single line. And that’s on top of perks like no added fees for a second driver!