When you’re under 21, getting a car rental in Chicago may seem tricky. Many rental agencies don’t allow younger drivers, even if you have a clean driving history. And those that do often charge costly fees that can be hard to afford on top of the cost of the rental. There are, however, some viable options for renting a car in the Windy City. Here’s what you need to know about making it work.
Some states have their own minimum age for renting a car (like New York and Michigan, which is 18). However, each rental agency can set its own policy and may choose to set stricter standards. As a younger driver, you may be allowed to rent a car in Chicago under 25 years old, but you may also be subject to a daily underage surcharge. It’s important to research the specific rules by company before booking your reservation. Of course, you’ll also need a valid driver’s license, no matter how old you are.
Even if a company allows for a car rental under 21 or 25 in Chicago, you may have to pay extra fees. Most rental car companies charge a $20 daily fee if you’re under 25 years old. That’s a lot of money! For a three-day car rental, that adds $60 to your final bill. And if you want to take a week-long vacation driving in and around Chicago, you’ll have to shell out an extra $140. That can be a budget buster for a lot of young drivers.
If you want to split the bill with friends and tack on an extra driver, you’ll likely be charged for that as well. The average extra driver fee might be $13+ per day. That amounts to $39 more for a three-day rental and $91 for a week-long rental. That practically negates any savings you’d experience.
Luckily, rental car companies typically don’t require extra insurance simply because you’re a younger driver. Getting a Chicago car rental under 25 years old comes with a large enough fee to cover the additional risk for the rental company. However, you should still make sure you have enough coverage to protect yourself and the vehicle. Whether it’s through your own insurance, credit-card coverage benefits, or an extra policy from the rental company, make sure you’re covered in case of an accident.
When you’re ready to rent a car in Chicago and you’re under 25 or even 21 years old, opt for Avail Car Sharing. Instead of renting from a fleet of cars, you’re essentially borrowing a car from a local instead. The minimum rental age is just 18 years old, and you’re not charged any extra fees just because you’re a younger driver.
On top of that, you can add a second driver for free. That’s two fewer fees than most rental car companies charge. You’ll save a ton of money, whether you’re splitting the bill with friends or driving on your own.
Another perk for younger drivers is that Avail accepts both credit and debit cards. Most major rental car companies require a credit card. But if you’re a young driver, you may not have your own credit card yet; and if you do, it may have a low credit limit. Avail makes it easy (and affordable) to rent a car with the cash in your checking account.
Finally, you won’t have to pay to add insurance either, because all Avail car borrowers always get coverage from Allstate. You'll also have access to roadside assistance, and it’s included in every single reservation made on our platform.
Ready to rent a car in Chicago as a younger driver? Reserve the car of your choice with Avail Car Sharing.
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