Travel is finally underway again! And with newfound freedom you’re looking to get out and explore California. If LA is the starting point in your road trip, you’ll likely need to rent a car. But age can keep adventurers like yourself from accessing rental cars, especially if you’re under 25. So you may be asking, “Can I rent a car in LA if I’m under 25?” The short answer is, yes, yes you can. There are even options! But many rental companies come with their additional challenges and, of course, fees. Find out how to make it happen and what you can expect when renting a car in LA.
Why is the rental car age 25?
The rental car age has traditionally been 25 for a while now because younger drivers are considered inexperienced. And inexperienced drivers are more likely to cause accidents and damage to vehicles, putting rental companies and their vehicles at risk. But in LA, the minimum car rental age is actually 20 years old. You’re in luck!
Choosing a car rental company
If you’re under 25 and looking to rent a car in LA, you won’t be limited by your options. There are many of well-known car rental companies in LA that rent to drivers under 25. Hertz, Enterprise, Sixt, Alamo, and Budget are just a few to check out.
Car rental fees
Here’s the catch. If you’re under 25, you may try to rent a car and notice it’s pretty expensive. That’s because rental companies tack on extra fees for drivers under the age of 25. But why is there a car rental under-25 fee? Younger drivers are considered less experienced by most rental car companies and want to make sure they’re covered when they rent to someone who’s only been driving for a few years.
In order to compensate for possible losses, rental companies often jack up the cost by 10-20% for younger drivers. These extra charges can make renting a car far more inaccessible to people under 25. To figure out which car rental has the lowest fee for under 25 year-olds, you’ll need to look at the individual websites for each company. They tend to vary.
What to bring to the rental agency
Rental car companies in California will ask you for additional documentation if you’re under 25. When you go pick up your car, it’s a good idea to make sure you have:
- Your reservation confirmation
- A driver’s license that’s at least a year old, without any serious infractions
- A passport (if you don’t have a U.S. driver’s license or ID)
- An international driver’s permit (if you don’t have a U.S. driver’s license)
- A credit or debit card with enough credit to cover the temporary deposit charge
WARNING: Some companies ONLY take credit cards and will NOT accept a debit card. If you don’t have a credit card, you could easily lose your chance to rent a car.
Keep in mind that each agency may require different information and documentation. So make sure you’re updated on your agency’s policies.
Employer information can help
If you’re under 25, the rental agency may inquire about your employment when you make a reservation or pick up your car. They could ask if you have a job and even ask for information on your employer. If you happen to work for a well-known company with a great reputation, you may receive certain discounts on those additional fees.
Some employers even have official corporate accounts with certain rental agencies, which also helps you save a few extra bucks. Be sure to check with your employer to see what kind of benefits you can snag and the fees you can avoid.
Do your research
Do your research before booking a rental car in LA, particularly if you’re under 25. What’s the company’s policy? Do they rent to drivers under 25? Which car rental has the lowest fee for under 25? Make sure you’re well aware of their fees for the car, daily surcharges, and any additional charges you could incur for being under 25. Also, figure out if they accept debit or credit and what other documents you’ll need to bring with you.