For the young driver: how to rent a car under 21 years old

Taking a road trip with your pals and need a car? Get some Smart Tips on how to rent a car in Canada when you 21 years old or younger.

For the young driver: how to rent a car under 21 years old

Congrats! You've got your full driver’s license. You know what that means? It’s road trip time. Whether it’s a trip to meet up with a friend, an epic voyage across the country, or even an ultra professional business trip, you’ll probably need a set of wheels. The only snag? Most rental cars in Canada require drivers to be at least 25 years old. Here’s the scoop.

Conditions to rent a car under 21 years of age

It’s true: most car rental agencies in Canada do require the driver to be a minimum of either 21 or 25 years of age, and have held a valid driving license for at least three years.

Some rental car companies will rent certain vehicles to drivers as young as 18 years old, but there is often an increase in the rates. Most often, young drivers will need to pay for additional insurance or what’s called an underage fee. You should also know that drivers under the age of 25 are not eligible to rent such vehicles as luxury cars, SUVs, or minivans.

What to do if you are under 25 and want to rent a car

1. Make sure you have held a valid drivers license for at least three years.

2. Figure out if you have car insurance already and if it covers rental cars.

3. If you are renting a car for work, talk to your company to see if they have an established relationship with a car rental company. They may be able to help you secure a rental car.

4. Call your local rental car company and ask them about their age policies.

5. Ask them if there is a surcharge or an underage fee that you will have to pay.

6. Once you have found a company and a price you are comfortable with—book away!

If you have trouble finding a car rental company that will rent to you because you are too young, don’t despair. Ask someone who is 25 years old or older to rent the car with you. They will need to be the primary driver for your trip, but at least you will still get to go. If all else fails, ask a friend or family member if you can borrow their car. They’d probably love to help.

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