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The legal age to rent a car in the United States is 21. However, each state has developed its own requirements and restrictions that can affect the minimum age to rent a car. Most companies require a valid driver's license and a major credit card to rent a car, and some companies may also require that you have insurance. 

While the legal age to rent a car is 21, it's important to keep in mind that there may be additional requirements that you need to meet in order to be able to successfully rent a car. If you have any questions, be sure to contact the rental company ahead of time so that you can be prepared when you turn 21. As you can see, there is already a plethora of confusing information regarding what age you can rent a car, and GoodCar is here to help clear up some of that confusion!

What Is the Process of Renting a Car?

In order to rent a car, you must first find a car rental company. Once you have found a company, you will need to provide them with some personal information, such as your driver's license and credit card number. You will also need to choose the type of car you would like to rent.

Once you have chosen a car, the rental company will give you the keys and a contract. The contract will outline the terms of your rental, such as the length of time you are allowed to keep the car and the mileage limit. Be sure to read the contract carefully before signing it.

Once you have signed the contract, you can begin using the car. When you are finished with it, simply return it to the rental company, and they will inspect it for damage. However, the real question on everyone's mind is, can you rent a car under 25 years of age or even at 18? 

rent a car

When Would You Want or Need To Rent A Car?

If you don't own a car, or your car is in the shop, you may need to rent a car. You may also want to rent a car for a special occasion, like a wedding or vacation. Some people even use rental cars for business purposes. 

Traveling is another great reason to rent a car. Using the vehicle to get from one destination to another is much better than using your own vehicle. You avoid adding extra miles to your vehicle, and should you get into an accident or struggle with engine trouble, the rental car company handles all of it for you so you can keep enjoying your trip. 

What Documentation Do You Need to Rent a Car?

To rent a car, you must have a valid driver's license and be at least 21 years old. You will also need to provide a credit card in your name for the deposit. From there, rental car companies vary to some degree on the documentation they will require.

Can You Be Denied a Car Rental, And If So, Why?

Yes, you can be denied a car rental for several reasons. The most common reason is if you don't have a valid driver's license. Other reasons include: 

  • Not having enough money to cover the cost of the rental
  • Not having a good driving record
  • Having high points on your driver's license
  • Not being old enough to rent a car 
  • Not having a credit card with a high enough balance to cover the deposit for the vehicle

States That Allow People Under 21 To Rent Cars, But with Restrictions

A few states allow people under 21 to rent cars, but with restrictions. In general, you must be at least 21 years old to rent a car. However, a few states allow 18-20-year-olds to rent cars with certain restrictions. For example, in New York, you must be at least 18 years old to rent a car. You may also be required to have a valid driver's license and insurance. So, where else can you rent a car at 18? Here's a list for you!

  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Hawaii
  • Michigan
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Utah

Some Rental Companies May Require You to Be 25 Or Older to Rent a Car Without Restrictions

The rental company you choose to work with may require you to be 25 or older to rent a car without restrictions, and this is because insurance rates are significantly higher for drivers under the age of 25. If you are under the age of 25, you may be able to find a rental car company that does not have this restriction, but you will likely have to pay a higher rate.

Add an Additional Driver to Your Rental Agreement

If you're renting a car, chances are they will ask if you want to add an additional driver to your rental agreement. Most rental companies will allow you to add an additional driver to your rental agreement, but some restrictions may exist. Make sure to ask when you are filling out the paperwork if you need an extra driver on the contract.

Some rental companies may charge an additional fee for adding an additional driver to your rental agreement. Be sure to ask about this when making your reservation, so there are no surprises when you arrive at the counter.

Trying To Find Discounts for Renting a Car?

You may be able to find discounts for renting a car if you are a member of a AAA, AARP, or other organization. You may also be able to find discounts if you rent for a longer period of time or during off-peak times. 

Before attempting to rent a car, ensure you know what type of car you want and what your budget will allow for. Then, simply find a ride, sign on the dotted line, and enjoy!

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