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Can I rent a car if I am under 25?

Under 25 and looking for car rental options? We took a look at 6 of Australia’s major hire car companies to see how their young driver policies stack up.

Jessica Pilon-Summons

If you’re a young driver living car-free or on holidays and in need of an affordable rental car, you’ll quickly find that your options are limited.

While some car rental services won’t let you rent if you are under 25, those who do will often charge hidden fees.

Regardless of your age, hiring a car shouldn’t be a hassle. We’ve taken a deep dive into 6 well-known car rental companies in Australia to see how their young driver rental services stack up.

Avis

Minimum age 21 (in limited locations)
Licence requirements Must hold a current, full and valid drivers licence, that has been valid for a minimum of 12 consecutive months.
Daily surcharge $25 per day

Although Avis standard minimum age requirement is 25, they offer rentals to those aged 21 plus in some of their locations for a limited range of vehicles. For those renting a car under the age of 25, a daily Young Driver surcharge of $25 will apply.

Budget

Minimum age 21 (in limited locations)
Licence requirements Must hold a current, full and valid drivers licence, that has been valid for a minimum of 12 consecutive months.
Daily surcharge $25 per day

Hertz’ minimum age is 21 and is not restricted to limited locations. Hertz will charge a young drivers fee for anyone under the age of 25, which varies by vehicle type. Passenger, Prestige, 4WD, Light Commercial (3 tonnes or less) cars will cost young drivers an extra $16.50 per day, whilst heavy commercial (greater than 3 tonnes) and 21+ Seater Buses will cost an additional $27.50 per day.

no birds

Minimum age 21
Licence requirements Will accept all current unrestricted Australian driver licences and overseas licences. Probationary licences are also accepted.
Daily surcharge $0 per day

no birds’ minimum age is 21 and they also allow those with a probationary licence to hire cars. They include no young driver fee within their terms and conditions.

Hertz

Minimum age 21
Licence requirements Must hold a current, full and valid drivers licence, that has been valid for a minimum of 12 consecutive months.
Daily surcharge $16.50 to $27.50 per day

Hertz’ minimum age is 21 and is not restricted to limited locations. Hertz will charge a young drivers fee for anyone under the age of 25, which varies by vehicle type. Passenger, Prestige, 4WD, Light Commercial (3 tonnes or less) cars will cost young drivers an extra $16.50 per day, whilst heavy commercial (greater than 3 tonnes) and 21+ Seater Buses will cost an additional $27.50 per day.

Thrifty

Minimum age 21
Licence requirements Will accept all current unrestricted Australian driver licences and overseas licences. Probationary licence not accepted.
Daily surcharge $27.50 per day

Thrifty's minimum age is 21 and those aged under 25 will only be able to hire Thrifty’s standard range of vehicles. A young drivers fee of $27.50 per day will apply for those aged under 25.

Car Next Door

Minimum age 18 (limited to a range of cars in Sydney CBD)
Licence requirements Must hold an unrestricted licence and have not had any licence suspensions or disqualifications, major traffic violations or alcohol/drug-related driving incidents in the past 5 years.
Daily surcharge $0 per day

Car Next Door allows 18-year-olds to hire select cars within the City of Sydney. Once you turn 21 you will have access to the full fleet of cars, vans and utes across Australia. Car Next Door does not charge a young driver's fee.

Our findings - What car rental options do you have if you're under 25?

Before getting into the nitty-gritty of how the various options stack up, we wanted to make note of how challenging it was to find the young drivers fee for many of the rental providers. For most, to find out the daily charge, you had to do your homework and scour the terms and conditions. In terms of transparency, Car Next Door and no birds had the easiest to find information about their policy towards young drivers, including any fees, of which neither charged.

So if you’re under 25, which rental car provider is the best for you? The answer is… it depends.

If you’re under 21, out of the 6 rental car companies we research, only Car Next Door would allow those aged 18 to 20 to rent their cars although the range is limited to the City of Sydney Fleet. Those 21+ would have access to the full fleet of cars, vans and utes across Australia.

If you are on a probationary licence (your P plates), out of the 6, only no birds would allow you to rent a car, however as mentioned above, they have a minimum age of 21.

In terms of young driver fees Avis, Budget, Hertz and Thrifty all charge a daily fee if you are under 25. These fees ranged from $16.50 - $27.50 per day, which if you are taking a multi-day trip, can really stack up!

Avis and Budget both had a standard minimum age requirement of 25, although in limited locations and for a limited range of vehicles, they would allow those aged 21 - 25 to rent. Thrifty also restricted those aged under 25 to their ‘Standard range’ of vehicles.

The takeaway…

If you are looking for a rental service that does not charge you a fee for being under 25, Car Next Door and no birds are great options. Their range and available locations are not limited to those over 21. Of the 6, Car Next Door was the only option for drivers aged under 21 and no birds were the only option for those on their P Plates.

Learn more - Car Next Door for under 21's

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*Information for Avis, Budget, Hertz, no birds and Thrifty was obtained from the terms and conditions section of site VroomVroomVroom. Car Next Door’s eligibility requirements were obtained from this helpdesk article. The information was accurate as of 9 February 2022.

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