When talking about car rentals, the first thing that pops in our mind is vacation! Yes it’s true that most car people rent cars for vacations. But the truth is car rental caters to a larger segment of people. Daily commuters, corporate people visiting places for business purposes as well as students, everyone uses rental cars these days.
Yes, car rentals are also available for students, mostly college goers or those attending the university. Car rental can offer many advantages to the student but there are several constraints for hiring a car at young age. Even though you are considered an adult if you’re 18, many car rental companies would actually trust you with driving their cars. Most car rental companies in London want their renters to be 25 years or above.
Statistics show that young drivers get more into accidents and this is the reason why car rental companies shy away from renting their vehicles to young drivers and often charge extra for those who urge to rent cars. Some companies have relaxed their norms about underage car rental, so students between the age 21 and 24 can now rent cars from the leading car rental companies but with some extra fees. If you are a student and want to share a car, you might even be lucky to get discounts and student concessions.
It goes without saying that, most students have financial constraints, so it is essential for them to hire cars at reasonable costs. Young age car rental rates vary with individual car rental companies, so make sure you compare rates before making a final decision. If you’re on an internship or are working with an employer and need to rent a car, check whether the company has corporate accounts with rental agencies or not. If you are below 21, high chances are you won’t be able to rent a car, even if you’re ready to pay high surcharges. Though there are certain exceptions, like the state laws of New York and Michigan urge rental agencies to rent cars to drivers who are 18 years or above.
Whatever the situation is, renting a car below the age of 25 can be quite expensive but at times we just can’t do without renting a car. To make car renting simpler for students, we will explore the various aspects of student car rentals in the following sections. So read on.
Whether you are shifting your belongings to the new accommodation or planning a long drive with your friends, car rental is essential. But since most students are below the age of 25, renting a car can be tough, but no way impossible. Many car rental agencies offer student discounts, so whenever looking for a rental car, verify whether they offer discounts or not.
Here are some useful tips that will help you rent a car and save money on your next car rental.
As a young driver you will have to pay ‘young driver surcharges’ which can range between £20 and £40 for one day. This charge is either included within the quoted price or you will have to pay it when you collect the vehicle from the rental agency. If you want to avoid the extra charges, you can partner with your seniors or a friend who is older to you and share the rental costs. Just book the car in name of the older person and avoid the extra charges.
Things you’ll need to rent a car as a student:
· Carry your student I.D car when collecting the car
· The driving license and other paper works
· Carry a credit card. (It is better if it is in your name or if you’re using someone else’s card make sure he is present with your when making the payments).
Money Saving Tips
Education has become very expensive and by the end of graduation, most students are left with nothing. This means they don’t have enough cash reserves to afford expensive car rental. Here are some tips that will help the students to hire car within their budget.
· Consider paying upfront since this can enable you to save up to 10% on the overall rental cost.
· Rent the smallest car available, since these are available at cheap rates. Many rental agencies won’t allow you to hire larger vehicles.
· Check the rates on car rental websites. Oftentimes the rates are much lower than what are offered by the rental company directly.
· Make sure you avoid hiring at the airport. Instead hire from a city branch. This will help you save the airport surcharges.
· Ask about student discounts. Most rental companies offer student discounts but do not advertise them. So never forget to ask for one.
It is very important to look for ways to save money, so make sure you enquire about the hidden charges (if any) and read the rental terms and conditions well. Ensure that you don’t miss out the fine prints since this is where the most important things can be found.
Student Car Rental Discounts
There is some good news for the students who are in search for affordable car rental options. The major car rental agencies offer special discounts for students, which can help them save hundreds of dollars on their car rental. Students need money for many other important things like buying books, attend seminars (with entry fees) and for some entertainment as well.
Here are the details about some of the best car rental deals for students from the well-known brands, other than ourselves - YES CAR RENTALS that specialises in STUDENT AND YOUNG DRIVER CAR HIRE:
Students are eligible to get 15% discount on car rental and 20% on van rentals from Hertz, provided they are 23 years or above. Hiring a van can be a good option if you are willing to shift things to a new location or back home after graduation.
In case, you are below 25years of age, you will have to pay a daily surcharge of £30.84, with a maximum cap of £308.40 for the entire rental period.
The rental price from Hertz includes:
· Rental license fees
· Applicable Tax
· Theft protection
· CDW (collision damage waiver)
· Unlimited mileage
Thrifty offers the most affordable rental prices. Even though they do not offer student discount, they provide a 5% discount on selected destinations. The rental prices include the young driver surcharge for drivers between the ages 21-24. If you fall in this category, you will be allowed to hire standard and economy cars or short wheel base vans.
The rental price from Thrifty includes:
· Rental license fees
· CDW with excess liability
You will have to pay for the extras and mileage limits will be applicable if you drive overseas.
Sixt car hire provides car rental for those less than 23 years but does not allow drivers below 21years. They act as brokers and find appropriate deals with other car rental providers on behalf of the renter. If you are less than 25 years and have the NUS Extra or Graduate Extra card, you’ll be eligible to get 10% discount. You will have to show the card and other documents while you collect the card to qualify for the discount. Remember, this discount is applicable in Manchester, Liverpool, London, Edinburgh and Birmingham. If you’re under 23, you will have to pay young driver surcharge of£30 per day.
The rental price from Sixt includes:
· Third party insurance
· Unlimited mileage
· Loss damage waiver
· Registration fee and road tax
Students are allowed to hire economy-sized cars and short wheel base vans only.
Now that you are aware of the discounts that you will be eligible for, hiring a car will become easier and pocket-friendly. Even if you are not hiring from one of these companies, make sure you ask about the applicable student discounts, since many small and local car rental agencies also offer such discounts.
Money Saving Car Rental Tips for Students
An increasing number of students are opting to hire a car since it offers the flexibility and freedom to explore new places and allows them to move around freely within the city. Gone are the days when car rentals were just for vacationers. In present days, car rental has grown many times and the estimated annual car rental revenue is close to $21.9 billion and students make a decent portion of the clients.
Here are some car rental tips that will help students to choose the right car rental:
Choose the Right Car: Students mostly travel in groups, so instead of hiring a compact car it is a good idea to hire a mini-van and share the rental cost among 3-4 friends. The more people using the rental vehicle the lesser will the cost per head. Even if hiring a van costs more than a compact car, the costs get minimized to a great extent when you share it.
Driver Age and License Requirements: The age and license requirements vary by each county or by the car rental provider. For places where people mostly travel by rental cars, the minimum age criteria are lower compared to other places. The time period for which the driver should have a driver’s license also varies by each rental service provider.
In many places, students below the age of 21 are not allowed to hire a car while in some places they allow students who have reached 18 years. If you want to hire a car before you satisfy the age criteria, you will have to pay extra charges. Apart from this, you need to hold a driver’s license for a minimum of 1 year. When hiring a car, make sure you get all the details about age and license requirements.
Consider Road Conditions: Many car rental companies impose limitations on the cars that can be used on particular terrains. Some rental companies don’t allow their cars to be driven on rugged roads, while other would want you to hire a 4WD to cover mountainous roads. So if you are planning to hire a car for vacation with friends, make sure you know what type of car to hire to avoid penalties.
Car Rental Insurance: Young drivers are more vulnerable to road accidents, so you may have to buy some car rental insurance to make sure you drive safely. Even of the rental agency doesn’t urge you to buy one, you should get enough coverage to protect yourself from liabilities.
These are a few tips that will help you avoid paying extra charges and be on the right tracks with car rental. A few more things need to be taken care of which remains the same for student renters and normal renters, they are:
· Browse the Internet to get the best rates. Also ensure that you compare rates from different rental agencies since the rates vary from company to company depending upon the availability, class of vehicle, location and many other factors.
· Rent on weekends since the rates are lower during this time. The rush is less during the weekends and the car rental agencies want their vehicles to be rented, so they offer cheaper rates. If you’re lucky you can get a car at 50% lower rates. So if your plans are flexible, consider hiring on weekends.
· Weekly rates are even better than weekend rates. It is a good idea to hire a car on a weekend and keep it for a week, this way you will get the best rates. If you are willing to use a car for 1-2 days, hiring on weekend is good but if you want a car for 5 days or more weekly hiring is the best.
· Booking a car in advance is a good idea since you have better chances of getting lower rates. The more number of cars available, the better will be the chance of getting discounted rates, so make sure you book a car at least a week in advance.
· Ideally the rental car has to be returned with a full gas tank, so you have two choices – either pay upfront for a full tank or fill the tank before returning. Returning the car with a full tank is a better option since returning a car with empty tank is almost impossible. So if you pay upfront, you will be paying for the fuel you are not using.
· If your choice of car is unable, the rental agency would offer a free upgrade. While this might seem a great opportunity, it is best to decline such offers if you really don’t need a larger car. Larger cars tend to burn more gas, which means your fuel costs increase.
· Avoid pickup at the airport, since it might cost you more due to the fees and taxes. Renting at the airport costs 10% more than renting a car at a neighbourhood location.
· Make sure you have a clean driving history, if you have a maligned history, you may be declined from renting a car even if you have prior booking. Young drivers are considered a risk for rental agencies and if your driving history is not good, you will be in further trouble.
· Inspect the car thoroughly for damages before renting. If you fail to inspect the damages before renting you may have to pay for mistakes that you never made. Also makes sure you drive safely so that no considerable damage is made to the rental car.
· Finally, ensure that you return the car on time. Almost all the car rental agencies offer a grace period of about half an hour or 1 hour, so to avoid extra charges return the car within this time.
Most of us rent cars to make our lives easier and convenient and adhering to the above mentioned tips will ensure that you have the best car rental experience.
Young Car Rental – Things to Know and Tips
All this time we have addressed to the student renters as ‘Young Drivers’, so what does this actually mean?
If we have to define young drivers, we would define them as ‘car rental clients who are between the age 18 and 25 years’. The car rental agencies have their own age constraints and rental rules, but they have many packages that suit the needs of the young drivers.
Most of the car rental agencies are not willing to allow young drivers to hire their cars, since they are considered as irresponsible drivers. While this is not true for all young drivers, there are some common driving problems with young drivers like:
· Crossing Speed Limits: most young drivers drive beyond speed limits and this is a serious offence. Young drivers should ensure that they maintain and obey the speed limits.
· Drink and Driving: 30% of the accidents are due to alcohol use by young drivers. Driving under the influence of alcohol voids all kinds of insurance coverage. So if you damage the car or damage other’s properties, you will be held liable for everything.
· Other Rules: Young drivers should ensure that they put on the seat belt while driving a car.
If you’re under 25years and are worried whether, you’d be able to hire a car or not, we’ll provide you with some insights that might help you to rent a car as a young driver. If you are between 18 and 21, you’ve just entered adulthood and a whole new lot of opportunities have opened doors for you. Right from study abroad programs, volunteering and language immersion programs, there is a lot to be explored and with all this the need to travel comes along.
As a young driver there are a few things that need to be considered if you’re willing to hire a car. They are:
Local Underage Fees
Willing to hire a car at the age of 21 is not unreasonable, but each country and rental company have their own theories and minimum rental car age requirements, which they strictly adhere to. You’ll be considered a young driver, before you reach 25 and you will have to pay young driver surcharges.
This is charged on a daily basis and there is a cap on the total amount of surcharge during the entire rental period. The underage fees differ from place to place and from company to company. So make sure you compare the rates before hiring.
Additional Driver Charges
You’ll be allowed to have one or more additional drivers (you’ll need them if you’re planning for a long drive) but you have to pay extra for each additional driver on a daily basis. It is best to have one additional driver and not more than that.
As you enter adulthood, you want to be more adventurous and taste life on a different note. You might want to drive a racing car and woo the girls but if you are relying on a rented car, save that thought for future. The fleet availability is restricted for young drivers, so you might have to settle for compact cars even though you wanted a sleek supercar.
Mandatory Insurance for Underage Drivers
Some companies would allow you to hire a car only if you agree to take an additional insurance coverage (if you are under 21 years). This is sort of a security for the car rental company, in case you meet an accident. Again, there are companies that will allow you to use the credit car insurance for rental cars, so it is wise to shop around and look for companies that provide you with an option to use existing coverage.
Provide Your Age Details While Booking
Whether you book a car online or book through an agent, ensure that you provide your age details. The minimum age criteria differ with individual car rental company, so you may be lucky to save the underage fees.
For How Long Do You Hold a Driver’s License?
To rent a car, you must hold a driver’s license for at least one year. Though, this can also vary with the rental agency you choose – some require a driver’s license to be held for 2 years or even 3 years, but the minimum requirement is 1 year.
Get an International Driving Permit
If you are planning to drive cross borders, an International Driving Permit (IDP) is essential. IDP translates your driver information into various languages, so that you can travel in different places. It is good to have the IDP done, so that if you make a last minute plan of visiting a place beyond borders, you don’t have to worry about renting a car.
It is true that drivers below the age 25 have troubles renting a car and they have to undergo various verification processes, but if you take care of the necessary things (the ones mentioned above), renting car becomes easier.
As you enter adulthood, your responsibilities increase and so make sure that you become a careful and responsible driver, so that you don’t hurt yourself or damage the rental car. This will only increase your rental costs many folds and prove the fact that young drivers are indeed irresponsible.
Young Driver Insurance
Acquiring a young driver license is just like a breeze, pass the driving test and there you have your driving license, your ticket to hit the road! But wait, have you considered the car insurance? That’s the toughest part for young drivers. As, it has been mentioned earlier, many rental companies would allow you to use existing insurance coverage, so if you don’t want to increase your car rental costs, consider getting insurance for yourself.
If you have not crossed 25, it is evident that you will have to pay high insurance premiums and sometimes it goes to such extents that people prefer their cars to collect dust than drive it. To help young drivers get the right coverage at the right price, here are some tips:
· Choose the Cover Wisely: It is best to get a fully comprehensive insurance, which would provide full coverage even in case you meet an accident. You can choose third party insurance, if you’re driving an inexpensive car, but make sure you get the cheapest rates.
· Lower the Insurance Premiums: Drive safely, avoid traffic violations and accidents at least for the first year after taking insurance so that when you go for renewal, the rates go down significantly. Also low mileage can lower insurance rates. Insurance rates tend to go higher for vehicles that have special customizations and require expensive repairs, so choose a car which does not require any of these.
· Lower Costs: To lower insurance costs, you can add your name on someone else’s policy as a second driver to benefit from named driver no claims discount. Taking an advanced driving course can also help you get good rates. But before you do so, check with your insurance provider.
· Shop Around: It is always good to compare rates and look for deals that will lower insurance costs. Compare rates on insurance comparing sites and once you have a handful quotes, get in touch with the brokers to negotiate further. Check with friends and family, if anyone has young driver insurance ask for references.
· Do a Background Check on the Insurance provider: Fake insurers and brokers target young drivers. Read the policies and terms very well and make sure the insurer is authorised and licensed. Only once you are satisfied with everything go ahead with buying insurance policy.
There is another way out. You can wait until you are 25 years. In that case, if you want to rent a car, you will have to pay for car rental insurance to the rental agency. So weigh the two options carefully and then decide which way to go. Either ways you will have to pay higher than drivers aged over 25 years.
A Final Though
Renting a car under the age of 21 can be very difficult, but it is not absolutely impossible. In some countries the minimum age criteria is 25 whereas some in some places the standard age is 22 or 23. The age criteria vary depending on the rental company, location and choice of vehicle.
Rather than hiring cars from a branded rental agency, consider hiring from a local independent rental provider since the chances of getting a car of your choice is much more. The underage fees, if applicable, will also be lower than that of renowned brands. It is always good to visit the rental agency in person and look for the available options. In many cases, the rental providers offer old cars on rent for students at lower cost since they are less worried about damages made.
But beware of very cheap deals, they might be traps to attract young drivers. Such rogue rental providers advertise rock bottom prices, but just when you sign the contract they’ll load you with hundreds of hidden costs. Also make sure you are well aware of all the young driver rules, so that you go prepared and rent a car without hassles.
One more thing that you should always remember to do is ask for student discounts. These discounts are not advertised, but most car rental dealers will offer student discounts. If you are considering hiring a car from a local dealer who is not willing to offer student discounts, make sure you negotiate enough to bring down the rates to the discounted prices.
Another important aspect about car rental is the car rental insurance. With some rental agencies you will have to buy mandatory insurance, while others will let you use the existing coverage, if you have a young driver’s insurance or credit card insurance. If you are not willing to pay extra for the insurance, make sure you get young drivers’ insurance in advance and find a dealer who allows you to use existing insurance coverage.
So whether you are planning a trip with your friends or shifting your belongings back to your home town, educate yourself about student car rentals and be prepared yourself so that you have a hassle free renting experience.
Author Bio: Vineet Agarwal has been long associated with V1 Technologies which offers world class Website Design, SEO & PPC, Domain & Hosting, Mobile AppDevelopment and other similar services. Aside from being a dynamic entrepreneur, Vineet is an avid traveller and loves exploring new countries and culture. Discount car rentals interest him largely and he has been extensively sharing his knowledge with friends and peers about discount car rentals and mistakes to avoid when hiring cars.