If you are desperate for the freedom of having your own wheels but aren’t sure if you’ll be able to afford a car any time soon, or you want to drive when you are on holiday without having to take your car with you, you may think you can simply hire a car and use that. Unfortunately, for new drivers and young people, it is not that simple. While there are some circumstances under which a younger driver can get a hire car, and some car hire companies even offer special deals for students, there are still strict rules that can stand in the way of getting a rental car for many young people.
How Old Do You Have to Be to Hire a Car?
You have to be over 21 to hire a car with a UK drivers license. There is absolutely no leeway on that, so if you are learning to drive at 17 like a lot of people do in the UK, you should disregard hiring a car as an option for the next few years and make other arrangements. If you are over 21, you may still have problems relating to your age. Some companies will not hire a car to anyone under 25. Others have deals for younger drivers between 21 and 25, but charge an additional daily fee, especially for drivers between the ages of 21 and 23. Most rental companies also have age limits on different categories of car, so while you may be able to get a vehicle of some sort if you are under 25, it may not be the type you want or need, for example if you wanted a large vehicle to help you move house or for a big holiday with a lot of friends.
I Didn’t Learn to Drive Until I Was Over 25 – Can I Hire a Car?
Unfortunately, the age restrictions are just one side of the coin. Even if you are old enough that a car hire company would technically let you have a Ferrari as a rental car, there is also the question of how long you have held your license. Regardless of age, you have to have had a drivers license for over 12 months to hire any car. Your provisional license does not count towards this, so from the day you pass your test, you have a year to wait before hiring a car will be an option for you. Again, some car hire forms may have even stricter requirements than this, and you may need to have had your license longer for certain categories of car.
Hiring a car as a new or very young driver is impossible. If you have held your license for a year or more and are over 21, look out for special deals for young people, but expect that you may have to pay a surcharge on top of the rental fee each day you have the car.