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  1. #1

    Default Renting a car if under 25


    I am new to the forum, so I am assuming this is the right place to be asking...

    Having looked on the internet and read some bits on here, it seems renting a car if you are under 25 is a massive problem, or better phrased, a costly one?

    I originally came on here to ask for tips on driving from San Francisco to LA, but we won't be driving anywhere if the car becomes a nightmare to sort out.

    What I would like to know is, what places do hire cars to under 25, are there any particular ones we should go for? Any to avoid? There are 5 of us going, 4 of us who intended to share the driving, so we were looking at hiring a jeep (or SUV as it is called in America).

    Any help or advice is greatly appreciated.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default $$$$$

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Most rental car companies will rent to you if you are under 25 as long as you are at least 21. Between the ages of 21 and 25, however, they will nearly ALL charge you an extra fee for being an under age driver, And the fee is usually $25/day/driver so that if 4 of you plan to drive, you are looking at an extra $100/day. Jeeps and SUVs are technically 2 different kinds of vehicles. 'Jeep' is a brand name and usually means a 4WD vehicle capable of serious off-road travel (although the rental contract will almost certainly prohibit any such usage) while SUV is an acronym for sport/utility vehicle and are more of a combination truck/station wagon, often with elegant appointments and occasionally with AWD or 4WD. Neither a Jeep nor an SUV will be a particularly cheap vehicle to rent. In addition, if you plan to pick up the vehicle in San Francisco and drop it off in Los Angeles, you'll probably also have to pay a drop-off fee of several hundred dollars. Between your choice of cars, your intended usage and your age(s), you're looking at three of the most expensive add-ons to a standard car rental. Your best bet is to contact some of the car hire firms directly, but if you go ahead as planned, this is going to be very expensive.


  3. #3


    Thanks mate.

    The car would be getting dropped back off in San Francisco. So that would be one saving.

    It would be an SUV as we would want it big enough to hold 5, and our bags, without all of us being squashed. But yes, it does look like it is going to be very expensive.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    A "minivan" is a very good alternative to a SUV. Examples are the Dodge Grand Caravan and Toyota Sienna. Rental costs are roughly the same as a small SUV such as a GMC Acadia and considerably less than a large SUV such as a Chevy Tahoe. The minivan will have considerably more interior space than a small SUV and effectively as much as a large one.

    A tip - try to rent from a location that is not on the airport - a downtown or suburban location will save you money. SFO has some wicked airport fees on car rentals, as do many cities.

  5. #5


    Thanks glc

    Just looked at some car rentals then. They look good until you start adding bits on.

    A basic SUV, was found for £477. But then as there are four drivers, it was an extra £410. Then add an extra £1500 for 21 days of 4 people under the age of 25, and we are looking at £2,400 for the car. More expensive than all of our flights.

    Unless we opt for one person to drive, which I doubt, or one of us wins the lottery, then it looks like we won't be doing a road trip after all.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia


    Jay, It may pay you to check out Adventures on Wheels, they have an age limit of 21. They have an office in SF.

  7. #7



    Just had a look, it is an option.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default restrictions

    I know other people have reported back to us that Adventures on Wheels only does the buy-back option with US Residents, although they may have some other options for non-residents.

    One additional thing to also keep in mind with an under 25 driver is that many rental companies won't rent certain classes of vehicles to anyone under 25. Sports cars and convertibles generally aren't available even with a young driver surcharge, and some companies limit their 21-24 rentals only to sedans, putting even SUVs and Minivans out of reach.

  9. #9


    Cheers Michael

    Have looked at the rental with Adventures on Wheels, got a quote which seems reasonable, just waiting on answers to some other questions. Don't know if it's what we wanted but if we want to go ahead, it is that, or just one of us drives.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Michael - it appears that Enterprise is an exception to that, it looks like they will rent anything they have to 21-24 with a surcharge.

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