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  1. Default Options for foreign road-trippers under 25

    Hi,

    Me and my friend are planning a 49-day roadtrip from San Fransisco - San Diego - Miami starting, late sept to mid-november. We are both 24 years old, from Sweden, and none of us have an american driver's license (though I have a social security number and California ID).

    We would like to drive this distance, but the price quotes I have been getting from the big rental agencies are really expensive ($5000-7000). Our age is a major cost driver; most companies charge approx $25/day for an underage surcharge. Ironically, my friend will turn 25 just two weeks after we are scheduled to return home.

    As we don't have a U.S. residential address or driver's license we would prefer not to have to buy a car. Also, I've bought a pre-owned car in California before and know how often they break down and we don't wanna risk being stuck in the middle of nowhere with a car that won't start.

    What I'm wondering is if there are any options, besides renting a car from e.g. Hertz, Budget or Avis, that I haven't heard about? Are there any programs, any rental agencies targeting younger drivers, any couchsurfing-like communities for cars, any forums etc.? Or are we better off just buying a car off craigslist? Or should we just bite the bullet and accept paying $7000 if we want to drive the distance?

    Thanks,

    Sofie

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default They're Limited

    Välkomnande! Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Unfortunately, your options for transportation are pretty limited. Yes, essentially all major (and not so major rental car companies are going to charge a significant premium for underage drivers. $25/day for each and every such driver is pretty much the norm. That's simply what their accident and insurance history is telling them is necessary. Without a permanent US address and US driver's license, buying a car is a waste of money - you couldn't register and license it to make it legal to drive. Besides, buying a car for less than 4-6 months is a financial sinkhole. There are really only two options available to you. The first, obviously, is to wait until at least one and preferably both of you are 25. The second is to book the car through a European consolidator such as Europcar who can sometimes get the underage driver fee waived.

    AZBuck

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Here's one possible option.

    You can't do any harm by giving Don a call. I have not used him yet, though I am considering it for my next trip, but I have spent quite some time speaking with him. I suggest you give him a call. He could be the only one I know of who may be able to help you.

    Lifey

  4. Default

    You should check out hertz website. They offer a promotion to get underage fees waived, which is great especially if you rent for a longer period of time. This way (plus some other discounts) I managed to book a standard car for just 1100 dollars incl tax for 42 days rental. I even got confirmed the rate via email from a representative. Go check it out!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Very Helpful

    Quote Originally Posted by sonicBrno View Post
    You should check out hertz website. They offer a promotion to get underage fees waived, which is great especially if you rent for a longer period of time. This way (plus some other discounts) I managed to book a standard car for just 1100 dollars incl tax for 42 days rental. I even got confirmed the rate via email from a representative. Go check it out!
    Thanks for sharing. No doubt there will be many roadtrippers who will find this information invaluable.

    Lifey

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

    Default

    I suspect that's the same deal I mentioned a few months ago.


    It is a great offer, but it only runs through September, though I suppose they could extend it or perhaps offer it again.

    I will say the $1100 for 42 days was a pretty amazing deal. Its not impossible, but often tough to find a car rental available for under $30 a day when taxes are included. Good work on finding it!

  7. Default

    I know, i got pretty lucky. I booked it about month ago, when the gas prices were skyrocketing, so they lowered the price of monthly rental of standard and full-size cars by about 200$:-) i'll tell you i was pretty excited:) hopefully they really won't charge me more, since the rate is supposed to be guaranteed.

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