Being 18 is great as a traveler! You can finally check into most hotels (outside of Vegas). But there’s still another issue: Rental Cars.
Most major rental car companies don’t rent to drivers until they are 21 years old. And they charge hefty fees until you turn 25. Only in Michigan and New York state are rental car companies required to rent to 18 year olds, and they charge very high fees, sometimes higher than the actual daily rate of the car.
On my last trip to Denver with my friends, I discovered the limitations 18 year old’s had in renting cars. Here are the options I came up with:
Rental Car Companies:
None of the major rental car companies (Avis, Hertz, etc) rented to 18 year olds in Denver. I found that EZ Rent A Car rented to 18 year olds and Fox Rent A Car rented to 19 year olds. They had poor reviews, even worse than an average rental car company. EZ charged a $35 underage fee and required that you used a credit card and showed proof of full insurance for drivers 18-21. Fox charged a $25 underage fee. I just didn’t feel comfortable with these companies as their yelp reviews were 2 stars for EZ and 1.5 for Fox.
Most car sharing companies rent to 18 year olds! Wooo! And Zipcar, car2Go and Maven all included gas!
There is Zipcar in Denver, but I wasn’t aware I had to wait for a card to come in the mail before I could rent. And I discovered this 3 days before my trip, so oops 🙂 There’s an application fee, but it can be waived if you register through a university. For the plan without a monthly membership fee, cars started from $8/hr and $80/day.
No Zipcar for me!
Like Zipcar but sponsored by Daimler (Mercedes Benz). Bonus was that there were NO application or monthly membership fees. And they rent out Mercedes CLA’s and GLA’s? AWESOME!!
I needed a car in Denver and the CLA and GLA’s go for $19/hr and $79/day.
I tried out and reviewed a Mercedes Benz GLA in Denver, but while the car was nice, I didn’t like how they didn’t reimburse for any extra gas you had to fill. You only got whatever the gas was left in the car before you picked it up.
Like car2Go Maven had no application or monthly membership fees! So, my friends and I decided to book with Maven and we got a nice Chevy Malibu. Here’s the link to my review of Maven if you want to read it! Cars started from $8/hr and $80/day in Denver. I ended up choosing a Chevy Malibu for $100/day.
It’s a hard to find rental car companies that rent to 18 year olds. Thankfully car sharing exists now, and they allow us youngsters to rent! Maven was a solid choice, car2Go was okay, and I hope to try Zipcar in the future!
Anyone rent a car under the age of 25? Or anyone want to comment on car sharing experiences? Comment below!
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