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Good Holiday Ideas | October 5, 2022

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car rental for older drivers

car rental for older drivers
Paula Hill

Old pay more to rent a car! Read more..

Older drivers seeking to rent a vehicle are discriminated against with more expensive insurance premiums and the fact they have to renew their licences every three years once they hit the age of 70. Most say that people age in different ways and they feel they are perfectly capable of driving safely and without endangering other road users.

Hiring a car at 70, or at 75 years old, can be a bit of a minefield. In the UK. Hire firms note their age and other restrictions under their terms and conditions, but some do not show maximum ages as they might be accused of ageism. Renting abroad can be a little more complex and hirers need to check the limitations carefully.

One older customer said her car hire provider was perfectly happy to let her hire vehicles in the UK at the age of 79. When she took a Maltese holiday, the counter-clerk at the rental depot would not let her drive. The woman said she was more than a little annoyed that her friend, aged 69, was allowed to drive without any questions asked.

Car and van rentals suppliers blame insurance companies for not offering cover on the vehicles. To avoid disappointment, rentals group Car Rentals, have searched through the policies of major UK and international car hire companies to see which ones are most friendly to older drivers.

Alamo does not apply an upper age limit in either the US or the UK. The company’s US terms only list surcharges on young drivers 18 upwards.

The Avis-Budget Group does not impose an upper age limit on its rentals in the UK and the US. Budget’s website does say restrictions may apply in other selected countries and hirers need to check the terms and conditions pertinent to the location. Avis’s conditions note that limitations for over-75s renting in Ireland apply and that drivers should have had a full licence for a minimum of two years.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car says there is no upper age limit for renters in the UK and just specifies a minimum age of 25 years old.

Europcar rents all models to licence holders above 30 years old and has no upper age limit. Europcar depots in seven locations in the west of the UK require drivers to have held their licences for two years, although this will not affect 99 per of those over 75. The pick-up locations are Aberystwyth, Pembroke, Carmarthen, Llanelli, Taunton, Exeter and Plymouth.

Interrent is a Europcar affiliate and rents vehicles to people 22 and above in the UK with no maximum age limit specified.

Green Motion’s low carbon footprint vehicles are available for hire to drivers from 21 to 75 years old. The company’s website says the standard upper age limit at all its global outlets is 75, but there are exceptions and hirers should check with national suppliers.

Hertz UK and the US have no maximum age for renters. At depots run under franchise the rules vary by country. This applies to Ireland and the Isle of Man. In a few of these places, drivers can rent when they are over 70 or over 75, but might a need a doctor’s note stating their health is good.

National Car Rental’s UK branches only specify drivers must be over 30 to hire the full range of vehicles including MPVs. In the US, the same applies but in Ireland the maximum age is 70.
Sixt Rent-A-Car is only concerned with the risk of young drivers and slaps a £36 a day fee on those between 21 and 24 in the UK.

Thrifty outlets in the UK add a £12 per day VAT-inclusive surcharge to rentals to cover the increased cost of insurance for drivers who have passed their 70th birthdays. This is a little less than half of the £25 daily licence holders aged between 21 and 25 pay.
Thrifty and Dollar stations in the US also apply extra fees on rentals for seniors, but it does vary with locations. At their European outlets, the average surcharge seems to work out to around €17.
It does pay to shop around and read the small print if you are a driver outside the 25 to 69 age group. Some companies impose local restrictions on the fees they charge for people who do not meet the insurance companies’ desired age groups. Other car hire suppliers in the same city or at the same airport or railway station may be able to give you a better deal.