How UK Under 25’s Can Find A Cheap Rental Car

Rental cars for under 25's needn't always be expensive... here's how to secure a cheap rental car.
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How to Find a Cheap Rental Car for Under 25's

Car rentals for under 25’s aren’t cheap – fact. 

For every day that you’re planning that incredible road trip around the Amalfi Coast, you can expect to pay an additional £25 for every day that you rent the car. If you’re planning on spending 10 days on the road, that’s an additional £250 on top of the existing car rental charges and insurance costs…and that’s only an average; some car rental companies charge young drivers as much as £40 extra per day in certain countries; expensive!

However, under 25 car rentals needn’t always be expensive.  

I’ve pulled together everything that under 25’s need to know about renting a car (especially useful if you’re in the midst of planning a future road trip), along with a couple of recommendations on the best websites for drivers under the age of 25 in the UK to use to book a cheap rental car.

Let’s get into it…

Everything under 25's need to know about car rental

If you’re under 25 and you’re considering purchasing a rental car for the first time or you’re in the midst of planning your next road trip, there are a couple of things you need to consider that’ll influence a) the cost of your rental car and b) whether you’re allowed to rent a car in the first place.

  • Young driver fees
  • The location 
  • Minimum age requirements
  • Types of rental car
Yellow road markings on an asphalt road surrounded by trees

Young driver fees for under 25's

Like I said, renting a car under the age of 25 is expensive.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve just turned 21 or you’re 24 years and 364 days old and turning 25 in a couple of hours, most of the major car rental companies like Hertz, Europcar, Sixt, Enterprise, Avis (the list goes on) will force you into paying an additional daily surcharge, or a “Young Driver Fee”, as they like to call it. 

Rental companies add a surcharge because they deem drivers under 25 to be more of a risk on the road than over 25’s (I’ll let you be the judge of that one). 

How much of a surcharge you pay depends on the country and car rental company you choose, which brings us onto the second consideration…

Under 25 car rental surcharge in different countries

Young driver fees can start to get confusing when you compare the charges between different countries and different car rental companies.

For example, in Turkey there are car rental companies that charge young drivers no surcharge whatsoever, whereas in the UK the same car rental companies will charge around £35 for every day that you have the car. 

Madness. 

Here’s some typical young driver fees that you can expect to pay for different countries around the world…

Country Typical Daily Surcharge Legal Age Requirement
Australia £10 21
Canada £15 21
Iceland £5 20
Ireland £35 21
Germany £10 18
New Zealand £10 18
Spain £15 21
South Africa £5 18
UK £35 21
USA £25 18*

If you haven’t finished planning your next road trip yet, you might want to reconsider your destination and plan around the surcharges above before you book anything else.

Maybe a trip to Spain before you do the North Coast 500, ay?

*Different states in the USA have different age requirements, so it’s worth checking individual states before you head off if you’re under the age of 21 (anything over and you will be fine). 

Minimum age requirement to rent a car

You’ll notice in the table above that I’ve included minimum age requirements.

That’s because the age in which you’re legally allowed to drive a rental car changes depending on the country you look at. It gets even more confusing when you look at the policies of different rental companies. 

For example, in the UK you legally need to be 21 before you can drive a rental car. 

However, Enterprise will not rent a car to people in the UK who are under 25, but at the same time they will sell rent a car to people who are 21 and over in the USA. 

Like I said, madness. 

Car driving on a road surrounding by snowy grass and trees

Luckily, lots of other rental car companies do serve drivers under the age of 25 in the UK and across the world, so as long as you’ve been driving for over a year, your options for where you can drive are almost limitless (albeit it with the additional surcharge – more on avoiding that in a second).

If you’re between the age of 18-20 or you have less than one years driving experience, you’ll need to be a little bit more careful where you choose to drive because some countries legally won’t allow you to drive a rental car and even if they do, you might struggle to find a rental company that’ll sell you one.

If you’re under 20, your best bet is to check a rental car comparison website first and see if you can actually purchase a hire car before deciding on anything else. 

Types of rental car for under 25's

This fourth and final consideration for renting a car as an under 25 year old is thankfully straightforward and there’s little you can do about it. 

Most car rental companies will restrict drivers under the age of 25 to specific types of car. 

Think Fiat 500, Vauxhall Astra, Toyota Yaris; that sort of car – the small kind. 

Fiat 500 in Budapest surrounded by a mountain

That’s not necessarily a bad thing though because these types of car are often the cheapest cars available and the cheapest cars to run.

You can sometimes pay a premium for more luxury cars, but even then the types of luxury car available are limited until you’re over 25, and in some cases, over 30 or 35. 

Don’t be too disheartened about driving around the big city in a small car though. It’s all part of the fun of going on a road trip, isn’t it?

Best websites for under 25's to find a cheap rental car

Now that you’ve got a good understanding of under 25 car rental surcharges and you’ve decided on the country where you want to do your next road trip, it’s time to purchase your rental car. 

Here’s some of the best websites for under 25’s in the UK to purchase a cheap car rental for home and abroad…

1. Veygo

If you’re under 25, live in the UK and in need of a rental car, visit Veygo

They specialise in rental cars for young drivers.

In what way you ask? They do not add on an expensive young drivers surcharge. 

You read that correct – no young driver fee whatsoever. Oh, and no deposit necessary and no need for a credit card either; a triple bonus. 

I used Veygo to book a hire car for 7 days for a road trip around the North Coast 500, paying £279 for an automatic Vauxhall Astra with top up excess insurance included and unlimited mileage. 

I ran the same quote on rentalcars.com and the cheapest quote I got back was £399 for a manual (automatic’s cost a little extra) Fiat 500 with insurance and limited to 800 miles, with an additional surcharge of £0.30 for every additional mile. 

Expensive. 

Try Veygo for your next under 25 rental car and you’ll hopefully be able to save yourself a bit of cash.

2. SkyScanner

SkyScanner is awesome for comparing the cost of different car rental companies in different countries and for sometimes finding an absolute steal of a deal. 

One of the reason’s I didn’t include the surcharge rates for different companies in the table above is because they always change.

I’d update it today and it would be out of date tomorrow.

So if you want to see exactly how much it’ll cost to hire a rental car with the surcharge in your road trip country of choice, use SkyScanner. 

You might even find a rental car cheaper than what you can find it on Veygo, especially If you’re road tripping outside of the UK. 

3. Rhinocarhire.com

Rhinocarhire.com is another great website for finding under 25 car rentals. 

Just like SkyScanner, they compare the rates of all of the top car rental companies and then offer up to 10% discount on the initial rental price to help young drivers purchase a more affordable rental car. 

10% can go a long way if you’re planning on a long road trip that’s going to cost £100’s. 

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The Witty Nomad

The Witty Nomad is a travel blog written by me, Danny, a 20-something 9-5er who travels around Europe part-time.

My aim is to show you how you too can make travel possible.

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