Sally is a key member of the MoneyMaxim editorial team. She is a frequent hire-car user and often goes on holiday with her family. With an interest in getting great value for money, Sally shares her hints and tips for travelling and insurance.
If you are under 21 and looking to hire a car make sure you read all the terms and conditions carefully before booking.
Are you looking forward to heading off on holiday with your friends in the summer? Perhaps you are hoping to relax after the stress of exams. Or are you planning a skiing holiday? Car hire can provide you with the means to get out and about to explore your chosen holiday spot.
There are several car hire companies who cater for younger drivers and more have recently lowered their age limits to be able to offer car hire to those as young as 18 years old. You can find car hire for younger drivers in Spain, Italy, Austria and other popular locations. However there are often additional factors that you need to take into consideration.
Many companies will only hire cars to people who have held a full licence (with no major endorsements) for a year - sometimes two - so it is important that you do not accept a hire car unless you can satisfy their requirements. If you show up at the car hire desk and your licence is not suitable then you run the risk of having paid for a car you can't use.
If you are aged under 25 - or under 30 if you are hiring a large or more luxury vehicle - there are likely to be Young Driver Fees. These can vary between car hire companies and some may not include them within their quote. Here at MoneyMaxim, we aim to provide as clear a quote as possible and if you run a car hire quote with us then all Young Driver Fees are included as standard.
Although there are cars available for younger drivers, the choice of cars will be more limited. You are unlikely to be able to hire a high powered or luxury vehicle. If you are including an additional driver and you are both under 25 then you could be paying two sets of Young Drivers Fees and the licence requirements will apply to both of you - not just the lead driver.
Car hire, if purchased through a UK company or website, usually comes with all the legally required insurances - Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), Theft Protection and Third Party - although you should always check the terms and conditions to be sure. These insurances normally have an excess to pay should you have an incident in your hire car.
If so, and you are aged over 21, you may want to consider Car Hire Excess Insurance. Just enter your details through the MoneyMaxim car hire excess insurance comparison service to get a quote within a couple of minutes!
If you are hiring a car and are under 21 there is a travel insurance policy which includes car hire excess cover available.
Many car hire firms will require a credit card when you collect the car - which they will use to block out this excess amount - so bear in mind you will need to make sure you have a card with enough room on it. If you do not have a credit card or not enough limit for the security deposit, our sister site Clarify Car Hire enables you to search for car hires which allow for those who only hold a debit card or for car hire with lower security deposits.
Car hire for under 21 is available in various locations worldwide but can be harder to find within the UK itself. If you are looking for transport for a few days and are able to borrow a car there is another solution. Short term insurance can be used from aged 18 to cover a car you have borrowed without affecting the insurance or No Claims Bonus of the owner.
Still confused? Our customer service team are here to help. Give us a call on 0118 321 8197 or use our online chat facility and we will be very happy to answer any questions you may have.