Additional driver fee for spouse for all car rental companies?

Steve asks:

re: Additional Driver Fee for Spouse

I was once told by an agent at a rental counter (don't remember exactly when, where, or who) that spouses are automatically included as a driver in the basic contract without incurring a car rental extra driver fee. Do you know if this is a universal provision, or maybe varies by company or location of rental?

My Response:

It's true that allowing a spouse as an extra driver with no extra fee, varies by company and by location (ie country).

Currently, in North America, of the eight national branded car rental companies (Alamo, Avis, Budget Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National & Thrifty) only Avis , Budget and Enterprise (links open in a new window) offer NO extra driver fee for the spouse of the renter nationwide (assuming that they meet all additional requirements -- age, drivers license, etc).

Other companies generally charge an extra driver fee for a spouse, with the following exceptions:


No fees are charged for a spouse who is an authorized extra driver in California,Illinois, Missouri, Nevada, Oregon, and Wisconsin.


Emerald Club Members in the United States and Canada are allowed to have thier spouse, common law spouse, or domestic partner who has the same address following added asw an Additional driver without a fee. 

All of my research indicates that every company outside of North America charges an extra driver fee for the renter's spouse. I've checked with all the major brands, but there may be small, independent car rental agencies in the country that you're looking to rent in that may waive that additional driver fee for spouse; you would have to check the policy for each individual company/location.

*Note: Car rental companies can modify policy at any time; I make every attempt to maintain up-to-date info, but always check with an individual company to verify any policy. See: Disclaimer

Pages from this site, relating to this topic:

Car Rental Policies Index

Additional Drivers Overview

Company Specific Additional Driver Policy

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