Car rental additional drivers will be ANYONE other than yourself, who will drive your rental car. Even if you rent a car, but never drive it, you are automatically considered the primary operator of the vehicle.
Anyone else who drives your rental must be approved by the company. They must complete and sign a form at the rental counter.
They must also meet the location's age, credit and license requirements. (For some companies, added authorized drivers must be at least 25 years old, others will allow underage extra drivers, with both an added driver fee AND an underage fee).
Extra Driver Fees & Requirements
The majority of the time, there are charges for additional drivers, often called extra driver fees. These fees vary by car rental company. Additional driver policies also can vary by company.
Some companies may allow you to bring someone back to the location to sign on after you have picked up the vehicle (but before they operate it, of course!) Check with the rental location.
Extra Driver Fees - Exceptions
Some car rental companies will allow you to have certain people authorized to operate your rental vehicle with no extra driver fee. These may include
The renter’s employer or fellow employee
Note: This must be a business rental and you often must have a corporate account with the specific car rental company. Check first!
Read more about Business Car Rentals
The Renter’s Spouse/Life Partner/Domestic Partner
Some companies charge for a spouse to be an additional driver, while there are some car rental companies in North America who currently do not charge for a spouse to be an extra driver.
See who does not charge an Extra Driver Fee for a Spouse.
Make sure to look up this policy if you want your spouse to be able to drive your rental car. Also keep this in mind when you are checking prices. One company may look cheaper at a glance, but will end up being more expensive if they charge an extra driver fee for your spouse.
Some companies acknowledge a spouse, common-law partner, life partner or significant other. Check with your preferred rental car company in order to determine their definition of a "spouse". In order to qualify, the spouse and renter must have the same address.
Frequent Renter Program Members
Some car rental companies will allow free additional drivers on a car rental contract, provided the addtional driver is a member of that car rental companies frequent renter program (National Emerald Club Executive, is one example).
Read more about Frequent Renter Programs & Benefits
Driver for a Disabled Renter
Most auto rental companies will rent to a person who is disabled and who does not possess a driver’s license. The renter must show that they are able to be personally and financially responsible for the rental vehicle and must use their own credit card to rent the vehicle. The driver that they sign on must meet the drivers license and minimum age requirement of the rental car company. The driver must complete an extra driver form at the time of rental.
Read more about Car Rentals for Persons with Disabilities
For all other extra drivers there is often a fee. This can depend on the company and location.
Authorized extra drivers may return and pay for the vehicle at the end of the rental.
Note: In addition to permission to drive the rental vehicle, the additional driver form may state that in the event that the named renter, for any reason, failed to pay all rental charges he or she, would immediately pay, upon notice from the rental company, the amount owed.
Make sure to check with the rental car company on their particular policy. Good to know as a renter and if you plan on signing on to someone else’s contract!
Authorized extra drivers still must meet the minimum age requirement (usually 25 or older) and have a valid driver’s license and acceptable credit identification. Note: Sometimes even if a car rental location will accept a debit card to rent, they may not allow an additional driver to use a debit card as credit id. Make sure to check with your rental location.
If someone else operates the car without the rental car agency's permission your contract maybe voided for protections that you have either through credit card coverage or insurance purchased from the rental agency.
Read more about Rental Car Insurance Coverage
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