Car rental agencies must contend with enormous insurance liability issues, and for that reason they adhere to some hard and fast rules when renting out their vehicles. These rules apply to all of the national dealers. If you don't qualify to rent a car from one of these national agencies, smaller car-rental agencies often operate under more relaxed standards. They typically rent out older model vehicles to those aged 21 and over with a valid credit card.


The nationally known car-rental agencies require that their customers be licensed drivers who are 25 years of age or older. They must have a drivers license issued by the country where they claim residence. The license must be valid and remain valid for the entire time they wish to rent the vehicle. The person renting the car must also have a valid credit card. Some agencies make an exception and rent to drivers who are under age 25, but at least 21 years old; however, there are higher rates for these rentals. Some car rental agencies check your driving record when you present your drivers license, and people with bad driving records can be denied.


There are two options for insuring your rental car. If your car insurance policy covers you for any vehicle you drive, you don't have to purchase the rental car agency's insurance. However you must present a certificate of insurance at the time you pick up your vehicle. If you have forgotten to bring it with you, call your insurance agency (provided it is within the agency's business hours) and ask them to fax a proof of insurance certificate to the car-rental agency. If you cannot provide proof of insurance, the car rental agency requires you to purchase the insurance from them.

Extra Fees

The car rental agency charges you extra fees for adding a second driver to your contract. The agency verifies the driver's license and insurance for the second driver as well.There are also additional fees if you require a child safety seat or GPS. You will be charged an extra day's rental if you return the car late, although most agencies allow an hour's grace period. Some rental agencies charge fees for returning the car with the gas tank empty. Be sure to clarify with the rental agent as well as get it in writing exactly what the policy is for returning the car with a full or empty gas tank.