Many reasons exist for needing a rental car, from being on vacation for business purposes to needing a replacement while a car is under repair. If more than one person needs to drive the rental car, most rental companies require the additional drivers to sign the rental contract, and sometimes the company charges an additional driver fee. Several rental companies have a spouse or domestic partner clause in their additional driver requirements that allow the spouse or domestic partner of the renter to drive the rental car for free. These additional driver policies are essential for renters looking to budget their rental fees.
Some state laws require agencies to allow the renter’s spouse to drive.
Customers renting a car with Enterprise Rent-A-Car can add their spouse or domestic partner as an authorized driver for no additional fee, according to the Enterprise website. All other authorized drivers incur a $5 to $10 per person fee to be allowed to drive the rental car. Primary drivers and their spouses must be at least 21 years or older to rent and drive a rental car and must possess a valid driver’s license. Extra drivers must be present with the primary renter for pickup at the rental location.
Hertz Car Rental
When renting a car with Hertz Car Rental, the spouse of the primary driver may be added as an “Authorized Operator” for free for rentals in California and Iowa, states the Hertz website. Spouses who wish to drive the rental car in all other states must be added as an additional driver for a fee of $10.67 a day in Nevada, $3 a day in New York or $13 a day in every other state. Additional drivers must sign the rental contract and present a valid driver’s license, debit or credit card and be at least 21 years old.
According to the Avis website, the spouse or domestic partner of a primary rental car driver may be added as a driver to the rental contract for no additional charge. The spouse or domestic partner must be at least 25 years old but does not need to present a valid license and credit or debit card or complete an additional driver form. The fee for additional drivers runs $3 a day in New York, $10 a day in Nevada and $13 a day in all other states.
An American Automobile Association (AAA) membership waves extra fees on additional drivers at some companies throughout the United States and Canada. USAA also provides a discount code for members to an extra charge.
Alamo rental agreements allow for the renter’s spouse to drive the car if they meet the state’s minimum age and license requirements. Additional drivers must pay a daily surcharge of $5 in New York and $15 in other states, and be present at the rental desk at the time of authorization. If the renter pays with a debit card, the only additional driver allowed is a spouse or domestic partner.
National Car Rental
Customers of National Car Rental have several options when it comes to additional drivers. A renters spouse or domestic partner are always permitted for free, as well as immediate family members whose address matches that of a renter with an Emerald Club membership. National allows for free additional drivers through a corporate account and for the companion of a renter with a disability.
Some car rental companies allow spouses to drive for free as part of a rewards program or with discount codes. Some of these include:
Dollar Car Rental (Dollar Express Rewards)
Thrifty (Blue Chip Members)