Mon | Mar 20, 2023

Age to rent a car

Published:Friday | March 5, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Carl Gilchrist,
Gleaner Writer

With the age to acquire a driver's licence in Jamaica being 18 years, it's only natural that you cannot rent a car until then. But on top of that, rent-a-car companies also require that drivers be holders of a licence for a certain period before being allowed to rent vehicles.

Each car rental company sets its own age regulations. A spokesperson for Abe Car Rentals in Ocho Rios, St Ann, said the company rents vehicles to persons 23 and over, and whose licences are at least three years old.

And according to the website of Montego Bay-based Prospective Car Rentals, its minimum age is 21, but there is a surcharge of US$5 (J$445) per day for persons under 25. The upper limit is 70.

In Barbados, where the minimum age is 21 and maximum 75, some companies also require that visitors to the island be holders of driver's licences for at least two years in their home country.

Minimum rental age

Additionally, visitors will have to purchase a Barbados driving licence for BDS$10 from the car-rental company or Ministry of Transport. This is valid for one year.

In the United Kingdom, the minimum rental age varies according to car size. For standard or full-size cars, it is 25; 23 for compact and intermediate, and 21 for mini and economy-size cars.

There is a surcharge for persons under 25, ranging from a high of £14 to £ 9.95 per day, plus tax.

Car renters in the United States also set various minimum ages to rent their vehicles. Twenty-one is the lowest age at which you can rent a car. And similarly to the United Kingdom, there is an extra fee for persons who are under 25, and large vehicles may not be rented to young drivers.

Both Ace and Alamo car rental companies have set age 21 as the lowest age for persons to whom they rent vehicles.

Guam has a low car rental minimum age, 18, and so too do Austria and Italy, where you can drive at 19.