Did you know that young AAA members get a big price cut at Hertz? If you’re under the age of 25, you are normally at a significant disadvantage when renting a car. The underage surcharge—a.k.a. the young renter fee—is a hefty per-day fee for drivers under the age of 25. But AAA members under 25 can avoid the young renter fee at Hertz.
Note for AutoSlash customers: To waive the young renter fee, be sure to note that you are a AAA member. Your quote will indicate if the underage driver fee is waived. If you don’t see that on your quote, please contact us for assistance. The underage driver fee waiver is not available with discounted Slash Deals prepaid rates.
Why Young Drivers Pay More to Rent a Car
Statistically, drivers under the age of 25 have more accidents. You would think that as long as the driver has the necessary insurance that rental company would be protected. And given the rise of Uber and Lyft, you would think that rental companies would want to attract millennials. But this is a case of maximizing short-term profit over long-term growth.
AAA Members Under 25 Save Big at Hertz
The partnership between AAA and Hertz is a game changer for young drivers. When a AAA member aged 20 to 24 rents a car, Hertz will remove the young renter fee. The whopping $30 per-day fee will disappear. The break-even point for a new AAA membership is as little as two days—and that’s only from the underage-driver benefit. AAA membership also gets you roadside assistance and other discounts.
Note: Hertz recently lowered the minimum age requirement to 18 years old across the U.S. (except in Alabama and Nebraska, where the minimum age to rent is 19). But young driver fee waiver for AAA members appears to apply only to drivers age 20-24.
AAA members under 25 can avoid the young renter fee, bringing immediate value for young renters. For example, AAA New York has a base membership fee of $52 per year plus a one-time enrollment fee of $15. Those fees can be entirely recouped with a single three-day Hertz rental. Then the driver can continue to reap AAA benefits for the remainder of the year. Many AAA affiliates also allow you to add immediate family members for little or no increase.
AAA membership provide roadside assistance coverage with any vehicle—privately-owned or rented. There are also discounts on other products and services, including hotels and car rentals around the world. Most drivers would easily recoup the AAA membership fee through just a one or two car rentals per year.
So what’s the catch? Drivers under the age of 25 still encounter some restrictions, even with the waiver of the young renter fee. Hertz, like many other firms, restricts young drivers to certain car categories. If you’re under 25, you can’t rent exotic vehicles in Hertz’ Prestige (Audi, Infinity, and Mercedes), Adrenaline (Corvette and other sports cars), and Dream Car (Jaguar, Porsche, and Tesla) collections. But want to rent a Ford or a Kia? You’re good to go.
Another potential stumbling block is that renters still must be able to meet the basic requirements at Hertz. The requirements include owning a credit card in your name. This may be a challenge since the passage of the Credit CARD Act of 2009 places restrictions on issuing credit to those under 21.
Lastly, for drivers still in their teens, AAA membership unfortunately won’t help you avoid the underage surcharge.
Live in a Metro Area? Consider Kyte
Young drivers in major metro areas should also take a look at Kyte, the first rental company to offer door-to-door delivery service on both ends of your trip. While you need to be 25 years old to rent with Kyte in most areas, there are exceptions. Boston-area residents aged 21 to 25 can rent with no underage surcharge which is a nice win. In New York City, drivers as young as 18 can rent, and Kyte recently dropped both its steep $120-per-day surcharge for drivers ages 18 to 20, and the $45-per-day charge for drivers ages 21 to 25.
And it gets better. Kyte has also introduced Kyte for University for drivers under 25 renters in California, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Washington D.C., which waives the underage fee for college students with an .edu email address.
More Ways to Avoid Underage Surcharge When Renting a Car
Are you a current or former member of the military? Are you the child of a veteran? USAA is another great organization for drivers under the age of 25. Young members have been consistently able to avoid underage fees when renting from Avis, Budget, Enterprise and Hertz.
Hertz is unique in waiving the underage fee for drivers under 21 with USAA membership. Again, USAA membership is restricted to current and former US military members and adult children of members. If a parent served in the military, you are probably eligible.
For a budget-conscious young traveler contemplating AAA membership, the new underage fee waiver through Hertz is effectively a slam dunk. While Hertz might not offer the cheapest base rates, avoiding a $20-30 daily fee makes Hertz the lowest all-in rate more often than not.
AutoSlash is always happy to help young renters book the best rate. When you ask us for a quote, be sure to select AAA on the membership screen. After booking with Hertz, email us to ensure that the AAA discount is applied and the underage fee is waived.