Last Updated on April 23, 2023 by Kristin
Looking for a way to make prom special? How about picking up your date or friends in a luxury car? Here’s what you need to know about age minimums and price.
Minimum Age to Rent a Luxury Car
There are two options—renting the car yourself (high school students are not old enough, but there are exceptions) or getting a friend or family member to rent the car and play chauffeur.
Watch minimum ages
Even if you have a valid driver’s license, you will probably not be able to rent a car yourself—but that depends on where you live. High school students need to check out the minimum age requirements for car rentals before looking for that perfect luxury prom car.
In many cases, rental car companies have minimum age requirements that preclude high school students from signing a contract themselves. The country’s biggest car rental companies generally require renters to be 21 years old, although a few have lower minimum age requirements. Fox Rent a Car, for example, requires drivers to be 19.
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There is one big exception to these age requirements. Laws in two states—Michigan and New York—specifically allow drivers as young as 18 to rent from both the bigger and smaller chains, regardless of the companies’ policies.
Beware of the young driver fee
There is a big downside, however: you can expect to pay an extra, daily young driver fee if you plan to go the route of renting a luxury car yourself. That’s because many major rental car companies consider drivers to be a “young driver” until the age of 25 due to the extra risk they present.
Young renter and driver fees vary, with AutoSlash research finding that the cost can vary widely, and generally ranges from $15 to $57 per day. If you’ve got a friend or relative over age 20 that will be your driver, one way of avoiding the young renter fee is to rent from Hertz with an AAA membership. Hertz created a Young Driver Fee Waiver for AAA members aged 20 to 24. he reservation must be booked under the AAA rate code to be eligible for the fee waiver.
How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Luxury Car?
Let’s say you are able to rent a luxury car for prom or, more likely, have an older friend or relative rent one and agree to be your driver.
Unfortunately, renting a luxury car as a young driver is not particularly easy or cheap. In addition to the young driver fee added to the daily rental price, many rental companies restrict young people from renting the most expensive or unique luxury cars.
Even if you’re willing to pay the price for a top-of-the-line luxury car, rental companies do tend to restrict drivers under the age of 25 from renting the cream of the crop. That’s the case when renting a luxury SUV or sports car like a Corvette convertible from Enterprise’s Exotic Car Collection.
Calculate all fees
A quick survey of options for young renters shows that car rentals are pretty pricey when including the added fees. An informal web search shows that an 18-year-old in Detroit renting a standard full-size vehicle from Enterprise can expect to pay nearly $100 for a one-day rental—$42 of which is just the young renter fee. Renting a Chevy Corvette Coup from Enterprise Exotic Car Collection in New York City would be more than $300 a day after fees—but those cars are only available to drivers 25 and over.
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It’s crucial that young drivers to learn about how car insurance works with rentals, and whether it makes sense to add any additional options such as the loss damage waiver (LDW). This would waive your responsibility to damages to the vehicle in the case of an accident, but could add $20-$30 per day to the price.
Taking into account the extra fees and limited luxury options young renters have for prom rentals, the best bet may be to ask a friend or family member to reserve a car and drive it on the special day. And of course, renting a classic stretch limo with a driver is always an option. No matter which option you choose, be sure to drive responsibly.