Last Updated on February 6, 2023 by Kristin
Planning to rent a car with your spouse or domestic partner? Chances are you may want to take turns driving. While many rental car companies charge a fee for additional drivers, there are many tricks to make sure your spouse can drive free.
Sign Up for Car Rental Loyalty Programs
For those rental car brands that require an additional driver fee for spouses, the easiest way out is to sign up for that company’s loyalty or rewards program. Just be sure to add your reservation number when shopping around to ensure the additional driver fees will be waived.
The following brands usually charge an additional fee for spouses or domestic partners who want to drive, but will waive the charge if you sign up for their rewards program.
Dollar Car Rental will waive the additional driver fee for the spouse or domestic partner of anyone who has signed up for its free Dollar Express Rewards program.
Members of Thrifty’s Blue Chip Rewards program can add a spouse or domestic partner for free in addition to other perks like skipping the counter.
By joining Hertz’s Gold Plus Rewards Program you can add your spouse or domestic partner as an authorized driver for no extra charge.
Use Membership Programs to Add Additional Drivers
Of the rental car brands that do charge additional driver fees for spouses or domestic partners, there’s another way to avoid the fee: organization memberships. While we recommend signing up for car rental loyalty programs for their host of benefits, using membership benefits is another option to avoid paying a spouse or domestic partner fee.
AAA: Your AAA membership will waive the fees at Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty for additional drivers. Use your AAA code when booking to get the deal.
USAA: Members of USAA can use their Hertz discount code to avoid getting charged for having a spouse as an additional driver.
Brands That Will Let Your Spouse Drive Free
Another way to make sure your spouse can drive free is to choose the right rental company. Some brands don’t charge any additional driver fees for spouses or domestic partners, even if they do charge for additional drivers in general. These include:
States Without Extra Charges for Spouses
Another factor that will determine whether you have to pay an additional driver fee is where you are renting the vehicle. In certain states, you’ll be off the hook for paying an added charge for your spouse as long as they meet the rental company’s requirements and have a valid driver’s license.
These states automatically consider spouses as authorized drivers under rental agreements. This means that even those companies that would usually charge an extra fee for spouses driving need to waive the fee when renting in these states. They include:
It is important to keep in mind that when a spouse is legally authorized as an additional driver by state law, it is not necessary to explicitly list them on the rental contract. In fact, by doing so, the rental company may pressure you to pay an additional driver fee when it is unnecessary to do so because state law automatically authorizes your spouse to drive for free without needing to explicitly name them on the rental contract.
Ask AutoSlash for a Free Quote
So, there are several ways to avoid the extra renter fee for spouses or domestic partners. But if all of these different factors seem overwhelming, don’t worry. Ask AutoSlash for a free quote on your next car rental, and we’ll be sure to include all possible discounts.
Just be sure to include your frequent renter program member number on the checkout page when reserving with Hertz, Dollar, or Thrifty if you plan on taking advantage of the benefit to waive the additional driver fee for spouses.