Have you finished college or university and dreamed of driving around Europe for the summer? Jump in a car and have the freedom to stop where you want, when you want! Driving is definitely the best way to see the continent, and lots of enthusiastic young travelers are keen to experience Europe by car, but do you have to be 25 to rent a car?
While it is true that some suppliers do not rent cars to drivers under 25, most car rental companies in Europe do allow car rental to under 25’s. There is, however, always a catch, with most companies charging a “young driver surcharge”–which is an additional daily fee on top of your regular rental cost–to drivers under 25. But don’t worry, you still have plenty of options to make your dream vacation come alive!
Take full advantage of Europe’s culture, history, and events for young people by reading our complete guide to renting a car under 25:
Every country in Europe has different regulations about the minimum rental age. However, every supplier within each country may also have varying fees for minimum age, so take advantage of Auto Europe’s comprehensive supplier relationships, and shop around on the site before choosing the best one for you. For example, despite the UK having a minimum age of 17, many suppliers will charge up to £40 extra per day if you are under 25. Some companies will also require you to purchase more extensive insurance policies if you are under 25. Below are the minimum age requirements for renting a vehicle, as mandated by the laws in each country–keep in mind, these requirements do not take into account any specific policies mandated by the rental suppliers in each country.
Minimum age 17
Minimum age 18
Austria, Croatia, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Sweden
Minimum age 19
Belgium, Czech Republic, Norway, Slovakia, and Switzerland
Minimum age 20
Minimum age 21
Bulgaria, Denmark, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, The Netherlands, Serbia, and Spain
The Young Driver Surcharge
In most countries, and for most rental companies, if you are under 25 you will have to pay a Young Driver Surcharge in addition to your rental fees. This is usually only paid for when the car is returned. If there is more than one under-25 driver some companies may charge for each driver per day, or they may have a flat fee rate (which can work out cheaper).
Average Surcharge Costs:
On average, drivers under-25 will have to pay around 10 EUR per day in addition to their rental fee. For example, drivers aged 18-24 in Germany are expected to pay an additional 10 EUR per day, with each additional driver charged 7.50 EUR per day. This does, however, usually only apply to standard vehicles–to rent a luxury car you would be looking at much higher rates, or may even be refused a rental.
Additional Insurance Costs:
As mentioned above, some rental companies require under-25-year-old drivers to take out an all inclusive insurance rate. Be aware of these policies before you sign up.
Considerations for Under 25 Year Olds Renting a Car:
Is your driver’s license at least a year old?
Most rental companies require your driving license to be at least one year old and some, such as in Ireland, require two years.
Do you need an International Driving Permit?
If you are planning to rent a car in Europe it is a good idea to pick up an International Driver’s License before you go, as some rental companies, and countries, require this additional document. It can be ordered through your local post office.
Can someone else drive instead?
If you have someone in your group that is over the age of 25 you will save a lot of money and hassle by asking them to become the primary driver.
Would a short-term car lease be more affordable?
If you are planning a trip that lasts over 21 days, you might be entitled to a short-term car lease–this avoids the surcharges placed on under-25-year-olds and can work out cheaper if you are traveling for over a month.
Travel Inspiration for Young Drivers
Young travelers have the world at their fingertips, and by renting a car you can access some of the more rural parts of Europe that lack in public transport options, check out these ideas for your trip to Europe:
WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms): Experience what it’s like to work on an organic farm, and learn all about sustainability and local culture.
Work as an Au Pair: Live and work with an international family to really experience what it’s like to live in another country.
Teach English Abroad: By taking a TEFL course you can work in private schools all over Europe, or you can teach English independently.
Intern Internationally: If you are keen to learn about a job that you have no experience in why not intern in another country? It will look great on your resume, and some are even paid!
So, do you have to be 25 to rent a car in Europe?
Not at all! There are myriad opportunities for drivers under the age of 25 to rent a car in Europe and enjoy the many freedoms afforded by international travel. And the best part? Auto Europe can help! By working with a variety of international suppliers, and the brands that you trust, Auto Europe can help young drivers find the best deals, avoid additional fees, and even set up short-term car leases. If you want to rent a car in Europe, and you’re under 25, we can help to make it as easy and affordable as possible. Simply call Auto Europe toll-free, at 1-888-223-5555.