Are you above 70 or under 30 and wondering if you can rent a car in Australia without restrictions? Find out the car rental age requirements in this article.
Today’s article revolves around the effect of age on car rental and insurance, car rental age requirements, and more. Let’s begin.
Your Age Vs The Risk Of A Car Accident
Old drivers are more likely to experience fatal injuries in crashes at intersections or junctions. Examples of right-angle crashes, especially in the 90+ age group.
Other common crash types for older drivers include hitting a fixed object, right turn, and head-on crashes. Older drivers are less likely to be involved in rollover crashes compared to serious casualty crashes for the population in general.
Road users aged 70 and over in South Australia had a higher rate of fatalities. Below are serious and minor injuries in the 2015-2019 evolution:
|5 Year Avg
What Causes Driving Accidents In Elderly People?
Numerous factors cause driving disabilities, including:
- Diminished hearing and eyesight
- Slower decision-making
- Slower reflexes
- Reduced agility
- Reduced muscle strength
Can You Rent A Car If You Are Under 20 Years Old?
It’s sad news for the age group 18-20 years old that they can’t rent a car. To obtain a rental vehicle, you need to be at least 21 years old. On top of that, if you are under 25 years, you must pay additional fees.
The fee may vary from person to person. The purpose of the fee is to safeguard the rental car company from high-risk drivers.
Now, you must be wondering if there is any way to avoid the rental fee for the under-25 age group. Yes, there are a few options to avoid the underage fee.
One of those options is an AAA membership. AAA members between 20-24 who fulfill basic rental conditions are excused from the young renter fee. You may save up to $29 every day.
Benefits you may receive from AAA membership include:
1) Free additional passenger
2) Waiving the underage fee
3) Free baby seat
4) Full 24/7 service and technical support
5) Discounts on hotels, flights, and tourist tours
How To Get AAA Membership?
You can get an AAA membership either online or in person, again depending on your location.
Join AAA Online
To join AAA, you must provide the following information:
- Your name, including first, last, and middle initials.
- The number of additional members you want to add.
- The name of any additional persons you want to add to your membership.
- Your mailing address, including street address, city, state, and zip code.
- Your email address.
- Your home phone number.
Join AAA In Person
Traveling to your neighborhood AAA office is necessary if you want to apply for membership in person. You can discover a local AAA branch by visiting the AAA website, searching online, or calling +61 2 6247 7311.
Whether you apply for a AAA membership, you must choose a plan that provides the right service level for you.
The following options are available for the various plans.
- The Classic Plan offers a cheaper annual charge and a free first year.
- The first year of the Plus Plan must be paid at a discounted rate. It offers further benefits that are described in the next section.
- The Premier Plan is the most expensive option for membership, but it also comes with the most perks for members.
Australia Vs USA Vs UK – How The Age Restrictions Differ?
Rental Car Age Requirements In The USA
Renters must be at least 20 years old to rent a car in the US and Canada.
However, in state rules like New York and Michigan, you must have at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license.
Young drivers can only rent certain types of vehicles. Also, there may be an additional Age Differential Charge that varies by region and vehicle class.
Rental Car Age Requirements In The UK
In Australia, it is not possible to rent a car if you are under 25. If you are under 25 and want to rent a car, you must pay a substantial fee to the rental car company. And the same rule applies to the drivers that fall in the age category 70-80.
How Does Your Age Effects The Insurance?
Whenever renting a car in Australia, you can expect that there isn’t any opportunity for buying auto insurance. The rental charge includes CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) and LDW (Loss Damage Waiver) insurance coverage.
CDW And LDW Insurance
If the rented vehicle gets stolen or damaged when it is with you, you must pay for its repair. The amount that you must pay is called ‘liability’.
The rented vehicle is already insured to reduce your liability. You can also call this insurance CDW (Collision Damage Waiver). CDW lowers the liability from the actual amount of damage to the pre-decided and agreed-upon amount known as ‘excess’.
LDW insurance, or Loss Damage Waiver insurance, is an optional add-on available to renters when renting a car in Australia. This type of insurance covers the renter for any damages or loss incurred to the rental vehicle during the rental period.
By purchasing LDW insurance, the renter can reduce their financial liability in the event of an accident or theft. It is important to note that LDW insurance may not cover all damages, and there may be certain exclusions or limitations to the coverage.
Carefully review the terms and conditions of the rental agreement, before deciding whether to purchase LDW insurance.
Does Age Affect Rental Car Insurance?
Moving further, if you are thinking about whether age affects rental car insurance, the answer is yes. The cost of rental automobile insurance is determined by several criteria, including the driver’s age and gender.
You can only roughly predict if your rental car insurance rate will be higher or lower based on your age. For instance, rates are likely to be lowest for drivers in their 40s with at least ten years of experience.
If you are under 25 years, you may have to pay high rental car prices due to added insurance. The same applies to drivers above 70 years of age.
The reason is simple rental car companies just want to lower the risk of damage. To keep the costs down, you can reduce your mileage.
Why Are Most Luxury Cars Not Rented To People Under 30 Years?
Driving is a matter of life and death. There are numerous reasons why most luxury car companies do not rent luxury cars to people under 30 years.
Let’s cover them one by one…
According to a University of Adelaide study, young drivers are twice as likely to get in an accident. Especially in the first few months of using a temporary or provisional license.
Moreover, young drivers fail to anticipate hazards and drive defensively. For instance, if an animal suddenly crosses the road, young drivers may not know how to quickly handle the situation.
Other conditions that may be hazardous include:
- Failure of a tire, whether on your car or another one on the road.
- Negative meteorological circumstances, such as veld fire smoke, fog, and mist.
- Unexpected flooding and stormy weather.
- Driving via mountain passes and in adverse weather, such as high wind.
- Disgraceful and unacceptable behaviour like hijacking and grab-and-run.
Lack of practice and poor judgment may cause young drivers to lose their lives and leave their families scarred for life. Young drivers have less knowledge of traffic rules and operating procedures and an understanding of risks and their ultimate consequences.
Only if young drivers take proper driving school lessons for years, then they become eligible to drive perfectly.
2) Physical Maturity
An individual reaches maturity by the age of 28. By that time, they gain physical strength and full height and weight.
Before the physical maturity stage, individuals may find issues in the:
- Hand and eye coordination.
- Less physical strength and stamina.
And driving a car requires strength, flexibility, or coordination to control and operate a vehicle safely. Luxury rental car companies take this fact too seriously and don’t rent luxury cars to individuals under 25.
Additionally, according to researchers, the prefrontal cortex matures and develops predominantly during adolescence. The process is finished by the time an individual reaches the age of 25. For advanced behavioral performance, the prefrontal cortex’s growth is crucial because it aids in the execution of executive processes.
3) Emotional Maturity
Young drivers usually lack emotional maturity and may exhibit dangerous driving behavior. They may carry out the following acts while driving on-road:
- Speeding up and racing with their buddies for fun and entertainment.
- Crossing red lights is a very dangerous act.
- Making illegal and dangerous turns.
- Driving while drunk driving reduces coordination, slows down reactions, and eradicates the judgment of speed, distance, and risk.
- Using a mobile phone while driving or watching a movie on a tablet while driving.
- Not wearing a seatbelt.
- Not maintaining the required distance from other vehicles may cause serious accidents.
- Doing something to people on board.
- Listening to loud music while driving may evoke several emotions and cause fatal accidents.
- Performing dangerous stunts.
- Driving at night.
- Driving in mountains despite being a complete beginner.
Luxury car rental companies are well-versed in the fact that young drivers indulge in these dangerous activities. That’s why they refrain under 25 age group from hiring a car.
Why Are Most Luxury Cars Not Rented To People Over 70 Years?
Also, people above 70 are facing some restrictions. Let’s first see the reasons why it applies:
1) Cognitive Decline
The cognitive decline includes forgetting appointments and dates, forgetting recent conversations and events, and feeling increasingly overwhelmed by making decisions and plans. Additional signs are trouble recognizing directions or instructions, diminished perception of direction, and loss of capacity to handle tasks.
Driving requires sharp cognitive skills, like multitasking. Lack of cognitive skills leads to accidents and serious injuries.
Old people find it difficult to coordinate and make correct decisions. This prompts luxury car companies to impose some restrictions on the above 70 age group as well.
After all, road and public safety are CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) for luxury or normal rental car companies.
2) Decreased Vision
Safe driving requires a clear vision, and even minor changes can impair your capacity to:
- Examine traffic signs.
- Notice potential dangers on the road, such as pedestrians, objects, or other cars.
- Distinguishable signals, such as traffic lights.
- Determine the distance to approaching traffic or the gaps between moving vehicles.
- Differentiate colors.
- See at night or evening.
Sadly, as you become old, your vision becomes poor, and you are more likely to become a less-effective driver. This is another reason why luxury car companies put some restrictions on the 70-above age group for car renting purposes.
3) Decreased Hearing
The significant function that hearing plays as you drive is often taken for granted. Hearing alerts you about the activity all around you, such as the abrupt movement in traffic or the urgent oncoming of emergency vehicles.
In many driving circumstances, you hear critical information before you ever see it. For example, a car moving across our blind areas or the potent engine of a motorcycle swerving through lanes.
Your ability to drive can be greatly impacted by hearing impairment, especially as you get older.
4) Decreased Motor Skills
A motor ability is a function that accomplishes a particular task by using specific muscle motions. To develop this ability, the body’s neurological system, muscles, and brain must all work properly.
Sensorimotor functioning and control typically decline with age. These deficiencies have an influence on elderly people’s ability to carry out regular tasks while preserving their sense of autonomy.
Unfortunately, if you want to hire a luxury car with such impairment, you will face disappointment. By hiring a car, you are not only creating a risk for yourself but also paving the way for financial liability.
Some old people have mental health problems too, including anxiety, panic attacks, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder), etc. This may also cause serious accidents and injuries. Considering the possibilities, luxury car companies ask for a medical certificate and require you to go through a health assessment.
Restrictions and requirements may vary from company to company.
How Rental Car Companies Minimize The Risk?
No business is without risk. It is important for businesses to identify risks and take effective measures to prevent them from drowning the business.
In this section, we will not talk about businesses in general but how rental car companies minimize the risk.
1) Prospective Customers Assessment
Rental car companies evaluate potential car renters before carrying out transactions. They observe their attitudes, speech, and behavior.
They also ask questions regarding the purpose of renting a car. The reason behind the simple interview is to know whether the customer’s intentions are genuine or not.
If the rental car companies find the answers to be vague or suspicious, they can disapprove of renting their car.
2) Rigid Requirements
Rental car companies don’t reduce or nullify requirements without a clear risk calculation to entice too many customers. They are not flexible when it comes to simple requirements, including a passport or driver’s licence.
If customers don’t provide their identity cards, they are considered fraudsters by rental car companies.
Companies take this measure to protect their cars from being stolen. If they allow someone to take their car without proper verification, they may face financial loss or trouble.
For instance, if someone committed a crime using a rental car. The rental car company will be in trouble if they rent a car without proper investigation.
3) Proper Rental Administration
Rental car companies hire experienced Admins for high-quality administration.
With proper administration, the rental car business becomes more effective and efficient, and owners feel more secure and peaceful. When there is poor administration in the business, there are high chances of legal issues, damaged company reputation, and decreased profits.
Furthermore, companies integrated and comprehensive systems to track transactions and risks easily.
4) Car Tracking Devices
Information technology is helpful to many businesses. Rental car companies have employed high-end technologies, such as car tracking devices and GPS trackers to monitor their rental cars.
Companies use fleet management solutions to keep tabs on their vehicles remotely. A software platform known as a fleet management system enables managers to track and oversee technicians and vehicles.
These systems can assist with business planning, real-time insights, analytics, and keeping track of important performance data.
With this software, rental car companies can quickly take legal action whenever there is an agreement violation or theft.
5) Limiting High-risk Customers
Some rental car companies don’t allow those under 30 and above 70 to rent a car. The reason is simple people under 30 have less physical and emotional maturity. People above 70 have decreased motor skills and physical weakness.
Moreover, rental car companies establish a rule requiring advance payment from consumers with bad credit to prevent future issues. They offer a process for the early detection of bad credit risks.
Keep in mind, age plays a crucial role in car rental and insurance policies. Older drivers are more prone to fatal accidents, and their rental policies may require additional fees or age restrictions.
Similarly, younger drivers have age restrictions and need to pay higher fees due to the perception of them being high-risk drivers.
However, some ways can help avoid such fees, such as an AAA membership available for American residents, which offers several benefits, including waiving the underage fee.
When renting a car, insurance policies must also be considered. As the cost of rental car insurance is determined by several criteria, including the driver’s age and gender.
Therefore, it is essential to read the rental policies and understand the insurance coverage before renting a car.
Thank you for reading.