GetaroundRelayRidesUnder Age Driver Fee

How To Avoid Under Age Driver Fees On Car Rentals

By November 6, 2012 January 5th, 2015 45 Comments

Under Age Driver Fee Discount

Although this post doesn’t pertain to 99% of you over the age of 25, there still might be some useful information on how to get car rental discounts via USAA.

While buying an Airline Ticket is pretty straight forward, for the life of me, I am still pretty confused how Car Rentals work. This is even worse if you are under the age of 25 (I’m currently 24 years and 10 months), since Car Rental Agencies will add an annoying “Under Age Driver Fee”, which can be upwards of $25 a day.

While occasionally Hertz or other companies will offer coupons to waive the Under Age Driver Fee, the most reliable solution I have found is to simply join USAA, which is free.

For those of you not familiar with USAA (Wikipedia), it stands for United States (Army) Automobile Association, and primarily serves military personnel, although you can join USAA regardless if you are a member of the military. I personally joined without issue and have no military affiliation.

By joining USAA, you are then eligible for all their car rental discounts including a WAIVED Under Age Driver Fee for Hertz, Enterprise, Budget, and Avis!

I have rented a car from Budget 3 times now using this USAA discount and it has saved me quite a bit of money on Under Age Driver Fees!

You don’t need to sign up for any USAA financial services or products to be a member of USAA. All you have to do is simply create a User Name and that is it. I was expecting to get some spam from them encouraging me to sign up for some of their financial products, but I have not received a single thing from them!

How To Get The USAA Car Rental Discount

1. Sign Up For USAA

To sign up for USAA, you can either go to www.USAA.com, or use the link below and follow all the instructions.

Link To USAA

2. Log Into USAA

Once you have signed up for USAA, simply log back into USAA.com and then either search for “Car Rental Discounts’, or just click this link and scroll down you should see the image below. If you don’t log-in first, you won’t see the page below.

As you can see, all 4 major Car Rental companies waive their “Under Age Driver” fees as long as you are a USAA member. Additionally, you get up to a 25% discount for being an USAA member, as well as no additional driver fees.

3. Click On Company

To book with any of the Companies, at the top under each Companies logo, you will see a link for “Rent Now”. Simply click on the Company you would like to use and it will take you to their website and pre-enter the discount code for you.

4. Price Out Your Car

Once you are at the Companies website, you can go ahead and choose your car.

5. Cross Check Prices

Typically, when I am renting a car via USAA, I open up all 4 Companies and check their prices to make sure I am getting the best deal. Typically they are all about the same, give or take a few dollars.

If you are above 25 and not impacted by Under Age Driver Fees, I’d suggest also doing a quick Kayak.com search to see if the prices via USAA are cheaper than normal.

Things To Note

Although you are a member of USAA, they don’t send you a USAA Membership Card or anything like that. I have never had any issues with having to show any proof of affiliation with USAA when I have rented a car.

Another Cheaper / Better Option

While using the USAA membership will help you waive the underage driver fee, the regular rates of renting a car can still be a bit expensive.

Another option that you can use to avoid paying an underage driver fee and get a better car rental deal, is to use car sharing companies like RelayRides or Getaround.

With both companies, you basically “rent a car” from people in your neighborhood who aren’t using their cars. Many times, you can even rent the cars directly from the airport!

With Getaround, full insurance coverage is included in the price. While for RelayRides, full insurance coverage is only $10 more!

As I said earlier there is no underage driver fee for either services. For RelayRides, you can use their service as long as you are 21 and above. For Getaround, you can rent if you are 19 or above.

As you will see below, typically you can get a far better type of car for the same price you would spend at an actual car rental agency.

For example, I am going to San Francisco next week and wanted to rent a car to go out to Napa.

If I went thru a car rental agency, the cheapest option was $43 a day from Advantage and I’d get a basic Nissan Versa, plus I’d be subjected to an underage driver fee (unless I used USAA).

However by searching RelayRides and Getaround, I was able to book a Toyota Prius on RelayRides for only $38 a day!

Not only is it a far better car but it is also cheaper and there is no underage driver fee!

If you are renting a car, I’d highly suggest checking out these car sharing programs because honestly it is a far better deal than renting a car from a car rental agency.

For RelayRides, you get $10 off your first car rental. While for Getaround, if you search “Getaround Coupon”, you can typically find codes for up to $25 off!

Recap

Although renting a car can be extremely annoying and expensive, with USAA and car sharing programs like RelayRides and Getaround, you can avoid many of the unnecessary fees that come with being under 25.

These fee waivers and car sharing programs will save you upwards of $25 a day, which is substantial given that it typically costs $25 a day to rent a car.

If anyone uses these tips, please feel free to comment below on your experiences using either USAA or car sharing!

If this tip saved you money, please consider following me on Facebook or Twitter for even more savings!

-Parag

Don’t ever miss another FFU Update or Travel Deal!

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45 Comments

  • Jorge says:

    You just saved me a ton of money! Thanks!

  • louise says:

    Hi, can I sign up to this if I'm not a US citizen? Im from the UK and looking to do a road trip next year, I am 25 next year, but if I wanted to go before my birthday could I sign up at get the discount too?

  • person says:

    you are awesome. god bless you and America

  • tony says:

    will there be any consequences if i join usaa but am not in the military/navy/air force etc?

  • Frequent Flyer University says:

    @Louise – Yes you can sign up.

    @Tony – No, you are fine. USAA isn't related to the government or military. Anyone can join.

  • pat says:

    I can't sign up since I'm from Germany and I don't have a Social Security number oder a Tax number. Is there any other way?

  • nri says:

    Thanks very much for the post Parag. Can you also explain if we need to buy Loss and Damage waiver if we book using USAA membership. Thanks Again!

  • Frequent Flyer University says:

    @Pat – I am not sure but most likely not. You can try calling USAA and see if there is another way.

    @Nri – That is a personal choice. I typically opt against it because my Credit Card covers me but it is up to you.

  • jack says:

    Hi, they ask you for your social security number? is that really necessary? i feel iffy about submitting my social security number

  • Frequent Flyer University says:

    @Jack – I mean it is a financial institution, so they might be required by law to ask for it. I gave mine. There wasn't any Credit Check or anything.

  • Chad says:

    I encouraged a friend of mine to apply after reading this. However, after providing all personal information, the screen went blank, and she could not get back in. Concerned, she made a phone call. She was asked about military connections, and as there were none, the representative asked how she thought she would be eligible.

    When questioned why such personal information is collected before finding out if an individual qualifies in the first place, they had no response, and simply an assurance that the personal information that was provided (which indeed went through) would be "deleted."

    Unsettling.

  • Frequent Flyer University says:

    @Chad – Given that USAA doesn't ask for any military information on their website when you sign up, anyone should be able to sign up. Even as a USAA member, I have never received any spam from them for anything, so your friend's information should be safe.

  • Matt says:

    Thanks, you are great!!!! I wish I found your site a night earlier, so that I could use coupon on my rental

  • Julia says:

    Thanks for the advice, I just sigmed up. I dont know why others had issues. They asked my association to the military, I marked no to all options, but it still let me sign up.

  • Frequent Flyer University says:

    @Julia – Glad it worked for you!

  • Christina says:

    Thank you thank you thank you!! I'm 24 and this really saved me some money!

  • :D says:

    Thanks!! 😀

  • Hashi says:

    Thank you soo much for this helpful article! I'm also 24 and planning on taking a trip to Canada this summer you save me a lot! your a wonderful person! Cheers =)

  • Jared says:

    Is there away to get a membership card? When I was on the phone with Avis they said to show the card at pickup.

  • Frequent Flyer University says:

    @Hashi – No problem!

    @Jared – I have used it before and they haven't asked to see an ID. Haven't heard anyone having issue with showing an ID in the past since USAA doesn't issue IDs. I always keep my USAA number in my phone, but that is about it.

  • Vaibhav says:

    Thanks a lot … I cant imagine how you came acrooss this..I need a car for 3 months exactly at the end of which I turn 25. You can imagine my plight. You have been a big help.

  • Carla says:

    HELLO, i am wondering if i can sign up even though i am not from the USA? .. i am a canadian citizen

  • Rose says:

    You are a saint! Thank you! I wish I had known about this for my last trip.

  • Bailor says:

    USAA stands for United States Automobile Association, NOT "United States (ARMY) Automobile Association"

  • Russell says:

    I guess my question is pretty simple but can I sign up with USAA just to be a member and not bank with them? Is there some kind of commitment that I dont know about? I guess Im just worried about that kind of stuff. Please let me know!

  • Frequent Flyer University says:

    @Rose – No problem!

    @Bailor – That is what it was originally called in 1924. Now it is called United Services Automobile Association.

    @Russell – Yes, you can sign up with them without having to bank with them. I don't bank or do anything with them. No commitment.

  • julia says:

    thanks you saved my wallet for being a underage driver! xo

  • chris d says:

    I can tell you all right now I am a member of USAA have been for about 3 years now and they are amazing always hel[pful affordable the support is top notch and have saved me from unnecessary fees, sadly I never knew of this and have suffered the wrath of the fees lol isnt that hilarious oh well you live and you learn right. Now I just need a credit card -_-

  • kyle G says:

    Hey thanks for the great advice appreciate it!

  • 69suarez says:

    thanks for writing this :-). stumbled upon this page via a google search and you saved me $150 in fees with Hertz.

    a big thank you to you, parag (and usaa!)

  • 69suarez says:

    also fyi, for all of you who encountered a blank screen after submitting your info on the usaa site, the same thing happened to me in chrome. i tried to sign up again using ie and there was no problem.

  • […] In order to travel around State College, it is probably the best to own a car. If you don’t want to buy a card, there are some car rental companies in State College and you can also use ZIP car. If you are under 25 years old, car rental is rather expansive because you need to pay an additional “under age fee”. There are a few ways to get around this that are explained here. […]

  • Tomas says:

    Hi, can I use this option for rent a car in Canada? I am also from Czech republic and I am planning vacation there. Thanks for your advice.

  • Thomas says:

    Just to be clear. I have applied for a USAA membership. I have a membership now. Im from the Netherlands. Im 23 years old. And if i want to rent a car in Los angeles for 3 weeks i don’t have to pay underage fee? And no hidden costs at the desk?

    • Marc Tuinier says:

      Hello Thomas, can you explain how you’ve received a membership if you don’t have a tax id? (Ik kom ook uit Nederland)

  • AM says:

    You’re a life saver!!! thanks so much 🙂

  • kemi says:

    Hi Thomas, i noticed you said you are from the Netherlands, how did you get around the social security/Tax ID number situations? I am from the UK so i don’t have any of that.
    What did you do????

    • Marc says:

      Hi kemi, I just got off the phone with USAA and they told me that as long as you have your passport number at hand you don’t need to fill in your SSN or TAX ID. I haven’t tried it out, but I will as soon as I have my passport!

      • Nick says:

        I’m also from the UK looking to do a rental in California in March, and tried to sign up but couldn’t. Used 9000000 as my tax ID and then it asked for my military connections.

        Marc, let us know how you get on with using your passport number. Thanks

  • Petra M says:

    Hi, first what an awesome site. Thanks for the information! I’ve got a question. I’m from the Netherlands. And if I want to sign up for USAA, they ask for an adress (from the US or US territory). Obviously I don’t have an adress in the US. Is it possible to fill in a random adress (maybe a wallmart or something)? And I read that it was possible to use your passport number instead of an SSN or TAX ID. How can I do that?
    Thank you!

    (Sorry, this comment got placed twice)

  • BC says:

    Can anyone help me? It said I was not allowed to create a USAA account, can anyone help me with this?

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