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How To Avoid Under Age Driver Fees On Car Rentals

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

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