Whether you’re sightseeing on a break from classes, or living in Los Angeles while you attend college, renting a car is essential for getting around. Los Angeles’s boulevards and highways are best explored in the comfort of an air-conditioned car. However, finding a good rental can be hard if you’re college age. Find out more about student car rental with our handy guide.
Can I Get a Student Car Rental if I’m Under 25?
Many corporate rental agencies have strict policies on who they can rent to. In many cases, you need to be at least 25 years old to rent a car. This keeps the rental company’s insurance rates down and minimizes their risk when renting. However, there isn’t a law that says you have to be 25. In most states, you can legally rent a car once you reach the age of 18. Independent rental companies that specialize in debit card rentals and student car rentals are usually your best bet.
Be prepared to pay a higher deposit if you’re a young renter. The terms and conditions for your rental car may be different than a standard agreement if you’re under the age of 25. Depending on the rental agency, you may have a limited vehicle selection as well. You should expect to rent an economy car instead of a luxury vehicle in any case.
How Do I Rent A Car?
Whether you’re 18 or 90, you still need to meet a few basic qualifications to rent a car. A passport or ID is always required if you’re renting in the United States. This is both to confirm your identity, and ensure you have a valid vehicle operator’s license. If you’re renting from a corporate rental chain, you’ll have to provide a credit card. The rental company will place a hold on that card for your deposit amount. Whether you rent a car with credit or debit, you’ll have to leave a deposit.
Some independent rental agencies offer cash car rentals. It’s not uncommon for cash rentals to require a higher cash deposit than a credit card. A credit card is the best way for the rental agency to guarantee they’ll be paid for their services and any damage to the car. Some credit cards also provide added insurance if you’re renting a car. Be sure check your card’s benefits before your next trip.
Rental Car Features
Once you have your identification and deposit in order, you can pick out your car. Many rental companies organize cars by class. However, class designations and features get confusing quickly. Here are a few things you should look out for:
While most cars on the road today have an automatic transmission, it’s not unusual to see manual transmission vehicles at a car rental agency. Make sure your car has an automatic transmission if you don’t know how to operate a manual. Improper use of a manual transmission can damage the car and be very costly to repair.
Do you plan on driving a lot? While it doesn’t change your rental rate, poor gas mileage can cut into any budget. Small economy cars tend to have the best gas mileage. If fuel economy is a serious concern, rent a hybrid vehicle. These conserve gas by running your car fully or partially on battery power.
Are you traveling by yourself or with your friends? It can get cramped very quickly in a small sedan if there’s more than 2 people traveling with all their things. Consider renting a larger SUV with more legroom and seating for larger parities. This will make group trips more relaxed and fun.
Rental policies are rules about how you’re supposed to drive and return the vehicle. Not following these rules can result in fees or surcharges that get taken from your deposit. Make sure to fill your gas tank before you return your vehicle. Ask if your policy has a mileage limit. It’s common for rental cars to have a set number of miles you can drive per day. Any miles driven over that amount are charged at a set rate.
When it’s time to return the car, make sure it’s clean and ready to be inspected by a rental agent. There might be a set drop-off location or a key-drop if you’re returning the car after hours. It’s a good idea to double check with your rental company if you have any questions.
Student Car Rental With Value Rental Car
At Value Rental Car we want to help you get to your destination quickly and safely. We offer clean and affordable rental cars for local driving in LA, with complimentary pickup and drop off at LAX. If you’re a college student, we want to help you get on the road. We rent to drivers under the age of 21, and we offer cash and debit card car rentals. Check out some of our other articles to learn more about how car rental works.