The question of how old you need to be to hire a car in Australia isn’t as simple as it might first seem. It’s important to know that different rental companies have different policies, and some of these can vary from state to state. This includes the type of car you hire, the driver’s licence you require, as well as your age.
How old do I have to be to rent a car in Australia?
Legally, you must be at least 21 years old to rent a car in Australia. However, you need to have held a full Australian driver’s licence for at least 12 months to prove that you are an experienced driver. You must also be able to provide your own full Australian insurance. This can be provided by an overseas-based insurance company or purchased locally (just like when you hire cars in the U.S.).
Furthermore, you must also have a credit card with sufficient funds on it to pay the rental fee and any extra charges incurred during the rental period. Some car rental companies may accept other forms of payment but will usually charge you extra fees. Note: While the legal age to rent a car is 21, some rental providers enforce a minimum age of 25.
What licence do I need?
To hire a car in Australia, you must hold at least a valid overseas driving licence or an international driving permit. Your Australian state’s Department of Transport will be able to tell you what kind of licence is required for your specific location.
Do all rental companies charge the same for young or older drivers?
One of the unfortunate facts of hiring a car as a young driver in Australia (age 21 – 24) is that you’ll have to pay more than drivers over the age of 25. Rental companies impose a ‘young driver surcharge’, which is an additional fee typically applied daily. As such, it can increase the total cost of a rental.
The reasoning behind this is the basic theory that younger drivers are involved in more accidents, so the additional cost is there to cover the likelihood of damage to the car.
How does Australia compare with other countries?
Australia is not the only country with age restrictions, licence requirements and varying pricing structures for car hire. It isn’t even the most stringent or expensive when it comes to car hire – the United States has different rules for each state and prices vary considerably too. Most countries, however, have a minimum age requirement of 18, although again, the decision is down to the individual rental agency. Similar to Australia, in the UK, the minimum legal age is 21, but some companies require drivers to be at least 25.
What’s the maximum age for hiring a car?
There is no maximum age to hire a car in Australia, but some rental providers request that drivers over the age of 75 provide a medical certificate to prove they are fit to drive. Some rental providers will refuse a rental if they don’t think the driver will be safe on the road or is at risk of putting others in danger.
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