Since more seniors are traveling now than they ever have in the past, the travel agency is responding by offering senior travel discounts. Although, this is a great incentive for senior citizens to travel, there are still a few places in the world where being older can be a hassle. A rental car company can be one of these places. Some rental car locations in Europe, Africa and in the South Pacific have age restrictions on their rentals. Not knowing this when they start their travels, some seniors find themselves stranded without transportation in a foreign country simply because they are too old to drive a rental car.
How can rental car companies get away with this? Insurance companies will mandate the maximum age for renting cars with the cutoff usually being 70 or 75. If an elderly customer has an accident in a rental, the insurance company will increase their rates for the rental company. These rates will not increase if the rental company refuses service to customers above a certain age. Since every rental car company has a different insurance provider, it is very important that you ask about age restrictions at the time you reserve your car. This is the only way to be sure that you will be allowed to drive off the lot in your rental. This rule about having to be under a certain age to rent a car has not become more rigid, but with the increased number of traveling seniors, more problems have occurred. Everyone knows there is a minimum age requirement for renting a car. Very few people even know about the maximum age requirement.
Going with a major car rental company will not help you avoid the problem of the age requirements. Here are a few tips to help you find your rental car no matter how old or young you are.
- Shop around. Even though one company might have an age restriction, it does not mean another company in the same city will have the same restrictions.
- Get Insurance. Some areas will allow older drivers to rent cars if they can provide their own insurance policy that will cover them and the car.
- Do Not Count on the Web. Not all companies will post age restrictions on their websites where it is easy to see. If you are 70 or older, be certain of the restrictions by calling the rental company and ask about their policy in the area that you are traveling.
Now, let us talk about those senior citizen discounts. The key to saving money is to shop carefully to get the best deal. Do your homework before you make a final decision on where to rent. Keep in mind that prices will often depend on the length of the rental, day of the week and the time of day and location. So, even if you qualify for senior citizen discounts on your rental car, it might still get expensive depending on when, where and what time you pick up or drop off your rental car.
To ensure that you are getting the best deal and you are taking advantage of your discount, check out ongoing promotions for senior citizens. There are many rental companies that offer percentage off discounts or special rates for senior citizens that are above a certain age. Last minute deals can always be found online through an online search for major car rental companies. The yellow pages can be a good way to find a discount. Call around to different companies that you find here and check their daily and weekly rates. Travel agencies can offer discounts and special rates that may be unadvertised. Some companies offer a 50% discount on the weekends. If you are an AAA or AARP member, check for member discounts. Lastly, join a free membership through a car rental company and you can receive club member discounts along with other perks such as airline miles or a free car rental.