Can I Rent a Car for Someone Else? Unraveling Rental Car Policies

PUBLISHED ON Feb, 01 2024


Can I rent a car for someone else? Yes, you can, but understanding the rules is key. This article guides you through rental car policies to ensure you can securely manage a rental for another person, while outlining responsibilities, insurance considerations, and providing actionable options for completing the transaction smoothly.

Key Takeaways

  • The primary renter is solely responsible for the vehicle and ensuring all additional drivers meet the rental agreement terms, including age and valid driver’s license requirements.
  • While you can rent a car online for another person, the actual primary driver must still be present to pick up the vehicle, and their information and payment details are needed to complete the rental process.
  • Insurance coverage can become complex when renting for someone else, as credit cards offering rental protection usually require the primary renter to decline additional insurance from the rental company, and personal insurance may not cover unauthorized or additional drivers.

Understanding Rental Car Agreements: Who Can Drive?

Renting a car comes with a certain level of responsibility. The primary renter, the person who makes the booking, is responsible for ensuring that all drivers meet the rental agreement requirements, including age and valid driver’s license. Additional drivers can also be authorized to drive the rented vehicle, provided they meet the same requirements.

Interestingly, a spouse or domestic partner can be added as an authorized additional driver without extra charges, as long as they meet the necessary requirements. However, it’s worth noting that even when additional drivers are authorized, the primary renter remains the main driver responsible for the vehicle.

Grasping the details of the rental agreement is paramount when you rent a car. It ensures you know:

  • who can drive
  • what the terms and conditions are
  • what the insurance coverage includes
  • what the penalties are for late returns or damages

This knowledge helps you avoid any potential issues with the rental car company and ultimately protects you from unnecessary liability.

The Role of the Primary Driver in Car Rentals

The primary driver plays a key role in car rentals. They assume all liability and responsibility for the rental vehicle, even when additional drivers are authorized to drive the car. They are responsible for tasks such as picking up the car, signing the rental agreement, and using their credit card for the security deposit.

Maintaining open communication between the primary renter and additional driver(s) is pivotal to manage responsibilities like fuel policy and additional costs such as tolls efficiently. Both the primary renter and the additional driver should fully understand the rental agreement to ensure a smooth rental experience.

In conclusion, the primary driver shoulders all the responsibility in car rentals. They must understand their role and the implications of their actions, especially when they rent a car for someone else.

Adding an Extra Driver: Fees and Procedures

Adding an extra driver to your car rental agreement is a common scenario, especially for long road trips. However, this process involves certain fees and procedures. Additional drivers must meet specific criteria such as age requirements and must appear at the rental counter with the primary renter presenting a valid driver’s license.

There is a daily additional driver fee which can vary by company and state. Some companies like Sixt charge for all additional drivers, including spouses. Nonetheless, loyalty programs such as Hertz Gold Plus Rewards® might permit the inclusion of spouses or domestic partners free of charge.

An additional driver can be added at the rental location either at the start or in the middle of a rental contract. Changes require both the primary renter and the additional driver to be present, and fees are calculated based on the period the additional driver is listed on the rental. Rental car companies may also perform driver record checks for disqualifying factors.

Renting a Car Online for Another Person

Renting a car online

Renting a car online

Renting a car online for someone else can be a convenient way to arrange transportation for people who cannot do it themselves. However, this process requires you to provide their information and credit or debit card details. Credit cards are usually needed to rent a car because rental companies charge the deposit amount up front and prefer the ease of refunding it later.

When making an online reservation for a car rental for someone else, you must provide their full name, email address, phone number, and preferences such as vehicle size and additional services. However, even though you can make an online car rental reservation in another person’s name, the person making the reservation cannot pick up the vehicle if they are not the one driving.

In spite of the possibility of renting a car online for another person, one must not forget the necessity for the primary driver to be present during vehicle pick-up.

Insurance Implications When Renting for Someone Else

Car rental insurance is a crucial factor to consider when renting a car for someone else. The primary renter’s insurance coverage is often contingent upon using a credit card that offers rental car protection to complete the transaction. Many credit cards require the primary renter to decline the rental company’s Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) to activate the card’s insurance coverage.

However, when the person behind the wheel is different from the individual named in the rental agreement, insurance complexity and liability issues can arise, potentially complicating claims. Personal auto insurance coverage may extend to rental cars for the policyholder, but not necessarily for additional drivers not listed on the policy.

If an unauthorized driver causes an accident, the primary renter’s insurance may not cover the damages, leading to full liability for the renter. Consequently, comprehending the insurance implications when renting for someone else is vital to sidestep financial liabilities and guarantee appropriate coverage.

To avoid situations in which you must pay for the consequences derived from an accident, at CarInsuRent we offer you the possibility of taking out very affordable insurance, which covers vehicles in all types of situations, both on national and international routes.

Our insurance is specially designed for rental services, which is why it covers you in the following cases:

  • Damage due to collision or vehicle theft
  • Theft of personal items
  • Vehicle delivery charges
  • Fuel errors

In these cases, and many more, the Rental Car Excess Insurance policy takes care of the payment up to a limit, which will depend on the policy contracted.

See How Much You Can Save on Your Car Rental Insurance

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Business Solutions: Renting Cars for Employees

Car rental business

Car rental business

For businesses that often require their employees to travel, renting cars can be a regular need. Business rental accounts, offered by rental agencies, provide the following benefits:

  • Streamline transportation solutions
  • Offer affordable alternatives to mileage reimbursement programs
  • Provide contracted corporate rates that are consistent across all company locations
  • Offer benefits like vehicle upgrades at no extra cost

Loyalty programs within business rental programs can offer benefits such as expedited service, special vehicle access, and rewards for free rental days. Travel management tools in business rental programs aid in cost analysis and policy compliance, easing the process of renting cars for business trips.

Furthermore, businesses can facilitate their employees’ use of rental cars by eliminating additional driver fees through corporate contracts or utilizing business rental accounts. This means that companies have numerous options to efficiently handle the process of renting cars for their employees.

Gift Cards and Prepayments: Alternative Ways to Provide a Rental

Gift cards and prepayment options are alternative ways to provide a rental car for someone else. These options allow the recipient to make their own reservation and pick up the vehicle.

Car rental companies offer prepayment options that allow individuals to pay in advance for a reservation, often with a discount applied. Prepayment availability may vary and is subject to location and timing restrictions; an advance reservation is generally required to utilize prepayment among various rental car companies.

Hence, if you aim to provide a rental car for another person, pondering over gift cards and prepayments might present a practical and adaptable solution.

Navigating Age Restrictions and Driver Requirements

Age restrictions and driver requirements are important factors to consider when renting a car. In the United States, the general minimum age requirement for renting a car is 20 to 21 years old, depending on the rental company.

Renters under the age of 25 may be subject to an additional young driver’s surcharge by the car rental company. Furthermore, rental car companies verify the driving records of renters to ensure their licenses are in good standing and without a problematic driving history.

Additional drivers have to meet the same criteria as the primary driver, specifically in terms of age and possessing a valid driver’s license. Hence, appreciating these restrictions and requirements is crucial when you intend to rent a car for someone else.


Renting a car for someone else involves navigating complex rules and regulations. From understanding who can drive the vehicle and the role of the primary driver to dealing with insurance implications, it’s crucial to understand the rental agreement thoroughly.

We’ve also explored alternatives such as gift cards and prepayments, business solutions for companies needing to rent cars for employees, and the importance of understanding age restrictions and driver requirements. With all these insights, you’re now equipped to navigate the intricacies of car rental policies confidently.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I rent a car for someone else?

Yes, you can rent a car for someone else, but the primary driver must be present to pick up the vehicle.

Can an additional driver be added to the rental agreement?

Yes, additional drivers can be added to the rental agreement as long as they meet specific requirements.

What are the insurance implications when renting for someone else?

If the person driving the rental car is not the same as the individual named in the rental agreement, insurance complexities and liability issues can arise. It’s important to clarify the insurance implications with the rental company.

Are there alternative ways to provide a rental car for someone else?

Yes, you can use gift cards or prepayments to provide a rental car for someone else. This can offer flexibility and convenience for the recipient.

Are there age restrictions when renting a car?

Yes, rental car companies generally require renters to be at least 20 to 21 years old, but it varies depending on the company.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I buy a plan for just one day?

Yes. Insurance for a single day is available.

Can I buy a plan for part of my rental only?

No. We provide a single journey plan. You are covered from the time you pick up the rental car up to the time you return it or on the last date written on your Certificate of Insurance, whichever comes first.

Can I buy a plan when I pick up my rental car?

No. You should purchase a policy before starting your travel.

Find the answers you’re looking for to the most frequently asked car hire insurance questions as well as other questions relating to our products and services.

Visit the FAQ page