A car is a necessity and the decision on whether to buy or rent one may not be easy to make. Some people for reasons like not having enough money to buy a car, the desire to ride a new car model without buying, the ease with which they can upgrade from one car to the other as decided to rent a car.
Car rentals could be for weekend getaways, trips, occasions, or vacations and a car rental can be for the short or long term.
Keeping a car for a long period is considered the better option because you get to save costs as rental companies often give discounts for longer contract periods.
In as much as renting a car seem like a good option for a weekend getaway, for instance, you might not be able to rent one using your credit card due to some reasons, therefore, requiring someone to help you out using their credit card.
Good idea, it may seem, but is it possible and legal to rent a car for someone using my credit card? Can I rent a car for someone else using my credit card?
No, you can’t rent a car for someone else using your credit card. The car rental involves signing a legal document that requires your signature and other verification processes which can’t be done when you’re standing in for someone. However, renting a car for someone else isn’t completely impossible as there are ways to make it happen.
Qualifications for Renting a Car
The decision to rent a car is not something you wake up and decide to do, there are requirements you have to meet and ensure to put in place before you approach a rental company.
Requirements to rent a car vary from state to state, therefore it is important that you check out what works in your state.
Here, we’ll walk through some qualifications for renting a car;
1. Have a Minimum Age of 21 or 25
In renting a car, age is an important factor as no rental company will rent out a car to a person underage.
Depending on the state, a minimum age of 25years is required to be qualified to rent a car while someone below that age but not less than 21years of age is required to pay a young driver’s fee, varying by rental location.
For others, however, the flat minimum is 21years.
2. Have a Driver’s License (Local or International)
At the time of rental, a driver’s license issued by the state which will be valid through the rental period is expected to be presented by the renter, and in the case where there’s an additional driver, an additional license will be provided.
A renter that isn’t resident in the state in which the rental will take place should provide a driver’s license issued by the state of residence which will be valid through the rental period.
The renter may also be required to provide a visa, passport as proof to show that he will be present in the state through the rental period
3. A Means of Payment
To qualify for a rental, the renter must present either a prepaid debit card, debit, or credit card, however, the easiest to use of all this is the credit card as it doesn’t require lengthy insurance verification to process the rental.
The credit card and driver’s license must have the same name and signature for it to be accepted. Ensure that the card is a readable microchip.
4. A Comprehensive Coverage for the Car
A damaged or loss to the car whether it was caused by an accident, vandalism, fire, or any other cause is the full responsibility of the renter.
The renter is liable for any damage and is therefore required to have a comprehensive and verifiable way of covering the car damage in the event that any of the aforementioned damages occur.
Since the renter provides a credit card at the time of rental, the most common method of coverage is through the car rental damage benefits provided by a credit card issuer or the renter’s business insurance policy.
Can I Rent a Car for Someone Else Using My Credit Card?
No, you can’t rent a car for someone else using your credit card, however, there are instances where you can be allowed to.
For good reasons rental companies do not accept renting a car for someone else, as they need to be able to hold someone accountable in case of any eventualities plus the need to verify the renter’s identity and the signature to be appended on the contract.
If the need to rent for someone can’t be helped like in the case of a business owner renting for the staff, there’s often time an option to add the other person on the contract as “additional driver”.
To do this, the person added must also meet some requirements like; a valid driver’s license, be of age. In the event of an additional driver, the person paying is still the primary renter and therefore liable for the car’s condition.
It is important to note that not all rental company gives the option for an additional driver, and those that do most likely will charge an extra fee.
Which Car Rental Company Allow Renting a Car for Someone Else?
It has been established that not all car rental companies allow you to rent a car for someone else, but there are a few that still do.
Some of them are mentioned below to help you make an informed decision:
Thrifty Car Rental
According to its name, it has some of the lowest prices in the industry. They afford customers the opportunity to fill in their details such as; name, booking information through the online check- system before pick up at the office to aid seamless processing. Customer service isn’t too good here though.
Also, offer some of the best and cheapest prices in the industry. Coupled with having the cheapest prices they give up to 35% discounts if you pay immediately after the reservation is made.
You get a wide range of vehicles to choose from with them. However, what they have at prices is lacking in their customer service.
Is quite common among millennials. If good customer service is something you look out for then you should consider them and they are not really big on the distance you travel on the car.
Avis Car Rental
Can be said to be the most expensive car rental company, however, the prices might be reduced by discount codes, promotions, rebates available to customers.
You just need to have your eyes peeled for when they come up. It is mostly suitable for small businesses who can get up to 30% discount.
Enterprise Rent- a- Car
They are also expensive but nothing compared to Avis, however, you can save cost if you can get past all the additional charges the company relies on to make extra profit. The good thing about Enterprise is that you can rent an exotic car for special occasions.
Dollar offers a wide range of vehicles for its customer to choose from, there is a vehicle for every occasion. They also have one of the rates in the industry, the rate to be charged depends largely on your location.
Disadvantages of Renting a Car for Someone Using Your Credit Card
Before you go ahead with renting a car for someone, you should know that as the “primary driver” all the good, bad, and ugly that comes with it falls on you.
Here are some potential pitfalls
- You Bear the Cost of all Damages: At the time of rental, the person paying with the credit card is the “Primary Driver”. The primary driver is liable to pay the cost of any damages to the car during the rental period even if the damage was caused by the additional driver.
- Extra Charges: You will be required by the rental company to pay an extra fee if you want an additional driver. Oftentimes, this extra fee is paid by the primary driver.
The policies and laws regarding additional drivers vary from company to company and state to state. For some companies, if your spouse is to be the additional driver no extra fee will be paid.
The additional driver in some situations may be required to pay the additional fee. The legal agreement signed at the time of rental is binding on all the parties involved, and it also protects both parties i.e. the rental company and you.