The Definitive Guide to Car Rental Additional Driver Fees

Free Spouses & Partners, Typical Fees, Applicable State Laws, and More

How much are car rental additional driver fees

At a glance:

Additional drivers, whether free or not, must meet the car rental company's rental requirements, including minimum age, credit card, and other qualifications.

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Accurate information about car rental additional driver fees can be somewhat hard to come by.  Much of it is outdated, lacking sources, or otherwise of dubious credibility.  This article brings clarity to the matter, with a focus on definitively answering such questions as:

– Which companies waive car rental additional driver fees for spouses and domestic partners (either same or opposite sex)?

– How much is a typical car rental additional driver fee?

– What happens if I don’t pay the fee but still allow someone else to drive and an accident occurs?

– Which states prohibit car rental companies from charging fees for additional drivers, or limit the fee amount?

Find answers to these questions and more in the car rental additional driver fee FAQ; check out some tips on renting a car with an additional driver; see state laws that prohibit or limit car rental additional driver fees; browse additional driver policies by car rental company; or learn about some other ways to avoid additional driver fees when you rent a car.x

The information on this page applies to domestic car rentals in the US and Canada.  In addition to exceptions for spouses and the other additional driver fee waivers discussed below, all car rental companies allow one free additional driver for mobility-impaired customers, as long as the additional driver meets the rental location’s requirements to rent a vehicle.

Disclosure: some of the companies listed below are advertisers on TheFlightExpert.com.  Our credibility is of utmost importance to us; we do not and never will allow any financial relationship to influence the accuracy, reliability, and truthfulness of the information we provide to our readers.  Read more on our advertising policy here

READ THIS: Essential Information About Renting a Car with an Additional Driver

  • Additional drivers, whether free or not, must meet the car rental company's rental requirements, including minimum age, credit card, and other qualifications.
  • If you fail to pay a required additional driver fee and there is an accident, it could cost you a LOT of money.  Pay the fee when required, or use one of the ideas for additional driver fee waivers in this article.
  • It's often cheaper to rent from a company that waives the additional driver fee for spouses, domestic partners, or other additional drivers, even if the rental rate is higher than other companies. See which companies do this in the FAQ.
  • State law and company policies can change at any time.  This article contains useful links and information you can use to check applicable state laws and rental company policies before you rent a car, which is strongly recommended.
  • Terms vary widely by location and between corporate and franchise offices - to avoid problems, always check terms, conditions, and fees directly with the location where you will be renting.
  • When renting in California, Iowa, Nevada, and other states with specific laws regarding car rental, print the applicable law and take it with you when you pick up the vehicle.
  • When renting from a company that allows spouses to be added as additional drivers automatically, free, or both, print the applicable company policy and take it with you.  This article contains links to such policies wherever possible.
  • In order to receive an additional driver fee waiver for businesses and organizations, the reservation generally must include the business or organization discount code.
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Car Rental Additional Driver Fee FAQ

Q: Which car rental companies waive additional driver fees for spouses and domestic partners (either same or opposite sex)?
A: Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Fox, and Silvercar.

Q: Are there any car rental companies that don’t charge for additional drivers?
A: Yes. Silvercar.

Q: What is a typical fee for additional drivers on car rentals?
A: Expect to pay around $10-$15 per day per additional driver with most rental companies.  Here’s a breakdown of each car rental company’s additional driver policy and fees.

Q: What happens if I don’t pay the fee but still allow someone else to drive and an accident occurs?
A: You and the additional driver will be liable for damages from the accident.  You will likely be held responsible for damage to the rental vehicle even if the accident wasn’t the additional driver’s fault.  Even if the additional driver is your spouse and on the same auto insurance policy as you, you may be only partially covered or not covered at all, depending on the policy, the terms of the rental agreement you signed, and applicable state laws.

Never skip paying the additional driver fee if it’s required and you intend to have someone else help with the driving. It may be cheaper in the long run to rent from a company that includes spouses as free additional drivers as opposed to paying $10 per day or more – especially if you’re renting for more than a day or two.

Q: Why do car rental companies charge fees for additional drivers?
A: Simply put, statistics.  Rental vehicles with more than one driver are involved in a greater number of accidents and have a higher incidence of vehicle damage.  Car rental companies that charge a fee for additional drivers do so to recoup their losses and hedge against the increased risk to their vehicles.

The risk decreases if the additional driver is the renter’s spouse, hence the fact that some car rental companies allow spouses to be added to the rental agreement for free, and may even add the spouse automatically (this is required in some states, although not always for free – see the state law section below for more information).

Q: Which states prohibit car rental companies from charging fees for additional drivers, or limit the fee amount?
A: California prohibits additional driver fees for any driver as long as he or she meets the company’s rental criteria. In addition:
– Iowa prohibits car rental companies from charging additional driver fees for a renter’s spouse who meets company rental requirements.
– New York limits additional driver fees to $3 per day per driver.
– In 2007, Nevada began limiting additional driver fees to $10 per day per driver, adjusted for inflation annually (currently $12.08).

Q: Which states allow for spouses to be automatic authorized drivers (do not have to be added to rental contract in order to drive vehicle)?
A: California, Iowa, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Oregon, and Wisconsin.  However, spouses are only free as additional drivers in California and Iowa.

Here are the applicable laws for each state:
– California Civil Code 1936(a)(3)
– Iowa Code 516d.3(1)(c)
– Missouri Revised Statutes 407.730(2)(b)
– Nevada Revised Statutes 482.31515(2)
– New York Code 396-Z(1)(a)
– Oregon Revised Statutes 646A.140(1)(b)
– Wisconsin Statutes 344.57(2)(b)

California Civil Code 1936(a)(3) defines authorized drivers as “(A) the renter, (B) the renter’s spouse if that person is a licensed driver and satisfies the rental company’s minimum age requirement, (C) the renter’s employer or coworker if he or she is engaged in business activity with the renter, is a licensed driver, and satisfies the rental company’s minimum age requirement, and (D) a person expressly listed by the rental company on the renter’s contract as an authorized driver”.

Iowa, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Oregon, and Wisconsin have similar language in their respective statutes dealing with car rental authorized drivers.

Q: Are there any customer loyalty programs that allow free additional drivers?
A: Yes.  Hertz Gold Plus Rewards waives the additional driver fee for spouses, domestic partners, and coworkers of members.  In fact, these drivers do not have to be added to the rental contract in order to drive the vehicle.

National Car Rental Emerald Club members don’t pay additional driver fees for spouses, domestic partners, or other immediate relatives with the same address as the member.

Q: Which business rental programs waive the fee for additional drivers?
A: Budget, Dollar, Hertz, National, and Thrifty all waive additional driver fees for rentals made under their corporate and small business programs.

Q: Do any organizations like AAA or AARP offer additional driver fee waivers?
A: Yes, there are a few, including both AAA and AARP.  See the list here.

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Dollar Rent-A-Car | Book online for the lowest rates.

States with Laws Prohibiting or Limiting Fees for Additional Drivers

California

California prohibits car rental companies from charging fees for additional authorized drivers, whether or not the additional driver is the spouse of the renter.

State laws and regulations change frequently.  To find out if these provisions are still in effect, Google “California Civil Code 1936(a)(3)” and “California Civil Code 1936(n)(3)”.

Iowa

Iowa Code 516D.7(9) prohibits additional driver fees for spouses or business associates engaged in business activities with the renter of the vehicle, as long as they meet the company’s minimum age requirement.  If they don’t meet the age requirement, the company may charge an underage driver fee.

State laws and regulations change frequently.  To find out if these provisions are still in effect, Google “Iowa Code 516 D.7(9)”.

Nevada

Before 2007, car rental companies in Nevada could not charge fees for additional drivers.  Since then, additional driver fee on car rentals in Nevada have been capped at $10 per day plus an adjustment for inflation.  As of February 1, 2015, the additional driver fee cap is $12.08 per day, per additional driver.  According to Nevada law, car rental companies may charge a fee for any additional driver, including spouses, subject to the daily cap.

The applicable law is Nevada Revised Statutes 482.3158(1)(f), which states, “The short-term lessor of a passenger car may impose an additional charge for any authorized driver in addition to the short-term lessee but shall not, except as otherwise provided in this paragraph, charge more than $10 per full or partial 24-hour period for such an additional authorized driver. The monetary amount set forth in this paragraph must be adjusted for each fiscal year that begins on or after July 1, 2008”.

State laws and regulations change frequently.  To find out if these provisions are still in effect, Google “Nevada Revised Statutes 482.3158(1)(f)” and “tax.nv.gov additional driver CPI adjustment car rental”.  Include the current year in the latter search for better results.

New York

New York currently caps daily additional driver fees at $3 per day.  Car rental companies must automatically add your spouse to the rental agreement if he or she is at least 18 years of age and has a valid driver’s license.  Other additional drivers must be listed on the rental agreement, meaning that they will have to be present at the time the vehicle is picked up.

Here’s a car rental fact sheet from the New York Attorney General’s office.

State laws and regulations change frequently.  To find out if these provisions are still in effect, Google “New York Code Section 396-Z(1)(a)” and “New York Code Section 396-Z(10)(d)”.

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Dollar Rent-A-Car | Book online for the lowest rates.

Additional Driver Policies by Car Rental Company

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Advantage Car Rental Additional Driver Policies and Fees

Advantage Rent-A-Car does not charge for additional drivers in California.  In New York, fees are capped at $3 per day per additional driver.  In Nevada, Advantage charges $12 per day for each additional driver, which is about the same as the fee for additional drivers at all other Advantage Rent-A-Car locations.

The minimum age for additional drivers is 21 years; drivers between 21 and 24 will be charged a young driver fee.

The Advantage for Business program allows friends and colleagues as additional drivers with no extra charge.

Advantage Car Rental Location-Specific Information

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Alamo Car Rental Additional Driver Policies and Fees

Spouses are automatically added to Alamo rental contracts in California, Illinois, Missouri, Nevada, Oregon, and Wisconsin.  Expect to pay about $10 a day for each additional driver, including spouses and domestic partners.  Additional authorized drivers can be added anytime during the rental contract, but must appear at the rental counter with the renter, show a valid driver’s license, and sign the contract.

The minimum age for additional drivers on Alamo rental agreements is 21 years.  Drivers under 25 will be charged a young driver fee, which varies by location.

Alamo Additional Driver Policy

Alamo Additional Driver Fees

Alamo used to waive the additional driver fee for spouses of members of the Alamo Insiders Club loyalty program, but unfortunately this perk was discontinued in June of 2014.  However, if you were a member before May 11, 2014, you are still entitled to this benefit.

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Avis Car Rental Additional Driver Policies and Fees

Avis Rent-A-Car waives the additional driver fee for the renter’s spouse or life partner.  If on company business, the additional driver fee is also waived for the renter’s employer and fellow employees.  The renter must give permission before these additional drivers are added to the rental agreement.

In addition to the qualified authorized drivers above, a maximum of 2 additional drivers can be added to the rental agreement after completing this form.  All additional drivers must be at least 25 years of age.

In Nevada, Avis assesses an additional driver fee of $11 per day, with a maximum charge of $65.  In New York, Avis charges $3 per day per additional driver.  California rentals do not incur additional driver fees.  For all other locations, Avis charges $13 per day for other additional drivers, with a maximum charge of $65.

To view the Avis additional driver policy, click here to access the FAQ page.  Select USA (or other country of interest), select “Reservations”, then select “Rental Policies, Terms, and Conditions”.

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Budget Car Rental Additional Driver Policies and Fees

Budget Rent-A-Car waives the additional driver fee for spouses and domestic partners as well as the renter’s employer and fellow employees when on company business and renting under a corporate account.  All additional drivers must be at least 25 years of age.

For car rentals in Nevada, Budget charges $10 per day for each additional driver with a maximum charge of $65.  In New York, the fee is limited to $3 per day per additional driver.  There is no additional driver fee in California.  At all other locations, Budget charges and additional driver fee of $13 per day with a maximum charge of $65 per rental.

The renter’s employer or fellow employee can be added to Budget car rental agreements free of charge, on rentals reserved under their Business Car Rental program.

View the Budget Rent-A-Car Additional Driver Policy

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Dollar Rent-A-Car Additional Driver Policies and Fees

Dollar Rent-A-Car typically charges $10-$15 per day for each additional driver, depending on location. The easiest way to determine the fee at any particular location is to begin the booking process, then locate and click “Important Local Policy Information” when you get to the “Options” portion of the booking.

The minimum age to rent a car from Dollar is 21 years. Additional drivers between the ages of 21 and 24 years must also pay an underage driver fee.

Dollar waives additional driver fees for car rentals reserved under its corporate and small business programs.

View the Dollar Rent-A-Car additional driver policy

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Enterprise Car Rental Additional Driver Policies and Fees

Enterprise Rent-A-Car does not charge additional driver fees for spouses and domestic partners (same or opposite sex) on rentals in the US and Canada.  For all other additional drivers, the fee is about $10 per day for each driver, but may vary by location.

Additional drivers must appear at the rental counter with the renter and present a valid driver’s license and a major credit card or be able to meet the location’s cash rental requirements.  Spouses are excluded from these requirements and are automatically added to the rental agreement under all circumstances in the following states: California, Illinois, Missouri, Nevada, Oregon, and Wisconsin.

Enterprise charges an underage driver fee for additional drivers 21 to 24 years of age.

View the Enterprise Rent-A-Car additional driver policy

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E-Z Rent-A-Car Additional Driver Policies and Fees

E-Z Rent-A-Car does not charge additional driver fees in California.  Interestingly, the rental policies for the E-Z Rent-A-Car location at JFK Airport in New York show a fee of $10 per day, even though New York law clearly caps the fee at $3 per day per additional driver.

At E-Z’s Jacksonville, Florida airport location (JAX), spouses are subject to a one-time additional driver fee of $15.00; all other additional drivers are charged $8.95 per day.  In Phoenix and Boston, additional driver fees are $12 per day; at all other E-Z Rent-A-Car locations, the fee is either $9.99 or $10 per day, including Las Vegas.

To view E-Z Rent-A-Car additional driver policies, click “Locations” at the top of the page, then select your desired rental location.

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Fox Rent-A-Car Additional Driver Policies and Fees

Fox Rent-A-Car does not charge additional driver fees for the renter’s spouse or domestic partner (same or opposite sex) at most locations.

Additional driver fees are waived in California for all drivers who meet rental requirements.  For other additional drivers, Fox charges $10 per day in Colorado, Florida, Nevada, and Utah; $8 per day in Arizona and Washington, and $6 per day at the Kansas City location.  At all other locations, the additional driver fee is between $8 and $10 per day.

Minimum age for additional driver is 21; drivers under 25 will incur an additional surcharge.

To view Fox Rent-A-Car additional driver policies, click “Locations” at the top of the page, select your desired rental location, then click “Local Rental Policies”.

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Hertz Car Rental Additional Driver Policies and Fees

Hertz Car Rental does not charge for any additional driver in California, or for spouses in Iowa.  In New York, fees are capped at $3 per day per additional driver.  In Nevada, Hertz charges $11.68 per day for each additional driver with a maximum charge of $81.76.  At most other Hertz corporate locations, the additional driver fee is $13.50 per day with a maximum charge of $94.50.

Hertz’s rental terms state that authorized drivers (spouses and fellow employees if on a business trip) are automatically added to rentals in California and Iowa.  Note that New York also requires spouses to be added automatically without being present at time of rental, but this is not specifically mentioned in the rental terms on Hertz’s website.  Authorized drivers must be at least 25 years of age.  Any other additional driver must be at least 20 years of age; drivers age 20 to 24 years may be required to pay an underage driver fee.

Additional driver fees are waived for spouses, domestic partners, and coworkers of Hertz Gold Plus Rewards members.

The Hertz Business Rewards program allows free qualified additional drivers on business rentals reserved using the company’s discount code (“CDP number”).

Hertz Car Rental additional driver policies vary by location.  Locate and select your desired location.  On the location summary and map page, click “More Location Details”, then click “Qualifications and Requirements” and select “Authorized and Additional Authorized Operators”.

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National Car Rental Additional Driver Policies and Fees

National Car Rental does not charge an additional driver fee for spouses on rentals in California, Illinois, Missouri, Nevada, Oregon, and Wisconsin.  For all other additional drivers, the fee is approximately $10 per day, with the following exceptions:

  • Members of the National Car Rental Emerald Club loyalty program don’t pay additional driver fees for spouses, domestic partners, or other immediate relatives with the same address as the member.
  • The National Car Rental Corporate Contracts and Business Benefits programs waive the additional driver fee for business partner, employer or fellow associate of the renter.

All additional drivers must have a valid driver’s license and major credit card, except for rentals in New York where the additional driver will need to meet the cash rental requirements in lieu of a credit card.

The minimum age to rent a vehicle from National is 21 years.  Drivers 21-24 years of age are subject to an underage driver fee.

View the National Car Rental additional driver and additional driver fee policies

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Payless Car Rental Additional Driver Policies and Fees

Payless Car Rental charges a fee of $10 per day for each additional driver.  No mention is made of any exceptions in their online additional driver policy, although California and Iowa prohibit such fees for spouses, and additional driver fees in New York are capped at $3 per day.

All additional drivers must be at least 21 years of age (drivers under 25 will be charged a $25 per day underage driver fee) and have a major credit card.  New York law allows for drivers to be added to the rental contract if they can meet cash rental requirements in lieu of a credit card.

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Silvercar Car Rental Additional Driver Policies and Fees

For between $59 and $99 per day, Silvercar rents only Audi A4s with a unique twist.  Cars are reserved, unlocked, paid for, and receipts are issued, all via a slick smartphone app.

Silvercar does not charge for additional drivers.

Audis from Silvercar are currently available at the following airport locations: Austin (AUS), Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW), Dallas Love Field (DAL), Denver (DEN), Chicago (ORD), Ft. Lauderdale (FLL), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami, (MIA), Phoenix (PHX), and San Francisco (SFO), as well as a non-airport location in Brooklyn, New York.

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Sixt Car Rental Additional Driver Policies and Fees

Sixt Car Rental charges $10-$15 per day per additional driver, except in California (no charge) and Nevada ($12 or less per driver).

The minimum age for additional drivers on Sixt car rentals is 21 years.  Additional drivers between 21-24 years will be charged a young driver fee.

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Thrifty Car Rental Additional Driver Policies and Fees

Thrifty Rent-A-Car typically charges $10-$15 per day for each additional driver, depending on location.  The easiest way to determine the fee at any particular location is to begin the booking process, then click “Terms and Conditions” when you get to the “Options” portion of the booking.

The minimum age to rent a car from Thrifty is 21 years.  Additional drivers between the ages of 21 and 24 years must also pay an underage driver fee.

Thrifty waives additional driver fees for rentals reserved under its corporate and small business programs.

View the Thrifty Rent-A-Car additional driver policy

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Other Ways to Get Free Additional Drivers Added to Rental Car Agreements

Car rental companies waive additional driver fees for certain memberships and affiliations: AAA, AARP, Costco, USAA, and US government and military official business rentals.

AAA

Hertz Car Rental waives the additional driver fee for other drivers who are also AAA members, and for spouses or domestic partners of AAA members (a separate AAA membership is not required for spouses or partners).

AARP

AARP members can add one additional driver for free on car rentals with Avis, Budget, and Payless.

Costco

Costco members can add one additional driver for free to car rentals with Alamo, Avis, Budget, and Enterprise.

USAA

USAA members can add additional authorized drivers for free with Avis, Budget, Enterprise, and Hertz.  Authorized drivers include USAA members’ spouses and USAA-covered family members.

US Government and Military

US government employees and members of the military traveling on official business can add free additional drivers to car rentals with Advantage, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Europcar, E-Z Rent-A-Car, Fox, Hertz, National, Payless, Sixt, and Thrifty.

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