I am 23 years old and am from Iceland, planning a trip to the USA with a friend. We are both below 25 years of age and I have been to the USA about 16 times give or take, all as a visitor; vacation purposes.

I know that there are companies that rent cars to people aged 21 and older rather than 25, but have heard that there is more to it than that, something about insurance companies not wanting to cover foreign people under 25 years of age I believe?

Essentially what I am asking is, are there any additional requirements as a foreigner below 25 to rent a car in the USA?

  • 4
    I believe any such requirements would be set by each rental company, and I am not sure that there are general industry-wide standards. You're probably better off inquiring with the particular company you are thinking of renting from. Feb 14, 2021 at 21:50
  • 3
    As a general disclaimer - I wouldn’t count on being able to fly directly to the US this summer as the travel ban is likely to stay in place. Summer 2022 is much more realistic and one of you might turn 25 by then...
    – JonathanReez
    Feb 14, 2021 at 22:08
  • As anecdotal evidence, I went years ago and they wouldn't let me take the car because it was classed as performance (Ford Mustang) and they wouldn't release it to me because of being under 25, despite them knowing this when the original booking was made. After many phone calls, I was told to come back the next day when the manager of the branch would be working for him to release it to me. He did, but it did mess up plans for a couple of days as we had to rearrange scheduled trips around this. Just a warning depending on what car you're looking to get. Feb 15, 2021 at 10:36
  • Related: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/18415/…
    – mkennedy
    Feb 15, 2021 at 16:32

1 Answer 1


As a rule, there are no special requirements, all you need is a valid driver's license and a credit card. (Some companies will also accept debit cards.). If you're under 25, many companies will charge an extra fee and limit the cars you can get (no sports car for you), but they don't require anything else.

Insurance for the car and third parties is covered by your rental agreement, with better insurance options often quite expensive (getting this separately can be much cheaper, and some credit cards include some level of insurance). Your personal medical insurance is up to you, not the rental company.

  • 3
    There are also companies that can provide insurance by the day at a much lower cost than the car rental company. In fact, whenever I have booked a car through Kayak, Kayak has sold me inexpensive insurance from Allianz.
    – WGroleau
    Feb 15, 2021 at 1:39
  • @WGroleau Quite true, added a note. Feb 15, 2021 at 2:31
  • Most rental car companies in the US will ask to see your passport if you present a foreign drivers license. Feb 15, 2021 at 5:06
  • 2
    Note that the Allianz rental car insurance policy appears to provide only coverage for the car, not liability. If you don't have suitable liability insurance from home that will cover you on your trip, you'd want that, either from the rental car company or someone else. Sometimes (possible exception for international bookings), depending on the state, the rental company will usually only provide anything from no liability insurance to only the state minimum, which is inadequate if you cause any kind of serious injuries or damages (short of pulling the "I'm a foreigner and have no assets" card) Feb 15, 2021 at 6:42
  • It might also be worth checking if you are already covered through a different source. I believe it is not uncommon for credit cards to be bundled with some rental car insurance as long as you pay with them. Equally, if you have a car at home, that insurance might already provide some coverage for rentals as well.
    – mlk
    Feb 15, 2021 at 11:34

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