The reasons why people rent cars are varied. Some people rent them from airports and travel hubs to continue their onward journey or rent them for a road trip, and others as a transport solution while their usual vehicle is having some mechanical attention. No matter what the reasons are for renting the car, they are all united by the fact that renting a car is convenient.
Sometimes people ask, ‘Can I rent a car for someone else?’. The answer depends on the circumstances. You can make the reservation and fill in the required documentation on behalf of someone else; however, the details need to be in the name of the driver. An example of this would be a secretary organizing a rental for their employer.
You are not able to reserve and pay for a vehicle if you are not a named and present driver.
To rent a car, you need to have the following documentation:
- A valid driver’s license
- Photographic identification that confirms DOB
- Credit card in the driver’s name
These are standard requests that car rental firms make to potential renters. You will note that a credit card is needed and that it needs to be in the driver’s name. This means that you cannot rent a car for someone else to drive. This is because renting a car requires a contract to be entered between the company and the individual. It’s a legal contract and is there to protect the car rental business but also the driver too.
If the name on the credit card does not match the named driver, the company won’t legally be able to honor the reservation that was made as the contract, and any insurances would be invalid. By ensuring that the credit card is in the name of the driver, it means that in the event of an accident or damage being caused to the car, there is less risk of a dispute between the driver, the rental company or the credit card company from arising.
However, this does not mean that you can’t rent a car for someone else. So, how can you get around this?
Add an additional driver
Can you rent a car for someone else? Yes, if the person who is with you and holds the credit card is added to the lease agreement as an additional or authorized driver. The same document requirements will need to be provided to the car lease firm as for the primary driver, and they must be present to sign the rental contract.
Some states such as California and Wisconsin automatically include spouses as an authorized driver, and so no extra fee can be charged by law for these additional drivers.
Ask for the credit card holder to apply for a credit card in your name
If the only thing stopping you from renting a car is the fact that you don’t have a credit card, it can make sense for the credit card holder to apply for a card in your name. This is perhaps the easiest and most economical option for you. This means that will not be any additional fees for adding a secondary driver and you will be able to reserve and pick up your car without any delay.
While rental companies do not allow for people to rent a car for someone else, and this may cause you a minor inconvenience, it means that the car hire companies are protected against financial risk. Money cannot be taken from a debit card if there are not enough funds in the account, whereas credit cards provide guaranteed access to funds. The benefit of the customer for using credit cards rather than debit cards include:
- No money is withdrawn when you leave the safety deposit
- You don’t have to worry about the funds you have available in your personal account
- You are protected by credit card insurance
- It keeps the overall cost of hiring a car down as the risk of financial abuse is reduced and has no knock-on effect on across the business
Renting a car is a convenient travel solution, however, just as you pay attention to the pick-up and drop-off destinations and the dates that you require the car, you also need to be aware of the finer details of the leasing contract. Plan your journey in advance, where you are going, who is driving and who has access to the all-important credit card.