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Car Hire Tips for Older Drivers

Recent research carried out by Economy Car Hire has shown that a number of car hire suppliers penalise older drivers simply because of their age. And it doesn’t matter how many years no claims or how much experience you have.

In one instance, we discovered RecordGo charges drivers aged 70 or older an additional €58 per day up to a maximum of €192, including 21% tax. At current exchange rates, this adds around £136 to the cost of your holiday.

Older driver

The limits are imposed because of the cost of insurance for older drivers. Many rental offices are actually franchises who struggle to get the same insurance deals as multinational firms. This means they simply can’t afford to cover older drivers at the standard rate. This leads to some firms imposing an older driver surcharge to cover the additional costs.

Economy Car Hire, works with a number of suppliers who don’t have age limits. In fact, we can supply a car with no upper age limit in 20 countries whilst Austria has a limit of 99 years old.

These include (but are not limited to) Redspot Sixt in Australia, Alamo in France, Spain, and the USA, Maggiore in Italy, Thrifty in Morocco, Namibia, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa. Spain is further served by Solmar while Dollar in Portugal also treats older drivers fairly.

Something else to bear in mind is that even if there’s no upper age limit, you may be required to provide a note from your doctor. This should be dated within a month of departure and states you are considered safe to drive. If you’re not sure if you need a note, always check with your broker or supplier.

Tips for older drivers

  • Read the small print – yes it’s tedious but it could save you a fortune.
  • Speak to your broker/supplier – they’ll be able to tell you exactly what limitations (if any) there are.
  • Keep an open mind – There will be a firm who’ll provide you with a car. Economy Car Hire can help you find them.

 

Commonly experienced problems for older drivers

Please remember we don’t penalise older drivers and you won’t experience these problems on economycarhire.com.

  • I booked somewhere else & was charged more because I’m older

Always check that there isn’t an older driver surcharge.

e.g. in Spain, RecordGo (who we don’t work with) has an age limit of 69. If you’re older, you’ll be charged €58 per day up to €192 by RecordGo –£136 extra because you’re 70+ N.B. this is often also the case with younger drivers.

  • Why was I penalised?

Some suppliers won’t rent to older drivers because their insurance company will raise their rates if vehicles are hired by “high risk” drivers.

  • Technical issues

Other websites will ask for your age (e.g. 80) but may still display vehicles that have a limit below your age (e.g. Age limit: 73). You therefore won’t be given the car upon collection or will have to pay a surcharge.

  • Why are some locations so strict?

Restrictions in countries such as Malta & Ireland aren’t implemented by the suppliers – it’s the law. In other places, it is down to the supplier (usually a franchisee) to decide on policy.

Cyprus is also a tricky destination for over 70’s. We can supply cars in Cyprus to drivers under 80. We can also provide a car for any age in North Cyprus.

  • I booked a car through another site but the supplier wouldn’t give it to me because I’m too old

Check the T&Cs, if there are no age restrictions but you’re refused a car upon collection because of your age, the supplier may be in breach of contract. You can claim back any losses you have as a result.

  • No company will hire to me because I’m over 90

This isn’t true. Numerous suppliers don’t have an age limit – you just have to find them. Call Economy Car Hire to discuss your individual needs with a customer advisor – we work with many suppliers who have no age limit.

There’s not many countries where you’ll be denied a car.

Find out more

ThisIsMoney.co.uk picked up on the story and spoke to one of our customers about their experience.

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