Car Rental for Young Drivers: The Ultimate Guide

Just got your license, and want to rent a car for a joy ride? Hold your horses!


Car rentals are a great option for young budding drivers. Rendered, we all know how exorbitant the prices of car ownership in Singapore are, and few may have the financial ability to purchase your own car right out of the bat. Being a newly minted driver it sure is exciting as you have finally passed the driving license test and that it is natural to want to get your hands dirty with driving a car, to make all that hassle of getting the driving license worth it. However, this comes with the risk of, you guessed it, inexperience, and not many car rental companies therefore cater to drivers aged 23 and below. 


Hence, we have created a guide for young drivers so that you are well aware of what to take note of before renting a car. 


The Age Limit 

Are you the lucky few who have taken and gotten your driving license at the age of 18? 


Many car rental companies do not encourage drivers below age 23 due to higher risks of accidents. However, there might be exceptions to this rule – albeit the driver having to pay higher premiums.  


The “Young Driver Tax” 

There are some companies that allow drivers below age 23, but they compensate for this by charging young car rentals a higher insurance premium. This is also known as the “young driver tax”, where young drivers are charged a higher amount due to the statistical risk of getting into accidents for a lack of driving experience. 


Of course, this is not to say that all younger drivers are reckless drivers, and it is not a comment on one’s particular driving abilities. 


Singapore is Not The Only Country Imposing This 

This Young Driver Tax is not a new phenomenon. Many countries around the world have, for the same reasons, proposed such fees, though the ages and fees differ by country and by the car rental company that you decide to rent your car from. 


Curious? Here’s a chart of the “young driver tax” in different countries and their respective car rental companies for a reference: 

CountryCompany “Young Driver Tax”Ages
United States of America HertsUS$19 per day Below 25
Dollar ~ US$25.00 – US$35.00 plus local tax and surcharges, vary by location.20 – 24 
AustraliaAvisAUD$25 (excluding GST) per day21 – 25
Budget AUD$25 (excluding GST) per day21 – 25
New ZealandEnterpriseNZD$13 per day 21 – 24
ThriftyNZD$15 per day (excluding GST) 21 – 24
ItalyAvisBetween €20.15 and €23.80, depending on location of pick upBelow 25 
GermanyAvisBetween €11.90 and €14.70, depending on location of pick upBelow 25

(Prices checked in November 2021 – please check specific Ts & Cs for accurate up-to-date costs.)


The “P” Plate Drivers (Probation Drivers) 

However, age is not the only limit. If you have had your driving license for under a year, you are considered a “P” plate or probation driver. This means that there may also be some restrictions placed on drivers that have recently gotten their driving license. Though it depends on the car rental company, hirers are typically required to have at least 2 years of driving experience before renting a car. Statistically, drivers with less experience are more prone to accidents on the road as compared to having more years under their belt. Hence, drivers with less than two years of driving experience may also be subjected to additional car rental requirements/terms and conditions as it relates to the use of car rental services. 


Restrictions on Rental Fleet 

Being a young driver, or a “P” plate driver, it may also mean that you may be limited in the variety of fleet categories that are available for you, according to the different terms and conditions of car rental companies. Hence, the option to rent luxury cars, sports cars or SUVs may be slightly more restrictive. 


Is This Your First Time Renting a Car? 

Final Thoughts 

Ideally, it is recommended to get someone with more driving experience to take the helm of renting the car from car rental companies. You might be able to save some money from doing so, all while achieving the same outcome. 


Confused over all these different terms and conditions? Fret not, our sales representatives will be able to guide you through the different points to consider, and to go through the list of things to take note of as you embark on your first car rental journey.