Hello, Peter, My parents, who are in their early 80s, tell me that car-rental companies won't rent to them because of their age. Is this true? They both still drive and hold valid Ohio driver’s licenses. Are there any senior-friendly rental companies?
None of the big, national rental-car companies, such as Avis, Hertz, and Budget have company-wide policies regarding upper-age limits for rentals. They’ll theoretically rent to any elderly person, as long as the person holds a valid driver’s license and credit card. But—and this is a big “but”—many individual offices of these large chains are run as independent franchises, which means the owners are free to impose whatever age limits they want.
The exceptions are Alamo, which restricts rentals to customers between the ages of 25 and 99, and Enterprise, with renters’ ages limited to between 25 and 86.
The bottom line: If you’re using a big national company, call the direct number to the location where you’re renting the car—not the toll-free number. The toll-free number will route you to a central-reservations office, which may not have all the facts—and which will leave you with no negotiating power.