You can book a rental car easily online. It takes minutes if the internet site is easy to understand and the user is comfortable with online submissions of this kind. So, can you book a rental car for someone else? Here are some thoughts to keep in mind.
When you book a car online, no one knows who is punching the keys and typing up the reservation. You can book a car online for a friend or sibling just by giving pertinent details about the driver. Picking up the car is another matter.
The Important Thing
You are doing the booking, but you are not doing the driving. What difference does this make? It makes plenty of difference when it comes time to collect a car from the lot. You can choose a car for the person and find the best deal, but the car rental company still needs to see the driver’s license for the actual driver.
Who is Driving the Car?
You can book a rental car for yourself and use your license, allowing someone else to use it, but only if that someone else is an extra driver. The agency confirms that there is a main driver and establishes who that is. One important reason for this is that it is your driving record that concerns the rental company.
Think about it this way: if you book a car from a rental agency and have a perfect driving record (no speeding tickets, no criminal charges), you are considered a low risk driver. Your age is also worked into this equation: renters in their early 30’s until their early 50’s are considered relatively safe.
The same goes for the second driver. Her record has to be good too. The rental agency is interested in problems that relate to:
• Driving without a license
• Driving while impaired
• Reckless driving
• Being involved in a hit and run
While your record is clean, that of a co-driver has to be clean also. The agency will take down details of an extra driver, including a driver’s license which must be in date. Companies also set a minimum and maximum age for renting a car.
What If a Client Books a Car But Someone Else Drives?
If you have satisfied the above criteria for yourself, then renting a car should be smooth sailing. Then again, there is that temptation to not sign on a second driver, especially if the rental firm is going to charge for that second person. They might or they might not: every firm is different.
Do not be tempted to let a second driver who has not been added to the rental contract to drive a rented vehicle. It does not matter if he took the wheel for just five minutes. If he has an accident during that time, the rental company will penalize the signed renter, and that penalty could be horrific. A rented vehicle might be used, but check the small print on your contract: you still have to pay a hefty price to their insurance company to replace it.
Sam Moser is a freelance content writer who has written almost exclusively for the web since graduating from the School of Journalism at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario. Being a travel person, Sam is a fan of airport car rental which he finds very convenient.