Thrifty, Enterprise and the "Under 25" Crowd
So you've just turned 21, and you spend your day looking for places to drink. Awesome, you're now legally able to get yourself wasted. However, there are a few things that you still can't do when you hit that magical number. Renting a car is one of them, actually, renting a car without getting hit by ludicrous underage fees is one of them. It's not a surprise that more and more people around my age group are travelling, and therefore, renting cars. However, the people with the cars don't make it easy for anybody under 25 to borrow them. Personally, I can't find any better way to describe this problem than with a story.
Back in Providence, I was stuck without a car. Actually, I did have a car for a few months in 2003, but it unfortunately broke down because it was pretty damn old. Jen's brother was going to come visit us and I, wanting to be a good host, thought of places we could take him. There was one small problem though, and that was how we were going to take him around. Bear in mind that RIPTA, the state's public transportation system, wasn't the worst out there; but really, who wants to be touring a state on a bus? So I went to Enterprise, which was a block from where I worked. I went in and asked about their rates, and found out that on top of the shit-on-a-stick insurance that they offer you, it was $15/day on top of that because I was under 25. Now, that's not the worst you can get. I do believe that Avis and Hertz won't even allow persons under 25 to rent a vehicle at all. Sadly, I took it all (beacuse I had to) and the $19.99/day advertised price jumped to about $75/day because of the insurance and underage fee. Needless to say, Jen's brother had a great time. My wallet on the other hand, did not. Don't even get me started on the whole "debit card" thing.
Story two starts out back when I was in Savannah looking for a job. Again I had limited capital and didn't want to be paying out the ass for all the fees, so I did my research. So I'll save you the speech and tell you that I went with Thrifty. Now they don't have an underage fee, and neither does Budget. However, if you're paying with a debit card, Thrifty is the way to go, as Budget will take a minimum of $500 as a deposit for using it. With Thrifty, there were no fees, only the insurance (because I still lacked it). I guess the reason this came up is because I'll be heading with Jenni to Minnesota for her birthday, and the issue of the rental car came up once again. I figured that there are a lot of us that are probably getting stiffed because we don't know any better, or haven't done adequate research. However, before you run to Thrifty to rent your next car look them up first, because you'll find more of the other brands before you find them. Figures.
Anyway, if you're under 25 (and older than 21) and looking to rent a car, save yourself the hassle and the money, and get back to driving that car you wouldn't normally be able to afford.