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Age to rent a hotel room and car in Europe?

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Aug 19th, 2012, 12:36 AM
  #1
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Age to rent a hotel room and car in Europe?

I know it will vary by country but I know Europe lets 16 year olds drink, so it seems they consider 18 year olds full grown adults rather than 21-25 in the Us. That being said. My 18 year old son wants to visit Europe with his 18 year old girlfriend. I need to know if they will be able to at least rent hotel rooms. Even if they cant rent a care i'm aware there are other means of transportation available in most major cities. So would they at least be able to rent hotel rooms? Also,I know the chance is slim but any possibly they could rent a car? They will obviously have to pay a heavy premium if they can though.
Travel1964 is offline  
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Aug 23rd, 2012, 05:09 AM
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I'm surprised that you have had no response yet.
A search of European Auto rental sites find that generally, one must be 21 to rent a car, though the minimum age sited for Austria and Italy was 19 (with additional fees).
Some countries even require driver to be 25!
AutoEurope can be called at 1-800-223-5555 with questions.

Renting hotel rooms at 18 should not be a problem.
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Aug 23rd, 2012, 05:45 AM
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They'll be able to rent hotel rooms but if they are going to cities they'll want to book ahead. They can also look into hostels where they will meet other young people traveling. It's a fun environment and lets you share stories and travel info. Hostels are the most likely place for people that age to stay.

They don't need a car if they are going to cities. Other people their ages (and older such as myself) use trains and buses and get around perfectly well. Car rentals are expensive and so is the gas.

Let them travel like 18 year olds. Tell your son to look at the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree forum - also for young people. He'll get much more information for his travel style there. Not that you and he are not welcome here but this is a more mature travel site.

He should read some Let's Go guide books, geared to the budget traveler and backpacker. I've been using them for decades as they have lots of travel savy information and the travel fundamentals that will ground him.
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Aug 23rd, 2012, 10:35 AM
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In europe at 18 you are considered an adult and of course can rent a hotel room - although they may want to look at hosels for budgetary reasons.

However, in europe - unlike the US - where almost everyone gets a license and access to a car at 16 - getting a license is much more difficult and cars ae not available to everyone. (But even in the US you often hae to pay a huge premium to rent before you are 25.)

They will need to search all of the car rental agencies - but I doubt they will be allowed to rent a car at 18? Do they even have credit cards with enough funds on them to allow for car rental?

In any case, in Europe college kids - and many others - routinely use trains as transport - since they go everywhere and frequently (nothing like in the US).

BUT, if these "kids" are going to europe - shouldn't they be doing the research?
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Aug 23rd, 2012, 02:09 PM
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If they stay long enough and need a car for 21 days or more, they qualify for the Renault lease program. You only have to be 18 and have a valid driver's license.

http://www.renaultusa.com/

My daughter and two friends, all 19-20-year-olds, did this and it worked out very well. They spent six weeks traveling in Europe. After spending a week each in London and Paris without a car, they picked up the car in Paris and during the next three weeks toured the south of France, Italy, Austria and Switzerland before turning the car in in Frankfurt. The final week was also spent without a car.

Having said this, though, I would agree with Adrienne's recommendation to use trains and buses. Unless they are looking at a long stay with travel to and through several countries, a car would be more of an obstacle than a convenience.

Good for them for wanting to travel, and good for you for helping with the research. Hope they will check out the Lonely Planet and Let's Go resources.
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