Car Rental for Seniors

Aug 1st, 2012, 03:52 PM
  #1  
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Car Rental for Seniors

I have heard that seniors over 70 can't rent a car in Europe. Friends traveling with us want to know.
Also heard that there is a required emergency pack that they require in Europe car rentals. Is this provided when we rent?
SeattleGrandma is offline  
Aug 1st, 2012, 03:55 PM
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We book Europcar rentals through Autoeurope, using the toll free number. The emergency items come with the car.
RonZ is offline  
Aug 1st, 2012, 04:01 PM
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Great and thanks
SeattleGrandma is offline  
Aug 1st, 2012, 04:03 PM
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Have thought about this myself since DH will be 71 next month and I've only got a couple more years myself. So I googled and found 2 sites that say it varies from country to country, agency to agency. According to one site, Hertz will rent to older drivers if they have good driving records and a doctor's statement that they are able to drive. Here's a link to one of the sites. Or google "age limit for rental cars in Europe." http://www.smartertravel.com/travel-...tml?id=4577096
polly229 is offline  
Aug 1st, 2012, 04:04 PM
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Age depends on the agency and the country - you will need to check. If specific equipment is required the rental agency should supply it - but always check to be sure.

(We were once given a car with an insurance card that ran out halfway through our rental. Luckily a bored border guard into Switz noticed this - and we were able to go the the nearest office and have then renew it.)
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 1st, 2012, 04:21 PM
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Do you remember hearing about John McCain's mother who tried to rent a car in France at age 95 and was refused? So she bought a car, drove it for the month or two she was there, then sold it back when she left. Thought that was rather amusing, though not all of us have the financial resources to do that.
polly229 is offline  
Aug 1st, 2012, 04:50 PM
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So she bought a car, drove it for the month or two she was there, then sold it back when she left

Basically it's a short term lease readily available from Peugeot and Renault.
Michael is offline  
Aug 1st, 2012, 05:34 PM
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Europcar doesn't seem to mind me driving
tomboy is offline  
Aug 1st, 2012, 06:18 PM
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DH is over 80 and has never been denied driving privileges in Europe. We always book through Auto Europe and they are aware of his age. Most of our rentals have been with Avis or EuropCar. The only problem we had was in Ireland several years ago when seemingly nobody would rent to someone over 70. A friend in Ireland researched for us and found Enterprise.ie to be friendly to old folks. Now, I understand, there is no age limit even in Ireland, at least not through AutoEurope. Just our experiences -- not gospel. Contact the individual rental companies or AutoEurope if booking through them to get current policies.
crckwc1 is offline  
Aug 1st, 2012, 08:19 PM
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DH is over 80 and has never been denied driving privileges in Europe. We always book through Auto Europe and they are aware of his age.

Good to know.
Michael is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2012, 01:25 AM
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It really does depend on location and supplier. Auto Europe certainly do not have the power to go against rules and regulations as it's the suppliers that state these terms.

Just looking into Ireland, and Budget and Thrifty still have a max age of 75, whereas Europcar have no maximum age.

Looks like all major companies in France have no maximum age
plastic_paddy is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2012, 06:27 AM
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We had a different experience 3 years ago when my mom booked with auto Europe and had to put me on as the driver because she was over 75. Of course they might have looked at her driving record and simply used that as an excuse.

Not that I would have let her drive!

This summer, I booked and we had me and my husband listed as drivers, and had my mother listed as the backseat driver. Just kidding about listing her. -- she'll do it whether or not listed!

Both rentals in France. Later with Europcar in Cannes.
Surfergirl is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2012, 07:41 AM
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I rented in Spain in 2011, when I was 75. Apparently the limitations on older drivers vary from company to company.
Pegontheroad is online now  
Aug 2nd, 2012, 09:06 AM
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I don't personally find the story of McCain's mother amusing, I find it arrogant and dangerous and I don't believe someone that age can be a competent driver, especially in a foreign country in a car one isn't familiar with.

I think Ireland tends to have lower age limits for renting whatever the reason is, and in some cases, even if you are allowed, you have to have a letter from your physician that you are capable of driving, if you are over a certain age (eg, Hertz).
Christina is online now  
Aug 2nd, 2012, 09:40 AM
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Since French drivers licenses have no expiration date, it might be considered discriminatory to refuse a rental.

I just took a look at the Europcar website, and it makes no mention of an upper age limit. It says that you can rent a car starting at age 18 but that drivers under 25 must take out the "young driver insurance."
kerouac is online now  
Aug 2nd, 2012, 12:36 PM
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I can't see how McCain's mother could have bought a car and got it insured. Leased one yes but bought one?

It sounds downright dangerous to me anyway that she should be driving here at all given the heavier, less disciplined nature of European traffic with the roads generally much narrower than in the US. A 95 year old may be fine in Florida but on the Périférique? It doesn't bear thinking about.

There is a reason hire companies put an age limit on hiring cars. Older people are more inclined to have accidents, and more serious accidents at that. Ireland have a law preventing people over 75 hiring a car, and those over 70 pay extra.

Many companies restrict older drivers to certain classes of car.
hetismij2 is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2012, 02:07 PM
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The Peugeot/Renault program is officially a buy/sell program, not a lease.
Michael is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2012, 04:35 PM
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Christina, I take umbrage at your blanket assertion that older folks cannot be competent drivers. Blanket statements like that bother me -- particularly since I am over 80.

I know the statistics; at both ends the curve starts to go straight up. I agree that there needs to be some sort of competency testing after a certain age, but if you look solely at the statistics, nobody under 30 should be allowed to drive either.

Just venting here, since the thought of not being able to drive scares me.
nukesafe is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2012, 05:56 PM
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Nukesafe, hang in there for a bit. I am currently going through the National Highway Traffic Safety Admin. statistics for 2009 and will soon report my findings. I am not sure where hetismij2's information comes from but it is incorrect. Older people are less inclined to have accidents. Drivers aged 65 and up have half the number of accidents per licensed driver as the number for all drivers combined. The number of fatal accidents does increase but there are some explanations other than the general inability of the elderly to drive well.

This is an old argument that has been going on for years but I have never read anything to support it statistically. People get up in arms when an elderly person who is half blind hits the accelerator and plows into a group of people. These people are the outliers, not the norm.
polly229 is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2012, 06:48 PM
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Thank you Polly. I did give a halfhearted effort to look up the statistics, but the first study I came to was from 1997, and that showed the disheartening data that I mentioned. Glad someone has looked into it more deeply. Will look forward to your report, and perhaps I won't have to admit the horrid fact that I may not be able to drive someday.
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