Can a Friend Drive my Rental Car?

Renting a car in Australia is one of the easiest and most popular options for tourists to get around quickly, at your own pace, to see as much or as little as you want. Booking a hire car is quite a simple process. You only need to present your driver’s licence, a credit card, and sign the documents and you can have the car released in no time.

There are however situations where the renter or primary driver would need a friend or someone else to drive the rental car. Situations such as if you are driving long distances or the primary driver is injured or sick. The question we are frequently asked is whether another person is allowed to drive your hire car.

Can another person drive my hire car?

Quick Answer - Yes. Most car rentals even encourage having additional drivers to minimise accidents and prevent fatigue. However, terms and conditions apply and the additional driver needs to be listed on the contract.

Just like the primary driver, the additional driver needs to present the necessary requirements when picking up the car. Any Identification cards and driver’s licence, will all be required before signing the rental contract. However, unlike the primary driver, a credit card is not necessary since all costs will be charged to the primary driver. The additional driver is also subject to all rental terms and conditions that the main driver is subject to. Drivers under 25 years old would have to pay an underage surcharge.

Another important thing and often unknown requirement is that both primary driver and additional driver need to be present for release and return of the car.

How much does it cost to have an additional driver?

The rates vary depending on the car rental company. Popular car rental agents in Australia, including Avis, Budget, Hertz, and Thrifty would charge anywhere from $5.50 to $27.50 for every additional driver on a per day basis (usually at five days maximum). Europcar charges more for additional drivers at $5.75 per day, which is also capped at five days.

Avis and Hertz, specifically, don’t charge a fee for additional drivers if the driver is a spouse or a life partner, a family member, employer, or a business partner. Sixt allows family and friends as additional drivers for a minimal fee.

Enterprise is so far the only rental company that doesn’t charge for additional drivers who are 25 years old and above.

How many additional drivers can drive my rental car?

Again, this depends on the car rental agent or company. Most of the time, you can add up to three additional drivers, however, some allow more than that.

Hertz and Europcar, for example, are now allowing as many additional drivers as the number of seats in the vehicle. This is a good thing since more people can take turns driving and everybody can have their turn to relax during the trip.

Whether you just want a friend to help with the driving or you're moving furniture and need the help of someone you don't know please ensure you have the additional driver listed on the contract or you could be in for a hefty charge if the other driver crashes or damages the car.

Note: Costs included on this page are correct at time of publishing

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