We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

car rental - how long after passing test

13 posts
Save Topic
car rental - how long after passing test

Hi all,

I have been told by many people that car hire companies in the US require you to have held a UK licence for 1 yr before they will allow you to hire a car. I have emailed a few companies ( but only received 1 response) and they said there is no such requirement. Can anyone confirm?


Wednesbury, UK
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
17,815 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: car rental - how long after passing test


Well my usual broker (and others I know say two years) specifies that it requires one year of holding a full licence, Alamos UK requirements are the same, but it does not say that on the Alamo website for the US.

So, your approach is the right one, you'll just have to check with whom you choose to book through. I'd call them, harder to ignore than an email.

Fremont, California
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
29,445 posts
6,167 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: car rental - how long after passing test

When we rent in the US, most of the time they are just looking for a valid ID with a future expiration date (i.e. the drivers license is valid until 2018 for example) and a credit card. They do not check when we passed our driver's exam or check if you have speeding tickets, etc

One thing they are a "stickler" for is age requirements. Some car rental companies will only rent to those age 25 or older. There are a few car rental companies that rent under age 25. If you are around that age bracket, best to check those details to be sure when you arrive they will rent to you. (i.e. I do not know if this is an issue for you or not.)

Lewes, United...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
24,301 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: car rental - how long after passing test

I think perhaps there are 2 answers to your question!!!

Many, perhaps most, US car rental companies are more concerned with age than how long you've had your DL. Thus, Americans who got their DLs at 16 find it hard to rent a car at any price under 21 (but there are exceptions) and pay a daily premium until they reach 25, after which there are no age premiums until you reach 70, or so. The length of time of holding the full DL, as so many get theirs at 16, becomes irrelevant as most American 21 y o's have had a full DL for 5 years. This isn't the case, of course for most drivers from most other foreign countries.

However, most overseas brokers - who are often the best source of good value rental deals - tend to have a minimum 1 year, or more, of having a full DL stipulation somewhere in their fine print. Also, the .co.uk versions of the rental companies also have this requirement in some but not all cases.

If you are over 25 but have not had a full DL for at least a year, I'd suggest you shop around with the direct rental companies, but call them to explain your situation, reminding them that the USA depots don't have this stipulation. If you are younger and have held your DL for less than a full year, then you may well have a problem and car rental will likely be expensive.


4. Re: car rental - how long after passing test

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 21 July 2015, 06:16