One would think that given how many seniors have good driving records, it would be easy to rent a car. However, in some areas of the world there are upper age limits. Beyond that there are other considerations.
In the United States, there does not seem to be age limits for car rentals, and age should not be that much of a consideration. However, this is not true for international tourists.
Auto Europe’s Web site states that renters in Ireland may not be over age 75, and that those over 70 may be subject to additional fees. … On Budget Rent a Car’s Web site, we found maximum ages of 75 in Aruba, 65 in Jamaica and just 60 in Morocco. Apollo Car Rental in Australia permits renters over the age of 75, but only with a doctor’s note. – Smarter Travel
In reality, the age limit policy can vary from company to company, and can be even lower. A quick guide to Europe can be found at the bottom of this page, which has a helpful chart, again at Auto Europe. In some countries, this will not be a problem, but one should make sure.
According to the Chicago Tribune, “[T]he big problem is in Europe.”
You cannot rely on rental agencies to warn you of the restrictions ahead of time. It is best to call the rental company ahead of time, before making any reservations, to avoid any complications upon arrival.
However, all is not bad news.
Hertz Car Rental promotes a 50 Plus Car Rental Program which offers a discount. A quick search on the web can produce similar discounts available for seniors renting cars. Package this in with hotel discounts for seniors, and the savings can add up. Corporations often want seniors. They don’t race cars. They do not trash hotel rooms. And companies are willing to offer hefty discounts, such as at Best Western Hotels. Take advantage of this.
There are some caveats though.
Be prepared. Sometimes, other non-senior discounts can provide better savings, if you are willing to search diligently on the internet. Quite often bundled non-senior discounts can also save you considerable money. Kiplinger reports that buying a general Boston CityPass can sometimes save the purchaser more money than buying senior discounted tickets individually for each attraction. Indeed CityPass offers bundled discounts for 11 areas in America, and Toronto, Canada. It is worth checking out.
Other considerations for seniors
– Older drives may have more eyesight issues than younger drivers, and may be more dependent on medication.
– Bathroom stops become more critical for seniors.
– Longer journeys may be more formidable to the senior. A five hour road trip, which would be a delight for those in their twenties, may be a considerable effort for seniors.
– Seniors may have to acquaint themselves – if they are not knowledgeable already – with the technology necessary for journeys, such as cellphones, and GPS. Your children and grandchildren hold these to be second nature; you may have to acquire some familiarity with the technology.
In all cases, planning is in order:
– Plan to see if there is an age limit for a car rental, by calling the rental agency directly.
– Plan to see if there are applicable senior discounts on car rentals and hotels,
– Don’t limit yourself. Check to see if non-senior discount packages are better.
– If not already familiar, acquaint yourself with the technologies to drive safely on a road trip.
This is, of course, common sense. The trick is applying it,