Car Hire Free Additional Driver

The existence of a free additional driver when one hires a rental vehicle is not very common. Some rental agencies permit the spouse or domestic partner to operate the vehicle and still be covered by the rental agreement, but not all of them. Know the fine print in the rental agreement you sign.

Which rental companies allow a free additional driver

Some companies will offer a free additional driver throughout the year, others will offer free drivers at selected locations at various times of the year as part of a promotion. In California the state law allows a second driver to be added for free. In other states the law allows the spouse to be added for free.

With all these variables the best approach is to do a rental search and let the booking display any applicable special offers. Use the filter on the left to highlight only rental companies currently offering a special deal. 

car hire with free additional driver


Must the car hire free additional drivers be present at pickup ?

The extra drivers must sign the rental agreement, this is normally done at the pickup time. However, you can return to the nearest car rental depot if you wish to add an additional driver later in the rental.

Can the car hire free additional driver return the rental car?

Rental companies will be okay with the additional driver returning the car to the rental depot at the end of the rental period.

Can the additional driver pick up the rental car?

This is not permitted and we would advise changing the name of the lead driver to the additional driver if this is necessary. Please note the new additional driver must also have a credit card. 

Can the additional driver return the rental car?

This depends, for example in the USA you can select a package that includes 2 free additional drivers. For simply adding a free driver that will depend on the rental company. The normal number of car hire free additional drivers is normally limited to one or two. 

Must the free additionl driver be named ?

The biggest danger of letting someone who is not listed as a driver on a rental agreement to operate the vehicle is if there is an accident while they are behind the wheel.

In all accident reports filed by the police, the person driving the vehicle will be named. When the insurance company of the car hire agency notice that the driver listed in the report is not listed on the rental agreement, the claim will be automatically denied. The person that signed the rental agreement is then responsible to pay for any damages that occur in the accident.

Can my wife drive the rental car?

In some rental agreements, the spouse or domestic partner can operate the rental vehicle and be covered with the insurance of the rental company. Unfortunately the number of rental agencies that allow this are very few.

For most agencies to cover the wife or domestic partner to be a driver there is a fee like anyone else who might operate the rental vehicle.

How much does it cost to add an additional driver?

The cost associated with adding  a car hire additional driver varies with a high of £18.33 to a low of £10 per additional driver per day. In most agreements, the total number of drivers that can legally operate the rental vehicle is at 4. This includes the person renting the vehicle. The price varies for rental agencies of which each one has their own price. The location of the rental agency also affects the price.

Is there ever a car hire with free additional driver offer?

The car hire free additional driver does occur, but generally only as a promo or special offer in most instances. These are very short lived promos for a limited time. The eligible person might also have limitations attached to the promo. In some countries, take Thailand for example free additional drivers are standard with all Thailand car rentals

Why don’t all car hire agencies offer free additional driver?

The rental agencies are a business and like all businesses, they operate to make money. They charge for additional drivers because they can, which in turn increases their profit margin.

The existence of the free additional driver in a rental agreement is, for the most part, a thing of the past. As with all agreements a person might sign, the fine print and details are the places were additional drivers and other hidden costs will be so read the entire agreement before signing it.

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