Can I Rent a Car for Someone Else?

Are you wondering whether you can rent a car for someone else? Perhaps you need to rent a car for your spouse, your kid, or an employee… These things happen. Sometimes you’re the one with the money and you need someone else to be mobile. While the rules differ by rental car company, the main renter will typically have to be present to sign the rental agreement and to provide their credit card when picking up the vehicle. In most cases, renters cannot provide payment methods that belong to someone else. 

Let’s look at this topic in more detail.

What happens if I rent a vehicle for someone else?

If you want to pay for a rental car, but you want someone else to drive it, the best option is to rent the car in your own name. You can add the other person as an additional driver. Bear in mind though that the person must meet all the requirements imposed by the rental car company. 

Rent a Car for Someone Else

It does cost extra to add an additional driver, but that is well worth the investment. If you don’t add them as an additional driver and the company finds out, they will either:

The only time this is not necessary, is if you own a business that includes LDW and liability insurance.                                                     

In addition, your own insurance company could deny payment, as the rental car contract will be considered invalid. 

You may consider the risk of being found out quite small, but it is not worth the risk. If you need someone else to drive the vehicle, be sure to add them as additional drivers, and accept LIS and KDW. 

When renting a car, you must have all relevant documents handy, including checks or credit cards, drivers’ license, as well as the necessary proof of insurance coverage. Remember that only authorized drivers will be covered. 

You must bring the additional driver to the rental company so that they can see him or her in person. 

Can you rent a car with a credit card in someone else’s name?

Again, the main renter must be present at the time of collecting the vehicle, along with their credit card. According to Budget, you must use your own credit card, which matches the driver’s license of the main driver, to rent a car. The driver must also show identification to pick up the vehicle. 

However, it is safe to assume that even if the rental car companies will not allow anyone other than the driver to make the payment, it is unlikely that they would allow you to use another person’s card to make the payment. 

Easy Ways to Rent a Car on Behalf of Someone Else

The easiest way around this is to book the car rental online. It is not technically allowed for you to rent a car and pay for it using your card, but allowing someone else to sign the contract and drive away with the car.  Cars are expensive, and the rental car contract is a legal document, which is why the rental car company must verify your identification and have you sign the documents to verify the contract. This protects both yourself and the rental car company. If it were easier than that, it would also be very easy to commit identity theft. 

When you rent the car in your own name and add the other person as an additional driver, you will still be the primary driver, but the other person will be allowed to use the car as well. At the end of the day, you are still liable for the condition of the car, and you should be sure that you can trust the other person. 

In most cases, you won’t have to be present to deliver the vehicle at the end of the rental contract.

Another option is to buy a gift card from the rental car company, and let the other person use that to rent a car. This method alleviates the issue of multiple names on the contract, and saves the ‘additional driver’ fee. Speak to the rental company about all the fees involved, including the cost of a “loss damage waiver”, prepaid gas and any other costs so that it is all covered by the gift card.