How to get a Free Additional Driver on your next car rental (2023)

How to Get a Free Additional Driver Summary:

  • Rent A Car in California - Update 8/22 only includes family members and co-workers.
  • Bring your Spouse/Domestic Partner (some states, plus Ace, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Fox, National, Payless)
  • Join Frequent Renter Clubs (Hertz, Dollar, Thrifty)
  • Use Membership discounts USAA, AAA, AARP.

Did someone say free? Yes, you heard that right. It’s really possible to get a car rental with a free additional driver. If you rent a car frequently, then you know the struggle of adding a second driver to your rental. There are numerous situations in which renters appreciate the flexibility of allowing a fellow insured traveler to get behind the wheel of their rental if needed. It’s not only convenient, but it can save you money and a world of trouble in the case of an accident. The downside is, $10+ a day adds up quickly.

Don’t worry, we’re here to share the industry’s kept secrets with you so you don’t have to break the piggy bank. When you need a free additional driver car rental, trust Car Rental Savers and our comprehensive guide on how to get a free additional driver on your car rental.

Rent a car in California

If you’re looking for a car rental with free additional driver, you’ll find that statewide in California! The state has specific legislation that stops rental companies from charging additional driver fees. This law covers any additional driver, not just your spouse. As long as you list them on the rental contract, your extra driver can be anyone.

Update 8/4/22 - California passed a new law that allows rental agencies to charge for additional drivers. The only free additional drivers in California are spouse, child or person for whom the renter is a legal guardian, sibling, parent, grandparent, employer, or coworker,

Can my wife or husband drive my rental car?

There are a handful of other states that mandate free additional spouse driver car rentals. The legislation for these states limits the requirements to the main driver’s spouse or domestic partner:

  • California
  • Indiana
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Missouri
  • New York
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin

If you’re not lucky enough to be renting in one of those states, check policies at individual rental agencies. Book with some rental companies (like Ace, Alamo, Enterprise, Fox Rent A Car, National, Budget, Avis or Payless) through and there are no additional fees when your extra driver is a domestic partner or spouse. Anyone else will cost you a per-day fee.

It pays to shop around and read the fine print! Some Avis locations will not charge extra for additional drivers if you’re on official business, or if you’re an assistant driving for a disabled renter. However, you’ll want to make sure your additional driver is 25 or older.

Budget has similar policies. Enterprise doesn’t make exceptions for employees on official business. However, if you have a disability and need someone to drive for you, let your concierge know. Budget waives the additional driver fee for drivers assisting disabled renters. Adding a driver to rental Enterprise is straightforward. Just make sure your extra driver has their driver’s license with them when you pick up your rental car.

Rent with Silvercar

Silvercar is a rental company with exceptional customer service - especially if you want a car rental with free additional driver. They help you skip lines and paperwork - and you get to drive a premium silver Audi!

They may cost a little more, but they make up for it in features, and luxury grade cars. Silvercar isn’t as widespread as some rental services, but they have locations in the following cities: Update - 1/31/21 - Silvercar have suspended airport operations.

As long as your driver is at least 22, your car rental with additional driver won’t cost you an extra fee. The only requirement is that they be present at the time of pickup. Silvercar’s concierge service will verify their identity by drivers license and you’re ready to go! The best part of Silvercar’s additional driver policy is its flexibility. To add another driver once your rental period has started, simply stop by the same location to amend your contract.

Join a frequent renter club (free)

Hertz Rent A Car

If you rent with Hertz, you’ll get hit with a per-day charge for all additional drivers. But when you join their frequent renter club, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards, they’ll waive your fee for a spouse or domestic partner. The benefits of Gold Plus don’t stop there. You’ll skip the lines at pick-up and drop off, have your choice of their best fleets, and earn points towards other rewards.

National Car Rental

National Emerald Club Members: National Car Rental is a great choice for rentals, even if you aren’t a member of their Emerald Club. They’ll waive fees for second driver car rentals in the following situations:

  • Rentals in states with legislation that requires a renter's spouse to be an authorized second driver.
  • Corporate or commercial rentals. The primary renter’s business partner, employer or fellow associate, must be part of a corporate contract with National. They also have to drive the car for soley for work purposes.
  • In the case of rentals made for or by a disabled renter, the fee for the surrogate driver is waived.

When you join the Emerald Club, your spouse (including common law) or domestic partner drives for free! Any immediate family members (mother, father, children and siblings) that live with you can also drive with no charge. They do have to have the same address as you and must meet normal rental requirements.

Dollar Car Rental

With a Dollar Express Rewards Membership, your spouse/partner additional driver fees are waived. Dollar Car Rental offers driver additions at any point in your rental period, as long as the extra driver meets their conditions. They also only limit your additional drivers to the number of passenger seats are in your vehicle. Additional drivers must be with you to be added to your contract and they must provide a valid driver’s licence. Unlike some agencies, you don’t have to return to your original location to add a driver. Any location in the US can accommodate your Dollar additional driver.

Thrifty Rent A Car

When you join Thrifty Blue Chip your spouse or domestic partner can be added to your reservation for free. Other Thrifty Blue Chip benefits include skip the counter in select locations and quicker pick up and return.

Sixt Rent A Car

Sixt waive one additional driver fee for Gold, Platinum or Diamond status members. Applies to US residents only.

Quick Tip! Be sure to enter your frequent renter number at checkout. When you do, it is passed directly to the rental agency. Also, if you haven’t used your membership in a while, be sure your account is still valid. Some accounts are temporarily suspended because of expired information or non-use.

Use USAA, AAA, or AARP discounts

Check the perks of any organizations you belong to. Many give their members discount codes for adding drivers to their rental contracts. The following organizations help you avoid that additional operator fee if you book with their discount:

  • USAA: If you use your USAA discount code to book at any participating Hertz locations in the United States, you won’t pay for your spouse or over-21 aged children to drive. Enterprise, Avis and Budget will waive the charge for spouses or family members of USAA members as well.
  • AAA: Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty all cut you a break on additional drivers if you’re both AAA members. Any participating locations across the United States and Canada will honor AAA’s code. Their benefits don’t stop at additional driver discounts! Base rate discounts, upgrades and free use of child safety seats are included.
  • AARP: The discount code included in your AARP membership will get you a free additional driver at Budget and Avis. Any driver that meets renter requirements is included. Their other rental perks include upgraded cars and 30% off base rental rates.

Other car rental coupons and discounts

At Car Rental Savers, we provide a catalog of all of the discount codes and online coupons offered by car rental agencies. Our website is a great way to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible on your next rental. Next time you’re looking to add an additional driver to your rental, save yourself some time and sign up for our email!

We understand that you want the best deal on your car rental. We have everything you need to make that wish a reality! First, enter your travel dates on our homepage to get an idea of what you prices you should expect. Then check under “discounts and destinations” to see if we have any deals that apply to your trip. We recommend booking your rental as early as possible - although we do keep an eye on last minute discounts for you! Last minute bookings have higher rates. Check our homepage regularly! We may have new discounts that apply to your rental.

Car Rental Savers FAQ for additional drivers:

  • Can my additional driver return our rental car? Absolutely! As long as they’re on the rental contract, they can return your rental car.
  • Can my additional driver pick-up our rental car? Rental companies require the primary driver (whoever is paying) to pick up the rental car.
  • What do I need to add an additional driver? Your additional driver must be with you when you pick up your rental. They should have their valid driver’s licence with them.
  • Do I need to include my additional driver on my rental car insurance? Yes. The person on the rental agreement assumes all risk if there is any damage to the rental car. It’s a good idea to include anyone that will be driving the car on the insurance policy.
  • Why should I sign up for your email program? When you sign up for our weekly emails, we give you an up-to-date list of every new coupons that have come out across the web.

    A rapid rundown

    The good news is, with a little bit of planning and assistance from Car Rental Savers, you can avoid fees on your second driver car rental. Car renters visiting California enjoy a statewide pass on additional.çÑ driver fees regardless of company, as well as renters of Silvercar. Renting in Illinois, Wisconsin, Nevada, Oregon, and Missouri earns you a second driver car rental for free, as do renting from Ace, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Fox Rent A Car or Payless. Don’t worry if none of these perks apply to your unique situation. Simply join a frequent renter program or use a membership discount to avoid extra fees.

    Navigating car rentals isn’t easy. If the above options aren’t available to you (or you just love exclusive deals delivered right to your email), save time and money by signing up for Car Rental Saver’s newsletter.

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