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Is naming an additional driver for car hire worthwhile?

Additional driversIf you’re planning on doing a lot of driving when you’re on holiday this year, you may want to share the burden – but at what cost?

Naming an additional driver for a hire car can reduce the workload for the main driver, but there’s plenty to consider before going down that route, as we reveal here.

The main thing to consider when it comes to naming an additional driver is whether you think it is necessary.  Adding a driver to a car rental is relatively simple, but if you don’t intend to use the vehicle that much, or want to save your budget for other things, it may not be worth it.

However, if you want to explore the road network and really take advantage of having a hire car, you may want to share the load.

Lead drivers vs. additional drivers

The majority of rentals will enable you to add up to three additional drivers – ideal if you’re in a group and planning a roundtrip – and you can expect to pay a fee for each.

It’s important at this point to recognise the difference between a lead driver, and others on the rental documents.

The lead driver is the person who has overall responsibility for the car and they will need to be the named driver on both the hire agreement and the certificate of insurance.

When it comes to additional drivers, the same rules relating to age and driving licence often apply – typically a driver will need to be at least 21 years of age and will have held a licence for a minimum of two years.  Depending on the age of the additional driver, a young driver fee or senior driver fee may also be applied to cover what is regarded to be a higher insurance risk.

To name an additional driver on any account, they’ll need to be present with their passport and licence at the rental desk when the main driver picks up the car.

Additional Driver Fees

The majority of car hire firms charge a fixed fee per day to insure additional drivers and this is usually the same price, regardless of the type of car being hired.

While you should add drivers at the start of your rental, you may be able to add one at a later point – although this would require you to return to the rental desk for approval and payment.


If you do intend to hire a vehicle in the coming months you may also want to consider car hire excess insurance to provide an additional form of protection.

This cover protects against the excess you would need to pay should your car be damaged or stolen and is available in daily, weekly or annual formats. 

Date Created: 10/09/2018

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