Older drivers – anyone over 65 or so – often get a raw deal when it comes to car rentals.
Just as with younger drivers, companies have various restrictions in place for older drivers.
Some might have a blanket ban from a certain age – anything between 65 and 80 – while some might impose a surcharge, as with younger drivers.
While I can understand that some (much) older drivers may have health or fitness problems that impact on the risk of them being involved in an accident, I do think that the current system of arbitrary age limits is unfairly harsh.
I’m obviously not the only person who feels this way, as illustrated by this story from Ireland. The driver concerned, who was over 70, was asked to pay a €25 per day surcharge on his car rental at Dublin Airport and warned that next time around, when he would be over 75, he would be banned from hiring a car altogether.
Unhappy with this arbitrary approach, he complained to both the rental company and then to Equality Authority, Ireland’s anti-discrimination body. The result was that the car hire company concerned has dropped its blanket ban on drivers over 75, scrapped the daily surcharge for drivers over 70 and introduced an individual safety assessment for older drivers instead.
Result. Presumably this will count as case law so other car rental companies in Ireland will be motivated to follow suit.
Will it happen in the UK? Not unless people start complaining like Brother White did.