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Business Observer Wednesday, Mar. 25, 2020 2 months ago

Car rental giant lowers age requirement to give more flexibility to returning college students

Customers of Estero-based Hertz can now rent a car if they are 18 years old or older.

Major corporations nationwide have made big accommodations for customers in the face of coronavirus. Hertz has entered the mix, too, announcing it will lower the age required to rent a vehicle from 20 to 18 years old.

Based in Estero, Hertz's parent, Hertz Global Holdings Inc., reported about $9.5 billion in gross revenue in 2018. But the company has struggled in recent years, both internally with accounting issues and more recently in a dropping share price, and externally in handling increasing competition from rideshare giants Uber and Lyft.

Hertz's major age requirement shift applies to all of the firm’s corporate-owned locations in the U.S. and Canada, some 3,000 spots. It will be in effect through the end of May, according to a statement. 

"There are extraordinary disruptions happening to daily life as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19), and very notably to students and younger drivers who are returning home or need transportation," says Hertz Senior Vice President Jayesh Patel in a statement.

In response to coronavirus the company has made several other moves, including lowering the age requirement for renting a car using a debit card to 18 and offering up to 10% off the base rate of one-way rentals through April 30.

Hertz is also partnering with another area business, Clearwater-based moving and storage company PODS, to cross-promote the two firms’ new discounts for customers. For PODS customers, discounts now being offered include 10% off container rental for up to six months, 10% off delivery and 10% off transportation charges for long-distance moves.

Both companies are aiming these modifications and price reductions at college students and others who struggling with what to do with the contents of their dorm rooms and apartments in the wake of nationwide campus closings. 

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