Fresh off flight number six-two-one from New York City, twenty-four-year-old Marketing Representative Jim Smith needs to rent a car to get to a business convention in hectic downtown Los Angeles. He tries several car-rental companies near the airport with no luck. Finally, Ryder graciously rents him a huge moving truck. Nearly relieved, Smith hauls down to his meeting, where he bumps into parking problems. He begins worrying about his professional image when he takes half an hour shifting back and forth to park the yellow monster-mover nine blocks away from the office, which causes him to arrive twenty minutes tardy.
Other than his apparent anxiousness to appear at the meeting, he wishes to be a mere 365 days older, knowing that it would liberate him from all the chaos. He knows the few, extra days would give him legal permission to rent the car that he needs so badly. At this point, all he can think about is how embarrassed he feels about being inadequately young. In most states, car-rental companies make the minimum age for rentability twenty-five and prohibit renting cars to younger, underage drivers. The companies claim that underage drivers, like Jim Smith, are not dependable or responsible enough to handle the responsibilities that come with renting cars. Some companies, with persuasion, however, occasionally allow underage drivers to rent cars, but with an underage surcharge.
Nonetheless, because of the high accident-rate and irresponsibility associated with drivers younger than twenty-five, most car-rental companies do not think renting to this age group is worth the risk. Though some people may feel otherwise, the exercised policy seems unreasonable. First, it demonstrates that the policymakers regard the trustworthiness of legal adults inconsistently. Then, the rental companies abuse the policy.
Some customers, in this way, regularly suffer more than the loss of rentability. Fourteenth Amendment rights prohibit discriminatory characteristics as such, and rental companies may lose a good deal of business as a result. To alleviate the objections, car-rental policymakers should officially change the age for rentability to twenty-one down from twenty-five. Besides applying society's automatic stigma on young people, policymakers consider the sources that declare recklessness in the under-age-twenty-five group especially in the mid-teen group to compose policies; but for those in the age twenty-one-to-twenty-five bracket, the usual policymakers seem to use different considerations because the age groups rules are inconsistent. In some instances, a twenty-one-year-old is equally responsible with an ordinary forty-year-old. For example, the law, which accumulates the practice of the past centuries, awards both of them full trust to gamble, and full responsibility to drink.
Additionally, the law regards them as adults, who can officially hold bank accounts, be formally permitted on payrolls, sign marriage contracts, own guns, represent America in governmental elections, serve in the armed forces, and for a minimum of six, previous years, legally drive vehicles; and for decades, it has regarded sixteen to be the age to gain trust to be on the road. Nevertheless, the current policy reflects that these responsibilities are not tantamount to those of renting cars. Respectively, the policy suggests that renting cars is more risky than gun handling which is rather peculiar. Licensed drivers who are able to hold contracts ought to have the right to rent cars. Statistics that prove drivers under twenty-five are more likely to be involved in accidents are not a fair explanations for why reasonable young adults should not be allowed to rent a car. Statistics may show low numbers of safe drivers for the under-age-twenty-five group, yet the very people who are forbidden access to all driving services are the ones who corporations accuse of having few safe drivers.
Logically, a small number of underage drivers caused by legal exclusions inevitably results in a small number of underage drivers who can prove to be safe drivers. If the policy gives twenty-one-year-olds the benefit to have rentability, more underage drivers might prove to be safe drivers. Presently, most rental companies seem to abuse the usual renting policy. A typical car-rental company charges about thirty-five dollars for a mid-size car plus up to a seventy-five dollars-per-day surcharge for an underage renter. Compare a twenty-one-year-old driver to a seventy-one-year-old driver. Despite their possible similarities, a twenty-one-year-old pays 214 percent more than a seventy-one-year-old does.
A 214 percent tax hardly qualifies as fair tax. The extra charge suggests that a young person is 214 percent more prone to accidents and less likely to return a vehicle than a person over age twenty-five is. Not many sources can prove a statistic as such. The current car-rental policy fails to abide by established rulings. The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution requires that the states grant equal protection under the law. During the past century, the government has sought to protect that specific constitutional right with many statutes and regulations.
By following their policies, car-rental corporations violate that right by denying equal access to equal citizens. Also, because they suffer discrimination in rentability, underage drivers may also unfairly suffer age discrimination in the business world. Almost without doubt, people at age twenty-five can benefit particular businesses because of their rentability more than younger workers, especially if the business involves traveling. Moreover, a younger worker may have valuable attributes and suffer a turndown because of insufficient age for rentability. No adult should be denied access to facilities as car-rentals simply on the basis of age. Because car-rental companies have to pay insurance which is high for the twenty-one to twenty-five age bracketa surcharge could be justifiable.
However, with modern technology, companies can legally access customer driving-records to evaluate which adults maintain good records, and which adults do not. That way, the companies can reasonably apply surcharges to the negligent adults. Presently, car-rental companies deny responsible, good-record adults cars to rent only because of their age; and abusing the policy by assessing extravagant surcharges on all young drivers in place of denials is not any better. By maintaining this discriminatory behavior, car-rental companies lose business. They alienate what could be one of their best moneymakers. For many young professionals like Jim Smith, travel is constant, and the need for renting cars is essential.
Sales people, consultants, and managers need to have cars for their travels. They and even non-workers, who do not own cars, would also rent cars for weekend getaways. Like many young people, my twenty-three-year-old cousin, Jeannie, makes little cash and cannot afford to by a car. For spring break last year, she needed to get home to California from her law school in Nevada. She budgeted 500 dollars to obtain a rental-car for a week. When four different car-rental companies refused her access to their services, Jeannie had to find an alternative means of transportation.
Not having enough money to get to California via American Airlines or Greyhound coaches, she had to settle on staying at her school for the entire week. This year, her plans are not any different. If the policy does not change, she will have to wait for two more years before she is responsible enough to go home. I am eighteen-years-old. Even if the policy changes, car-rental companies will deny me access to car-rentals for almost three more years.
Even so, the sake of consistency for the well thought-out legal system persuades me to believe that age twenty-one is a fair and reasonable time to accept liability. I do not imply that eighteen-year-old adults should bear equal standings as twenty-one-year-old adults. Rather, I support American rulings to hold the drinking and gambling age, and wish to equate its rulings with the renting age. Making an official, binding, law set at renting cars to only twenty-one-year-olds-and-older would emphasize the non-discriminatory intent of the legislature. It would also serve to protect car-rental companies from risks of renting to too young drivers like sixteen-year-olds by prohibiting car-rental companies from taking advantage of surcharging on young customers. Companies can place these kinds of charges on other additions rather than penalizing a person for being young.
An adjustment in the policy would help the companies avoid severe subjectivity and inconsistency, elude statistical manipulation, prevent policy abuse, ensure equality, and improve overall business.