Are holiday car hire companies allowed to charge older drivers more?

Many car hire firms do discriminate against older people by raising the cost at a certain age, which can be as low as 70

Personal perspective in a car, road Teide National Park, Tenerife, Spain

“My husband and I regularly visit Cyprus,” emailed Di. Her 71-year-old husband is “fit and healthy with a clean driving licence”. But on their last trip they hired a car and were “suddenly hit with an additional daily charge based on age alone.

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It doubled the cost of our rental. Was it is a scam?”

Paul Lewis replies: Many car hire firms do discriminate against older people by raising the cost at a certain age, which can be as low as 70.

Some car hire firms even refuse to rent a car to people over that age. It is because insurers say there is a higher risk of accidents among older people. Before booking a hire car, you should always ask about age discrimination and find a firm that does not impose extra charges on older people.

In the UK, firms are not allowed to discriminate on grounds of age when they provide goods or services unless they can show a good reason for it. That includes evidence that older people are a higher risk.

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Age discrimination laws in the EU only apply to employment.