Home » Renting A Cool Car As A Young Person Sucks Even If You’re Formula 1 Champ Max Verstappen

Renting A Cool Car As A Young Person Sucks Even If You’re Formula 1 Champ Max Verstappen

Verstappen Verstoppened Ts2

In a world of sweeping policies, experience will only get you so far. British tabloid The Sun reports that three-time Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen was recently denied renting a Mercedes-AMG GT in Faro, Portugal because he’s not old enough. I guess all those years of winning Grands Prix count for naught in the eyes of Portuguese car-rental outfit Sixt.

Unsurprisingly, the car rental business is still a bit of a hellscape for young people. Between young driver surcharges and limited options for what they can get insured on, hiring something amazing can be difficult as the suits in rental companies’ insurance offices are rather risk-averse.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

For instance, if I were to fly into a major U.S. destination and tried to book a Porsche 718 Boxster through Hertz, I’d be told to wait a few months because I’m not yet past the age gate – renters must be at least 25 years old. It’s the same deal with Turo, or with other rental car companies, which is a bit funny because I have a Boxster in the garage. Indeed, running into the risk-based age gate is reportedly what happened here. As per The Sun:

Staff at car rental firm Sixt said that allowing Verstappen — who won his first grand prix aged 18 — to take the AMG GT motor would have breached its insurance policy as he is under 30.

It’s a bit hilarious that a man whose job is to absolutely dominate the field in one of the world’s premier motor racing series wasn’t allowed to rent a car that was probably once driven by a teenage detailer, but that’s corporate generalization for you. [Ed Note: Just because someone can race doesn’t mean they’re necessarily more responsible/safer driving a rental car, so I get it. If you’re a rental car agency, though, it’s a PR blunder denying an F1 driver, though. -DT]. Instead, Verstappen reportedly had to make do with a BMW 5 Series, and the awesome AMG GT booking went to his manager.

Mercedes Amg Gt 63 S 4 Door


While the standard BMW 5 Series is a perfectly functional car, it’s no Mercedes-AMG GT. Mind you, it does get a bit confusing as Sixt rents both the new AMG GT four-door coupe (above) and the outgoing AMG GT coupe (below) in Europe, depending on location. One’s a phallic psychopath of a sports car that’s spiritually a German Dodge Viper, and the other’s basically a fastback E-Class piggybacking off the coupe’s name for the sake of profit.

Mercedes-Amg Gt S

Regardless, both are properly quick, and both AMG GT models are quite the way to make a splash during the holiday season. Then again, they probably pale in comparison to winning a third F1 title, so what do I know? Either way, it’s a bit ridiculous that Verstappen, one of the fastest men in the world with loads of experience in high-performance vehicles, couldn’t rent a fast Mercedes. A Sixt spokesperson seems to agree, telling The Sun:

We apologise to Mr Verstappen. He can rent the car he wants from us at any time.

There is of course no doubt at all about his driving skills and his experience with powerful cars.

Quite. For the rest of us, it’s likely just a matter of hurrying up and waiting. After all, wouldn’t you rather stay in a reasonably priced hotel and drive a cool car on holiday rather than splash out on an iconic place to hang your hat yet drive some nondescript subcompact crossover?

(Photo credits: Formula 1/YouTube, Mercedes-Benz)


Support our mission of championing car culture by becoming an Official Autopian Member.


Got a hot tip? Send it to us here. Or check out the stories on our homepage.

Share on facebook
Share on whatsapp
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mr E
Mr E
3 months ago

“Sorry, sir, but we cannot allow you to rent THE car. You’ll have to be satisfied with A car.”

Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
Do You Have a Moment To Talk About Renaults?
3 months ago

Haha this was covered a few days ago by portuguese outlets. They didn’t have much of an option if I remember correctly, as the backoffice would not even allow for insurance to be added to the attempted booking (not very surprising, since there was a violation of ToS). It was also mentioned that it would’ve been outright illegal to open an exception. I haven’t seen the spokesperson being quoted as having apologised anywhere in portuguese news outlets, and I wouldn’t put it beyond The Sun to have fabricated that bit outright.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x