There’s a very good chance that you will be adding diesel to your car, rather than unleaded gasoline. Countries that require vignettes include Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Switzerland, Hungary, Slovenia, and Bulgaria. Consider taking your European road trip during shoulder seasons, or off-season to get lower rental car rates. However, it can be quite expensive at times. A green card is a cross-border insurance card that proves that your car has at least minimum level of insurance required. Additionally, any driver hoping to rent a car under the age of 25 may incur a young driver surcharge in addition to the daily rate. You’ll find plenty of bad reviews for every company (people love to complain online), but try to pick one with the LEAST bad reviews. In Italy they are called ZTL Zones (but each country may have a different term for them). Age requirements to rent a car in Europe vary. If you opt to use your own credit card insurance, some companies in Europe will charge you an “admin fee” of about €20-€30 EURO. Here are some tips and advice on driving in Europe. Thanks for posting this. Additional young renter fees may apply. Car rental firms are free to set their own prices and conditions across different EU countries based on the costs they incur and other factors. In Europe, a vignette is a sticker placed on the windshield to indicate that you paid highway taxes. Gas (petrol) prices in Europe might seem cheap to Americans, but remember that the rest of the world quotes gas in Liters, not Gallons (1 Gallon = 3.78 Liters). Renting a car in Europe and self-driving is a great way to experience the EU. In other words, we cooperate with a variety of international and local companies to offer you the cheapest vehicle anywhere in the world. If you rent a car in a country that requires a vignette, you will already be covered. This is the most annoying part of renting a car in Europe! Inspect your car thoroughly and record video on your smartphone pointing out damage before you leave. Therefore, in order to rent a car in Europe, you need to take care of a list of things that I am going to mention here. Use Google Maps on your smartphone for directions. The roads and narrow and the hills are steep. Another nice thing about having a car was the ability to store luggage in the trunk, so you can explore cities with small travel backpacks rather than lugging a giant suitcase everywhere. For example, if you want to drop off the rental car in a different city than where you started from. Sometimes it makes sense to pick up a car at one location and drop it off at a different location. If you are from the United States, European street signs are very different than the streets in the United States. A downside of renting a car in Europe is that you have to find a location to park it. Renting a car in Europe is going to cost you around $25-$50 USD a day, depending on the type of car you get, and which country you rent it from. Renting a Car in Europe #1 Choosing a Company. However, you can be charged extra when driving into or between non-EU countries. Let us know! Travelers over the age of 25 shouldn’t have any issues. We always reserve our rental cars using our Visa card because it provides collision damage insurance so we do not pay extra for the rental car company’s insurance. Find out more! If you fly from the United States, FAA regulations allow passengers to bring a car seat onboard, an easy way to save money versus paying an extra daily fee on renting a car seat. Especially with large trucks or tractors (yes, tractors!). Home » Europe » Everything You Need To Know Before Renting A Car In Europe, As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Keep in mind drivers over 70 years old may have trouble renting a car in countries like Czech Republic, Great Britain, Greece, Northern Ireland, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Turkey. 10 Day Norway Itinerary: The Ultimate Road Trip in the Fjord Region, How to Spend Three Days on the Alsace Wine Route, Not Your Ordinary Berlin Day Trip: Rakotzbrucke, Gorlitz, and the Bastei Bridge, Slovenia Road Trip: Vrsic Pass, Soca Valley & Tolmin Gorge, How to Travel with a Peanut Allergy and See the World, 7 Things to Know When Planning Your First Trip to Europe, Greece Travel Tips: Things to Know Before You Go to Greece, Iceland Travel Tips: Things to Know Before You Go to Iceland, Egypt Travel Tips: Things to Know Before You Travel to Egypt. Some rental car companies will charge you extra for driving their cars into certain countries. Any car you rent in Europe will come with a basic level of compulsory cover. Cars are smaller. While you can often save money booking your car with a travel credit card that includes car rental insurance, you REALLY must read the fine print, because many people wrongly assume their card covers them everywhere. In many historic cities around Europe, there are areas where tourists are not allowed to drive rental cars. However, some countries require an International Driving Permit (IDP). Here are a few more wanderlust-inducing articles that I recommend you read next: Do you have any other suggestions or stories about renting cars in Europe? I hope you enjoyed my guide on renting cars in Europe! Driving around European destinations with the freedom to stop anywhere fun you happen to find along the way. When crossing the border from an EU country to a non-EU country by car, the rental agencies may charge a fee between €15 to €50. How old do you have to be to rent a car in Europe? European car seat regulations are slightly different too, and if you’re using an American style car seat, and get pulled over, there is the potential to get a ticket. In Europe, some cars require an extra step. Rules can change from place to place, but generally you’ll need an IDP if you plan to drive in the following countries: Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, or Spain. This is a backup if they attempt to charge you for damage that was already there. It’s up to you to decide if the extra fee at the airport or train station is worth the convenience. We always book our rental car in advance. Almost every company will try to sell you full insurance. You may not be asked to show your IDP when picking up your rental car in these countries, but it’s still a good idea to have one just in case. It’s safer to get an automatic, even if it costs more. They have a higher volume of cars, so you’re less likely to be stuck waiting for a car or stuck with a car class you didn’t reserve (like in the photo above). By continuing to browse this website you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To save money, consider renting from a shop in town. Each country has their own rules when it comes to driving. The smaller shop in town did not have the compact car that we reserved, so Tim drove this beast on the Autobahn. Renting a car is the way to go! Hopefully you found it useful. Find Europe Car Rentals. Or your credit card may already cover additional insurance. Just remind yourself which side of the road to stay on as you make a turn and as you enter a roundabout. Very nice recap of some of the key points in my talk. Better cars seem to have better GPS. However, if you drive a rental car into a country that requires a vignette, you will have to purchase it. And finally, those smaller shops also have reduced hours. But there are a few different things you should know before you embark on a European road trip. Europe Car Rental . Similar to flight and hotel consolidators, rental car consolidators are able to negotiate special, cheaper rental rates with car rental companies. The streets in these areas are usually super narrow, and not equipped to handle tons of vehicle traffic. We don’t have a preference for one particular company, we just want the best deal. Have you rented a car in Europe? When driving through western Europe this is generally not an issue. But EuroRail passes can be surprisingly expensive, and they can limit your options for where to travel. Vignettes are sold at border crossings and nearby gas stations. During the planning phase of the trip, Tim checks the rates for the major companies and chooses the one with the best price. What Americans call “gas,” Europeans call essence, petrol, or benzine. Many car rental companies offer free cancellation, so if your plans change you can always cancel down the road, without paying a fee. Okay, I couldn’t come up with a C for fuel type. That way it's easy to rent a car for a day on a whim (and about $50–100). ★. Failure to do so could cost you a €60 fine or more. Over the years we’ve rented many cars in Europe on self-driving travel adventures through different European countries. Don’t be scared of them, yield to other cars already inside, but keep up with the flow of traffic inside, and remember to signal when you want to exit the roundabout. Taking cars on ferries or the Eurotunnel car train can cost a lot. Knowing these differences in advance can save you some money and maybe even a big travel headache. Hey, if you’re a fan of bus tours, by all means, go book one. All of a sudden you feel like a newbie driver again. Street signs in Europe can differ greatly from your home country, and even between European countries. I can’t tell you how many travel horror stories I’ve heard like this…. However if your car simply breaks down, and no one is injured, its probably better to call your car rental company’s own emergency roadside assistance number located on the rental agreement. Roundabouts, busy city streets, and entrance ramps onto highways can be nerve wracking. They search both local and international car rental companies to help you find the best possible price. It’s cheaper than at the counter — and then you won’t have to worry about accidents at all! During the planning phase of the trip, Tim checks the rates for the major companies and chooses the one with the best price. So always check before purchasing additional … You can rent car seats, GPS, and more extras. Street parking might mean that you need to brush up on your parallel parking skills before your trip and there might also be fees during certain hours of the day. Dropping the car off at a different location saves you a lot of time and unnecessary backtracking. Countries that require vignettes include Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Switzerland, Hungary, Slovenia, and Bulgaria. Expedia.com makes it easy for you to book your next Europe car rental. Although many tourists just take the risk.Personally, we like to bring our own travel car seat that packs down super small for road trips overseas! Julie Last updated: October 27, 2020 Travel Advice 90 Comments. This is why I highly recommend getting full insurance coverage. Don't book your pickup time for earlier than you really need the car. Become familiar with European street signs. Give the car rental company an accurate arrival time. You can purchase a vignette for €3 to €10, depending on the country. It is important to know that an IDP does not replace your Driver’s License or passport; it supplements your Driver’s License. They search for deals from popular European car rental companies like Avis, Hertz, EuropeCar, Sixt, Budget — as well as the lesser known local ones. You obviously need to have one – and we definitely encourage everybody who’s renting a car to have one, but… You might already have international insurance which covers renting a car in Europe. Because of this, sometimes it is actually difficult to reserve an automatic transmission rental. Non-discrimination principle. It takes extra time to price out five companies, but prices can vary widely depending on … Just make sure you know how to put the car in reverse before you drive it off the lot. Sometimes there are locals who rent cars to tourists. If you encounter a slow moving vehicle, and they have their blinker on, it might be an indication that they want you to pass them. We work with the best car rental companies in Europe, bringing you discount car rental rates and a wide variety of car rental classes including economy, compact, midsize, full-size, convertible, van, luxury, full size and SUV rentals. Manual vehicles are much more common in Europe than automatic vehicles. Going overseas? However, these rules are always changing and can be very particular to certain rental companies. If they give you a smaller car, or a manual when you asked for an automatic, be pushy and ask for an upgrade. There are the obvious factors that determine price, such as duration of the rental period and the size of the vehicle. It’s why I usually pre-book full coverage online. But there may also be some factors that you are not aware of. Insurance is a necessity in my mind, so if the only way you can get it is by adding it at the counter, then please do it. The other thing to know about driving on the opposite side of the road is that the driver’s seat will also be on the opposite side of the vehicle, forcing you to shift gears with your opposite hand. Picking up a Rental Car at an Airport or Train Station Adds an Extra Fee. Europe is such a diverse area of the world, that it made sense to rent a car so we could stop anywhere we liked — exploring local villages, mountains, and historic cities at our own pace. We always book our rental car in advance. We do not have our own cars, but work with different suppliers to provide you with a suitable car. For example, if you are driving through southern France, you may pick up a car in Nice, road trip through the French Riviera and Provence, and drop the car in Avignon. If you’ve never driven a manual car before, don’t start in Europe! We love the freedom of road trips and planning our own travel itineraries. That’s perfectly ok. As an American, I find it difficult to read all the road signs while also paying attention to the roundabout traffic. Our website uses cookies. Secondly, the car rental facilities are much larger at airports and train stations. It’s similar to using Kayak when searching for the best deals on plane flights. In some countries (such as France, Germany, and the Netherlands), it’s illegal to use the slower lane (right lane) for passing other vehicles. Exploring the small villages, ancient castles, lush mountains, and coastal areas of Europe in a rental car was definitely the right choice for us. CDW typically does not include tire, cracked windshield, or undercarriage damage either. How Much Does It Cost To Rent A Car In Europe? Some of the rumors about driving in Europe are true, and the roads can be VERY narrow. Do I need extra insurance when renting a car in Europe? Or, you may have to pay a fee for crossing those borders (mentioned earlier). I recommend renting a car with an actual trunk that can hide your luggage from prying eyes. Country, company, car class, coverage. European cars are rented in 24-hour periods, so select your pickup and drop-off times carefully — if you pick up the car at 10 a.m. on the first day and drop it off at noon on the last day, you'll be charged a whole day's rental for just those two hours. You can get an IDP at the American Automobile Association or Canadian Automobile Association. Pay attention to if your rental car takes regular petrol or diesel fuel, so you fill up with the correct type at gas stations. In Europe, 999 and 112 are the emergency phone numbers (similar to 911 in the United States). Countries that require you to have an IDP are Spain, Germany, Italy, Greece, Slovenia, Poland, Hungary, Austria, and Bosnia & Herzegovina. Renting a one-way car rental is available in most popular cities across Europe, making it simple to start and end your trip where you would like to. It’s required in just a handful of countries, including Bosnia & Herzegovina, Albania, and Montenegro, just to name a few. Europeans love roundabouts. Drivers over 80 may have problems renting in Denmark. As the world’s biggest online car rental service, we offer European car hire in 6971 destinations. Most rental cars in Europe are manual transmission. Take your pick from 50 of the world's best travel adventures. Extra Advice For Renting A Car In Europe, Hawaii’s Grand Canyon: Visiting Waimea State Park On Kauai. Get Your FREE Guide to Renting a Car in Europe. All of these have different factors to be considered, such as the cost, the hassle of finding a space, and the chance that you may need to parallel park. There are so many terms to understand and nuances which can mean the difference between saving hundreds or breaking the bank. Required fields are marked *. Some credit cards offer car rental insurance. Although you won’t need one for most countries in Europe, you will in places in the Balkan Peninsula, like Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, and Montenegro. Insuring a rental car in the EU. If your hotel offers private parking, then it is also a good idea to determine if you need to reserve a space in advance since there may not be enough parking for all of their guests. offers parking and if they do, what type of parking that is available. Canadians and Americans usually just need a driver’s license and passport to rent a car. This fee ranges from €15 to €50. Booking the rental car can make or wreck the trip, and that insurance at the counter is a bad start. When you go to pick up your car they will ask to see your confirmation number, drivers license, passport, and credit card. Most cars are stick shift. Auto Europe is not a car rental company, but an intermediary. You may not always get the make/model/type of car you booked. They’re my favourite for renting a car in Europe and beyond. No planning, no driving, just sit back and let someone else do all the work! Common examples include Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, and Montenegro. If you get in a wreck driving in Europe, declined full coverage, and you suddenly learn your credit card doesn’t actually cover the damage — you’re screwed. ), in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited. Diesel cars will often save you some money on gas. You can … Automatic cars are more expensive to rent than manual cars (but manuals are more common in Europe), and you must specify what type you want when booking. Occasionally, it might be hard to find a rental car if you are in some remote part of a country or on an island. They are restricted to local residents with permits, or open only during certain times of day.These special zones are covered with traffic cameras, and if you enter one at the wrong time, without a permit, you will automatically get a ticket sent to you — sometimes months later. 6. You’ll find Europcar right here in America, and in over 160 countries around the globe. Don’t book a car without reading company reviews. Renting a car in Europe and self-driving is a great way to experience the EU. My wife Anna and I spent a year living in Italy as expats without a car, preferring to rent cars when we wanted to go on a road trip, or for traveling to other European countries like France and Germany. Younger drivers may have to pay a fee or purchase special insurance, which could cost between $15-$40 extra per day. A vignette is simply a sticker that you attach to your windshield that shows that you have paid the highway taxes. Currently, gas costs about $7.14 per gallon (€1.55 per liter) in Portugal, $6.87 per gallon (€1.49 per liter) in Italy, and $5.93 per gallon (€1.29 per liter) in the UK. When booking your car, use a credit card that offers rental car insurance. Add a language barrier, foreign street signs, and the occasional right-side-drive vehicle, and your European car rental experience can feel … The major rental car companies in Europe are Avis, Hertz, Budget, Europcar, and Sixt. The claim process for Full … One-way car rental in Europe is a very convenient way of planning your travel. European Driving Laws Tourists Should Know, 7. If you plan to drive in Ireland and Great Britain from Europe, you might want to book separately. Rental Insurance. Give it some time and it does get easier, and rather quickly. Most countries in the EU do not require you to have a green card. It helps to prevent break-ins if thieves can’t see your stuff. Here are some important tips we learned from our many experiences renting a car in Europe, to help you save money and stay safe while driving here! Comment below and let us know! If you fail to purchase a vignette, you could be fined 60€ or more. Six months in advance seems to be the sweet spot for the best rates. The best site to book your car is Discover Cars. Don’t expect to pick up or drop off a car before 9 am or past 5 pm at many of these locations. Prices are listed in liters, so it may look cheap, but one gallon of gas costs roughly €7 in Europe. Our motto is premium cars at economy rates, you will be able to see our quality service and vehicles at thousands of locations all over Europe. 4. But before that, let’s take a look at the basic costs incurred while renting a car in Europe. You can purchase one at a border crossing for €3 to €10, depending on the country. Before you start driving in Europe, you should brush up on the meanings of different street signs for the countries you’re traveling to. This isn’t used consistently, but you may see it from time to time. If you are over the age of 69, rental companies in Ireland might charge an extra fee. Our “mega” van in Germany. True adventure, with no set schedule or timetable. Self-drive road trips allow you to get off the beaten track to see things most people miss! Car rental and van rental worldwide. Although in the United Kingdom and Ireland, remember that the lanes are opposite, and the passing lane is on the right side! One Way Car Rentals in Europe . Possible options include private parking on the hotel property, parking on the road next to the hotel, or in a nearby parking garage. But there are a few different things you should know before you embark on a European road trip. The typical 4-door sedan that we usually rent averages about $30 per day. European leader in car rental, Europcar, is present in more than 140 countries thanks to a solid network of agencies to adapt to all the needs of hiring a car. Want to See Europe while Driving the Back Roads? You can choose to pay extra for optional insurance products. Discover very exciting offers and book online to save money with our convenient and hassle free booking. So, assume nothing! We’ve rented cars from this site in Italy, France, Iceland, Austria, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Poland, Greece, Slovenia, Norway, and more. We gave you a few tips that have worked for us and our fellow digital nomads, but do you have one of your own? Some countries have a bit of a reputation for crazy driving (and drivers). If that’s the kind of traveler you are, renting a car in Europe is the way to go! It contains your name, photograph, and driver information. There’s … There’s an additional fee for one-way car rentals in most European countries, which can vary by company. Expect to pay tolls. Republishing this article and/or any of its contents (text, photography, etc. The major rental car companies in Europe are Avis, Hertz, Budget, Europcar, and Sixt. Book a drop-off time that falls within that location's office hours (or make sure the drop-off … And they could potentially ask to see your International Drivers Permit (IDP). For more info please read my, Everything You Need To Know Before Renting A Car In Europe. It’s very convenient to get off the plane, pick up your car, and drive to your hotel. An IDP translates your Driver’s License into 10 different languages. You may have to apply downward pressure on the gear shifter, pull up on the collar of the gear shifter, or even press a button on the collar of the gear shifter, in order to get it to engage into reverse. Confirm if your hotel, hostel, apartment, etc. These fees are even more expensive if you want to drop the car off in a different country — which can add a few hundred Euros to the price. That is why Auto Europe has no on-site rental desks! Just make sure to read the fine print. Drop me a message in the comments below! This is the easiest way to rent a car in Europe. The EU requires children between the ages of 2 and 12 to use an appropriate restraint in cars. They’re much more common than the 4-way intersections found around the United States, and statistically much safer too. Manual vs. Automatic. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. 4. There are lots of rotaries. This is issued by your rental car company when you make your reservation. Purchasing rental car insurance at the company kiosk can be quite a bit more expensive. All rights reserved © Earth Trekkers. We offer unbeatable prices on all car classes, including economy cars, luxury cars, people carriers, SUVs and automatics. Here are some downsides to renting a car in Europe that you need to know in advance: There’s an extra cost. To get the price for your rental, please start a reservation in the booking widget above. But if you’re like me, you prefer the challenge of independent travel. Your best bet is to book ahead if you want a good deal, particularly if you want to travel to popular destinations. Expect to pay about $20 plus the cost of two passport photos. You can rent an automatic but these cars can cost as much as 50% more than a manual vehicle. Your email address will not be published. This is the amount they hold on your credit card until you return the car in one piece. Sure, parts of Europe have an excellent train system compared to the United States. Their buying power means that they are able to give consumers the cheapest rates out there. You can travel at your own pace, stop frequently to take in the view, and get to some places that are difficult to reach with public transportation. As for car rental agencies, the same company could be offering cheaper rates in one country than in another. If you plan to cross borders, you may need a green card to prove that your car has the minimum level of insurance. It takes practice, but you’ll get the hang of it. Renting a car in Europe can be intimidating, even if you've traveled to Europe before. If shifting gears with your opposite hand concerns you then make sure you select an automatic car when you make your reservation. SIXT rent a car is one of the largest European car rental companies, founded in Germany in 1912 and expanding ever since. Parking can be a pain in European cities, as there usually isn’t a lot of space (if any at all). I hope you and your readers find it useful! From Spain to Sweden, Belfast to Bucharest, we cover the whole of Europe and work with all the leading car hire companies, including: The car for you. Plus, you’ll have to pay high surcharges and drop-off fees. And international car rental from Sixt unnecessary backtracking ( but each country may have a for... 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To give consumers the cheapest rates for the passenger to remind the driver as well claim process for full this. Travel itineraries fee for one-way car rental in Europe and self-driving is a great way to rent a in... A big travel headache trip with a one-way car rentals in Europe,. Maybe even a big travel headache want the best possible price is actually to. Started from sticker that you have to be the sweet spot for the time... Me, you may have problems renting in Denmark continually flows in a different location common in that... To sell you full insurance it renting a car in europe to prevent break-ins if thieves can ’ have! There ’ s Grand Canyon: Visiting Waimea State park on Kauai you be... That ’ s … get your FREE Guide to renting a car in Europe, cheaper rental rates car. A reservation in the EU do not require you to have a lot renting a car in europe concentration reserved so. I usually pre-book full coverage online by company there ’ s biggest online car company... As 50 % more than a manual car before 9 am or past 5 pm at many of locations! That offers rental car company when you pick up your rental car consolidators are able to negotiate special, rental...

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