Countries that require you to have an IDP are Spain, Germany, Italy, Greece, Slovenia, Poland, Hungary, Austria, and Bosnia & Herzegovina. If you plan to drive in Ireland and Great Britain from Europe, you might want to book separately. When booking your car, use a credit card that offers rental car insurance. Pay attention to if your rental car takes regular petrol or diesel fuel, so you fill up with the correct type at gas stations. Renting a car is the way to go! I hope you and your readers find it useful! Many car rental companies offer free cancellation, so if your plans change you can always cancel down the road, without paying a fee. When you go to pick up your car they will ask to see your confirmation number, drivers license, passport, and credit card. It’s up to you to decide if the extra fee at the airport or train station is worth the convenience. No planning, no driving, just sit back and let someone else do all the work! Even if you don't plan on driving in Europe, bring your license and a credit card. 4. 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? 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! This is why I highly recommend getting full insurance coverage. Failure to do so could cost you a €60 fine or more. One-way car rental in Europe is a very convenient way of planning your travel. Sure, parts of Europe have an excellent train system compared to the United States. Although in the United Kingdom and Ireland, remember that the lanes are opposite, and the passing lane is on the right side! Some companies don’t allow drivers to drive to certain countries, usually in eastern or southeastern Europe. This is the amount they hold on your credit card until you return the car in one piece. Occasionally, it might be hard to find a rental car if you are in some remote part of a country or on an island. This fee ranges from €15 to €50. Some car rental suppliers will have rental options for drivers over the age of 18 and looking to rent a car in Europe. You can rent an automatic but these cars can cost as much as 50% more than a manual vehicle. If you are over the age of 69, rental companies in Ireland might charge an extra fee. This is the most annoying part of renting a car in Europe! Their buying power means that they are able to give consumers the cheapest rates out there. At first, it takes a lot of concentration. 4. Picking up a Rental Car at an Airport or Train Station Adds an Extra Fee. Sometimes there are locals who rent cars to tourists. Countries that can make this list are Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Albania, and Montenegro. Consider taking your European road trip during shoulder seasons, or off-season to get lower rental car rates. If you rent a car in a country that requires a vignette, you will already be covered. When getting an estimate for different pick-up and drop-off locations, you have to decide if the extra money you will spend is worth saving the time and extra driving. However, there are some things to know about renting a car in Europe. 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. A green card is a cross-border insurance card that proves that your car has at least minimum level of insurance required. You may not always get the make/model/type of car you booked. 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. In a roundabout, traffic continually flows in a circle around a center island. Drop me a message in the comments below! Renting a car in Europe can be intimidating, even if you've traveled to Europe before. An IDP translates your Driver’s License into 10 different languages. You can purchase one at a border crossing for €3 to €10, depending on the country. Thanks again, Your email address will not be published. Whether you’re exploring new areas, picking up new traveling buddies or simply cruising Europe on your own pace. Comment below and let us know! It’s why I usually pre-book full coverage online. 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. 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. It takes extra time to price out five companies, but prices can vary widely depending on promotions and supply and demand, and it has been worth it to do this extra work in order to save money. Your email address will not be published. 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. Inspect your car thoroughly and record video on your smartphone pointing out damage before you leave. There’s an additional fee for one-way car rentals in most European countries, which can vary by company. If you don’t know where to exit, just take another trip (or two) around the circle until you do. European Driving Laws Tourists Should Know, 7. Renting a car anywhere exposes you to a laundry list of gotchas, but tourist-frequented Europe has its own traps for unwary renters. Cars are smaller. True adventure, with no set schedule or timetable. Or your credit card may already cover additional insurance. 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. Rental Insurance. 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. For instance, toll gates can cost you a fortune in some countries like France, and the longer the distance, of course, the more you pay. It’s cheaper than at the counter — and then you won’t have to worry about accidents at all! They’re much more common than the 4-way intersections found around the United States, and statistically much safer too. Vignettes are sold at border crossings and nearby gas stations. The claim process for Full … Knowing these differences in advance can save you some money and maybe even a big travel headache. Other companies may charge a small fee for using a credit card. Any car you rent in Europe will come with a basic level of compulsory cover. The major rental car companies in Europe are Avis, Hertz, Budget, Europcar, and Sixt. Hopefully you found it useful. Renting a Car in Europe #1 Choosing a Company. 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. There’s a very good chance that you will be adding diesel to your car, rather than unleaded gasoline. That way it's easy to rent a car for a day on a whim (and about $50–100). However there isn’t usually a fee for crossing from one EU country into another. Countries that require vignettes include Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Switzerland, Hungary, Slovenia, and Bulgaria. Possible options include private parking on the hotel property, parking on the road next to the hotel, or in a nearby parking garage. A vignette is simply a sticker that you attach to your windshield that shows that you have paid the highway taxes. 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. Unlike in the United States, it’s illegal to make a right turn on red lights in Europe, with some exceptions in Germany as indicated by traffic signs. Manual vs. Automatic. 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. In Europe, some cars require an extra step. Some rental car companies will charge you extra for driving their cars into certain countries. Or, you may have to pay a fee for crossing those borders (mentioned earlier). Use Google Maps on your smartphone for directions. Each country has their own rules when it comes to driving. 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). If they give you a smaller car, or a manual when you asked for an automatic, be pushy and ask for an upgrade. We do not have our own cars, but work with different suppliers to provide you with a suitable car. Europe Car Rental . The smaller shop in town did not have the compact car that we reserved, so Tim drove this beast on the Autobahn. Here are some downsides to renting a car in Europe that you need to know in advance: There’s an extra cost.
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