For international car rentals, such as auto rental in Europe, you will need to keep in mind car rental hire factors that may be different that what you're used to. You may need to plan for higher fuel prices, different units of measure, currency conversion and age requirements as well as different traffic and insurance regulations in your destination country.
Therefore, the rental car policies for international car rental hire locations are specific for each country and sometimes location. If you make your reservation on line make sure to check out the rules and regulation specific to that country.
If you plan on traveling to different countries during the time of your rental, especially with rental cars in Europe, it is crucial to check out the different policies, with regards to Cross Border Travel.
If you know that you will be traveling into a different country during your rental you should check out
comprehensive pdf guide
with everything you need to know about finding, booking, and driving a car rental in Europe, from Auto Europe Car Rental.
If you call a company direct to make a reservation, the agent is required to let you know of any mandatory regulation information for that country.
Here are some basic tips when renting a car overseas:
The minimum age for most countries is 25. Most will allow you to rent at a lower age as well, with an underage fee. Fee varies by company as well as by country... check your preferred renters' policy for the city, dates and times of your rental.
In Ireland there is a maximum age requirement. You must be 75 or under to rent or drive in that country. There are other maximum age requirements that vary by country as well as by car rental company. Click Here, for more information on maximum age restrictions.
In the US and Canada, some rental companies allow a spouse to drive your rental car with no extra fee. For international car rental hire, there will be an extra driver fee for all additional drivers. All drivers must still show valid credit ID in order to rent or drive the vehicle. Not many international locations will accept debit cards, so make sure to check location policy before you arrive.
If you select a basic rental rate your total price after tax will include value added tax (VAT), any location surcharges (like airport fees) and public liability insurance. For some auto rental(Europe, for example, )the public liability is insurance is offered as a mandatory separate coverage. You may often have the option of an inclusive rate. This will include everything in the basic rate plus collision damage waiver (CDW) and theft protection for the rental vehicle. In North America you would purchase a LOSS damage that would include theft. International car rentals differ in that they offer these two coverages separately.
For most international rentals, the purchase of a collision damage waiver does not completely cover the rental car. Depending on the location and vehicle size there will be a deductible (also called a non-waivable excess or car rental excess) that you would have to pay, should you incur damages to the vehicle.
Some locations in some countries may offer a premium collison damage waiver package or car rental excess insurance that would lower or eliminate your deductible. Check with the location at the time of rental if you are interested in this option.
Note: Theft protection is mandatory in the following: Italy, Hungary, and Macedonia.
Some credit cards may cover you for car rental hire outside of North America. Check carefully for terms and conditions on this coverage. Keep in mind also, that most credit card coverages have a stipulation that you must refuse coverage from the rental company... but many international rentals have bundled rates which may "include" insurance. Know your particular credit cards policies with regards to rates which already include coverage.
INTERNATIONAL DRIVERS PERMIT
Renters and additional drivers must hold a full driving license from their country of residence for a minimum of 12 months.
A U.S. or Canadian issued driver’s license is honored in most countries; however, there are countries where non-local driving licenses (in different languages or particularly in languages using a non-Roman alphabet, such as Chinese or Arabic) are not honored.
It is recommended that you carry an International Drivers Permit (IDP) for most international car rentals. An IDP is written in 10 languages and serves as an officially recognized translation of your local driving license in over 150 participating members of the United Nations.
Your IDP should always be accompanied by your valid local driver’s license and passport. The Permit has been widely used for more than fifty years and is recognized almost anywhere in the world. More information on international driving permits can be found at www.idlicense.com
When you are checking rates, if your international car rental price quote is presented in U.S. or Canadian dollars, keep in mind that the rental location will charge the equivalent in local currency. Keep in mind that the exchange rate you receive will be the actual exchange rate on the day of pick up, not the day you reserved the vehicle.
Currency conversions can be tricky. Credit cards often charge a fee for currency conversion; also if you are booking with a travel agency they may charge a fee as well. You can incur a lot of surcharges without even realizing it.
Any time you plan an international car rental, whether it's for rental cars in Europe or around the world, it's important to check with your credit card and travel company to make sure you're using the payment option that will allow you to avoid any unnecessary surcharges.
Cars are generally smaller for car rental hire internationally . Think one size down from what you are used to! A midsize to you would be considered a full size overseas. The trunks are smaller as well. Most fleets internationally will offer manual as well as automatic transmission. Cars with manual transmission are usually cheaper.
ONE-WAY RENTALS/ BORDER CROSSING
Renters may be permitted to drive the rental vehicle into neighboring countries based on the policies of the rental location regarding travel between countries.
Cross Border travel in a rental car is commonly prohibited into Eastern European Countries.
You must contact your rental car provider of choice in order to determine their particular policy with regards to cross border travel and/or one way rentals - within the same country or to another country.
See below for some Q&A with regards to Cross Border Travel within Europe:
RULES OF THE ROAD
Unlike North America, many countries have laws that you must drive on the left-hand side of the road.