Tips when hiring a car abroad

Caeva O'Callaghan | April 15th, 2016

With thoughts of booking summer holidays on the horizon, we’ve put together some useful tips on car hire abroad to make sure it’s a stress-free experience:

  • When hiring a car abroad, make sure that the requested insurance cover is documented. Ask specifically if the car provided will be fully equipped to meet all the legal requirements of the country being visited
  • Familiarise yourself with the rules of the road of the countries you intend to drive in
  • When collecting your car, ask the rental firm about their procedures should it break down and the emergency number to call
  • Check that your rented car has emergency equipment. Check all the switches, indicators and other controls – if any are unfamiliar or don’t work, ask the rental firm for guidance
  • A good phrasebook will come in handy for communicating with a policeman, breakdown recovery firm or garage
  • If you are looking for the best bargain, remember that prices quoted online often only contain the basics. Check what is included in the final quote and what is not. Pay special attention to airport surcharges and insurance cover
  • Check the cost of extras that you will need during your rental: child seat, additional driver, extra insurance etc.
  • Carry your driving licence, original vehicle registration document and passport; you may be asked to produce any one of these items. A provisional licence is unacceptable and the minimum driving age in most countries is 18
  • If you are staying in the EU then you do not need an international driving permit. However it is still worth having one as some hire companies insist on them
  • Remember that children under 12 and/or 1.5 metres in height are not permitted to travel as front seat passengers in some countries

All Information in this post is accurate as of the date of publishing.