What Documents Do You Need to Rent a Car in Europe – 2024 Guide

Traveling abroad, especially to Europe, is always interesting and brings us chills, as we are going to travel and explore new countries and learn more about other cultures. Now, once we get there, usually it’s transportation that troubles people the most, and even though some prefer buses or trains, the best option is to rent a car, as it gives us that much-needed freedom. On the other hand, you should also know that every country has its own take on who can rent/drive a car and what documents one needs to have, which is what we will now focus more on.

Why rent a vehicle?

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There are many reasons why renting a car is the best way to visit some foreign country and why it has many advantages over using some other type of transportation. Sometimes getting there by your own vehicle can be pretty costly and require a lot of time, but having it there will give you the freedom to explore places without any limitations. Instead of thinking about how to get your car into a foreign country, it is a much better solution to rent one and enjoy the journey without obstacles.

Besides that, even though public transportation is the preferable choice by many, renting a vehicle is a much better option. Namely, the level of comfort and independence you get when using these services is something that simply cannot be compared to anything else. Imagine that you want to get to some city in the middle of the night so that you would have the entire day to explore it. In many cases, taking a bus or a train is not an option, and taxi services can get even more costly. Of course, this is just one plain example, but it says a lot about the benefits of rent-a-car services.

Where to rent it?

Although renting a car straight from the airport, bus, or train station might seem like the simplest solution, it is, in most cases, the most expensive one and better to avoid. Instead of that, it is much better to check the companies near the arrival place and find a more affordable one. It is not pleasant to wander around a foreign country, usually without understanding the local language, and because of that, it is necessary to do some research before the trip and know where these companies are located and which of them is the cheapest option.

Another option that can cost even less and that many people use is to find rent a car company in advance, book directly, and finish all the paperwork in time, even before they embark on their journey. Doing so might be the best solution as you will not lose any of that precious time searching for these services when you arrive. Of course, this is probably the riskiest option as if you don’t know where and what to search for, making a mistake and going with an unreliable company can also happen. That is why doing some homework before taking any action is highly advised. Namely, what you want from a rent-a-car company is the professional service, best rental car services included (free GPS, additional driver), and full insurance coverage, and you can find more info on that on this website.

Check the age limits

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In most European countries, it is necessary to have at least 18 years in order to get a driver’s license. Of course, there are some exceptions, and in some of them, it is possible to get the trial one, but it means the more experienced driver needs to be present in the vehicle, and minors cannot rent it. However, even if the age limit to get the license is 18, in most of these countries, it will be necessary to be at least 25 years old and have a five-year of experience in order to rent a vehicle without paying extra fees. Drivers younger than 25 years with less than five years of license are also able to rent a car, but it is most likely they need to pay some extra fees in order to do that.

Bring an international driver’s license

Source: internationaldrivingpermit.org

Although it is more than obvious, the most important document one needs to have if they want to rent a vehicle, not only in Europe but everywhere, is a valid driver’s license. Depending on the country we want to visit, we need to inform ourselves and check whether it is necessary to bring an international one or it is enough to have the regular one. Even though getting the international license might seem like an unnecessary cost, it is always better to be safe than sorry, and bringing it on a trip across Europe is probably the best idea. It’s always a much better idea to be prepared for everything that might happen, meaning that you should inform yourself about the law and driving regulations of the country you are going to because even though the EU has certain laws, every country has slightly different ones, so make sure to do your research in time.

Choose passport over ID

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In almost every country in the world, it is necessary to have an ID with you to prove your identity when necessary, and it is the same in Europe, but it stands only for people with their citizenship. Tourists, on the other side, need to have their passports, and of course, they should be valid. Regarding that, you do not need to be surprised if the employee in the rent-a-car company asks you to show them your passport before signing a rent contract.

Get the full-cover insurance

Source: aarp.org

Most rental cars already have some sort of insurance that covers some minor breakages, but if we want to be sure that we are fully protected, it is necessary to ask for full-cover insurance. The reason for that is pretty simple, as this policy costs less than potential repairs, and since we are not familiar with roads, it is much safer to think in time and protect our loved ones and us during the ride. Furthermore, if you get full insurance coverage, you will not have to worry about any additional costs and fees, and even though you might pay a bit more for such insurance, it’s the best option.