The Ultimate Guide to renting a car in Europe Hints, Tips & Advice
Why Rent a Car in Europe
Renting a car in Europe make it so easy to literally get off the beaten track and check out areas you didn’t even know existed. Deciding to renting a car in Europe not only will make your trip easier, but also more memorable for the unique opportunities it would give you.
Here’s why road tripping in Europe is the best way to travel!
It is the best way to discover more places in the countries you’re visiting, places where you wouldn’t get so easily (if at all) without a car and it’s the perfect way to go on a road trip and stop in picturesque places to take photos. However, a lot of people think it’s too difficult or too expensive, so here I am to give you all the information, advice, hints and tricks that you need to know about car rentals in Europe.
Probably the best reason for renting a car in Europe is the flexibility you get by driving instead of taking other public transportation. Busses and trains are limited to set stops and from there its difficult to wander off the beaten track. Moreover, renting a car allows you to explore wherever you want.
The most amazing thing about road trip in Europe is that the region has so many small countries close together. Within hours you can be in a new country, experiencing a new culture, tasting an entirely new food and zipping between countries becomes even easier by car. Plus, it’s so much easier to toss your luggage into the back of a car than lug it through the streets.
One more thing about renting a car is that you are able to take off and arrive when you want. You can sleep in the next morning and leave later and you can grab breakfast or lunch on the way. It’s all up to you!
Last but not least, road tripping in Europe is great because you are able to pick it up in one spot and drop it off in another. No longer do you need to pick and return at the same location, now you can make a trip that suits your trip itinerary.
Advice for renting a car in Europe
- Get your documents in order
If you don’t have a passport, it will take at least four to six weeks from the time of application for you to receive one. Already have a passport? Check its expiration date. The last thing you need is to find out your passport has expired just before your holidays begin.
All car rental companies require drivers to have valid licenses in their home country, so you’ll also want to check the expiration date of your license. Some car rental companies also require an international driving permit for European rentals in addition to a valid driver’s license.
- Establish a budget
Establish a budget as early as possible — even before you know your destination, travel dates or itinerary. Some destinations are generally cheaper than others, but there are ways to save everywhere: travel in the off season, pick budget accommodations, plan a shorter trip. Set your budget early on, and you’ll avoid any disappointment that could come from forging a fabulous itinerary, like two weeks in the French Riviera during summer, and then discovering you can’t afford it.
- Pick a destination
Now that you know how much you can spend, where do you want to go? If you’re like many travellers (including me!) and you have a huge list of places in Europe you want to visit, this could be tricky.
- Create a rough itinerary
So you want to go to Greece, eh? Don’t go ahead and buy a roundtrip flight to Athens and a hotel room — at least, not yet. You’ll want to sketch out a day-by-day itinerary of your perfect trip to Greece before you book a thing. Research sites and cities you really want to explore, and then figure out which ones you have the time and budget to get to.
- Always make your bookings in advance
Flight tickets will probably be the most expensive part of your trip so you’ll want to book it before anything else (car rental, hotel, etc.). This will allow you to be more flexible with your dates, which is a great way to save money on your flight. You can also spend less by flying on charter airlines.
It’s time to go back to that rough itinerary you noted and fill in some places to sleep. As is the case with pretty much everything you book for your trip, the earlier you make arrangements, the better — especially during summer high season.
- Book a car insurance
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Their excess insurance policies provide cover for damage, theft, fire and vandalism charges up to $2,500 and includes damage to vulnerable parts of the vehicle such as tyres, roof, windscreen and undercarriage which are often excluded by the rental companies’ equivalent cover. Policies are available on both a daily and annual basis and start from as little as US$4.50 per day and US$ 49.90 per year.
Hints and Tips for Renting a Car in Europe
- Rental cars providers in Europe aren’t expensive. You can search and compare car rentals on Ticketseller via Auto Europe
- Booking a rental car is a really easy process. Simply put in your details, dates, locations, car preferences and press search. Bookings can be made with a credit card and you’ll receive the receipt and car rental voucher straight to your inbox.
- Get quotes for weekly rentals
- Double-check currency conversions when comparing prices
- Pay upfront for the car
- Choosing a Pick-Up & Drop-Off Place and Time
- Video or Photograph the Car for Previous Damages
- Avoid Calling Rental Cars at Airports or Major Train Stations