How to Rent a Car in Europe

There are plenty of options to reserve a car in advance if you intend to rent a car in Europe. Doing this before you leave avoids the stress of making arrangements when you arrive.


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    Search for a car rental agent in the country you're visiting.
    • Most major car rental companies have offices at major international airports, or they work with local rental agents at smaller airports, offering rental cars in most European cities.
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    Consider the size, make and model of car you want to rent.
    • The size of your party and your travel itinerary will determine the size and model of rental car you need. Minivans in Europe are referred to as "people carriers" and these are the best options for larger groups of travelers.
    • It might be more cost effective to get a bigger car for a larger party, but, if you intend to split up during your trip, or if you need 2 modes of transport, 2 smaller cars would be required. Consider who is traveling and what your needs will be before you make a decision about the size of car you will need.
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    Make a list of who in your party will be driving so they can be listed as a named driver.
    • Any rental agent will require you to provide the names the drivers of the car. They will need to be over 21, or in some cases 25. If you, or any named drivers, are younger than 25, check the insurance charges before you book your car to avoid being surprised by a high insurance premium upon arrival at your destination.


  • Longer rentals are typically cheaper than rentals day by day. Forward planning, and arranging an itinerary for your trip might allow for renting your car for a longer period. Front loading any driving will avoid having to rent multiple cars on your trip. You may save some money if you plan your itinerary around the rental car dates.
  • Drivers over the age of 70 will be denied rentals, or will be denied the request to be a named as a driver on a car rental in most countries in Europe. Be sure to check age restrictions with the rental agent before you book.
  • Make your travel itinerary clear to the rental agent when you book your rental car. Insurance rates will change from 1 country to the next. Collision damage laws and rules are different from country to country as well, so be sure to get a full breakdown of insurance coverage and traffic laws for all the countries you intend to travel through. This should be readily available from the rental agent.

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Categories: Renting Cars