How to Rent a Car Abroad? 6 Useful Tips

Road trips and auto traveling are gaining great popularity all over the world. Unfortunately, traveling by your own car is not possible everywhere. The solution to the problem is car rental. Of course, when using this service, you should take into consideration some features…

What are the advantages of car rental abroad?

If your travel plan includes a lot of places located in different countries, then renting a car becomes very profitable. You are not tied to a certain route, and can choose places for stops on your own – the journey turns into a comfortable and exciting adventure.

Plus, if the night caught on the way and you didn’t have time to get to the intended spot for staying, you can spend the night in the cabin of the car – all your belongings are always there and there’s no risk of losing your luggage. The only advice – you need to find special places for this purpose.

(photo by benjamin sTone)

Where to search for car rental services?

There are three most popular vehicle rental options:

  • · Car booking through the company’s website;
  • · Reserving car rental upon arrival at the airport, railway station, or visiting the company’s city office.

Car rental upon arrival is the most expensive way to rent a car. In addition, there’s no guarantee that it will be possible to choose exactly the car that suits you.

The best option is to pre-book a vehicle on the company’s website, or search for car by using such aggregator websites as, which collects information concerning available deals from different car rental suppliers.

All companies providing car rental services can be divided into several categories:

  • · If you are not financially limited, give preference to international companies – Advantage, Budget, Europcar, Alamo, National, Sixt, Avis,
  • Hertz, or Thrifty. Using the services of these companies guarantees excellent quality and high reliability.

  • · In case you travel on a budget, it can be a nice idea to deal with smaller regional companies. This solution will require much less financial costs, but sometimes the service quality is not very good.
  • · Large broker companies posting on their pages offers and prices for a large number of car rentals. Scrolling through the database sites, you can compare prices and choose the most suitable option.
  • · Another possibility to rent a car is to receive the service as an additional option included into the hotel room price.

Vasagatan, Stockholm, Sweden

(photo by Norbert Meissner)

How to choose a suitable deal?

When booking a car through the website, it’s necessary to fill in the submitted form. However, first you should know the additional criteria by which to select a deal:

  • · choose a familiar car brand;
  • · check the amount of surcharges at registration of the second driver;
  • · ask for the ability to return a car to a different locations;
  • · clarify the size and form of the deposit;
  • · rent a car with full insurance coverage included – it will cost a little more than other types of protection packages, but it will cover all possible damages to your car;
  • · add GPS navigator, child seats and other additional equipment in case you need;
  • · choose the most suitable refueling option. Full-to-full and prepaid fuel are the most common refueling types.

How many rental days to book?

When planning a trip, we usually rent a car exactly for as many days as we need. However, sometimes renting for a week can cost less than 4-, 5- or 6-day rental.

In this case, you can use this option to save money, but only if the early return of the car is not subject to additional fines.

Also, you should know that car rental for a long time will cost cheaper than 1-5-day deals. So, the longer the rental period, the less you pay for each day you use the car.

What documents do you need for car rental?

The list of documents for concluding a car rental agreement depends on the specific car rental supplier, but the general policy has the following requirements:

  • · Driving license of international standard. Sometimes, your domestic driving license only is required;
  • · Car rental voucher;
  • · Passport or any form of ID;
  • · Credit/debit card with a balance of more than $500. In order to rent a premium car, you will need a deposit of $1,000-2,000. Remember that some companies don’t accept debit cards.

(photo by Murat Sonmez)

What requirements must a renter meet?

In order to be able to rent a car, the driver must meet certain requirements:

  • · A renter must be over 18 years old, but in most cases over 21 years old. Certain restrictions may apply for such drivers.
  • · The minimum age to rent a car without any limitations is 25 years old.
  • · In some companies, there are upper age limits – 70-85 years.
  • · Usually, drivers up to 25 years old must pay a daily young driver’s fee.
  • · At least 1 year of driving experience is needed. Expensive and prestigious car groups/brands require experience of 3-5 years.

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