Hiring a Car Abroad: Essential Things to Know

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When you go on vacation or on a business trip, it’s always important to consider the options you have for transportation and freedom of movement there. Many times you can’t just rely on public transportation, as it may not be ideal for getting to know all the peculiarities of the place you are traveling to.

Many people decide that the best thing in such moments is to hire a car so that they can move freely around the area, without depending on timetables and vehicles that may not be comfortable for them.

Therefore, even if you decide on this option, you must know that in each country there are different laws, especially for foreigners driving vehicles. Most of the time you need to have an international driver’s license and a valid biometric document. Carry your passport with you, because abroad you can only identify yourself with it.

Hiring a car on a vacation gives you exceptional freedom to visit every hidden corner of the area. Also, you must be prepared for the challenges, since driving rules may not be the same as at home.

There will always be a rental company to help you with the technical details, but you need to be aware of the legal requirements too.

So, here we are, helping you with this article, to get to know things better, and have a time of your life while on a vacation.


1. Research the laws where you are traveling

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Laws abroad are different from those at home. If you are sure that you want to rent a car when you arrive, then you need to find out what conditions you need to meet. Make sure you understand the road signs, as they may be different than in your home state.

Also, check if you are allowed to drive with sandals, or if you must wear closed shoes. In some states the tolerance for alcohol while driving is zero, so you must inform yourself about that aspect as well.

And of course, don’t forget to see if your driver’s license is valid there or if you need additional documents.

Consider booking a car as early as possible, using services like this website, or any other service that operates in the country you will travel. This way you are saving plenty of time, and you can get informed on what exactly you need directly by the operator.

2. Avoid car rental at the airport

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Although this seems like a great solution, car rental offices at the airport itself can be twice as expensive as other services in the city. Of course, do your research while you’re at home. In this way, you will avoid unnecessary costs and charge higher prices than the real ones.

3. Insurance problems

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This is a technical detail that many do not know. Car insurance is usually included in the rental price. Therefore, read the offered contract carefully. The company must detail all included costs in the price, so you know what you’re actually paying for.

Many times tourists have been tricked into buying an additional insurance policy, not knowing that in fact, everything is included in the price. And it’s good to know that such separate policies can be up to 60% more expensive than the actual value, so don’t let yourself be fooled on this topic.

4. Potential additional costs

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Some costs are not included and cannot even be calculated in the price. For example, as the user of the car, you pay the local taxes for using the roads, washing the car, tolls, fuel, and even possibly if you are fined for a traffic violation.

In the end, you return the car with a full tank, just like you actually got it from the rental company.

5. Make a record of the actual condition of the car

Many tourists forget to do this, so they pay for damages that they did not do. Therefore, together with the operator, inspect the condition of the car before entering it, because everything you notice from that moment is your responsibility. If necessary, take photos and rely on your phone’s metadata, which stores accurate information about the date and time the photo was taken. This means that you need to synchronize the date and time with the appropriate time zone.

Fair rental companies will accept to make a record and sign it so that you are not exposed to additional costs. This is a great way to avoid unfair costs that should not be your burden at all.

Benefits of hiring a car when traveling abroad

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Whether you’re on vacation or a business trip, driving can give you incredible flexibility and the ability to plan your own time and activities. Therefore, if you can afford it, use car rental services to your advantage.

The tips in this article will help you find a professional company that will meet your requirements. Try to ask for offers from several companies, so that you have a choice for yourself. Pay attention to their requests from you and the obligations you have.

Of course, you must know the laws of the country you are traveling to, and see if you can drive a vehicle independently at your age.

The biggest benefit is the freedom you have at any time to go where you want, without being bound by public transport or expensive taxi services.

That is why many tourists choose this option, although it may not be the most economical.

However, nowadays, people prefer to be free and independent rather than being restricted by public transport or not being able to move freely around the tourist spot.


These were the most important things to know before you hire a car while traveling abroad.

Keep in mind that this option is pretty expensive and you must be ready to spend a significant amount of money if you want to use it regularly.

Surely, finding a reliable and professional company will save you a lot of time and nerves.

Make sure you understand the laws and rules. And of course, drive carefully and be respectful of the road signs.