Driving in Europe: Rental Car Tips

Europe is a continent full of history, culture, and scenic beauty that is best explored at your own pace. Renting a car is an excellent way to do just that, whether you're planning a long-distance trip across multiple countries or just want to explore a particular region. 

However, renting and driving a car in Europe can be challenging, especially if you're not familiar with the local laws and customs. In this blog post, we'll provide you with some valuable tips and advice to help you make the most of your European road trip. From choosing a rental company to navigating unfamiliar roads, we'll cover everything you need to know to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey. So, buckle up, and let's hit the road!

What do I Need to Know When Renting a Car in Europe?

You can easily travel between countries and explore different regions at your own pace. When planning your itinerary, make sure you factor in enough time for driving and don’t try to cram too much into your schedule. It’s also a good idea to plan your route in advance and book accommodations ahead of time.

When renting a car in Europe, there are some important things to keep in mind. Firstly, make sure you have a valid driver’s license and are old enough to rent a car. With addCar Rental, you must be at least 23 years old to rent and drive a car and you must have held a valid driver’s license for no less than two years. Additionally, you will need to provide an identification document and a valid driver's license as part of the rental process.

You may also need an international driver’s license, depending on your home country and where you plan to rent the car. Check with addCar for the specific requirements for your destination.

Tips for Renting and Driving a Car in Europe

  • Choosing a Car Rental Company: There are many car rental companies in Europe, and it's important to choose one that provides good service and a wide selection of cars. addCar Rental provides full insurance coverage and has a large and diverse fleet of vehicles from budget to luxury cars.
  • Get Full Insurance Coverage: It’s important to get full insurance coverage when renting a car in Europe. This will protect you in case of an accident or theft. Make sure to read the rental agreement carefully and understand what is covered and what is not.
  • Automatic vs Manual Transmission: Most cars in Europe have manual transmissions, so if you’re not comfortable driving a stick shift, make sure to book an automatic transmission car in advance.
  • Putting Your Rental Car in Reverse: In Europe, many cars have the reverse gear in a different position than in other parts of the world. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the car’s controls before hitting the road.
  • GPS: Navigation can be tricky in Europe, especially in urban areas with confusing street layouts. Consider renting a GPS device or using a navigation app on your phone to help you get around.
  • One-Way Rentals: If you’re planning a one-way trip, make sure to check with your rental company about their policies on one-way rentals. addCar will in some destinations charge extra fees for dropping off the car in a different location than where you picked up. Make sure to ask if this is the case for your specific destination.
  • International Driver’s License: Depending on your home country and where you plan to rent the car, you may need an international driver’s license. addCar can inform you whether or not you need it.
  • Road Tolls and Vignettes: In some countries, you will need to pay road tolls or purchase a vignette (a sticker that allows you to use the highways). When you rent a car with addCar, you can purchase a toll pass service that will allow you to drive through tolls without paying out of your own pocket. Instead, the toll charges will be added to your rental invoice that you pay at the end of the rental period.
  • European Roads and Roundabouts: European roads can be narrow and winding, with roundabouts instead of traditional intersections. Make sure to drive cautiously and pay attention to the rules of the road.
  • Don’t Speed: Speed limits in Europe can vary from country to country, so make sure to pay attention to the signs. Also, be aware of different laws and regulations, such as the lower alcohol limits in some countries.
  • Driving Rules in Europe: Make sure to familiarize yourself with the driving rules in each country you plan to visit. For example, in some countries, you need to drive on the left-hand side of the road – but typically it is on the right. And passing is done on the left.
  • Restricted Driving Zones: Many European cities have restricted driving zones, which are off-limits to cars without a permit. Be sure to research any restrictions in the cities you plan to visit. Crossing the lines of the zones might result in tickets.
  • Urban Driving and Parking Rules: Parking can be challenging in European cities, so be sure to familiarize yourself with local parking rules and regulations.
  • Age Requirement: In most European countries, you need to be at least 18 years old to drive a car. To rent a car from addCar, the driver must have a minimum age of 23 and hold a valid driving license for at least two years. Additionally, you will need to provide an identification document and a valid driver's license as part of the rental process.
  • Returning Your Car: Be sure to return your rental car on time and in the same condition you received it to avoid any additional fees.

Renting a car in Europe can be a fantastic way to explore the continent and see all it has to offer. However, it's important to do your research and make sure you're prepared for the challenges of driving in a foreign country. With the tips and advice in this blog post, you'll be ready to hit the road and enjoy an unforgettable European adventure.


Can you drive through Europe in a rental car?

Yes, you can drive through Europe in a rental car, but be sure to research the rules and regulations of each country you plan to visit.

How do I prepare for driving in Europe?

Research the rules and regulations of the countries you plan to visit, familiarize yourself with the controls of your rental car, and make sure you're fully insured.

Should you get insurance on a rental car in Europe?

Yes, it's important to make sure you're fully insured.