Car rental in Europe from A to Z. Tips, accuracy and recommendations



Europe is ready to provide its guests with a sophisticated car rental business. Many resort to these services to save time and money, because the cost of taxis and public transportation is sometimes unreasonable. Traveling with a company in a rental car generally becomes profitable.

Rental points are open in almost all European cities. Big chains offer customers rides in one city and back in another, allowing them to travel smoothly as planned. Even TNCs practice renting a car in another country. Rental options can be chosen for every taste, taking into account personal preferences and financial constraints.

What you need to know about car rental in Europe?

There are a lot of nuances that must be taken into account when concluding a car rental agreement:

car delivery

Many companies allow you to rent a car during off-duty hours. This happens as follows: you leave the car somewhere and notify the manager of the company by phone. What are the consequences of such actions? Receiving an invoice for the extra time to use the machine and finding any damage that was not caused by you, as the technical condition check was carried out without a party involved.

Multinational companies allow customers to rent a car at off-dates using special stations installed in the car parks in front of their offices. To do this, you must provide the address of the station where you drove the car. In this case, under the contract, you will be personally responsible for this until the office is opened.

Many companies allow you to rent cars outside of business hours.

Rental terms

Each European country sets its own rental terms. Significant differences are associated with age restrictions:


  1. From the age of 18 he will give a car for rent in Germany, Sweden, Austria, Croatia, Slovakia and Slovenia.
  2. From the age of 19 - in Estonia and Norway.
  3. From the age of 20 - in Bulgaria, Finland and Switzerland.
  4. From the age of 21 - in all other European countries, except Luxembourg.
  5. From 25 years old - in Ireland.

An elite-class car can be had just about everywhere starting at age 24, and later if you've had at least a year or two of driving experience. Young drivers under the age of 25 without driving experience will have to pay an additional amount of money, which is a guarantor of the rental company.

The minimum rental time is one day. If the car is delivered after an hour, you will have to pay in full for the second day. In small businesses, being late can turn a blind eye.

Cheap car rental - how to arrange inexpensive travel without a deposit?

You can save money on the car yard by booking online.The earlier this is done, the less you will have to pay for the service.

Small businesses offer relatively inexpensive rental services. They charge about $15 less per day, but you have fewer guarantees in this case. Frequent travelers find it more profitable to use the offers of any one international company in order to get discounts and rewards.

Rent without guarantees can be found only in small businesses, but it is better to study the reviews and advice of those who have used their services.

Insurance and discount

Companies usually offer several types of insurance:

Regular insurance costs about $13 per day. More money will be collected from drivers between the ages of 21 and 25. If you want to travel with a rented car to another country, you need to pay for an extended insurance package, which will also be valid there. That's an extra $7-13 per day.

Comprehensive insurance on a discount basis is very expensive ($380 - $2,300 depending on the state and company). Customers rarely issue it, but it completely limits their liability. Such insurance is justified with a little driving experience and a trip to a big city. After it is issued, the customer can be sure that the rental company will not be able to claim more than the amount paid for the lien, even if the car will not be subject to repair after an accident.

Each European country has its own rental terms.

Best car rental companies

Proven companies that clearly fulfill their obligations include:

  • europe car.
  • income.
  • six.
  • Avis.
  • Hertz.

They provide you with the opportunity to book and pay for a car online, offer you all types of insurance and their requirements even before booking, allow you to travel abroad by car and return it to another country, provide additional services (car rental navigator, child seats, etc.).

Car rental services and complexes

Reliable services that allow you to compare offers from different companies, according to user reviews, include: Rentalcars.com, carrentals.com, Economycarrentals.com, traveljigsaw.ru. Aggregator Avtorentovik shows free cars, taking into account the required address, and shows it on the map.

Car rental documents

The customer must have the following package with him:

  • an international passport.
  • Driving license (national or international).
  • Credit card.

The cost of gas and gas stations

Fuel is expensive in Europe. Gasoline 95 and 98, depending on the country, costs 1-2 dollars per liter, diesel - 50 cents - 1.5 dollars.

At gas stations there is a car pre-filling system, in which the required amount of fuel is first poured, after which it is paid for. Most often, the customer is served by a gas station employee. In some countries, there are automatic filling stations, where fuel is cheaper.

Traffic rules and fines

Traffic rules in Europe are practically the same as ours. Let's highlight some of the features:

  1. Insert the emergency ring during emergency braking.
  2. Speed ​​limits vary by country. In Poland, this is usually 70 km / h, because the roads go through settlements. There are no restrictions Li German highways. In France and other countries - 130 km / h, and during heavy rain 110 km / h.
  3. When driving on "mountain" highways on steep slopes and ascents, an additional lane is created for cars that cannot move at high speed. You should drive on it if the engine is not powerful or the vehicle is overloaded.
  4. In Great Britain, Austria and Cyprus, traffic on the road is left-handed. Is it possible that we have already said, and information about the conditions for renting a car in Cyprus.
  5. In Italy, trams always have an advantage on the road.

Fines in Europe are high. You will have to pay $ 25 for talking on a mobile phone, for speed by 20 km / h, depending on the state, $ 25-250, drunk driving $ 250-2000, for an unfastened seat belt - $ 350, parking tickets from $ 25 .


Rent a car in EuropeToday, it is not a luxury, but one of the most convenient and economical means of transport in those countries where public transport is incredibly expensive. It is much more profitable to rent a car than to spend money on public transportation. For example, one round trip for 3 people in the Copenhagen metro will cost at least 3.5 * 3 * 2 = 21 euros, while for this money you can easily rent a car for the whole day! In addition, the more people travel together, the more tangible the benefits of renting a car become. And there is no need to say much about the comfort of traveling by car. I think everyone understands very well that there is simply no more convenient option for independent travel!


However, you need to know all the subtleties and features well to avoid sad mistakes when renting a car. In fact, I wrote this article: to help you understand everything in detail.


We are already experienced travelers and have visited more than 45 countries. Many of them rented cars: in Thailand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, at home and at. We rented cars from European countries in Switzerland, Portugal, Denmark, Greece, Malta and Cyprus. We drove a rental car in Spain, France, Italy, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina. In addition, we have already made four trips across Europe with our own car, with a total length of more than 20,000 km.


In this article I will share all the necessary information so that you can safely rent a car in Europe: what you need to rent, where is more profitable and cheaper, what is the procedure, insurances, tolls, parking, navigator, etc. .


  1. We are looking for the best offers in the city for your dates... It's best to do it in advance online. This is always cheaper and more convenient.
  2. We book a car on the site.
  3. We pick up the car at the appointed place at the agreed time.Here you will need to sign an agreement, make a deposit (deposit), carefully inspect the car for damage, and all the damages found must be indicated in the car inspection report. I always recommend to photograph the car. Walk around the car in a circle, video from all sides, the condition of the interior, the roof, be sure to pay attention to the tires and windows, note the fuel level.
  4. enjoy the trip.
  5. We rent a car at the end of the rental term.If everything is in order, then this procedure is much easier and faster than the previous ones. So that there are no unnecessary questions later, I also recommend photographing the car from all sides.

It seems that everything is simple and clear. But there are many nuances. Let's put things in order.


What do you need to rent a car in Europe

  • A valid national driver's license with the name and surname repeated in English, as well as the inscription Perm├Ęs de Condoire... It can be a new type of driver's hood (plastic), or another old model (wrapped). In most cases, this is sufficient. IDP(International Driver's License, Gray Book and Plastic Card) for rental in most European countries is not necessary, with the exception of Italy, England and sometimes France and Greece (rather big fine for no IDP for foreigners, not EU citizens). I wrote about a simple way to make an IDP. For those who plan to travel frequently to different countries, I highly recommend doing this IDP.
  • The driver must be over 19-23 years old (depending on the rental office and country, in most cases 21 years old), if the driver is under 25 years old, then sometimes an additional payment for a young driver is required in the amount of about 15-17 Euro per day...
  • Driving experience of at least one year. Sometimes they ask for a minimum of two years experience.
  • Passport in the name of the driver
  • A credit card in the name of the tenant to prevent the deposit. Debit cards are generally not accepted at international car rental companies to block deposits. It is often possible to leave a cash deposit with local distributors.
  • Coupon if you book a car on the site
  • Passport, driver's license and credit card must be in the name of the main driver


Types of rental offices. Where is it better to rent a car

There are only four types of car rental companies in the world:


  • World famous car rental companies ( Hertz, Sixteen, AVIS, Europcar, Budget, ALAMO etc.)
  • Aggregation sites (dealers, brokers) for these international distributors. (On one site, offers of a large number of international car rentals are collected at once) There are a lot of such companies, but I use the best of them, which I have repeatedly tested (in different countries of the world, not only in Europe): rental cars , Autoeurope , Discovercarhire and . You should not treat them as ordinary intermediaries, the prices here are often lower than direct rental, and the website and reservation system are more convenient. All of them have nA convenient version in Russian, where everything is described in detail and in detail.
  • Local (local) rental offices. Every country in Europe has its own country.
  • Local rental office aggregators (this is the most common group). A stark example is in Montenegro, Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus and the Czech Republic - Myrentacar

Each type of distributor has its own characteristics. As for local distributors and their dealers, they are very common in the southern (resort) countries of Europe, but in Central and Northern Europe it is often more profitable to use international rental companies and their aggregators.


What is an "aggregator"? In fact, it is an intermediary between the rental company and the customer. This is a site that contains all the offers from rental offices for a specific area. It seems that since this is a medium, its price should be higher. But no, from my own experience, I was convinced that the prices on such sites are often lower than the prices of the distributors themselves. In the UAE, for example, I rented a car through Rental Cars at a price twice cheaper than on the dealer's website! Denmark is also cheaper, but I will talk about this in more detail later. How this happens to me is still a mystery, but the truth remains. I have frequently booked cars through brokers that are cheaper than if I had rented directly from distributors.


However, when comparing prices, it is important to consider the insurances included in the price. At the collection sites rental cars, Autoeurope, Discovercarhire, compulsory theft, civil liability and insurance with a discount are included in the price. And here are the sites Hertz, Sixteen, AVIS, Europcar, Budget, ALAMO and some others may show the price on the site without observing the mandatory insurances, for which you will have to pay an additional fee.


The aggregator sites charge a commission from each order. The more cars they rent with their help, the higher the commission they receive. Major distributors have a fairly large discount from all rental offices, so they can set a lower rental price than the rental companies themselves. They are also forced to do so because of the great competition in the car rental market.


From my own experience, and from the experience of studying various forums, I have long come to the conclusion that the most ideal car rental sites around the world are


It is worth looking for options on each of these sites. They may have different offers depending on the country. It is impossible to say unequivocally that it is always cheaper on any of these sites. It's not always the same thing.

But this site is currently only working in some countries.

It is convenient to use one currency to compare prices on different sites. Since we rent a car in Europe, it is better to use the euro currency, because sites may not show the cost in rubles or hryvnia correctly.

In all the complexes described above, the currency is changed quite simply, but on the site Autoeuropein the Russian version, prices are shown only in rubles. In order to change the currency to the euro, you need to go to the English version of the site:

GoldCar rent a car

I highly recommend not using this rental company. They work in many countries in Europe and this is the worst car rental company ever. They brazenly "lit" us for 1065 euros. And we're not the only ones, there are plenty of such reviews on the internet. Later there will be an article, but for now a video about our sad experience:

Now there are a lot of negative reviews about GoldCar on the Internet, there are entire communities (for example, a Facebook group of 900 people), so GoldCar began to use other names, for example, Rhodium or InterRent:

So be careful not to mess with them.


Cheap car rental in Europe: rocker or middleman? Distributor scams

Please note that almost all major international car rental companies indicate the rental price on their websites without any insurance, but when you pick up the car, you will have to pay at least standard insurance: against theft and damage with lien. And large complexes, which I talked about above, explain the price with insurance. To compare the cheapest price, you should take into account the cost of standard insurance, because its cost represents a large percentage of the cost of renting a car.


Sometimes half the cost of renting a car is standard insurance.


When I was looking for a car in Denmark, I just came across this situation. I described in detail the process of searching for a car and booking in the article. I will say here briefly that booking a car was 1.5 times more profitable through the large international broker Autoeurope, through direct Alamo or income.

The situation was similar when booking a car in the UAE. There I booked a car through the complex rented carsThis also came 1.5 times cheaper than directly through the distributor dollars... The same applies to Greece and Switzerland.

Therefore, an important recommendation: always look carefully at the types of insurance that are included in the rental price, because in the vast majority of cases international distributors on their sites show the amount without insurance, and with standard insurance the amount will be 1.5-2 times higher ! You depend on one thing, and when you come to buy a car, they ask you to pay extra for insurance.


In general when looking for a car in Europe I can advise the following:


  • If you do not have the time and desire to search for a car in different locations, find the prices for Rentalcars, Autoeurope, Discovercarhire, etc. In the vast majority of cases, one of these sites will be the best option.
  • If you are looking on other sites, read the terms and conditions carefully and check the insurances included in the price. In most cases, rental companies offer the rental price without any insurance. And then, when you receive the carCompulsory insurance will be added to the rental amount.

Features of renting a car in different countries of Europe

Articles about car rental features in specific countries:


In the Czech Republic, I advise you to check the price on the aggregator of local car rental companies Myrentacar


In the near future, I also plan to reveal in detail the topic of car rental in Italy, France and Spain.

In general, I would like to say that there is a significant difference in car rental in southern European resort countries (Montenegro, Croatia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece) and Central and Northern European countries (Germany, France, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, Austria, Holland, Belgium, etc.). The countries of the South have a very large number of local (domestic) car rental companies, which often offer better options than the large international car rental companies. But in Central and Northern European countries, the best deals are usually at large international rentals.

How to check what is included in the rental price

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Traffic features in European countries

There is not much difference with our traffic rules. In Europe, everything is logical and understandable. The roads are good, there are signs and traffic directions in the lanes everywhere. If the turn is to the left, then a separate lane is allocated for this. Of all the European countries I've been to, I felt a little uncomfortable in the small streets of Italy, Holland, and Switzerland.


  • In many European countries, it is necessary to use dim headlights around the clock
  • the above. Speed ​​in the city - 50, outside the city - 80-90, on the highway - 110-130 km / h (depending on the selected country)
  • You have to stop in front of the "zebra" before the pedestrian steps on it (it is enough that he just went up to it). This is strict here. Pedestrians should be allowed
  • The advantage at circular intersections is always with those already 'in the circle'
  • In Europe, there is no difference between overtaking and progress
  • It is forbidden to use the phone while driving, and sometimes the police stand on the path with binoculars and look for violators.
  • In most countries, the use of radar detectors and radar detectors is prohibited
  • Use the Fog Lamps only when there is fog, or when visibility is very poor. Otherwise - fine
  • Only the audio signal can be used to prevent accidents
  • The fines are very high, do not break

These are only the main features of the traffic rules in Europe, I recommend that you always carefully study the traffic rules in force in the territory of the country you are going to. Each place has its own nuances. For example, in Cyprus and the UK, left-hand traffic, I often use the following on my travels to this site. Here you can find all basic information about roads, speed limits, traffic rules, fines, parking, etc.

Emergency phone number throughout Europe - 112



Road signs in Copenhagen

Car ride features

Basic rules for driving on European highways:


  • When driving on highways, you have to stick to the right, the left lane is for overtaking.
  • There is no need to "blink the headlights" of the car in front to miss it, here it is customary to turn on the left turn signal
  • If on the highway you see that the car in front of you has started to brake quickly or has turned on the emergency ring, start braking, and also turn on the emergency light so as not to catch the vehicle behind you.
  • You can leave the car on the European motorway only in a reflective jacket (so, check for a jacket when picking up the car - you have to issue it)
  • You can stop on highways only in designated places. Only emergency stops (breakdown, etc.) can be made on the side of the road, but the passengers and the driver must leave the car, wearing reflective vests in advance.
  • The maximum speed of driving on the highway varies from country to country. For example, in France - 130 km / h, and in Switzerland and Portugal - 120 km / h. In the rain, the maximum speed is usually limited to 90-110 km / h. If repair work is underway on a section of the highway, then there is usually an 80 km / h mark.
  • The police rarely control speed on the highways, but they do occasionally make arrests. I usually watch locals driving and try to drive the same way, without getting in a lot of traffic. Radars are usually warned by specially installed signage.


Video: Paying for the motorway in Greece (from 26 minutes 30 seconds):


Police and fines in Europe

Fines are very high everywhere. There is no point in listing the amounts. Try not to break. If the locals are traveling at 50 km / h in the city, do not bypass everyone, go in the general stream. Please note that in Europe there are a lot of cameras on the roads, and there are police officers who drive unmarked cars. We were caught like this in Montenegro and fined 50 euros:


No need to be rude to the police, always try to agree peacefully.

yThey can also be fined on motorways, but higher fines for violating the city's speed limit.


Police car in Switzerland

Valuable car in Portugal

Gasoline and fuel policy

There are several options for the fuel policy when renting a car, but the best option is when picking up and returning the car with a full tank... If there is an opportunity to choose, I would recommend this particular option. In this case, you will only pay for the fuel you have used.


If you plan to visit several countries for a trip, find out in advance where gasoline is cheaper.


Try not to refuel at gas stations along the highway, where gasoline is always more expensive.


The procedure for refueling a car in most European countries: drive, fill a certain amount of fuel, then go to the cashier and pay with a bank card or cash.


On highways, the cost of fuel is usually 20-30% higher. If you want to save money, leave aside the highway, with a high probability that petrol at a gas station will be cheaper.



Traveling in Europe with a rental car has many advantages. You yourself plan your route and time, you can change the direction of movement at any time, and yourself choose places to rest. It is very easy to choose cheap car rental in Europe.


Traveling by car is much more comfortable and interesting than sightseeing buses and trains. For those who do not accept a "strict regime" leave with a specific person's departure time, places to stop and things to explore, a car rental is the perfect solution. A group of like-minded people who decide to drive around the country in a rental car will save a good amount.


Many do not even think about renting a car abroad, because they are sure of the high cost of this service. We assure that with proper planning, this type of travel will be budget friendly. First, choose the class of the car, the cheapest cars are Class A. Car rental companies set prices themselves, but most operators adhere to the following classification:


  • Economy (Fiat Panda, Toyota Yaris)
  • Family (Ford Focus, VW Passat, Alfa 147)
  • Real Estate (VW Passat SW, Nissan Qashqai)
  • Personnel carriers (Fiat Ducato).
  • Sport (Ferrari, Porsche)

the documents

Rental services in different countries have their own documentary requirements, but general rules apply throughout Europe:


  • Driver's age is over 21 years old.
  • International driving licence.
  • A valid bank card in the international payment system.

You can check the list of requirements on the website of a particular company.


Who are you renting from?

You can choose between large international and local companies.


  • International Services: Avis, Sixt, Advantage, Budget, Thrifty, Europcar.
  • Discount companies: Easy Car, Gold Car, etc.
  • Or, compare prices at once across all systems on the site.

Renting a children's scooter allows you to significantly save money, but serious and sudden complications are not excluded. For example, you may be charged €20 for an unwashed car when you return it, and prices can increase several times as demand for cars increases.


The most famous competitor is Easycar, which has more than 2,000 rental points in almost all European countries. The fame of this company is due to its attractive prices - you can buy a car for 25 euros per day. Read the contract carefully before signing, especially if it is written in small print - it often contains a lot of interesting information about additional services, which you can easily do without.


The price range in large companies can be large, but in any case, rent will cost you 25% more than the discount. The advantages of these companies are undeniable - you will receive a new car with 24/7 support, and you will be able to return the car at any of the many rental points within the country.


How to book

  • Go to the site and compare car rental rates for all services and companies at once.
  • The intermediary between the company and the consumer is an aggregate service that receives commissions for its services. The price may vary from the complex and from the company up or down, so when you choose a car, check the price on the company's website, it can be profitable to rent a car directly from them.
  • Start booking as soon as possible.
  • The rental price directly depends on the period, which should be at least a week: three-day rental costs, for example, 100 euros, and weekly - 170 euros.
  • Another way to save money is to return the car to the same place you took it.
  • RentCars never guarantees that you will get the car you choose from the picture - you will get a car of the same class.
  • Pay attention to additions to the agreement, they can significantly change the terms of the lease. For example, the contract may specify a limited mileage clause, which means that you will have to pay an additional amount for each kilometer above the permissible limit. Also, additional options may contain a record of a full fuel tank when the car is returned, and the age of the driver or child seat, which must be paid separately.
  • When inspecting the car, assess the condition of the tires, the interior and the level of gasoline in the tank. Comments must be recorded in the protocol, otherwise you risk paying for all defects when returning the car.

insurance

Check insurance terms before placing your order. Pay special attention to the franchise that limits your liability. The lower the deductible, the better - in the event of an accident or a breakdown of the car, your compensation will be less.

  • Fixed discount. This insurance is called CDW (Collision Damage Waiver). Your liability cannot exceed a certain amount specified in the contract. aboutFor large companies, the concession can be up to 800 euros.
  • Zero privilege (super collision damage waiver). The ideal option is that in the event of a breakdown, you do not owe anything.
  • Limited Liability for Theft (Theft Protection - TP).
  • Personal accident insurance. A type of health insurance that is only valid if you are harmed while you are in the vehicle or when you enter / leave the vehicle.

How do you return the car?

You can drop the car off at the airport, as there must be a sign for the return of the car at the entrance. Find the parking lot of the company you want and ask the operator to check the condition of the car and the level of gasoline in the tank. Try to be present when checking and completing the change document. If there are no claims, you will be given an appropriate document that is recommended to be kept with your receipts and insurance policy for a month.


If you rent your car outside office hours, leave it in the parking lot, and put the keys and documents in a special box. Take a picture of the car so that the location is recognizable, and the number and date are readable.


How to save

Plan carefully your route - rental costs depend on your starting country. The minimum prices are different in European countries, we have selected the prices of mini cars in the most visited cities based on the rental period of 10 days.


The cheapest car will cost in Rome, Cyprus, Tenerife and Barcelona. The most expensive cities: Geneva, Vienna and Nice. But in a rental car in Germany, France or Austria, you can cross the border, and in Italian and Spanish you will only be allowed to travel within the country.


boundaries between:


  • Andorra
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Monaco
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Great Britain

It is almost impossible to leave the countries of Eastern Europe in a rented car, but with a strong desire and perseverance, you can catch up with a company that allows transportation abroad.


An additional expensive option is GPS. Practically any smartphone will replace this device for you if you have previously installed the appropriate application.


A car with automatic transmission will cost you 20 percent more.


Traffic rules in Europe are strictly enforced, their violation entails large fines. You will save a lot of money if you study the local laws. Remember that there is video recording on all roads, and do not indulge in the illusion of impunity. For example, incorrect transportation of children will cost 200 euros in Spain, 60 euros in Germany and 80 euros in Greece. In the UK, the fine for a repeated violation of the rules will be 500 pounds (about 50 thousand rubles).


British militancy does not seem to be the greatest evil when facing the libertines who reign on the Italian and Greek roads, for which passing a red light in the absence of pedestrians is no small sin.


Parking in big cities is always crowded and the price per hour is about 2 euros, and the traffic is so dense that you will spend a lot of time going from one ancient monument to another. It is most convenient to get around the city by public transport, leaving your car in a parking lot away from the historic city center.


  • Travel by car with a company - by splitting the bill, you will save money and will be able to communicate on the way.
  • Take the car, inspect it carefully and compare the existing damages (scratches, scrapes) with those specified in the contract.
  • When handing over the vehicle make sure there is no sign of new damage. If the car is rented with the condition of limited distances, pay attention to the numbers provided by the company employee.
  • Usually the contract offers options: receipt and return with a full tank, purchase of a full tank / return with the rest. The first option is always more profitable.

What do you think is more fun: moving from one city in Europe to another by train that goes most of the way through the tunnel, or by car, discovering unexpected and interesting places along the way - fields covered with rows of vines, cozy medieval villages and endless lakes? If you choose the latter, then this article will definitely be useful to you.


We will tell you in detail how to rent a car in Europe, why do it, what are the nuances of renting a car abroad, and how much it costs.


What you need to rent a car in Europe

First of all, you should take care of getting international rights. By law, only a few European countries require the mandatory presence of an international driver's license (the most visited, for example, the Netherlands), but in practice this document is needed everywhere. First, many large car rental companies will simply not rent a car to you without an international license. And secondly, it is better to have these with you in case of meeting with local law enforcement agencies - it will be much clearer and easier in such a situation if you have the rights to drive a car recognized not only in Russia, but throughout the world. You can get it at the traffic police department, paying about a thousand rubles. By the way, do not forget about Russian rights either - international rights are valid only in tandem with national rights, and nothing else.

What do you need to rent a car? Age and driving experience. In some countries it is possible to rent a car if you are only 18 years old - these are Austria, Germany, Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden. The list, as you can see, is not very long. From the age of 19, you can be provided with cars from countries such as Estonia and Norway. As soon as you turn 20, the list of countries is replenished with Bulgaria, Finland and Switzerland. The rest of Europe will be happy to let you drive your rental car from the age of 21 only. It is true that many companies also require at least a year or even two years of driving experience. Understandable - in order to provide the customer with a car in good condition, they must make sure that they do not have to send the car to service due to the numerous damages the car received due toInexperienced driver error.


By the way, if you have already reached the age at which, according to the law of a particular country, you can drive a rented car, but you have not reached the age of 25, then be prepared to pay an additional fee, an amount which can reach 25 euros per day. In this regard, it is better to consult in advance in the service center of the site where you are making a reservation, or directly at the rental agency.


The last thing you should rent a car in Europe is a credit card (many car rental companies require a credit card, not a debit card). Moreover, it is not empty. Payment is usually made by bank transfer, so the rent will be debited from your account the moment you receive the car. In addition, all companies also prohibit a certain amount of deposit on your card (for economy and medium class cars, the deposit is about 1,000 euros), which will be unlocked when the car is returned. This is necessary if the vehicle is damaged (in case you did not insure the vehicle against damage). Please note that this large amount of collateral will not be returned to your card immediately - our banks usually take about a month to process a refund. So we advise you not to rely on this money while traveling and, accordingly, plan your money properly.

In fact, that's all you need to rent a car.

How to choose a rental company and where to book a car

There are a large number of companies in Europe willing to rent a car for you. There are also large agencies with branches all over the world, such as Hertz, Avis, Sixt, Budget, Europcar and others. Years of experience and reviews of millions of travelers confirm that these companies can be trusted, and this is a reliable option that can be found almost anywhere in the world. There are also lesser known "colleagues" who extend their activities to only one country, or even just one city. Cars of such companies are usually cheaper, but the list of their additional services and selection of cars is not impressive. This does not mean that not all of these companies should be trusted, they just require a more thorough "research" from the client. If you are thinking of renting a car in Europe from a little-known company, then read as many reviews about it on the Internet as possible. Such topics are widely discussed both on Russian-language sites and on foreign sites.

Unfortunately, some companies, whose prices are significantly different from the average car rental price from large agencies, may try to cheat. There were several such cases, so it would not be at all superfluous to protect yourself by collecting information about the distributor in advance. Do not be afraid and wait for something - just act according to the principle of "trust, but verify."

We will now tell you why the car should be pre-booked online. If you are planning to arrive in a city that will serve as a starting point for your trip and pick up a car immediately, we will disappoint you. In most cases, all cars will already be disassembled, and you will get the one that no one wanted to take. It could be price, equipment, or something else. The main thing here is that your dream car (or at least a decent option in terms of size and price) is unlikely to be rented. Therefore, it is worth booking the desired car online before the trip. Where and how can this be done?


As in the case of hotels or hotels, there are a lot of services for booking and choosing car rental on the network. In our article "How to rent a car yourself online" you can read detailed instructions for finding and booking a car in Europe using the example of the site. On this site, you can compare prices from most of the largest and most reliable car reservation systems and choose the cheapest and most convenient option.

It is important to choose a meeting site. If the city is large, there will likely be several offices for each rental office. Therefore, we warn you in advance - sometimes the airport is a very convenient place to rent, but there is an additional cost, which is about 10-12 percent of the total rental cost. So check the cost and see if it is profitable. The same goes for major train stations and train stations.

Car rental process in Europe

Therefore, the vehicle is booked and is waiting for you at the meeting point you have chosen on the site. What's next? It is clear that to go by the appointed time to the office of the rental company, stand in line, if necessary, show the employee the reservation form and your international and national rights.

Now we turn all our attention. You will be given a receipt to sign, a lease agreement, insurance, if applicable, and other documents. Check the amount on the receipt with the value declared on the reservation (there shouldn't be any problems, but we still remember the “trust but check” rule), then your card (rent and deposit) will be charged.


By the way, about insurance. They can be purchased in advance on the website where you book the car, or on the spot when you pick up the car. Usually mandatory (like our OSAGO) is already included in the rental price. But who will pay if the car is suddenly stolen? Or if you didn't notice the raised curb and left a mark on the bumper? The insurance company, not you, will pay provided that you buy that particular insurance up front.


So, we come to the most interesting part. You are given a document on which the car is drawn and all damages (scratches, dents, etc.) If you are persuaded to sign it before you see the car, decline. This sheet can only be signed after you, along with a company employee, have verified all actual damage to the device with what is mentioned in the document. Look at both, if you miss something, you may be charged for the scratch you overlooked. So, we check the car and sign the document.


That's it - is givenYou have the keys and a car with a full fuel tank. It is necessary to return the car in the same way, with a full tank, otherwise a fine will be removed from the card (the cost of gasoline, plus money for the fact that the agency had to drive the car to a gas station) . We also do not recommend delaying the return of the vehicle. Said at 10.30 - come by 10.30, or even earlier. If you are late, you may also face a fine. If a situation arises because of your lateness, it is better to contact the rental company and warn, perhaps the delay will forgive you.


You can read about how different traffic rules are in European countries, parking spaces, what to do with highways and motorways, in our article "".


How much does it cost to rent a car in Europe

There are no exact numbers and they cannot be exact, as the cost of renting a car will be individual per trip, per car, and country. We will only provide you with the examples that we will find on the site, so that you have something to start with in your calculations.

Let's try to find a car for a week in September in the capital of Italy. Let's choose the main train station in Rome as the starting point.


As you can see, prices start from 9,227 rubles per week (which is only 20 euros per day). Of course, the minimum price is a manual transmission, a small car or an economy class car, and other restrictions, such as the basic configuration of the car, etc. The more filters we put in, and the higher the vehicle class we choose, the higher the price.

For example, all the rental terms are the same, but at the same time a middle-class car is already at least 1 6057 rubles per weekrent.

That was the main railway station in the city, now let's take a look at the Rome airport. More options for rental agencies, and therefore more options for cars. And then a car from another company of the same middle class appears in the search, which was not available when booking with a pickup point at the station. And the price starts already from 12012 rubles.

You can find out the prices for car rental in Europe now on your own, just enter the necessary parameters in the search form below:

What is all this for us? In addition, thanks to the huge choice offered to us by various rental agencies and the website, we have the opportunity to choose exactly the car that will be at our disposal, will delight us throughout the trip and will remain in our memory as a faithful friend and travel assistant. So, good luck with your search and have a nice trip!

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