When you are planning to go around and really get to know a country, or a few countries, renting a car may be the best option. Driving around in your own or rented car gives incredible freedom to explore little towns or national parks that you want to visit, and you can discover your own secret restaurants, empty beaches and meet locals.
Every country has its own car renting rules. Here’s what you need to know before renting a car in Europe:
- If you are not a European Union citizen, most likely you will need an international travel permit. Usually it’s easy to get it in your home country, and it doesn’t cost much.
- Check with your credit card to see if it offers insurance. Before accepting rental agency’s car insurance fees, it’s wise to check with your credit card provider – often, they will offer a car rental insurance. Some of the best credit cards for travel with the best insurance options are Chase Sapphire Reserve; Citi Prestige Travel Rewards Card has a lot of benefits, including delayed baggage insurance; Amex Platinum card offers special medical evacuation insurance and other travel benefits.
- Don’t speed and don’t drink. It should go without saying that you should observe the local laws, and you definitely do not want to get in trouble in a foreign country. In Europe, your speed is being tracked on every corner, and drinking and driving can result in serious consequences, including prison.
- Rent a new car in each country. It might be very expensive to take a car across the border, so it would be easier to just rent one in each country you go to.
- Book in advance. When you book in advance, you might score a much lower price, so as soon as you are clear on your travel dates, book a car.
- Plan the itinerary. Europe has a lot to offer – the landscape, food, and culture changes every 100 kilometers. It might be hard to determine the optimal itinerary for your trip, so do your research. Some of the most amazing Euro trips include: 1- Paris-Berlin; 2- French and German Alps; 3 - Norwegian Fjords; 4 - Portuguese vineyards and the south; 5- south of Spain; 6 - the Baltic States & St. Petersbourg; 7 - Scottish highlands.
Whether it’s your first or tenth time driving around Europe, be prepared to have an amazing time, and discover lots of different cultures, history and cuisines.