Top Tips on Driving a Hire Car Abroad

Having a hire car on holiday could save you the hassle of sorting out transfers and offers you the freedom to really explore and get to grips with your holiday destination...

Couple in four wheel drive looking at map

However, driving a rental car abroad can be stressful and expensive if you don't prepare beforehand. Follow our top tips to help save you time and money:

  1. Check that your driving licence is valid before you travel. You no longer need to take your paper counterpart license with you. However, you will need to share you history with the rental company via GOV.UK. We also recommend finding out whether you'll need an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive where you are going, well in advance of your trip.
  2. Don’t forget to take your credit card with you, as you will need to leave a deposit at the car hire rental desk.
  3. Find out what you must legally have in your car when you are driving around your destination and check that these items are in your hire car before you set off. Not having certain equipment, such as reflective jackets, may result in fines. Check out insurance4carhire's country driving guides for more information. 
  4. Don’t forget to note the emergency number from your car hire company in case of a vehicle breakdown.
  5. Exceeding another country’s speed and drink driving limits, could result in you unintentionally breaking the law. Make sure you do a little research before you travel to prevent any potentially expensive mistakes.
  6. Before you drive your hire car away, find out whether it runs on petrol or diesel as well as how to identify this fuel in the country you are in. 
  7. Shop around for fuel while you are away and look out for competitive prices in local supermarkets and petrol stations, rather than relying on motorway stations (as this could prove considerably more expensive).
  8. Do your homework on the common road signs you may see in the country you are visiting. Remembering to stick to the correct side of the road for the country you are in and being aware of road signs in a different language will help you navigate around a new place without stress and worry.
  9. Take out car hire excess insurance to ensure you’re able to claim for additional excess or repair costs in the event of an accident or vehicle theft. To find out more about how this can benefit you we recommend reading: What is car hire excess insurance?