Important facts described briefly below:
Under certain conditions, many rental companies offer cross-border trips: The crossing must be announced in writing, with the booking, before the vehicle is picked up, to check whether the insurance coverage also applies in the neighboring country. Sometimes, an additional fee for the border crossing may be charged by the local rental car company. The exact costs can be found in the conditions of the local rental car company, or you can ask our service team.
What do I have to take into account when renting a car abroad?
In all countries, the following applies: the trip must be planned in advance. It must be requested and registered with the car rental company. Border trips with rental cars are usually relatively easy to realize within the EU. In other countries, however, they may be prohibited. However, you may find some restrictions depending on the:
- The country you rent the car from
- Country/countries you want to take the car to
- Car category you rent
- Rental company you hire from
Some car rental companies don’t let their luxury or sports cars enter certain countries. The regulations vary not only between countries but also depending on the car rental and the booked vehicle category. When traveling through several countries, all conditions should be considered.
For example, the required minimum driver age varies from country to country and from rental company to company. In Germany, it is possible to book a rental car with certain rental companies at the age of 18. In the USA and other countries, however, this is only possible from the mid-twenties onwards.
Tip: Depending on the travel route, it can be more sensible and cheaper to book a new rental car in each country.
Should I tell the rental company I am crossing a border?
Yes. If you don’t tell the rental company before you drive into a new country, you’ll break the rental agreement and thus void your insurance/protection. Even if the border-crossing journey via rental car is permitted, according to the rental conditions, and you have planned for all eventualities, you must inform the car rental company. The best way to do this is to inform them directly when you make your booking. Otherwise, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise if you are not allowed to drive on at the border crossing. We suggest you verify the Terms and Conditions of your offer before booking the rental to see whether you can take it to another country.
Are there any additional costs for border crossing with a rental car?
Yes, there is usually a fee to get the car insured outside its home country. The prices vary depending on the provider and country. Also, the deposit for the rental car may be higher.
Tip: Make sure to take into account local display guidelines for automobiles to be able to drive in other countries. In some cases, you may need to display a vignette, emission stickers, or a toll device.
Is there cross-country insurance coverage for rental car border crossings?
That depends on the car rental company and the specific offer. The problem is that cross-national insurance cover is generally permitted in some countries, but not in others. Therefore, plan your trip carefully and inform yourself before booking a rental car.
How can I request a border crossing?
If you make a longer trip, you should pay attention to which countries you are driving through. It is not enough to clarify the starting country and the destination country with the car rental company. You must specify each country you are crossing on your trip under "Add extras" when you make your booking.
Can the rental car be returned to another country?
In many cases, this is not possible. If it is, you should pay close attention to the cost of the offer. If you return the vehicle to another country, the car rental company will incur high return costs. One-way rentals across a border are often relatively expensive. If your plans are flexible, returning the car to the same country; you picked it up from, and crossing any borders within your trip, will probably be cheaper.
What to know when crossing a border in Europe?
In general, crossing the borders within the European Union is not a problem. Minor restrictions or fees may be applicable.
Border trips within Northern and Western Europe are usually possible. For example, trips between Sweden and Norway, or Germany and France, are no problem.
It can be more difficult if you want to travel from Western to Eastern Europe with a rental car. In this case, crossing the border can be problematic because different insurance conditions apply in individual countries.
What about traveling from Germany to Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia?
This route is most likely to be possible with a car rental company. However, there may be restrictions, which you should clarify when booking.
Is it possible to travel from Austria to Serbia by rental car?
With most car rental companies this rental car border trip is usually possible. Please pay attention to the specific offer conditions.
Can I drive in a rental car from Germany to Montenegro?
At the moment, no car rental company allows this border crossing.
Tip: A rental car trip from Croatia to Montenegro is possible. That means you can rent a car in Croatia and drive from there to Montenegro.
Are rental car border crossings allowed in South America?
In South America, border crossings are even more difficult. It is almost always forbidden to drive a rental car across national borders.
What is a border crossing like in North America?
In North America, border crossings are usually allowed. This is convenient if you want to explore the USA and Canada on a round trip. The situation is completely different if you want to drive from North America to Mexico. This border crossing is not quite so easy. Please take into account that different amounts of coverage apply regarding liability insurance.
What are the guidelines for border crossings by sea?
If you cross the sea on your border crossing, you will face additional challenges. You will have to observe the rules for border crossing between the two countries and the conditions for ferry travel. Some car rental companies do not allow ferry trips with a rental car. However, if the trip is allowed, the insurance coverage usually does not apply. It is possible to book additional insurance coverage for the ferry crossing with local shipping companies or ferry companies.
Our service team will request the border crossing for you and inform you about the possible additional costs.
If you still have questions, HAPPYCAR will be happy to help you at any time.