Important facts described briefly below:
If you want to book a rental car abroad, there are a few things you should consider. The booking process is usually the same as booking a rental car in the USA. However, there are some differences when driving abroad and when renting a car in a foreign country. Below, we will explain to you what regulations there are regarding border crossing or insurance for your foreign rental car.
When should I book my rental car abroad?
Often, it is better to book your rental car before you travel. The earlier you book, the more choices of providers and vehicle models. Booking in advance can save you time and money. Besides, you can start your journey without any unpleasant surprises- like there are no rental cars available on site.
Another reason for online booking from the USA is that you can book the rental car in your native language. If you book with a car rental company abroad, there is no guarantee that the staff speaks English. Although English is spoken most of the time, it cannot always be expected.
Tip: At large airports, you can usually get a rental car spontaneously. However, the rental price can be higher.
What do I have to consider when making a deposit?
The deposit for a rental car abroad can be higher depending on the country. There are also different deposit amounts among the respective suppliers.
What should I consider when booking insurance?
If you book a rental car abroad, you should check the insurance for the respective country carefully. Many Countries have different insurance conditions than in the USA.
What to know about liability insurance?
In European countries, the law often determines the minimum amount of coverage for liability insurance. Usually, it is high enough to cover most damages. The situation is different in the USA. Here, the amounts of cover are often set low. Also, insurance coverage varies from state to state. Therefore, you should check the conditions for your rental car abroad carefully.
Do I need additional insurance for ash and sand?
If you drive a rental car in most areas, you do not usually need ash and sand insurance. Therefore, many people think that this is also true abroad. But this insurance can be very important on a volcanic island like Iceland.
Tip: Think about the conditions in your travel country and which additional insurances you may need.
What do I have to consider regarding age when renting a car abroad?
Depending on the country, car rental, and the class of car, the minimum age for renting a car can vary. In Ireland and the USA, the rental companies usually only give the vehicle to drivers who are in their early or mid-20s. The minimum age often varies from State to State. In Germany, you can get a rental car at many car rental companies from the age of 18. In South Africa, the situation is similar to Germany.
Most car rental companies charge an additional fee if the driver is less than 26 years of age. Pay close attention to the age limit in the rental terms and conditions.
Car rental abroad: What is important when crossing borders?
There are often additional charges when crossing a border. Please note that the insurance conditions are different in every country. You should take this into account when you drive to another Country or cross a country in transit. You must inform the car rental company in advance if you want to cross borders with a rental car.
Important: Not every car rental company allows you to travel across the border with your rental car. In some cases, you may have to rent two separate rental cars.
Can I return the rental car to a different country?
Some car rentals allow you to drop off the car in another country. For others, however, it is strictly forbidden. You should also note that one-way rentals across the border are often more expensive. This is because car rental companies incur high repatriation costs. It is sometimes cheaper to book a separate rental car for each country you visit.
Can I return a rental car abroad outside of opening hours?
Especially when traveling abroad, it is often not possible to plan an exact arrival time. At many car rental companies, you can hand in the car keys and papers outside of the opening hours. For example, there may be a dropbox or the possibility to call the employee so that they are there when you arrive. Most of the time, however, you will have to indicate this when you make your reservation. An additional fee may be charged. Please note this in advance.
Can I book a child seat for my rental car abroad?
Whether a car with a child car seat is available depends on the car rental company. This is not always possible. Therefore, you should check in advance and state this special request directly when booking.
Do I have to wash the foreign rental car before I return it?
This varies depending on the car rental company. Some insist you wash the car before returning it others do not. It is best to ask your car rental company.