Expert insights

How to… hire a car overseas without hassle

15 December 2016

Get good value for money and stay safe with our car hire tips from Oliver Moore of Enterprise Rent-a-Car.

Book a hire car early, as you’ll get a better deal

Make sure you know exactly what’s included in the car hire arrangement before you book, and check for things like damage excesses. This will avoid you incurring any unexpected charges and help you get a good deal.

Get organised about your destination

Recent research by Enterprise Rent-A-Car has shown that business travellers risk falling foul of the law while driving abroad, with a third saying they don’t know what emergency number to use in case of accidents. Write down relevant contact numbers and keep them with you.

Make sure you understand local signs

Worryingly, a fifth of drivers aren’t aware if speed limits are displayed in kilometres or miles per hour overseas. So it’s no surprise that half have been penalised for a traffic offence while abroad and 56 per cent have been involved in a minor accident.

Read up on basic local road laws

You can dramatically decrease the likelihood of getting a fine and, more importantly, ensure you and your passengers are safe if you are aware of the local laws. Visit the Learn section of the Enterprise website, where you’ll find driving guides for several European countries with all the information you need in one place.

Find out about unexpected rules

For example, in Germany, it’s worth remembering that you could face a €4,000 fine if you swear or make a rude gesture at someone while you’re driving. Think about cultural rules as well as laws applying to driving itself.

Walk around the car with the rental agent

Check the condition of the car when you first pick it up, and again when you drop it off, to check for any damage. If you need to drop it off out of hours, take photos of the car before you leave, including one of the fuel gauge. This will help avoid any unnecessary charges.

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