Driving Abroad

We know that in driving abroad you can encounter more differences than countries.

Europcar is the largest car rental company of European origin and represents one of the world's most extensive networks with 2650 stations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Mexico, Central America, The Caribbean, the Indian Ocean-Asia-Pacific zone and Australia.


 

BEFORE YOU RENT:

Rental requirements

Europcar require that a valid driving licence has been held for at least 1 year. In most countries you must be at least 21 years of age. Driving into neighbouring countries, or completing your rental in a different town/airport may be permitted for a small fee depending on the country and Europcar location. Additional driver and young driver / minimum age limits also vary by country. Please see our general rental information for more detail.

International Driving Permits

Your driving licence will be honoured in most countries, however there are countries where non-local Driving Licences (in different languages or particularly in languages using different alphabet structures). Europcar recommends you carry an International Driving Permit. An IDP is written in 10 languages and serves as an officially recognised translation of your local driving licence in over 150 participating members of the United Nations. Your IDP should always be accompanied by your valid local driving licence.

The UN itself does not issue driving permits, but uses authorised travel associations to administer the service. A passport-size booklet is printed in 10 languages. It explains that the motorist has a driving license from his permanent place of residence. The Permit has been widely used for more than fifty years and is recognised almost everywhere in the world.

For more information and for applications please contact your local country motoring organisations.

Deposit and rental charges

You will need to present a driving licence in your name, issued by your country of residence. The driving licence must be valid in the country of rental (driving licences in characters not readable in the country of rental must be accompanied by an International Driving Licence) and held for a minimum period of time depending on local legislation or conditions. You will also need to present a valid credit card. An identification document, such as a passport, may also be required and at certain locations for luxury models a second credit card and / or utility bill dated within the last 3 months from the same address. The same documents (driving licence and Id Card or Passport) will be requested to additional drivers.
If you use a Europcar prepaid voucher (with a specified value or the mention Group Days apply), you must also present a credit card for the charges which have not been prepaid (extras, refuelling charge, excess due in case of damage to or loss of the rented vehicle).

Europcar accepts most major credit cards (American Express, Diners Club, EuroCard, MasterCard, Visa) however there can be exceptions in some countries. Please see our general rental information for more detail.

Deposits and rentals paid in cash are limited within the Europcar network (where cash deposits are accepted they must be accompanied by additional forms of proof of identity - please check with your Europcar reservations office). Where they are possible, it is only for the first three smallest categories of vehicles. Cash payment of the completed rental charges once the vehicle is returned is acceptable in most locations.

Certain premium or luxury vehicle classes and some Europcar rental locations may require additional proof of identity and payment guarantees.

Credit card coverage / card holder present

Some credit cards may entitle their holders to a degree of cover for damage to, or loss of, the rental vehicle.

We are happy to recognise such cards and for the card-holder, in such a case, not to avail himself of the protections set out above and to stand liable for any damage to, or loss of, our vehicle.

Please, however, be aware of the following :

  • if you elect to be covered by your card and decline Europcar's protections, you are also declining Europcar's recovery service from liable third parties ;
  • the extent of coverage provided by credit cards varies and is usually subject to certain restrictions, in particular concerning the maximum length of rental and the type of vehicle which can be covered.
  • Europcar strongly advise you to contact your Credit Card organisation before rental and provide details/proof of your coverage when arriving at the at the Europcar rental location.

If paying for a Europcar vehicle rental via credit card the cardholder must be physically present in order to sign the rental agreement payment.

At the Airport or Europcar rental location

Check you have all items of your luggage, maps you may require, and that you do not feel overly tired in advance of your journey.

Whether at the airport, the Europcar location, or on your travels pay careful attention to your purse/wallet and where you keep your car keys. Please do not leave your baggage unattended or valuables/keys on a desk or table. If you are travelling in a group assign someone to stay with your luggage whilst all/any other drivers of the vehicle familiarise themselves with the vehicle.

Your rental vehicle

Please check that the vehicle conditions written on the vehicle statement are correct and if an apparent defect not listed is noticed when examining the vehicle; please notify an Europcar employee.

  • What is the most suitable seating position for you, with correctly positioned mirrors.
  • Whether the vehicle fuel is petrol/gasoline or diesel.
  • The route you will take, particularly if leaving a busy airport / city centre.

If you are driving in a country where vehicles are on the opposite side of the road that which you are used to, or you require some additional information on the vehicle please contact our staff. They will be happy to demonstrate the workings of the vehicle and to help you familiarise yourself with the controls.

RULES OF THE ROAD:

OBSERVE LOCAL SPEED LIMITS:

Speeders may have their driver's licences confiscated immediately, wherever they are stopped. Fines are often high and they must be paid. If you leave the country before paying a fine, notification will be sent to the U.S. That's why it's important to carefully observe all posted speed limits. And remember, most countries post speed limits in kilometres, not miles...

THINK - DON'T DRINK!

As you'd expect, every European country has laws against driving under the influence of alcohol and their permissible blood alcohol level is often extremely low. Drinking just one can of beer could put you in violation of the law in many countries. And in several, any blood alcohol reading above zero is considered a punishable offence.

BUCKLE UP

Legislation in most countries now requires both drivers and passengers to wear correctly fitted safety belts. Furthermore most European countries do not permit children under certain ages to be in the front passenger seat of a moving vehicle.

PARK ONLY WHERE IT'S PERMITTED

In major cities, parking areas designated as "blue zones" for short-term parking (1 to 11/2 hours), "green zones" for longer periods, and "red zones" where parking is prohibited. Some cities also use parking meters, so be sure to check for - and feed - the meter if there is one.

COMMON EUROPEAN ROAD SIGNS:

 

 

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