Hiring a Car Abroad – Things To Look Out For

Whilst you would assume hiring a car abroad is easy, very often things can get confusing and complicated. Being clued up before your trip will help you to feel confident and avoid any issues. Here are some things to look out for.



First things first, you will need to make sure you have the correct documentation with you. In Europe your driving licence should suffice, although, the hire company may ask for a check code so that they can look at your driving record. Click here for info on how to get a check code, which lasts for 21 days.

In some non-EU countries, you may need to get an International Driving Permit. For more info on how to get one, click here.


Think about whether you want an additional driver. This can be helpful for long journeys as you can share the driving. But be aware that some car hire companies will charge you an additional daily fee or lump sum to add another driver. Make sure you check how much this costs at the time of booking. Some companies do let you have an additional driver for free, so do your research.

Deposits and excess

credit-cardsWhen looking for a really good deal, keep in mind how much deposit you have to pay. The lower the initial cost, generally the higher your deposit or excess will be. Some car hire companies will pre-authorise a deposit to cover any excess on your card. Use a credit card for extra protection, and phone the rental company or check their conditions before you book to see how much of a deposit they will take off your card.


Car hire companies may try to sell you added extras, when in reality they may not be necessary. For example, a lot of companies offer ‘super collision damage waiver’ insurance, which will bring your excess down, but this can be very expensive. Plus, they often don’t cover damage to the car’s tyres, windscreen or wheels. You can buy an independent insurance policy that covers everything for a lot less, before you go on holiday.

You can opt for a car with SatNav, but you could end up paying a fair amount extra. If you have a SatNav that works in the country you are going to, take it with you instead. Consider downloading a maps app that works offline, or check with your phone provider, as using your data to access Google Maps might actually be cheaper than paying for a car with a SatNav.

We offer fantastic car hire deals on a range of models, to suit all budgets. Book with us today!

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Graham Greenaway

About Graham Greenaway

Graham Greenaway has worked in the family business since 1994. Having taken a break to attend University in Hertfordshire, Graham returned to FHR after graduating and became involved with creating the first version of the company website and later moved on to manage the on-line Marketing side of the business as well as the Web Development team. Away from FHR, Graham enjoys visiting the gym and socialising with friends. Follow Graham on Twitter

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