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What You Should Know About Renting a Car in Europe

Want to See Europe while Driving the Back Roads? Here are some tips and advice on driving in Europe. From Renting cars, different driving rules and manual transmission, some of the differences and important issues when looking at renting a car while you visit and drive Europe. Car Insurance Needs, Car Rental Companies and Much More.

filmed in Avignon, France
Copyright Mark Wolters 2015

USA Today & 10Best’s #1 Independent Travel Videographer 2014

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About the Author
Technician in electronic's full time Webmaster in spare time Trying to make a living :)
  1. DJ Anarchist

    Whatever you do make sure you do not rent with @Goldcar. The online price is a fraction of what you will actually pay. Don't just take my word for it. Google any of the following. Goldcar Scammers, Goldcar Thieves, Goldcar Robbers, Goldcar Liars. Or check out some of the sites on Twitter @robbedbygoldcar or some of the facebook sites https://www.facebook.com/GoldcarReviews/ YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

  2. Kenneth Hermann

    note that the autobane when there are no speed limit there is a soft limit of 130km/h and if you drive faster and something happens and it chould be coursed by the high speed you might get into extra trubel with the insurence from the car rental

  3. John Tfnrm7064

    thinks men

  4. Danny J

    Not recommending Sixt anymore, We were Sixt's customer for 5-6 years if not more, i forgot now. Beware when renting overseas. Got one rate and prepaid it, when about to pick up the car, the rate was double, ( i explained that everything we needed was included, i read everything carefully) still they insist to include all kinds of items that was not in the initial contract. I.e. mandatory theft protection $16/day, extra $9/day for out of country usage, even tough that was paid already, when we chose the rights car group category for other countries. The doubleing of the price right when about to pu the car is a scam and it is not professional. What a shame, and for us we will never using six again. i tried to call afterwards the customer service at 8:50 eastern time, after imputing the contract nr. the system gave me "out of office time message". 1888-749-8227. I will cal later, and also will file a complain and not paying the extra thru the credit card i used. No more sixt, and please join me. (initial charge Eu275 for 8 days they came to Eu522 for 8 days). Also when choosing wifi, beware that it works only in the country you pick up the car).

  5. linbinjo Acosta

    My job is to contact those people who declined getting the Loss Damage Waiver insurance. Sometimes my heart breaks for these people. The insurance companies pay the damages but usually they do not pay the added fees, which can sometimes add up to thousands of dollars. The car rental contract that you sign, states that you are responsible to pay, even if you are not at fault.

  6. David W

    When it comes to driving in Europe, some countries (among them Russia, Greece and Ukraine) are known for high rates of traffic crashes. There's also police corruption in some countries (particularly ex-Soviet republics outside the EU), and poor signage.

  7. Diana Winkler

    Learn what the street signs are in a foreign country and who has the right of way. You can look these up on the internet.


    I'm from Belgium, and as far as I know the average Belgian drives pretty normal. Our roads are in pretty terrible state, and around Antwerp (where I live) and Brussels you have LOTS of traffic, but hey, we don't have toll roads (which means the locals pay for all the international traffic, and we have a lot of international traffic.). This summer I went to Italy, and I must warn people when they go over there. In Italy, the road sign are CHAOTIC, roads are in terrible state (just like in Belgium), and you will pay quiet a bit of toll. The Italians, in my opinion also don't drive as nice as Belgians. When you drive in Switzerland, it feels like you're in heaven. Roads are in good state, roads signs are easy understandable (even if they're in Italian) and people drive very good.

  9. Will Uk

    The reason that automatic cars are more expensive to rent is because they use more fuel and are worse for the environment. The only people who drive automatics in the UK are the elderly and those who can't manage a gear box (stick shift).

  10. Obi-Shawn

    Another hint about gas stations, at least in Germany, the price listed on the sign is for liters NOT gallons! I don't remember how it was in France and Luxembourg as it's been five years. But it can be a bit of a shock for the first time American who is used to the price being per gallon.

  11. Lillian Flactiff

    Your wife is hot! Lucky guy!

  12. Richard's World

    They would probably charge you at least 10 euro a day to have a GPS unit.
    Google maps on a phone works quite well. I've used in in many, many countries with no problem. I use T-Mobile which gives me free data just about everywhere. Or you can download offline maps on Google Maps. The biggest problem with Google Maps that I have seen is it will try to get me to go the wrong way on a one-way road.

  13. TheRenaissanceman65

    You forgot that the UK uses mph, and distances on road signs are in miles. We haven't metricated everything – yet!

    The other big thing with driving in the UK is that the driver sits on the other side of the car. This may take some getting used to – it's your LEFT hand that will get most use instead of the right. A little slow practice with your rental car before you get on to busy roads may help!

  14. Bunnyroo7

    In the UK distance and speed is measured in miles.

  15. Angus Mac

    …and don't get upset or take it personally when you are closely tailgated by other drivers, especially when it's clear that they can pass if they wanted to. It's just the way some people drive there – they see a space behind your car and they fill it.
    Just relax, keep your eyes on the road, and if you find it too disconcerting or a line begins to form, pull over to let them pass when it's safe.

  16. Tay TYLERIENMAM Station

    one thing when you rent a car in europe you probably get a european car like mercedes benz

  17. abcabcboy

    I feel like he is generalising Europe too much. Where exactly does he think of when he is speaking of Europe? There are so many exceptions from what is said here, that it will hardly help you following these advices.

  18. Joshua Vanwormer

    In Germany, I did require one. I think it may depend on the company/person.

  19. Johnny Martin Johansen

    As for toll roads: In some countries (ie Hungary, Austria) you don't need to pay during your travels. Instead, you need a special sticker (called a vignette) proving that this is prepaid for a certain period of time, up to a year at most, usually. The vignette is almost always included in the car rental, so you don't have to worry about it. I was stopped once by the police in Austria for a vignette check – be prepared for that, and be prepared for high fines if you don't have a valid one. So check that before leaving the car rental.

  20. davidte35

    Hey Wolters, can i rent a car in one city and drop it off in another? Thinking about stuttgart to Leman France.