Renting a Car In Europe?

March 09, 2018

It’s a well-known fact that the Eurail network can be one of the most efficient ways to travel around Europe. However, if you are planning to go off the beaten path and rent a car, there are a few things you should know about renting a car in Europe.


If you have an Ontario G driver’s licence, then your licence is valid in some countries. Many countries require Canadian’s to hold an International Driving Permit (IDP). It is pretty easy to get an IDP. They are issued by the Canadian Automotive Association; you can apply for one on their website.

Insurance Coverage on Car Rentals

Once you’ve figured out your licencing, it’s important to check what insurance coverage you have.  Ontario insurance policies with a “non-owned vehicle” extension only cover you while diving within North America. So, what coverage do you need to drive in Europe?

There are a few options for coverage while driving a rental car abroad. The first and most expensive option is to purchase a collision damage waiver at the rental counter. When you purchase this option you are charged a daily rate that covers collision damage to your rental vehicle while it is in your care. The second option is to rent the vehicle with a credit card that offers rental car insurance.

Many people don’t realize that certain credit cards, especially those marketed to travellers offer special perks like this. If you take this route it is important to check with your credit card company about what is covered and what deductibles you’d be responsible for.

A third and final option to purchase coverage is through a travel insurance policy that includes rental car insurance. If you’re working with a travel agent to plan your trip you can ask them to find coverage that includes rental car coverage. We can also help you look for travel insurance with rental car coverage through our travel partner site.

Know Traffic Laws

Ensuring you have the right coverage for your rental car is just one of many ways you can ease your mind about driving in another country. Different traffic rules, congestion, and parking are all different when driving abroad.

In some countries, like the United Kingdom, cars drive on the opposite side of the road to us in North America. All of these differences make even the best drivers more cautious behind the wheel. It is common to get minor bumps, scrapes and dents in cars in countries where the roads are narrower than we are used to in North America.

Rental Car Hidden Fees and Charges

When picking up your rental vehicle make sure you carefully check it over for prior damage. Make a note of all previous damage and make sure it is recorded on the rental agreement.

Rental car companies are notorious for hidden fees and charges. By purchasing proper coverage you can be sure that an unexpected, exorbitant repair fee will be looked after. Proper coverage also ensures that you can spend less of your trip worrying about unexpected accidents and more time exploring new worlds!

Enjoy your trip to Europe! If you have any questions about what coverage you might need for your trip get in touch with one of our Navigators team members. Contact us today!

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