Everything you need to know about hiring a car abroad

While you may think hiring a car for your gap year travels will be easy, quite often this isn’t the case. Prices, terms and conditions and insurance can make the simplest job look like an impossible task.

So, how should you go about renting a car abroad? Just follow these steps…


The most important part of the car-hire endeavour is planning. Research where you can grab your wheels, what insurance you will need, the rules of the road in your given destination, any fines you can incur… everything.

Without planning, you can leave yourself open to a lot of additional cost and stress. For example, if you hire a car from the airport you land at, you’ll be paying a lot more than if you were to look further afield.

Get your paperwork sorted

There is a little additional paperwork involved in your trip if you’d like to drive overseas. You may be fine just using your GB driving licence, but you may need an International Driving Permit or even a Carnet de Passage.

Take a look at our Driving in a different country: The Basics article for more information. 

Ensure you’re covered

Insurance comes in many different types, covering a range of eventualities, for an even bigger range of prices.

Don’t be bullied into paying for your hire company’s excess. It’s usually a lot more expensive than looking for a policy of your own.

Optional extras

The AA has written a brilliant checklist that details everything you should look at once you finally pick up your car from the rental facility. Check it out here.

You might want to check out our ‘Driving in a different country: here’s the essential information‘ article for even more information before hiring a car.

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