Really Practical & Useful Tips For Renting Cars Abroad

Renting cars abroad. The process of arranging a car rental when you’re travelling abroad can be daunting, as there are countless things to consider. Should you get manual vs. automatic transmission? Should you get a navigation system? How do you get the best deal and still receive top notch support should something go wrong? Will you get stuck with enormous fines if you return the vehicle to the car rental company a little bit late? 

There’s a lot to think about and that’s why we’re here to help. We teamed up with the experts at Motoring Offence Lawyers to provide you with really practical and useful tips for renting cars abroad.

Travel Advice From The Pros About Renting Cars Abroad 

Renting Cars Abroad - Camper Van

Book a car rental right now with Alternatively, think about a motorhome hire to navigate your way around Europe. 

I remember the first time I ever rented a car for a vacation. I was planning a very special trip actually – my honeymoon! My husband and I were about to spend 10 romantic days in Hawaii, staying about half the time on the Big Island and the rest in Kauai. Our time in Hawaii still stands out in my memory as not only was it my first big trip abroad, it was full of magical moments that I’ll never forget like swimming under waterfalls, taking a helicopter ride, and going on an epic road trip around both islands.  To make our honeymoon all the more special, we rented a convertible and drove around with the top down as we explored the luxurious tropical islands. 

Years later (and divorced!),  I set off on another trip to Los Angeles where I rented a car on my own for the first time. It was intimidating to drive in a foreign country and I had more than a few misadventures – like navigating through the city’s notoriously annoying rush hour where the highways become parking lots and dealing with being pulled over by the police when I incorrectly made a right turn on a red light. I’d just gotten my driver’s licence and while driving on my own for the first time in the US wasn’t as easy as thought it would be, I learned a lot and gained a newfound confidence.

That same year, I rented a car to drive from Toronto to the University of Buffalo to attend a lecture given by Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups Of Tea. One of the best parts of that trip was driving down an almost empty highway enroute to the United States, blasting music, and feeling more of that confidence and well, independence.  

Renting a car of my own really changed how I travelled, but I’d wish I’d known more before setting off on any of those trips. I paid too much for some of those rentals and was completely ripped off with hidden fees that only became apparent when I was standing alone at the rental office desk signing papers and paying for my bill. 🤔

To save you from some of the things that happened to me, let’s look at how you can avoid a disaster when renting cars abroad.

Renting Cars Abroad - Infographic
What do you think about these expert tips for renting cars abroad? Do any surprise you? Have we missed any? Let us know in the comments below. 

Good To Know Newsletter

1) Don’t stop at booking a car rental for your next trip, book a guided tour as well:


2) Need a hotel for your vacation. Book it now:

3) If an Airbnb apartment is more of your style, first time users can use this link to for a €34 travel credit.

4) For more general travel tips, check out some of our other posts:

💖Book Your Next Flight, Train Ride, or Bus in Europe Using the Omio / GoEuro App – Dreaming of your next trip to Europe? Download and use the GoEuro mobile app to book your next flight, train ride, or bus in Europe.

💖Travel Tips: Plan That Perfect Trip With Tripfocal – Make your trip planning easy with Tripfocal, a new platform where you can find practical tips from other travellers and plan that perfect trip of your very own!

💖WIJCK Travel Souvenirs: Line Drawings From Cities Around The World – Looking for a souvenir from your travels? Order a line drawing from WIJCK, featuring prints from the world’s most famous countries, cities, and landmarks.

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*Disclosure – In order to provide helpful information to assist you in renting a car or RV during your travels, I collaborated with Motoring Offence Lawyers and Goboony. As always, any opinions expressed here are entirely my own. This post also contains some affiliate links, so if you book a tour, car rental, or hotel, I’ll earn a tiny commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!

Founder of Canadian in Berlin. Frequent traveller now at 43 countries and counting.

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