Your Guide to Car Hire in Europe
Europe Car Rental

Europe Car Hire

You can find everything you need to know about car hire in Europe on this page - whether you are looking for the ideal destination or tips on how to rent abroad. Sixt is at home in Europe. And with our expansive network of car hire branchesextensive selection of vehicles for rent and helpful, English-speaking staff, we offer you the choice, flexibility and convenience that you need so that you can focus on having fun on your Europe trip. If you're hoping to drive one-way and/ or back to the UK - head to our one way car hire in Europe page for more details.

Good to know about car hire in Europe

How old do I have to be to hire a car in Europe?

While you have to be 21 to hire a car in the UK, in many European countries, including France, Spain and Germany, you can book rental cars from as young as 18. The minimum age varies by country so it is best to check our rental information page for information specific to the country where you wish to hire a car. Often a young driver fee will also apply for drivers under the age of 25.

Are one-way bookings possible?

Yes, it’s possible to pick a car up at one branch and return it to another, be it in the same or a different European country. Please visit our rental information page to see how much it costs to book a one-way rental between two countries in Europe.

Can I rent a car and drive across Europe?

Yes, you are able to use your hire car across Europe – particularly important if you are planning an extended holiday. Please inform us when you book if you plan to drive your hire car in a different country to the one where you pick it up. You will need to pay a small fee to use your car in multiple countries. Enter your pick-up country on our rental information page for more detailed information.

Can I hire an automatic car in Europe?

We have a wide selection of both manual and automatic cars in our fleet all across Europe. If you are used to driving an automatic car then please use the filter on the car select screen to see all of the automatic vehicles available.

Can I take a hire car from the UK to Europe?

Yes, you can take pick up your hire car in the UK and drive it in in Europe. A charge will apply when using your car abroad which is calculated depending on the number of days. Visit our rental information page to see more detailed information about using your UK car hire in Europe.

Am I able to use my UK licence?

Yes, you can use your UK licence to hire cars in Europe. If you have been in the EU for an extended period of time then your UK licence may no longer be valid. Please check the UK government website for more information.

Countries in Europe where Sixt Operates

From Austria to the Ukraine, our European Sixt offices are ready and waiting to help you find the hire car that's right for your journey and get you driving on European roads. We are present in all major European countries with over 1,800 branches and car hire stations in 42 European countries, including over 200 in France, over 80 in Spain and over 450 in Germany. Likewise in popular holiday destinations like Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Portugal and Cyprus you can find Sixt branches at major airports So whatever your needs, whether you are looking for a rental car or need to pop in and ask a question whilst on the road, we are with you every step of your journey.



Types of Vehicles for Hire with Sixt

Sixt is proud to offer you a vehicle for whatever your budget and purpose. And with over 15 different car brands, over 5 van brands, motorcycles plus bicycles, Sixt is your cup of tea. Bargain hunters can source a great cheap deal whilst car enthusiasts can find their dream vehicle to experience on their dream European break.

Our cheap and cheerful range of economy hire cars, like the Skoda Citigo and Seat Ibiza, are perfect to hop into to whizz around the city or countryside, whilst leaving you enough spare change to enjoy your holiday to the maximum. With our city compact hire cars you can ride in style on the historic roads of classic European cities, and look good with a vehicle heritage to match in cars such as the Fiat 500 and Mini Coupe. For those looking to cruise in comfort, our BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz C Class provide luxury car hire with luxury customer service ensuring that your European drive goes smoothly and successfully. If you're looking for more space and safety whilst driving in the European countryside, our 4x4 and SUV hire cars are for you, such as the Volvo XC90 or Range Rover Vogue. And if you're still looking for something a little bigger to fit all of your family or buddies then our people carriers and minibus hires including the Vauxhall (Opel) Vivaro and Volkswagen VW Transporter are here to help make sure that everyone is on-board and comfortable. We also offer van hire from classic vans such as the Ford Transit and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. We have a special treat for those in Mallorca, where you can whizz down the coast on a motorbike with one of our BMW motorcycle rentals, and in Riga where you can pick up a rental bicycle and take advantage of our bicycle network to see the beautiful country of Latvia.

Sixt can match you with an innovative ride to suit your preferences. We also offer the choice of a manual car or automatic car across the full range of car hire categories, whether it be economy, family, 4x4, van, luxury or sports car. After selecting your ideal pick-up location in the booking process, you will be presented a list of all available car hire categories.

European Driving Checklist

Any driving trip requires preparation, and more so when driving in Europe which has its differences to the UK. We can support you with any advance preparation and knowledge that you need, so that once you're on the road you have a safe and happy drive. For comprehensive driving information by country, our Driving Tips pages has information on key driving rules & regulations, speed limits, necessary equipment & documents and additional information such as road signs per country. 

Here is our European driving checklist. Be aware that requirements may change if you cross borders so ensure that you know the laws for each country.

  • Left and right hand drive: Are you comfortable with driving on a different side of the road? Driving an automatic vehicle instead of a manual can help you acclimatize.
  • Documentation: Keeping your passport to hand is a good idea if you are crossing borders.
  • Speed Limits: Are you aware of the speed limits for different types of roads? The UK has one of the lowest motorway speed limits although the speed limit for urban areas is mostly the same as the UK across Europe.
  • Tolls and Permits: Are you aware of toll roads, permits and limited access zones, including Austrian/Swiss vignettes and Italian ZTLs? Do you know where and how you pay?
  • Vehicle, Driver and Passenger Equipment: Do you know what mandatory and recommended equipment is required for your drive? Most European countries require vehicles and drivers to carry more equipment than the UK, including reflective vests, emergency triangles and headlight beam converters.
  • Winter Tyres / Snow Chains: Do you need winter tyres or snow chains? Unlike the UK, these can be mandatory by law in some countries during certain seasons.
  • Mobile Phones: Do you have a hands-free kit? All European countries prohibit the use of handheld mobile phones whilst driving, and many have stricter laws than the UK on when and how you can use your phone whilst in your vehicle.
  • Sat Nav / Route Planner: Do you have a sat nav? Route planning and navigation can be tricky enough in the UK, but on unfamiliar roads the distraction of route planning and driving without a sat nav can be dangerous as well as stressful.
  • Alcohol Limit: Do you know the legal alcohol limit? The UK, along with Portugal, have the highest alcohol limit in Europe and many European countries have a limit of zero.

Other car hire categories

Automatic Cars
Economy cars
Luxury cars