Car Hire Abroad - Renting Tips & Advice

For those who are lucky enough to be heading abroad for a family holiday or trip with friends this summer, a Sixt car hire can be the ideal addition to make sure you can move about freely and securely. With a large rental network of over 4,000 branches worldwide and a fantastic selection of versatile vehicles, Sixt can get you on the road in no time – wherever you visit. If you’re needing advice on car rental practices abroad and what to bring to the branch, we’ve compiled a compact guide for hiring a car abroad, as well as some great travel tips and advice for your summer holidays.

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Car Hire Abroad - Driving and Renting Tips

Preparing to rent a car abroad

Driving Licence for your rental car abroad

Your Driving Licence Record

As many of you may already know, on 8th June 2015 the government abolished the paper counterpart to your driving licence. This is in many ways great news: one less piece of paper to remember! Except that when hiring a car abroad it may actually be quite useful. We recommend that if you do still have your counterpart, don’t throw it out just yet. If you don’t have it (or are unsure where it may be…) it may be simpler for you to obtain the DVLA sharing code, enabling third parties to view your licence online. The check code lasts for 21 days, so you can access it before heading abroad.


To do this, simply follow the link here.

Know your Car Hire Agreement when Renting Abroaad

Know Your Car Rental Agreement

It is important when renting a car abroad to know exactly what you have signed up for and with whom. At Sixt we always recommend booking your car hire in advance to save time and money. If you get caught trying to hire at an airport, you will very likely get charged well above the base rate you could have found elsewhere, and may be subject to large overheads.  Don’t be blinded by price: whilst some rental companies may have attractively low rates, this often comes at a price. Poor customer service may be the least of your worries if you are given a hire car that has not been properly serviced, or does not have compulsory equipment as dictated by local law.

At Sixt, we put our customers’ needs first. That’s why we are a proud member of the European Car Rental Conciliation Service: we and our fellow members follow a strict code of conduct, and allow any dispute to be settled by a third party ruling. You can read the eight point rental charter here.

Learn the rules of the road when driving abroad

Read Up On Local Driving Laws

As silly as it may sound, when you are packed in traffic trying to navigate anti-clockwise around the Coliseum in Rome, you may wish you’d sat down and read-up on European road practices. It may be obvious, but across mainland Europe (and pretty much everywhere except India and many parts of South-East Asia) vehicles drive on the right hand side of the road. There are some road signs that may be familiar, but there also likely to be many that are new: make sure you know what they mean in advance! Distances are most frequently calculated in kilometres, and don’t forget that 112 is the European emergency call number you can dial anywhere in the European Union in the unlikely case of an accident or assault. Oh, and watch out for toll roads!


For a comprehensive look at national driving laws in your destination, check out or our own driving tips to make sure you are steering your car hire on the right side of the law.