Renting a car in another country isn’t quite the same as if you just needed to rent a car in another U.S. city you plan to visit. There are several things you’ll need to take care of beforehand. Cars.com is a great resource for information about specific makes and models of cars that you might find in other countries. When searching for a car to rent, be sure to cross reference the rental company’s information with a reputable site so you know exactly what you’re getting.
First thing’s first, you’ll need an international driver’s license to legally rent a vehicle in another country. There are no special tests or anything to get one of these international permits. You just need to apply for one well in advance of your travel plans. The document will translate your current driver’s license information into 10 languages commonly spoken around the world. The document is also accepted as a legal form of identification and access to driving privileges in 100 countries around the world. When renting a car in another country, you will be asked both for your current state driver’s license and your international driving permit. The American Automobile Association is the place to go to apply for your permit and you must carry both licenses with you at all times while driving in another country.
You will also need international car insurance. Car rental companies will likely offer this product as an add on when you rent a vehicle from them. Also note that some credit card companies like American Express do provide car rental protections. Check with your credit card company so that you understand what coverage is available to you as a card member.
Book your car well in advance and expect to get a car with a manual transmission unless you specifically request automatic. Manual transmission vehicles are far more common in other countries than they are in the U.S. You will also want to familiarize yourself with the driving laws in the country where you’ll be visiting and anticipate that adjusting to vastly different driving conditions, like driving on the left hand side of the road, will take time. With a little advance preparation, a driving tour through countries across the globe might be just the adventure you’re hoping for.