Car Rental Conditions in Different Countries

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You may be familiar with renting a car if you travel on business in your country or just need a temporary replacement while yours is in the shop. But if you need to rent a car while in another country, there are general car rental conditions that can vary significantly by country. Even if you use an international car rental company, the conditions outlined in your rental agreement may include requirements specific to where you plan to drive the car.

Driving Limitations
Renters may be restricted on where they can drive a rental car depending on the country they are in. If you drive in restricted areas, not only do you face paying high fees, you risk voiding your insurance coverage. There may be limits on the number of miles you can drive or a maximum distance from the rental company you are permitted to drive the car. These may be strict limitations that are non-negotiable or they may be allowed as long as you are willing to pay additional fees. To enforce these conditions, rental companies rely on GPS technology which is installed in their rental cars. Some countries may actually require renters maintain a particular speed limit which they monitor through the GPS. There are countries that have no driving restrictions and allow unlimited mileage which is included in rates.

Driver Requirements
Every country has established minimum driving ages which some car rental companies use for their driver requirements. However, it is not unusual for the rental age to be higher because of liability. The biggest difference in driver requirements that exists between countries is the driver's license. International rental companies will ask which country issued the driver's license. Many do not recognize licenses issued from other countries and require renters to secure an International Driving Permit. The Permit must be presented to the car rental company along with the driver's license.

Car rental and Insurance
The types and costs of insurance can vary greatly by country. In countries like the United States and Canada, it is up to the renter to purchase additional insurance when renting a car. Car rental companies in countries in the Middle East, Europe, Australasia, and even Europe typically include specific insurance in their rental rates. These insurances cover third party liability, theft, and the general Collision Damage Waiver (CDW). Excess insurance is common in these countries. It is a type of coverage that is similar to a deductible and is intended to dissuade renters from filing damage claims. This particular charge, while not widespread, has been introduced in the United States or Canada. But can be challenging to add these new insurance fees in the United States because insurance is often regulated by individual state laws. The more you know about international conditions when renting a vehicle in another country, the better chance you have of getting a cheap car rental. By fully understanding typical fees and charges you can decide where to cut costs and still have a positive car rental experience.
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