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Need help with your car rental? Phone: 0808-164-1480
Need help with your car rental?
Phone: 0808-164-1480

Crossing Borders in a Rental Car

crossing borders

Cross border road trips in a rental car, in and out of the UK are now popular with families wanting to visit and discover a range of places in one trip at their own leisure. Here is everything you need to know about crossing European Borders in a rental car.

Can I take a rental car from the UK mainland to Ireland?

You would need to check this with your rental car company. Most car hire companies will allow their vehicles to be taken to the Republic of Ireland, but renters will be required to purchase Continental Cover. This protective cover provides the documentation to prove insurance cover, along with 24-hour breakdown assistance whilst overseas.

Read our guide on Taking Your Rental Car from Mainland UK to Republic of Ireland.

Can I take my hire car from England to Northern Ireland?

Most major rental companies will permit you to drive your rented vehicle into Northern Ireland, but there can be restrictions. A Cross Border Fee will apply when you pick up your vehicle. Keep in mind also that most car rental companies require at least a minimum of two days' notice, so make sure to review the terms and conditions of your agreement.

Read our guide on Taking Your Rental Car from England to Northern Ireland.

Can I take my hire car from the UK across to mainland Europe?

It is possible to travel to mainland Europe with your UK-registered vehicle, however please note that some restrictions may apply. For example, in Germany, winter tyres are compulsory during certain months of the year. You must inform the rental company when booking the vehicle in advance. It is also important to check that your driving licence is valid in the European country you intend to explore.

Read our guide on Taking Your Rental Car From the UK Across to Mainland Europe.

What type of IDP do I need to drive in some countries outside the EU?

The UK used to issue two types of International Driving Permit to UK licence holders who are residents in the UK: the 1926 and the 1949 IDPs. But as of March 29, 2019, the UK Government issues a third type of permit: the 1968 IDP which is now required for UK drivers driving to all other European Union (EU) states. These permits are available over the counter from 2,500 UK post offices.

Check our Guide to International Driving Permit validity by convention year and country


Before you take your rental car across the border...

Make sure to notify your supplier on where you intend to go as some car hire companies will need to provide you with a written authorisation. Note that the cross border travel terms can be found in your rental voucher. If you are granted permission by the renting location, additional rental qualifications may apply.