Car Rental in USA and Europe: Similarities and Differences

Because of the large distances between cities, traveling around the United States without a car is difficult and expensive: you need carefully plan the route. The same goes for the European countries. That’s why Car Leasing is incredibly popular; travelers can rent a car of any class – from a budget car to a real house on wheels. Let’s look at the particular qualities of car rental in USA and Europe.

Rental terms

The points of hire are open practically in all cities of Europe and the USA. Large networks offer customers to take cars in the same city and return in another. Note that the same company in different cities can have different prices and conditions. If the client issued a car with a full tank, he must return it in the same condition. Refueling at the company is more expensive.



Both in the US and in Europe, the client must have the following package for renting: passport, driver’s license (national or international) and credit card. The international rights are demanded by Hertz; rental in other large companies (Sixt, Avis, Buget Auto, Europcar) is possible without them. They will also be needed in a number of countries: Albania, the Vatican, Ireland, Iceland, Cyprus, etc.


Each European country sets its age limits. If you are 18, car rental in Germany, Sweden, Austria, Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia are affordable. Since 19 years, it is possible to use car rental in Estonia and Norway. Since 20 years – in Bulgaria, Finland and Switzerland; since 21 years – in all other European countries, except Luxembourg; from 25 years old –  in Ireland. A car of the elite class can be obtained almost everywhere from 24 years old only. Young drivers under 25 years without driving experience will be forced to pay an additional amount of money (as well as in the US). The minimum rental time is 24 hours. In most American offices, the minimum age of the driver is 21 years. However, in Hertz even 20-year-old drivers can take a car, and Avis can be used by drivers who are 18.


Rental price

In small firms, cars that are several years old, cost 35-60 dollars a day. The cost of renting a car in large companies depends on the rental period, the age and the class of the car. For a day you will be taken approximately (the price is indicated for a budget car with a rental period of a week) 45 dollars in Austria, Germany, France; 35 dollars in Italy, the Czech Republic; 30 dollars in Greece, Spain and 25 dollars in Bulgaria.

In America, in general, in large companies the prices are almost the same. Usually, SLI + CDW, unlimited mileage, taxes, registration and other fees are almost always included in the rental price.

Franchise and insurance

Usually companies in Europe offer three variants of insurance: Basic CDW, Theft Protection and Third party liability insurance. If you sign a car rental agreement in Europe, be sure to find out the size of the franchise. For example, if a franchise is set at 500 euros, then if you damage the car, you will pay only these 500 euros and the remaining loss will be covered by the insurer. When renting a car in Europe, there are additional insurance, with the help of which you can reduce the amount of the franchise to 100-200 euros, or completely to zero. For this, you will need to pay an additional insurance fee (from 10 euros per day). In car rental in USA, you can do the same.

Danny White Author