Alex O'Brien

Travel Tips

Age restrictions and renting a car overseas

Age restrictions and renting a car overseas

There’s nothing like the feeling of being out there on the open road on holidays, and many countries in the world are best experienced from behind the wheel. But even though you’re a safe driver, organising car hire overseas isn’t always a walk in the park.

We’re going to take a look at hiring a car overseas. By knowing what to expect, you can be well-equipped to deal with any hiccups along the way and enjoy your holiday. 

Be aware of the restrictions that are in place

Even if you’ve got a safe driving history, there are certain parts of the world where your age may restrict your ability to rent a vehicle. For example, if you’re over the age of 70 you may have difficulty renting in Czech Republic, Great Britain, Greece, Northern Ireland, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Turkey. Make sure you’re aware of these restrictions, before you head over.

Obtain an International Driver’s Permit

Depending on where you’re going, you may also need to obtain an International Driver’s Permit (IDP). These documents are widely recognised and issued by associated members of the Automobile Association, a list of which you can find here.

It’s important your IDP covers you for the specific vehicle you wish to rent. You are also required to carry around a valid New Zealand driver’s license when driving.

Be conscious that the conditions will be different

As the Australian Government’s Smart Traveller resource states, “Dangerous drivers, unsafe vehicles and ill-designed and poorly maintained roads make road travel a risky undertaking.” So it’s important to be wary of the differences in terms of speed limits, road signs and signals and general expectations in terms of behaviour behind the wheel. Oh, and it’s always a good idea to make sure you’re on top of which side of the road they drive on, before you head over!

You need to make sure you’re covered

Perhaps the most important thing when it comes to driving a car overseas is ensuring you have the adequate level of travel insurance. The last thing you want is to find yourself in a situation where you have inadequate cover, so make sure you check with your insurer and confirm you are covered before renting a car overseas.

Have you ever driven overseas, and how did you find the experience? Feel free to share any tips, hints or funny stories in the comments below!

Related links:

12 packing tips to travel with one suitcase

The best way to carry travel documents

Is a premium economy ticket ever worth it?