Cross Border Travel in a Hire Car
What do you need to know?
Cross border travel in a hire car is becoming increasingly popular with families wanting to visit a range of places in one trip at their own leisure. It is much easier to travel across borders in Europe, but travellers must still be aware of the costs involved, implications with insurance policies and the requirement to have the correct paperwork.
An increasing number of car hire suppliers are allowing cross border travel and extending the number of countries drivers can visit. The Schengen Agreement, part of EU law that has removed border controls in over 26 countries, means many car hire policies allow you to freely move between countries in the European Union. Charges however do apply in nearly all cases to cover additional insurance and taxes.
The cross border travel terms can be found in your rental voucher, however you must also inform the supplier on pick up of the vehicle of where you intend to go, even if travelling in the Schengen areas. In addition to the standard policy, drivers intending to cross borders should research, and where applicable purchase, international insurance assistance, European breakdown cover and international driving permits prior to their trip. If a driver breaks any cross border restrictions given by the supplier their insurance would be invalid, leaving them at risk of incurring significant costs or fines.
Gareth Robinson, managing director of www.Carrentals.co.uk researched a range of policies’ cross border travel conditions. He said: “Cross border travel in the EU is more straightforward than international travelling, however it can be costly, must be done correctly and still has restrictions. For example Cyprus, one of our most popular destinations for car hire, can be complex with many vehicles not allowed to cross the border from North to South Cyprus and vice versa. On a recent booking for Sicily, Italy, cross border travel was only allowed to 10 countries, including Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Switzerland, France and Spain, while a rental booked in France permitted travel to 26 countries. This booking let you cross into all countries in the Schengen Agreement apart from Iceland and Malta, but also included the UK and Ireland. Vehicles hired on popular island destinations such as Tenerife and Fuerteventura are usually prohibited from any border crossings due to the need to undertake ferry crossings. It may be significantly cheaper to hire a separate car in your next location.
“The differences between each policy with regards to cross border travel are significant so travellers much check their voucher every time they travel. They should also be prepared to pay both extra charges to the supplier, and purchase additional insurance and cover.” added Gareth.