Exploring the Benefits of Renting a Car in Europe

From the soaring spire of the Eiffel Tower to the charming, cobble-stoned streets of Rome, Europe is home to some of the world's most spectacular destinations.

Visitors voyaging to these sensational locales are treated to one of the most incredible experiences on the planet. While its easy to get lost in the fairy tale of a European vacation, however, it is vitally important to keep practical matters in mind when traveling abroad.

One important example is renting a car with Sixt, a vacation staple that is sometimes overlooked.

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Norway Drunk Driving Limit: 20mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood

Norway

For driving in Norway you will need:

  • GB Sticker
  • Warning Triangle
  • Headlamp Adjusters
  • Tow Rope
  • High Visibility Jacket

Speed Limits (kmp/h)

  • Urban areas
  • Outside Urban areas
  • Highways
  • Speeding tickets are very expensive, as are tickets for drunk driving. The limit is under 0.1 milligrams

Toll fees can add up in Norway; if you're traveling on a tight budget be prepared to take much longer as you will have to avoid Highways, bridges and tunnels

Ireland Alcohol Driving Limit: 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood

Ireland

For driving in Ireland you will need:

  • GB Sticker
  • Warning Triangle

Speed Limits (kmp/h)

  • Urban areas
  • Outside Urban areas
  • Highways
  • Drive on the left, just like the United Kingdom
  • Random Breathalyzer tests are conducted regularly in Ireland, don't take the risk!

Drive slowly when out of town, especially during lambing season. Sheep with suicidal tendencies commonly throw themselves in front of unsuspecting traffic

Denmark Alcohol Driving Limit: 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood

Denmark

For driving in Denmark you will need:

  • GB Sticker
  • Warning Triangle
  • Headlamp Adjusters

Speed Limits (kmp/h)

  • Urban areas
  • Outside Urban areas
  • Highways
  • Daytime dipped headlights are compulsory
  • Cyclists can sometimes have right of way, so watch out for them!

Sidewalk safety is held with such high regard in Denmark, pedestrians have been actively encouraged to wear ‘walking helmets'

Czech Alcohol Driving Limit: 35mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood

Czech Republic

For driving in Czech Republic you will need:

  • GB Sticker
  • Winter Tires
  • Replacement Bulbs
  • Warning Triangle
  • First Aid Kit
  • Replacement Fuses

Speed Limits (kmp/h)

  • Urban areas
  • Outside Urban areas
  • Highways
  • The Czech Republic is very strict on drunk driving

Keep your wits about you - many drivers don't bother with indication, stopping at T-junctions is an inconvenience and there's a relaxed approach to giving way

Austria Alcohol Driving Limit: 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood

Austria

For driving in Austria you will need:

  • High Visibility Jacket
  • Winter Tires
  • GB Sticker
  • Warning Triangle
  • First Aid Kit
  • Snow Chains

Speed Limits (kmp/h)

  • Urban areas
  • Outside Urban areas
  • Highways

A ‘Toll Sticker' is required for any vehicle traveling on the Highway in Austria. These cost from 8 Euros for a ten day pass

Netherlands Alcohol Driving Limit: 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood

Netherlands

For driving in Netherlands you will need:

  • GB Sticker
  • Headlamp Adjusters

Speed Limits (kmp/h)

  • Urban areas
  • Outside Urban areas
  • Highways
  • You will also need to ensure you have your documents with you at all times
  • Dipped headlights are required at night and also recommended during the day

Watch out for trams in Amsterdam. To avoid your car becoming an unwelcome bumper decoration ensure you always give way to trams

Swiss Alcohol Driving Limit: 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood

Switzerland

For driving in Switzerland you will need:

  • GB Sticker
  • Warning Triangle
  • Headlamp Adjusters
  • Drivers licence
  • Insurance details

Speed Limits (kmp/h)

  • Urban areas
  • Outside Urban areas
  • Highways
  • Speeding tickets in Switzerland are very, very expensive, so drive at the speed limits!

Watching your speed requires military precision; just 5kmp/h excess speed can result in an immediate fine

Sweden Alcohol Driving Limit: 20mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood

Sweden

For driving in Sweden you will need:

  • Shovel
  • Winter Tires
  • GB Sticker
  • Warning Triangle
  • Anti-freeze
  • Snow Tires are required in the winter, and must be removed in the summer

Speed Limits (kmp/h)

  • Urban areas
  • Outside Urban areas
  • Highways

Sweden is the birthplace of the 'Scandinavian flick' - a rally technique we would rather you didn't practice in our hire vehicles

Poland Alcohol Driving Limit: 20mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood

Poland

For driving in Poland you will need:

  • GB Sticker
  • Warning Triangle
  • Headlamp Adjusters

Speed Limits (kmp/h)

  • Urban areas
  • Outside Urban areas
  • Highways

By law you will need to carry your documents at all times, including:

  • Drivers license
  • Insurance details

Poland suffers a road death rate 3 times that of the UK - it might be wise to take it easy when driving

Spain Alcohol Driving Limit: 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood

Spain

For driving in Spain you will need:

  • High Visibility Vest
  • Spare Tire
  • GB Sticker
  • Warning Triangle
  • Headlamp Adjusters

Speed Limits (kmp/h)

  • Urban areas
  • Outside Urban areas
  • Highways
  • You need to be at least 18 years old to drive in Spain, so sorry 17-year-olds, maybe next year!

On the spot tickets are common place; keep to the speed limits or you'll be spending your sangria budget on tickets

Italy Alcohol Driving Limit: 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood

Italy

For driving in Italy you will need:

  • High Visibility Vest
  • Spare Tire
  • GB Sticker
  • Warning Triangle
  • Headlamp Adjusters
  • Snow Chains (15th Oct to 15th April)

Speed Limits (kmp/h)

  • Urban areas
  • Outside Urban areas
  • Highways

Basic safety is not included in the Italian driving test; if you can't handle agressive driving it might be best to stick with other modes of transport

Germany Alcohol Driving Limit: 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood

Germany

For driving in Germany you will need:

  • Vehicle registration document
  • Insurance certificate
  • Headlamp Adjusters

Speed Limits (kmp/h)

  • Urban areas
  • Outside Urban areas
  • Highways
  • Autobahn (certain stretches)

Take heed; don't wash your car in the street on Sundays - it's illegal!

France Alcohol Driving Limit: 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood

France

  • Highways
  • Highway speed limits vary - be sure to keep your eyes open

For driving in France you will need:

  • High Visibility Vest
  • Breathalyzer Kit
  • GB Sticker
  • Warning Triangle
  • Headlamp Adjusters

Be careful when braking suddenly - French drivers don't believe in leaving a suitable ‘breaking distance'

UK Alcohol Driving Limit: 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood

United Kingdom

  • Drive on the left
  • Always wear your seatbelt. Not wearing a seatbelt in the UK is an offence and strictly punished with a fine
  • Give way to the right at roundabouts
  • Do not talk on the phone while driving

Speed Limits (mph)

  • Towns
  • Major roads
  • Most B-roads
  • Most A-roads
  • Highways

New drivers of a nervous disposition carry a green P sign - avoid them at all costs!

Croatia Alcohol Driving Limit: 0mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood

Croatia

  • Croatia operates a zero tolerance policy on alcohol limits

For driving in Croatia you'll need:

  • V5 Logbook
  • High Visibility Vest
  • Spare Bulbs
  • Shovel (Winter)

Speed Limits (kmp/h)

  • Urban areas
  • Outside Urban areas
  • Major roads
  • Highways

The Dalmatian coast line provides some of Europe's best and most scenic driving roads. Contrary to what many people think, Croatia is a very safe country to visit and travel through.

Cyprus Alcohol Driving Limit: 22mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood

Cyprus

  • Police carry out regular speed checks
  • Checks for documentation are also common
  • Eating and drinking while driving is banned

For driving in Cyprus you'll need:

  • Two Warning Triangles
  • Spiked Tires and Snow Chains (Winter)

Speed Limits (kmp/h)

  • Urban areas
  • Outside Urban-areas
  • Highways

The Republic of Cyprus has never published a Highway Code – it's still in the draft stages.

Portugal Alcohol Driving Limit: 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood

Portugal

For driving in Portugal you'll need:

  • High Visibility Vest
  • Photographic ID
  • Pre-Paid Toll (DEM) Device

Speed Limits (kmp-h)

  • Urban areas
  • Outside Urban-areas
  • Highways

People rave about the danger of driving in Portugal – try driving in Italy to gain some perspective!

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Considering Europe Car Rental with Sixt

With well-developed public transit systems and walkable city streets, many tourists mistakenly forgo a car rental in Europe. In fact, renting a car in Europe is the easiest and most convenient way to see the best of the continent.

Many European transit systems are crowded and outdated, meaning travelers end up wasting long periods of time waiting for trains and booking tickets. Furthermore, rural areas are nearly impossible to see up close and personal without rental cars in Europe from Sixt.

Making a Vehicle Reservation

The easiest way to see Europe by car is to make a reservation before leaving home. Sixt makes it simple to rent a vehicle in Europe in some of the world's most popular cities and airports.

Summer promotions and one-off specials can even help lower the overall price of a reservation, making it possible for large families and young couples to afford convenient rental cars in Europe. Reservations can easily be booked online, making for a seamless arrival after touching down in Europe.

Seeing Europe with a Rental Car

Sixt car rentals in Europe open the door to a myriad of different activities and destinations. Travelers may wish to consider some of the following great ideas after renting a vehicle:

  • Island Getaways: France's Mont St. Michel, Greece's Mykonos and the Italian island of Sardinia are all easily accessible with a rental car.
  • Overnight Adventures: Europe is surprisingly drivable! A rental vehicle is the perfect way to visit several European nations.
  • Train Treks: Many of Europe's long-distance rail trains can carry vehicles. Hop aboard and cross the Channel in style!

Renting a car in Europe with Sixt is both convenient and affordable!

Any traveler looking to see the best of this incredible region simply cannot overlook a European car rental. With Sixt's car rental keys in hand, the many cultural and historic holiday destinations in Europe are accessible to every traveler.