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European Driver's Guide

Hertz Makes it Easier to Discover Europe

Welcome to Hertz

Before You Get on the Road

On the Road

Click here for a printable version of the European Driver's Guide, a helpful tool to truly discover Europe.

Welcome to Hertz
What makes Hertz the perfect travelling companion? Over 2,000 convenient locations in 45 countries, English-speaking personnel and, of course, Hertz #1 Club Gold, with benefits that include automatic processing and fast pickup. But that's not all. With over 70 airline and hotel partner programmes worldwide, you can also earn points, miles, credits when you rent from Hertz*. What's more, we offer:

  • Free unlimited mileage
  • 24-hour Emergency Roadside Assistance

* Please Note: the award of points/miles/credits is subject to the partner programme terms and conditions.

Hertz Prestige Collection
Whether your idea of a dream holiday includes driving a Mercedes-Benz E-class, a Mini Cooper, a BMW 7-series or a sporty convertible, the
Hertz Prestige Collection allows you to choose from an expanded fleet of luxury and high-performance vehicles, located in Europe’s most popular destinations. As a Hertz Prestige Collection customer, you can reserve your car by model, receive priority service at Hertz counters and pick up your rental from the most convenient spots at our branch – for a quick getaway to your ideal holiday in one of our dream cars.

Before you get on the road

  • Rent-It-Here and Leave-It-There (one-way rentals)
  • Additional Drivers
  • Hertz NeverLost®
  • Supplementary Equipment

Rent-It-Here and Leave-It-There
It is the ultimate convenience. Pick up a car at one location and return it in a different city. If the return location is within the same country, there is usually no fee. Or return it in a different country for a small fee. Exceptions may apply by location and car class.

Additional Drivers
For a small fee, additional drivers other than the primary renter can be added at any Hertz counter. The additional driver must be physically present at the counter along with the primary driver, and must also produce his/her own driver's licence as well as meet the minimum age requirements for the rented car group. There is no coverage for the damages caused by drivers not registered.

Hertz NeverLost®
Hertz NeverLost in-car satellite navigation system, with detailed mapping and an easy-to use color touch screen, lets you drive with confidence throughout
Europe. Available in 16 European countries, the system eliminates the worry of getting lost. Using Global Positioning Satellite technology, NeverLost provides turn-by-turn directions in a choice of 11 languages and includes thousands of pre-programmed locations throughout Europe.

Supplementary Equipment
Hertz offers the kind of equipment that makes travelling easy. Mobile phones, in-car satellite navigation, ski racks, luggage racks, child seats and hand controls are available at participating locations (additional fees may apply).

Making a Reservation
There are three simple ways to make a reservation with Hertz. You can either call your travel agent, your local Hertz reservation centre or
click here to book on the Hertz website. Hertz will need to know your basic travel information so you may be asked to provide the following:

  • Location, date and time you plan to pick up and return the car
  • Flight information if flying into an airport (we can hold your car if the flight is delayed)
  • The vehicle type of your preference (size, transmission etc.)
  • Credit and Debit Card information
  • If you are a member of Hertz #1 Club
  • Contact phone number
  • Promotion or Discount code - if you are booking a special offer or seeking preferential rates

Restrictions can vary by location. Some restrictions that may apply are:

  • Miniumum/Maximum age
  • Credit or Debit Card requirement
  • International Driver's Licence may be required
  • Flight information may be mandatory
  • Theft Protection (TP) may be required
  • Driving from one country into another may not be allowed

Optional Coverage
Hertz takes the worry out of renting.

  • Theft Protection- in some countries Theft Protection (TP) is an optional service, which, if accepted, limits your liability in the event of damage to the Hertz vehicle (including parts and accessories). Deductibles may apply and vary by country and car group. Theft Protection is mandatory in some European countries. Acceptance/ Non-acceptance of TP cannot be changed at the end of the rental.
  • Collision Damage Waiver- The Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) is not insurance. It is an optional service which, if accepted, limits your financial responsibility for damage to the Hertz vehicle other than by theft or vandalism. CDW also covers damage to the vehicle resulting from accidental fire. Deductibles may apply and vary by country and car group. Acceptance/Non-acceptance of CDW cannot be changed at the end of the rental.
  • Super Cover - (formerly called Super CDW/TP) is an extra optional service which waives your liability for the locally applicable deductible in the event of damage to the Hertz vehicle.
  • Personal Insurance - Personal Insurance is optional coverage for any accident providing compensation to the driver/passenger for loss of life and medical expenses. In some countries, it also covers personal belongings of driver and passengers.

* Please Note: some of these coverages may be included in our rental rates. Always consult your travel agent or Hertz reservation agent for best alternatives for your coverage needs.

Mandatory tax and fees - Explaining the Charges
Different countries have different taxes and fees. The following are some of the phrases you'll hear and need to be familiar with as you travel through Europe.

  • Location Service Charge (LSC) - this is a charge levvied at certain airport, major city centre and railway station locations for use of their facilities.
  • Value Added Tax (VAT) - VAT is a country specific consumption tax.

    LSC and VAT amounts or percentages vary by location and will be quoted at time of reservation. These will be automatically added into your rental agreement. Some fees and taxes may be included in your rental rate.
  • Fuel - All Hertz rentals come with a full tank of petrol. If you do not return the car with a full tank, Hertz will charge you for the fuel and service charge at the applicable per-mile or per-gallon rate specified on the rental record. You can also purchase fuel from Hertz at the beginning of your rental by selecting the Fuel Purchase Option. With this option, you prepay the full tank of petrol; prices are based on those charged at local petrol stations.

The Rental Process
If you are picking up your car at European airports, simply head to the arrivals lounge and look for the car rental area - in some cases there will be a Hertz bus to take you to the Hertz counter or pick-up area.

There are different types of options when returning your vehicle*:

  • Normal Return - You can head to the regular rental counter during normal business hours. The counter agent will check the charges, give you a receipt and you are off.
  • Instant Return - A Hertz representative meets you in the return area and processes the return information using a hand-held computer and provides a receipt instantly.
  • Express Return - Just fill in your mileage, return date and time, fuel level and whether fuel was purchased on the rental agreement. The rental agreement and the keys should be dropped in the Hertz Express Return box. A computed copy of the rental agreement will be mailed to you.
  • Drop-off Box Return - Some locations have after-hours Drop-Off boxes. You just fill in your mileage, return date and time, fuel level and whether fuel was purchased on the rental agreement. The rental agreement and the keys can be dropped in these Hertz Drop-Off Boxes.

*Please Note: return options vary by location. Please discuss the options available for your destination at time of reservation or pick-up.

The Rental Documents

  • The Rental Agreement- This is the document you sign and receive a copy of when you pick up your vehicle. It shows all details of the rental including any optional services you may have requested. You'll also find the following information:
  1. Rental details (dates, car group, agreement number, mileage).
  2. Basic rental charges (detailed breakdown of the daily rental rates).
  3. Optional services requested (the cost of each optional service requested).
  4. Miscellaneous charges or credits (a breakdown of mandatory charges).
  5. Total cost of rental (shown in local currency).

Click here to view a sample Rental Agreement.
  • The Statement of Charges - The Statement of Charges should be collected when you return the vehicle. It shows the final total rental cost. The Statement of Charges is not a tax invoice. It includes:
  1. Rental details (dates, car group, agreement number, mileage).
  2. Basic rental charges (detailed breakdown of the daily rental rates).
  3. Optional services requested (the cost of each optional service requested or incurred).
  4. Miscellaneous charges or credits (a breakdown of mandatory charges).
  5. Total cost of rental (shown in domestic and local currencies if an international rental).
  6. Status of the account (this will show if the invoice is due for payment).
  • The Rental Invoice - The final invoice will be sent to you by mail the day after you return the vehicle. The information shown will be exactly the same as that shown on the Statement of Charges. This document is the tax invoice suitable for expense claims or business accounting. Rental agreement formats may vary by European country.

On the Road

What to expect when driving in Europe
There are as many differences as there are languages:

  • High fuel prices - Fuel is purchased at petrol stations. Many of these stations are not operated around the clock.
  • Different units of measurement (kilometres, litres)
  • Different traffic regulations by country.
  • Many countries have toll roads - keep some change handy. Some major city centres e.g. London, operate charging schemes for driving in designated zones - check for details at time of vehicles collection.
  • Enforcement officers may ask to see your driver's licence, vehicle registration document and passport.

European Driving Tips

  • Drinking and driving is prohibited and penalties are severe.
  • Pay attention to which side of the road you should drive on. Britain, Ireland, Malta and Cyprus all require driving on the left-hand side of the road. It may be prudent to practice driving in a less populated area before attempting to drive during peak traffic periods (e.g morning/evening rush-hour).
  • Don't cross a continuous white line to change lanes or overtake - the fine could be heavy.
  • Heavy fines are imposed for illegal parking. Speeding and other traffic offences such as using mobile phones whilst driving, can be subject to on-the-spot fines.
  • Most countries recognise a valid US drivers licence, however some countries require an International Driving Permit (IDP). It functions as a legal identification document that translates US driver's licence information into 11 foreign languages. They should be used as a supplement to a valid US licence. You can obtain an IDP before your departure at local offices of the American Automobile Association (AAA) or the American Automobile Touring Alliance.
  • Always use the seat belt and appropriate child seats. Most countries have seat belt laws and penalties can be severe. Check with your travel agent or the Hertz Reservation agent for local infant, baby or child seat regulations.

European traffic and road signs
Here's the good news: these are some standardised road signs used all over Europe:

  • Diamond signs indicate priority.
  • Red triangles are warnings.
  • Red circles are restrictions.
  • Blue circles are requirements.
  • Squares and rectangles give guidance.

The colour red on a European road sign signals negative information such as
a warning or prohibition. To view samples of European warning and prohibitory signs,
click here.

The colour blue is positive in that it signals an obligatory action e.g. keep right, or some feature that you can take advantage of - such as bicycles lane, a lay-by or a car park; simply put it says do rather than don't. To view samples of European obligatory action and informational signs, click here.

As in North America, dashed centre lines mark overtaking zones while solid centre lines denote no-overtaking zones. But while in North America yellow markings separate opposing traffic flows and white lines separate traffic moving in the
same direction, in Europe white lines are used in both cases.

Safety Tips

  • Don't leave money or items of value in an unattended vehicle and remove all other property whenever possible.
  • Make a couple of copies of your passport and keep them in separate places.
  • When entering your vehicle, be aware of your surroundings.

Conversion tables

1 km = 0.621 mile
1 litre = 0.264 US gallon
0 degree Celsius = 32 degrees Fahrenheit

Useful Links

For a map of Europe,click here.

To view a chart of driving distances between European cities, click here.

For details of US Embassies, click here.

For a printable version of the Hertz European Driver's Guide,click here.

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