We’re often asked if you can hire a car in the UK and take it into France or further afield into mainland Europe. The simple answer is yes, however there are things you need to be aware of. Firstly, not all rental agents allow cross border travel so you should check the rental terms and conditions for the specific car / agent to check that it is permitted, if in doubt, contact us and we’ll check for you.
If you do take a UK rental car
to France, you’ll need to advise the rental agent of your intention to enable them to prepare the necessary documentation. You’ll need additional insurance and breakdown cover to cover driving on the continent
UK car hire to Spain, Ireland, Portugal, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium?
Most rental agents will allow you take a rental car beyond just France and into neighbouring european countries, however it is often limited to 2 border crossings. As you can take a rental car on a ferry
, it is possible to arrive into France, Spain and the Netherlands via Ferry from the UK and continue into mainland Europe from your arrival point. Rental agents typically list countries in 'zones' and certain car types are restricted in certain zones. See full terms and conditions for your rental specifics before travel, or contact us in advance for clarification.
Can you take a rental car on the Eurotunnel?
Much like taking a rental car on a ferry, provided that the car / rental agent permit cross border travel, unless there is a specific restriction to taking a hire car on the Eurotunnel there is nothing to stop you. You will need the car registration when booking your Eurotunnel crossing, so you may have to wait until you collect your rental car before booking, or update your booking with your car. You may also need to confirm the make and model of car with Eurotunnel which you will need to again wait to you have collected the rental car. We operate a ‘car hire or similar’ policy so cannot guarantee the exact make and model of the car supplied until it is collected.
What UK car hire agents allow travel to Europe?
We’ve check all of the leading car rental agents in the UK to identify which allow cross border travel to Europe and outlined the terms and conditions pertaining to such travel. Please the table below and continue reading for detailed terms and conditions;
UK Car Rental Agent
Cross Border allowed
NO (excl. Republic of Ireland)
NO (excl. Republic of Ireland)
NO (excl. Republic of Ireland)
* terms based on quote for a weeks car rental at Heathrow Airport
Rental agents terms and conditions:
Alamo / National Cross Border Terms
Cross border travel outside UK Mainland is permitted only into Shetland Islands, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. cross border fee of £125 per rental applies. The vehicle must be returned to the territory where it was rented. Please contact the local branch prior to collection of the vehicle to arrange cross border travel. 48 hours’ notice is required to take a vehicle cross border.
Avis / Budget Cross Border Terms
Vehicles may be taken out of the country if Continental Cover is purchased. Continental Cover provides the necessary documentation to prove insurance cover, together with 24 hour breakdown assistance whilst overseas. Continental cover is available to purchase at some locations at time of rental for any travel within the continent. Vehicle must be returned to UK Mainland or additional one way charges will apply. Please contact the branch 5 days prior to travel for details and to arrange. The following details are mandatory: Number of people travelling in the vehicle, names of all drivers, countries to be visited.
1-7 days: £90, 8-14 days: £126, 15-21 days: £156, 22-28 days: £216. Charges include VAT and exclude any additional premium location fees that may be applicable.
Cross border is allowed to the following countries: Andorra, Austria, Balearics, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Channel Islands, Corsica, Croatia, Cyprus*, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland**, Romania, San Marino, Sardinia, Sicily, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey in Europe, plus Uskudar. *Geographical areas under the control of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus. **Cover is not required if visiting Northern Ireland.
Keddy Cross Border Terms
Vehicles (excluding Large, Prestige, Luxury and Premium car groups) may be taken abroad but you are required to purchase the Europdrive Package (cost range between £70 and £222 depending on the length of the rental). The Europdrive Package is only available to purchase at the counter and applies to vehicles going to the Republic of Ireland from mainland UK also. Costs vary please check before cross border travel. Vehicles may be taken from Northern Ireland into Republic of Ireland, but renters will be required to purchase a version of Europdrive Package. Costs vary please check with the rental agent before cross border travel. Permission is not guaranteed and restrictions or extra charges may apply. Please contact the rental branch before pickup.
Easirent Cross Border Terms
Vehicles are limited to what countries they can be taken to please check for details. Rentals are restricted to 100 miles per day excess mileage £0.50 for the course of the rental when going outside of the UK for part of the rental, £20 per day surcharge applies with a one off £125 Green Card fee and drivers need to arrange 5 star euro breakdown cover (we can happily arrange this on behalf of drivers). Green card insurance does not apply if the country is within the United Kingdom. Cross Border Policy (within Ireland): Vehicles are allowed to cross borders between North and South Ireland for a one off fee of £50.
Enterprise Cross Border Terms
No vehicles rented from Enterprise can be taken out of the UK Mainland except for travel to Shetland Islands, Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland, although the vehicle must be returned to the territory where it was rented. Please note there is a charge of £125 per rental to take the vehicle to Northern and Republic of Ireland, 48 hours’ notice is required.
Europcar Cross Border Terms
Vehicles (excluding Selection, Luxury and Premium) may be taken cross border to some authorised locations. Please note, permission must be granted in advance by Europcar. In the event customers wish to cross border, it is required that renters purchase the Europdrive Package. The Europdrive Package is only available to purchase at the rental desk and applies to vehicles going to the Republic of Ireland from mainland UK also. The price for this ranges between £70 to £200 depending on rental duration. Renters who collect and return their rental vehicles to Northern Ireland but who wish to travel to the Republic of Ireland will be required to pay a cross border package fee of £25 to £104.17. Please check with the local desk for more information. Please note that permission is not guaranteed and restrictions or extra charges may apply. Please contact the rental branch before pickup.
Firefly Cross Border Terms
Should customers wish to take UK vehicles abroad, they need to have by law, a VE103B and seek Firefly permission prior to the pickup. There will be a charge of £60+VAT per day.
Cross Border is not guaranteed and restrictions will apply to certain countries. Please, check with the rental branch before the pickup. Firefly vehicles rented in Northern Ireland may be driven into the Republic of Ireland but not into any other country. Customers are required to notify the rental counter staff of their intention to travel into the Republic of Ireland on pickup of their rental vehicle. An additional driving abroad charge of £15 per rental will apply. Vehicles may not be taken off the island of Ireland. Should these restrictions be ignored all insurance (Third Party Liability, CDW, TP, Super Cover, PAI), if accepted, shall be deemed, null and void, also the driver will be held fully responsible in case of accidents and will bear all consequences, including the cost of repatriation of the damaged vehicle.
Green motion Cross Border Terms
Please note that customers intending to travel across country/state borders or to different islands within the same country should contact Green Motion directly prior to pick up to advise of their travel plans. Restrictions and charges may be applicable.
Hertz Cross Border Terms
Hertz vehicles cannot be driven in and/or dropped off in any African, Asian and Middle-East country, nor in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.
Standard vehicles (with the exception of groups G/H) with a maximum of 5 seats and van groups A4/B4/C4/D4/E4/G4/J4 may be taken abroad. Vehicles with 6 seats or more and any belonging to the following collections may not be taken abroad - Dream/Electric/Fun/Green/Prestige. Van groups not specified above, specialist vans and high roof vans may also not be taken abroad.
All vehicles are automatically covered with European Motoring Assistance. However if you wish to take a UK registered vehicle abroad, you are required by law to be in possession of a VE103B form which is proof Hertz have permitted the vehicle to travel abroad. Charges for issuing a VE103B are as follows:
Fee: £87.12 (1-2 day rentals) or £101.64 (3-5 day rentals) or £130.68 (6-7 day rentals) or £174.24 (8-13 day rentals) or £188.76 (14-20 day rentals) or £188.76 + additional £87.12 per week*
* The weekly amount is charged per week started. This fee applies even if you have a continental cover which covers hire vehicles. No fee applies for Northern Ireland and Isle of Wight. The cover can only be purchased at time of pick-up. Additional equipment may be required for vehicles being taken out of the UK mainland to meet the legal requirements of the country visited. You are responsible for purchasing this additional equipment.
SIXT Cross Border Terms
Commercial vehicles, Passenger vehicles in P, L, X categories, MPV (8+ seats) and minibuses are not allowed to go overseas or abroad. Mercedes Benz, BMW, Audi, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mini are only allowed to enter Zone 1 countries (except of above mentioned car groups.) The vehicle selection can restrict travel to certain countries. For a description of these restrictions on admission, the countries are divided into three zones.
- Zone 1: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Great Britain, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Sweden, Switzerland, Spain and Vatican
- Zone 2: Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia
- Zone 3: All countries which are not in zone 1 or 2.
Entry into any country in zone 3 is not permitted. The transport of the vehicle by ferry is permitted in compliance with the above-mentioned entry restrictions. Damage to the vehicle during the crossing will be covered according to the protection booked in the rental contract, except damages due to external effects like heavy seas or sinking.
In case of offence against cross border and territorial restrictions all insurances lose their validity. A Continental Breakdown Charge applies for all rentals outside UK (mandatory).
A surcharge of £ 57.96 to £ 124.83 per rental applies for 1-31 day rentals (depending on the length of your rental) and £226.54 for 31+ day rentals. No charge apples to travel to Northern Ireland. There is also a "foreign use" charge which is 60% of the total rental cost. For more information, please contact your local SIXT rental station.