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What You Need to Rent a Car When Traveling

What Do I Need to Rent a Car?


Whether you’re traveling to another area of your own country or taking a trip abroad, you may find that you need reliable access to transportation. Rental car companies are common in most areas of the world, and although policies on eligible age and other driver restrictions vary from company to company, all rental car agencies are required by law to demand a driver’s license before renting out a vehicle.

U.S. road trip using an ESTA, Smoky Mountains, kia niro, memorable road trip
The Kia Niro was the perfect car for this drive. It hugs the switchbacks like it was made for the mountains.


To obtain a car from a rental agency in your home country, you will need to present your valid government-issued driver’s license at the time of rental or reservation. The certifications on the license must match the type of vehicle you wish to rent, such as a passenger vehicle, large truck or motorcycle, and you must also meet all other driver guidelines set forth by the company.


You may also be required to have a credit card matching your name on file with the agency for identification purposes. You can rent a car in Melbourne at Drive Now, learn more on their website about the types of license required. If you’re going to be using a motorbike, you’ll want to get motorcycle insurance for one day.




Though your native driver’s license is valid for rentals practically anywhere in the world, and your information can be directly translated to satisfy rental requirements, renting a car during a stay overseas can be a slightly more complicated process.


However, in addition to your valid driver’s license from your home country, and bank-issued credit or debit card, many rental agencies will require that you have a document known as an International Driver’s Permit. Most governments require all visiting drivers carry an International Driver’s Permit in order to be recognized as a legal driver on the country’s roads.


Rent a car

Although the rental agency is only responsible for ensuring that you are certified to drive the class of vehicle you wish to rent and may not even ask to see your International Driver’s Permit at the time of rental, the legal reality is that the permit is mandated by law, and failing to present it to a requesting law enforcement official can lead to punitive action.


Fortunately, an International Driver’s Permit is available inexpensively through many leisure travel organizations, and so obtaining one prior to your trip is a wise investment.


Due to the significant safety and legal concerns involved with lending out cars, rental agencies will usually require extensive documentation before releasing a vehicle to you. In your home country, it may be as simple as presenting your compatible driver’s license, while overseas rentals may require additional verification of your driving credentials.

Christa Thompson

Christa Thompson is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. She started traveling the world in 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

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