Checklist for choosing the right car rental

You don’t want to do without a car on holiday? Are you planning a round trip with a rental car for your next holiday? In countries like the USA, Vietnam, South Africa, or Cuba, a car offers you maximum flexibility and comfort. But rental cars don’t necessarily have to be expensive. To ensure that you do not encounter any unexpected problems when booking, we have created a helpful checklist for you.

Personal checklist

Age of the car renter

In some countries, the age limit for rental cars is higher than in Germany. In the U.S., for example, you must be 21 years old and have had your driver’s license for at least one year. When specifying your age, you should definitely take into account that prices vary. As a rule, the older you are, the cheaper the price will be. Also, not every vehicle class may be driven under the age of 25. Here it is also important to find out the best price via comparison via various portals.

Crossing borders by rental car

So that you can plan your itinerary from home, find out if the rental car is allowed to cross national borders. From the United States to Mexico, you are not allowed to cross the border with most rental cars. This regulation also comes into force in other countries. Inform yourself before your arrival!

Do you need an international driver’s license?

You will rarely have to pull the international driver’s license out of your pocket. Nevertheless, we recommend that you do not do without it. Without an international driver’s license, the car rental company may prohibit you from handing over the rental car! The international driver’s license can be obtained at all road traffic offices and costs about 15 euros.

Necessary documents for picking up the rental car

In addition to the International Driver’s Permit, you will need your regular driver’s license and credit cards. The credit card on which the booking was made must match the driver’s license of the main driver. If this is not the case, there is no car for you.

Additional drivers – Yes, no?

Are you travelling as a couple or in a group? Additional drivers usually cost extra. If you are travelling longer distances and want to change with your travel companion, you should register them with the respective provider. Although they do not violate the StVO if the driver changes, the insurance will not cover any damage.

Car Rental Checklist

Adequately insured?

You will soon notice: insurance is one of the most delicate issues when it comes to car rentals. A fully comprehensive insurance without a deductible is a bit more expensive in advance, but is worthwhile in an emergency. In any case, theft protection should be included in the insurance. For longer journeys, protection against stone chips and punctures is also recommended. Be sure to take a copy of your insurance coverage with you. On site, they always try to sell an insurance upgrade. You will not benefit from overinsurance even in the event of a claim.

What is the condition of the car?

The best way to do this is with fully comprehensive insurance without a deductible. Because if damage occurs in this case, you don’t have to pay anything. Nevertheless, it is important to check the vehicle carefully for damage such as scratches and dents when taking it over and to document them. Therefore, also pay attention to stone chips in the windshield. Upon return, the car is usually inspected closely by the car rental company. If damage occurs and you have not taken out insurance, it can quickly become expensive. Therefore, do not let any damage be blamed on you by previous tenants.


Depending on the provider, you have different fuel regulations. We recommend that you take over a full tank of fuel and return the car with a full tank of fuel as well. Although returning the car with an empty tank may be tempting at first glance as it saves you the trip to the petrol station, you probably won’t be able to return the car with an empty tank and risk losing money.

Unlimited mileage

Unlimited mileage has become standard with almost all car rental companies. Otherwise, you will incur additional fees if you exceed a certain mileage maximum. Don’t step into any trap here and opt for unlimited mileage. They also retain a certain flexibility and spontaneity. And isn’t that the best thing about a road trip?

Do you need accessories and upgrades?

When you pick up the car, you will again be confronted with a sales talent when you pick up the vehicle. A mostly friendly car rental employee will offer you sports cars and convertibles at the best conditions and, of course, with a personal discount. Accessories such as child seats, roof luggage, ski racks and GPS are particularly lucrative for car rental companies. Here it is up to you how important such extras are for you or whether the accessories can be brought from home. When it comes to GPS, we recommend that you use your smartphone, which can also be paired on most cars.


  • Read the contract carefully + Take a copy with you
  • Passport, driver’s license, credit card, International Driver’s License
  • Liability sum insured of min. one million euros
  • Comprehensive insurance without Deductible
  • Protected against glass and Tire damage
  • Unlimited mileage
  • Observe the fuel regulations
  • Check the car when you pick it up for any damage
  • Lights, hazard lights, brakes, Tire tread