The car rental sector is not regulated at European level. However rental contracts often include standard conditions, such as the minimum age to drive and to rent a car. In most EU countries the minimum age to drive a care is fixed at 18 years old, but to rent a car there is no limit established at EU level, but it varies between 20 and 23. There can be also a maximum age, which varies from 65 to 75. At the moment of reservation it is necessary to declare the age, because for some destinations and in some cases it may be asked to pay extra fees.
For most countries outside the EU, it is necessary provide also the international driving license to rent a car. It is an international licence that must always accompany the national driving licence. The international conventions on the topic foresee two different types of international driving licence: the 1949 Geneva model and the 1968 Vienna model. Some countries recognize only the Geneva model ( the USA for example). Before submitting a request for an international driving licence it is therefore important to know which model is accepted in the country of destination.
Normally the rental agency requires a valid credit card registered in the driver’s name as a caution. In case of damages to the car, it is often foreseen that the agency debits this credit card. At the pick up and return of the car it is very important to check for eventual damages and ask for a declaration from the agency.
When renting a car it is important to carefully read the contract and to understand all the insurance warranties. This to decide whether to pay for more insurance covers, also to eliminate excess in case of accident.
The agency cannot include abusive clauses in the contract, such as dispositions that deny any liability in case of accident caused by a defect of the car or by bad maintenance. Abusive clauses are illegal in every Member State.
If foreseen by the contract, the car shall be returned with full tank or a quantity of fuel equal to the pick up moment, otherwise the cost will be debited on the credit card left as guarantee.