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The Dalmatian Coast in Croatia on a sunny day

Compare the best Europe car hire

Europe is a hugely diverse continent, with countries as contrasting as sun-blessed Portugal in the west to cultural Bulgaria in the east, Greece and her many islands in the south through to the Scandinavian beauties of Norway, Sweden and Finland in the north.

Why go?

Exploring by road is one of the best ways to see more of Europe. Not only that, it gives you the ultimate in flexibility and comfort.

And with most countries connected by road or ferry, it's possible to drive all the way from Brussels to Dalaman, the Algarve on the coast of Portugal to the capitals of Northern Europe in a single trip.

Car hire is easy in Europe and you can pick up vehicles at all airports and in many downtown locations, often at very affordable rates. If you are planning to cross borders then please do speak to your chosen rental company before booking and setting off to ensure it's not cheaper to rent separate vehicles in each country.

Where to explore?

Car hire in Europe has become one of the easiest and most popular ways to see the continent.

Breakfast in a UK city like Manchester, Edinburgh or London and go to bed in one of the coastal resorts of the UK or a hideaway hotel in one of the UK's national parks.

Spain is one of the biggest rental destinations and holiday hotspots like Palma, Malaga, Alicante and Tenerife are easily accessible by car, as well as tourist highlights like Barcelona and Madrid.

Whether you're after a glimpse of classical architecture at the Acropolis in Athens, or sightseeing amongst the glaciers of Iceland, Europe car hire allows you to explore a truly magnificent array of different rural and urban landscapes.

Though smaller than many landmasses in the world, Europe manages to pack in a huge number of visual spectacles from the grand Colisseum in Rome to the picturesque castles of Slovenia, Czech Republic and Hungary.

Central and Eastern Europe is less well-known territory for many visitors but driving offers a great opportunity to discover the beautiful forests and mountain backdrops of Romania and Serbia or the jewel-like islands off the coast of Croatia.

In the west, large cities like Paris are perhaps more suited to travel underground or by bicycle, but the vineyards and valleys of rural Bordeaux or Nice and the idyllic French Riviera are best explored by road.

If you're considering one of the famous carnivals in Tenerife, Venice or Prague, early spring is a perfect time to visit, although many countries like Spain and the UK play host to big music and arts festivals from June to September.

Greece and its islands enjoy pleasant weather for most of the year but you might want to visit Germany in the autumn or winter to take advantage of the Oktoberfest beer festival or the enthralling Christmas markets.

Most European countries drive on the right-hand side and it's a good idea to check the road rules and signage before you leave, especially if you're crossing multiple borders. All the major airports like Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Munich (MUC) and Rome's Leonardo da Vinci (FCO) are equipped with rental facilities.