Hit the Road: The Ultimate Guide to the Best Car Rental in Belgium

Hit the Road: The Ultimate Guide to the Best Car Rental in Belgium

Belgium Car Rentals: Your Ultimate Guide!

Photo by Jose Carbajal on Unsplash
PUBLISHED ONNovember 27, 2023
City Garden Sunset With Cathedral View

Photo by n on Unsplash

There is no better way to immerse yourself in the fascinating landscapes, vibrant cities, and historical richness of Belgium than by hitting the road. Whether you're keen on exploring the multilingual metropolis of Brussels, the diamond district in Antwerp, or the stunning Ardennes region, having your own set of wheels gives you the freedom to discover Belgium at your own pace.

This comprehensive guide is designed to ensure that you secure your ideal rental car without overspending, navigate through the country like a pro, and stay safe throughout your journey, all while pointing out must-visit spots that Belgium offers.

Why Choose Car Rentals Over Public Transport in Belgium?

When traveling in Belgium, opting for a car rental over public transportation comes with significant advantages as follows:

  • Unparalleled Freedom and Flexibility: Unlike public transport, which binds you to specific routes and timetables, a rental car provides the freedom to explore desired locations and travel as per your schedule. Venturing off the beaten tracks and soaking in Belgium's beautiful landscapes become so much easier with a car at your disposal.
  • Greater Comfort and Privacy: Car rentals offer a more personal and comfortable travel experience, eliminating the ordeal of crowded vehicles and unscheduled delays associated with public transit.
  • Cost-Effective: For groups or families traveling together, renting a car can be cheaper than buying individual public transport tickets. It not only consolidates your transportation expenditure but also promotes shared fun-filled travel experiences.
  • Availability Beyond Public Transport Hours: Car rentals give you the possibility to venture out early in the morning or late at night, a time when public transport services may not be readily available. This adds a spontaneity factor to your Belgian adventure.

Top 5 Car Rental Companies in Belgium

Whenever traveling, renting a car is often an ideal way to improve your mobility and flexibility. In Belgium, there are several notable car rental companies, each with their distinct services and specialties. Here are the top 5 car rental companies to consider:

1. Avis: Avis is renowned for fleets comprising luxury, economy, and family-sized cars. They offer features like GPS navigation, mobile Wi-Fi, and child safety seats. Exceptional customer service and comprehensive insurance options further enhance Avis's customer experience.

2. Hertz: Hertz offers a wide range of vehicles to suit all needs, from compact cars to large SUVs. They offer flexibility with rental duration, ranging from one day to long-term rentals. Their 'Hertz Gold Plus Rewards' program offers great benefits to frequent customers.

3. Europcar: Trademarked by their green branding, Europcar provides environmentally friendly car options, along with an extensive selection of vehicles. They offer flexible mileage options and 24/7 service support.

4. Sixt: Sixt is known for its top-of-the-line fleet of cars and excellent customer service. They offer premium vehicles from leading car manufacturers and an intuitive booking process. Extras such as additional drivers, LDW, and unlimited kilometers are also available.

5. Enterprise: Known for its intense focus on customer service, Enterprise offers a broad range of fuel-efficient cars to minimize your carbon footprint. Their services include free pick-up, online check-in, drop-off, and long-term rentals.

Remember to examine each company's offerings carefully to ensure their services align with your unique needs and preferences before making a choice.

Essential Considerations to Select the Best Car Rental in Belgium

Selecting the best car rental in Belgium involves more than just making a reservation. You need to consider several elements to ensure that you select the right vehicle, deal, and service. Here are a few crucial considerations to make during this process:

  • Evaluating Your Budget: The first fundamental step is to assess your budget constraints. Determine how much you intend to allocate to car rental expenses. Keep in mind that higher categories, such as luxury or SUV cars, come with substantial price tags compared to economic or compact cars.
  • Assessing Your Car Requirements: Evaluate the type of car you need. Factors such as the number of passengers, the types of roads you'll be driving on, and the amount of luggage to carry will dictate your decision on the car model and size.
  • Reviewing Customer Feedback: Customer reviews provide valuable insights into the experiences of past clients with the car rental companies. These can help you gauge the reliability and level of service offered by each company. Check reliable review platforms and social media pages for this information.
  • Checking Insurance Options: Review the insurance options offered by the car rental company. These typically include collision damage waiver, loss damage waiver, and personal accident insurance. Make sure you are adequately protected according to the specifics of your trip.

By taking these factors into consideration, you'll increase your chances of securing a car rental in Belgium that best fits your personal needs, preferences, and overall travel plan.

Money-saving Tips When Booking the Best Car Rental in Belgium

Renting a vehicle for your Belgian travel doesn't have to break the bank. There are smart ways to save money while still securing the best car rental that satisfies your needs. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Early Bookings versus Last-minute Rentals: Booking your rental car well in advance has its advantages. It guarantees availability, gives you the luxury of choice, and often comes with cheaper rental rates compared to last-minute bookings. However, if flexibility is an option, last-minute rentals can sometimes land you significant discounts, especially during off-peak periods when rental companies need to rent out their idle cars.
  • Capitalize on Special Offers: Rental companies often offer special deals and promotions such as weekly, weekend, or holiday specials. They may also offer discounted rates on longer-term rentals. Keep an eye out for these offers on their websites, or sign up for company newsletters to stay informed. Another way to capitalize on offers is through loyalty programs, where frequent rentals earn you points redeemable for discounts on future bookings.

By utilizing these tips, you'll be well on your way to securing the best car rental deal in Belgium while maximizing your budget.

Driving Rules and Tips – Navigating Belgium Like a Pro

Having your own wheels in Belgium is incredibly convenient; however, understanding the driving rules ensures your journey remains safe and stress-free. Here are some key things to remember:

  • Key Traffic Regulations: In Belgium, driving is on the right-hand side of the road, overtaking is on the left, and priority is given to vehicles coming from the right at crossings unless otherwise indicated. Always wear your seatbelts and avoid using a mobile phone while driving unless it's hands-free. Drunk driving laws are rigorously enforced; the legal alcohol limit is 0.05%.
  • Guidelines for Parking in Belgium: Free parking is becoming increasingly rare in city centers, and on-street parking is usually paid during the week. Stick to the indicated parking zones (color-coded in blue, orange, and green), use a parking disc if required, and always ensure you're not parked in a zone reserved for residents or in prohibited areas (denoted by yellow road marking).
  • Understanding Speed Limits and Belgian Road Signs: Speed limits in Belgium are typically 50 km/h in built-up areas, 70-90 km/h outside built-up areas, and 120 km/h on motorways unless signs indicate otherwise. Speed cameras are pervasive, and fines are immediate. Familiarize yourself with Belgian road signs - they follow the standard European conventions, but it's always better to run through them before your journey.

Adhering to these rules, guidelines, and tips will help you navigate Belgium like a pro, ensuring a smooth and stress-free road trip.

Safety First: Essential Safety Tips and What You Must Know When Driving in Belgium

Ensuring safety is paramount when embarking on a driving adventure in Belgium. Here are some crucial safety tips:

  • Highlighting Belgium's Distinctive Road and Safety Rules: Belgium has unique road rules compared to other European countries. For instance, trams have the right of way, and pedestrians often have priority. Also, remember to keep your headlights on when there's limited visibility. Drivers must stop on amber lights, just like red lights, unless stopping would cause an accident.
  • Emergency Numbers and Services: In Belgium, you can contact emergency services by dialing 112. The number is reachable from landlines, public phone booths, and mobile phones, even without a SIM. Services can offer help in English, French, and Dutch.
  • Precautions during Different Weather Conditions: Belgian weather can be unpredictable, and it's important to adjust your driving accordingly. During rainy conditions, maintain a safe distance from other vehicles and reduce your speed. In case of fog, use your fog lights, but avoid high beams, as they cause glare. In snowy or icy conditions, use winter tires or snow chains and drive slowly.

By keeping these safety tips in mind, you can prioritize safety while enjoying the driving experience in Belgium.

Exploring Belgium: Must-Visit Spots

From cosmopolitan cities to scenic coastlines, Belgium presents a diverse array of travel experiences. Whether you're in the north, south, along the coast, or right in the heart, unforgettable sights and activities await you:

  • The North
    • Antwerp: This bustling city is famed for its Diamond District, hosting the world's largest diamond trade market. You can't miss the world-class museums such as the Royal Museum of Fine Arts and MAS.
    • Ghent: Step back in time with Ghent's beautiful medieval architecture. By nightfall, the city shows its lively side with diverse nightlife options.
  • The South
    • Ardennes: For lovers of outdoor adventures and history, the Ardennes offer hiking and biking routes and homages to historic battles.
    • Wallonia: Dive into Wallonia's rich culture and partake in its renowned gastronomic delights, like the famous Belgian waffles and a variety of excellent beers.
  • The Coast
    • Ostend: Known for its fantastic beaches and notable seafront promenades, Ostend offers a classic Belgian seaside experience.
    • Knokke-Heist: For a more sophisticated coast visit, try Knokke-Heist. This posh seaside resort is synonymous with high-end shopping and fine dining.
  • The Heart
    • Brussels: The Belgian capital and heart of the European Union is an eclectic mixture of modern and historical sites. Don't miss the Grand Place, Atomium, and European Parliament.

Beyond the popular spots, Belgium is also home to hidden gems and lesser-known attractions. Whether it's the 'Blue Forest' during the spring, a charming town like Mechelen, or the Waterloo Battlefield site, keep your sightseeing schedule flexible to uncover these wondrous sites.


Renting a car and driving through Belgium is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding ways to experience the country's diverse regions. This guide aims to shoulder your planning load and equip you with streamlined information to foster a seamless rental and driving experience in Belgium.

Now that you're equipped with knowledge about car rentals, driving regulations, safety tips, and sizzling travel spots, all that's left is to book your flight and prepare for the enriching adventure that is Belgium. Don't forget to obtain your International Driving Permit for Belgium, as it's a crucial part of your travel preparations. As always, remember that the ultimate journey lies in the journey itself. So buckle up, hit the road, and savor every moment of your Belgian escapade.

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