Renting a Car in Belgium

Renting a Car in Belgium

Renting a Car in Belgium Ultimate Guide

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WRITTEN BYKevin Ordonez
PUBLISHED ONNovember 27, 2023
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Renting a car is arguably one of the best ways to enjoy and maximize your trip to Belgium. This small country, tucked away in western Europe, is packed with charm, and every popular city has its own unique vibe.

Having your own wheels means you’re not tied to the public transport schedule and can explore hidden gems at your own pace. Belgium’s roads are perfect for cruising in luxury cars, giving you a premium experience.

But remember, you must consider rental insurance to ensure a stress-free journey. It’s also worth exploring the best car insurance in Belgium to provide you with comprehensive coverage and peace of mind throughout your travels.

Curious about how to get started? Keep reading to get all the inside tips on car rental in Belgium!

First things first, here are some important legal things you need to know about renting a car in Belgium:

  • You must be at least 21 years old to rent a car, although this age may vary depending on the type of car you choose.
  • You should have held your driver’s license for at least one year.
  • If you’re under 25 years old, you might have to pay a young driver surcharge.
  • Wearing seatbelts is not an option; it’s a must for everyone in the car.

How Much Does Renting a Car Typically Cost in Belgium?

The cost of renting a car in Belgium can vary greatly:

  • The average price for a car rental is around $30 per day.
  • The lowest price you can get is for economy cars, which start at about $20 per day.
  • Compact cars are a popular choice; the average rental price is around $25 per day.
  • If you need more room, an intermediate car might cost you an average of $22 per day.
  • Standard cars are available for a more comfortable ride at approximately $44 per day.
  • Premium cars are offered at an average price of around $54 per day for those seeking maximum comfort.

Make sure to contact your chosen rental car company to get accurate prices for your specific dates!

Should You Pay for Extra Insurance When Renting a Car in Belgium?

All car rental agencies in Belgium include fire and third-party liability insurance as standard in their packages, following the country’s insurance regulations. This gives you unlimited coverage if something happens to people or property outside your rental car.

While this is mandatory, you might want to consider additional insurance for more peace of mind on your journey.

Additional insurance could cover things like damage to or theft of the rental car, which can be quite costly if you’re not insured. So, remember to ask your rental agency about all your insurance options.

Do You Need an International Driver’s Permit?

Like most countries using the Roman Alphabet, Belgium requires that if your valid driver’s license is printed in a non-Roman Alphabet (Arabic, Japanese, Cyrillic, etc.), you’ll need an International Driving Permit in Belgium (IDP/IDL) or an official translation in English.

Without these, rental services won’t allow you to drive their vehicles in Belgium. So, ensure you have your IDP or translation ready before your trip to avoid hiccups.

Best Card to Use When Renting a Car in Belgium

Debit cards and credit cards will be your best friends when renting a car in Belgium. Most car rental companies will accept these as a form of payment. However, contacting your credit card company in advance is a good idea to check for any potential foreign transaction fees.

Doing this can save you from unpleasant surprises later on. Also, some rental companies may hold a certain amount on your card as a security deposit, so ensure you have sufficient funds.

Things to Know When Renting a Car in Belgium

Traveling in a foreign country requires a bit of research beforehand to ensure smooth sailing. Here are some important things to keep in mind when renting a car in Belgium:

Traffic Rules

You must know the local traffic rules while exploring the Belgian cities and countryside in your rental car. In Belgium, as in most of Europe, all vehicles drive on the right-hand side of the road. This rule applies whether you’re cruising down a bustling street in the capital city or navigating through a quiet village. Wearing seat belts is mandatory for everyone in the vehicle, including front and rear occupants.

Parking Regulations

Parking rules can differ significantly from one Belgian city to another. Most cities generally allow parking on the right side of the road where no restrictions are indicated. Some areas, particularly in the capital city and other busy urban zones, may have pay-and-display parking systems in place.

Toll Roads in Belgium

Belgium doesn’t have many toll roads, but it’s good to keep some change on hand just in case. Most of the country’s motorways are free, allowing you to freely explore without worrying about additional costs.

Road Signs and Symbols

Belgian road signs follow international protocols with some unique local variations. Familiarize yourself with these signs and symbols before setting off on your adventure. You’ll find gas stations conveniently located along main roads and highways, which are typically indicated by clearly visible signs.

Speed Limits

Speed limits vary depending on the type of road and region in Belgium. In residential areas, the speed limit is typically 20km/h, while built-up areas have a limit of 50km/h and 30km/h around schools.

Outside these areas, the speed limit is 90km/h in the Wallonia and Brussels Capital region and 70km/h in the Flemish region. On motorways, you can drive up to 120km/h.

Child Safety

Belgium enforces specific rules for the safety of children on the roads. Children under 18 and under 1.35m must use a suitable child-restraint system, regardless of whether they are seated in a vehicle’s front or rear seat.

Best Car Rental Companies in Belgium

Finding the perfect car rental company in Belgium can be daunting, especially when looking for a blend of comfort, reliability, and affordability. The right car rental company can make all the difference. In this guide, we’ve handpicked the best car rental companies in Belgium, ensuring you have a smooth and enjoyable journey, no matter where the road takes you.

TravelPerk

TravelPerk is an excellent choice for business travelers seeking luxury car rentals and a wide array of rental options.

This company stands out for its:

  • Specialization in corporate trips, making it perfect for professional journeys
  • Partnerships with leading car rental companies, ensuring a variety of luxury options
  • 24/7 customer service with an astonishing 15-second response time
  • VAT-friendly invoices, simplifying financial processes
  • Intuitive booking tool and all-in-one platform for seamless coordination
  • Language versatility, available in German, English, French, and Spanish
  • The environmentally friendly initiative GreenPerk allows you to offset your carbon emissions
  • The paid option, FlexiPerk, grants cancellation rights up to two hours before the journey starts and a minimum 80% money-back guarantee
  • A vast number of software integrations enhance the ease of use even further.

Luxauto

Luxauto is an excellent choice for those seeking a flexible rental period and a wide service area. With this rental company, you are allowed a generous coverage of 1,000 kilometers within the rental price. If your journey takes you beyond this, just remember that each additional kilometer will be billed at $0.29.

One of the standout features is their live chat support, with agents ready to help around the clock, ensuring a smooth rental experience. Luxauto also boasts a total of 16 rental offices situated throughout Belgium, offering great convenience to customers.

The rental term is another flexible feature, as you can rent a car for as short as one hour, or extend the rental for up to two years if needed. Regarding pricing, rates for Luxauto begin around $49 per day, with an estimated total car rental price of $148 for a three-day trip.

The rental includes 24/7 roadside assistance, a Citroen C3 suitable for five passengers, standard insurance, and the option of choosing different return and pick-up locations. For instance, you can conveniently pick up the car in Ghent and drop it off in Flanders.

Driveboo

Another top-notch car rental company in Belgium is Driveboo. They offer German and English phone support from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., ensuring customers can get help in their preferred language.

With over 150,000 rental locations across Europe, you will find a convenient pick-up and drop-off point wherever your journey takes you. Driveboo is known for their clear and transparent pricing, as well as their easy-to-understand rental conditions. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Affordable pricing starts at around $35/day for Mini, Economy car, and Compact deals
  • Additional extras such as navigation systems and child seats are available for separate booking
  • Comprehensive insurance coverage and theft protection with excess
  • Free cancellations provided that they’re made 24 hours before pick-up time.

However, they do have a few areas where they could improve:

  • Limited mileage of 400km, with a charge of $0.12 per additional km
  • Fuel options are not as flexible as some users may prefer
  • Customer support is available via chat, email, and telephone, but the company does not offer 24/7 support.

Despite these drawbacks, Driveboo’s competitive pricing and wide range of locations make it a solid choice for many travelers.

Sixt

Arguably one of the most popular and well-established car rental companies, Sixt boasts over 2,000 branches globally, including five in Belgium.

The company’s comprehensive search results page allows easy filtering by car type, number of passengers and suitcases, and driver ages. To rent from Sixt in Belgium, you must be at least 21 years old and hold a valid driver’s license for at least two years.

Under 25s will face a surcharge, making Sixt a more attractive option for older drivers. Key features include the option for different drop-off locations and a user-friendly mobile app.

Prices start around $57/day—unlimited mileage, 24/7 roadside assistance, third-party liability insurance, and a Fiat 500 (or similar car) are included.

Tips for Saving Money on Car Rentals in Belgium

Before we end this guide, we would like to share with you some tips on how you can save money on car rentals in Belgium:

  • Book early to get the best deals: Just like hotels, flights, and other travel services, the earlier you book your rental car, the better rates you’ll receive. Booking in advance can save you as much as 30% compared to last-minute reservations.
  • Avoid renting from the airport: Most car rental companies at the airport charge an extra airport fee, which can significantly increase your overall rental cost. Consider renting from a city center location instead.
  • Consider renting from a local car rental company: While international companies often provide the best deals, it’s also worth checking out smaller local companies. They may offer competitive rates and more personalized services.
  • Compare prices and read reviews: Don’t just settle for the first car rental company you come across. Take the time to compare prices and read reviews from other customers to ensure you get the best deal and service.
  • Ask about discounts and promos: Ask about any available discounts or promotions before booking. Some car rental companies offer discounts for members of certain organizations or through partnerships with hotels or airlines.

Best Places to Visit in Belgium

Lakeside Castle A Sunset

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Belgium boasts an array of stunning cities and charming towns, each with its own unique culture and attractions.

Here are some must-visit destinations when you rent a car in Belgium:

1. Brussels: The capital city of Belgium, Brussels is known for its stunning architecture, delicious Belgian chocolates, and the iconic Manneken Pis statue. Visit the Grand Palace and explore the charming cobblestone streets while indulging in local cuisine.

2. Bruges: Often referred to as the “Venice of the North,” Bruges is a romantic and picturesque town with stunning medieval architecture and charming canals. Don’t miss the famous Belfry Tower and take a boat tour to experience the city differently.

3. Ghent: A vibrant university town, Ghent is known for its lively atmosphere, historic buildings, and delicious cuisine. Be sure to visit St. Bavo’s Cathedral and Gravensteen Castle while you’re there.

4. Antwerp: As Belgium’s second-largest city, Antwerp is a bustling metropolis known for its fashion and diamond industries. Take a stroll along the waterfront and visit the historic Central Station, one of the most beautiful train stations in the world.

5. Dinant: This charming town situated on the banks of the Meuse River offers breathtaking views of its iconic citadel and stunning architecture. Enjoy a relaxing river cruise or take a cable car to the citadel for panoramic views.

6. Leuven: Home to one of Europe’s oldest universities, Leuven is a lively city with a rich history and culture. Visit the Gothic-style Town Hall and explore the bustling markets for local specialties like Stella Artois beer and delicious waffles.

7. Mechelen: Often overlooked by tourists, Mechelen is a hidden gem with a picturesque old town and stunning architecture. Visit the impressive St. Rumbolds Cathedral and explore the charming Groot Begijnhof, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

8. Liege: Nestled in the heart of Wallonia, Liege offers a mix of art, history, and natural beauty. Visit the impressive Palace of the Prince-Bishops and take a walk along the scenic Meuse River.

9. Namur: The capital city of Wallonia, Namur is known for its stunning citadel and charming old town. Take a stroll through Jardin des Plantes or visit the impressive St. Aubin’s Cathedral for a taste of the city’s unique charm.

10. Ypres: This historic town is known for its role in World War I and offers a moving experience at the In Flanders Fields Museum. It also boasts beautiful architecture, delicious local cuisine, and charming markets to explore.

Closing Thoughts

Belgium is a country full of charm, from its quaint towns to vibrant cities, offering unique experiences at every turn. Renting a car will allow you to explore at your own pace, discover hidden gems, and make the most of your Belgian adventure.

When driving in Belgium, remember that each city has unique driving quirks, so it’s crucial to read our driving guide to prepare for your journey fully.

With some planning and tips from our guide, you’ll be heading off on your Belgian road trip in no time, creating memories that will last a lifetime!

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