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Vehicles & travel

Travelling abroad with a hired vehicle

Finally time for a holiday! You’ve loaded the luggage in the car and are ready to travel across the border. A word of caution though: there are a few rules that need to be followed when travelling abroad with a hired car.

6 April 2018, author: Natascha Fabian, photo: iStock

Two people are sitting in a convertible. The sunset is visible in the background.
Travelling abroad with a hired vehicle? Enjoy your trip with a few tips from Helvetia.

Travelling in a hired vehicle requires a bit of advance thinking. There are several precautions you should always take, especially when travelling abroad.

General information for in and outside Switzerland

Always do the following when driving in Switzerland or to another country:

  • Check your driving licence: Am I licensed to drive this class of vehicle?
  • Check the car insurance cover with the vehicle owner.
  • Always have your driving licence, registration and proof of insurance with you.

Please note: Ask the owner if you can get holiday cover if the vehicle is only covered by partially comprehensive insurance instead of fully comprehensive insurance. If this option isn’t available, Helvetia recommends adding “Driving third-party motor vehicles” supplementary cover to your own private liability insurance policy.

Restrictions for cross-border travel

Several rules and restrictions apply to international trips:

  • Make sure your driving licence is accepted at your destination.
  • A vehicle can always be driven in the country of its registration.
  • You can only drive a vehicle abroad if it is registered in your country of residence.

Different rules in neighbouring countries

We recommend bringing written permission from the owner when travelling in Austria, France, Germany and Switzerland. Caution when crossing the border to Italy: you must always have a power of attorney when driving in Italy. This power of attorney must be officially authenticated by the local authority, a notary public or a police station. Helvetia, however, recommends carrying this kind of power of attorney in all EU countries due to the EU’s strict customs rules.

Holidays in a hired motorhome

You’ll have to consider some additional issues if you take a hired motorhome on holiday. Furnishings can be easily damaged while driving or parked. You can insure against this kind of damage by adding “Driving third-party motor vehicles” to your private liability insurance policy.

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