There are plenty of reasons you might need to drive a van abroad. For instance, you might be moving overseas or heading to a work event with a vehicle full of promotional material and stock.

Whatever the need for driving a van aboard, you’ll probably need to hire a vehicle, and that leaves you with two options:

  • hire one over there; or
  • hire one here and drive it there.

The second option is your best bet. Let us explain why and answer any questions you might have about the practicalities of driving a rental van abroad.


Why is it best to hire a van over here for driving abroad?

There are, obviously, lots of options when it comes to rental vans overseas, but if you take one from a UK rental company there are some key benefits.

Firstly, if you hire the van at your destination, you’ll need to get there first. Unless it’s a far-flung destination, that may work out more expensive than it needs to be.

For instance, if you’re heading to France and decide to rent over there, you’ll need a flight, ferry, or channel tunnel crossing. Then, you’ll need to pay for the additional insurances and location-specific taxes. And you’ll need to overcome any language barriers than might exist.

This can result in lots of hassle and a bigger hit on your bank balance than necessary. By hiring the van over here instead, you’ll avoid multiple forms of transport and only pay the taxes and insurances you’re used to.


What’s needed before I head out?

There’s absolutely nothing stopping you from driving a rental van abroad, but there is some important red tape and documentation which needs addressing first.

It’s important you’re aware of this in advance, because the rental company will need 10-days notice to get hold of that documentation for you. So, for instance, if you’re hiring from us, just ensure you give us that notice to get the documents ready for you in time.

You’ll also need specific insurance and breakdown cover that’s applicable for your destination. Again, a helpful team like ours will do all of this for you, which is a significant weight off your mind.

This is by far the most cost-effective way of organising the paperwork that inevitably comes with driving rental vans abroad. Just keep in mind that there’ll be a small incremental admin cost that needs to be paid to the insurance company.


Tips for driving a van abroad

As you’d expect, beyond the red tape and insurance, there’s a few considerations you need to be aware of before embarking on your journey.

Here are some quick-fire tips for driving a rental van abroad.

  • Prepare well in advance. Preparation is always key to a successful trip abroad, so remember once again to inform the rental company of your intended departure date well in advance. Use that time to ready anyone who will be undertaking the driving, too, and make sure they’re comfortable with the requirements for the country in question.
  • Check your driving licence. Depending on your destination, you should be able to use your regular driving licence to drive a van abroad. However, if you’re heading outside of the European Union, there may be some additional paperwork required (usually in the form of an International Driving Permit, which can be obtained from the Post Office for around £5.50).
  • Don’t forget your passport. You may not be boarding a plane this time, but you’ll still need your passport, so make sure that it’s packed well in advance.

Driving a rental van abroad is relatively straightforward and not something to be feared, but if you have any lingering questions, the Squab team will be happy to answer them. Just get in touch today and ask away!