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Why rent a car in Europe?

It’s hard to put into words quite how huge and varied a place Europe is. This is the continent that gave the world Greek philosophy, British music and French political theory, German engineering, Spanish cuisine and Italian style. And that’s just a sampling: of the 40 plus countries that count themselves as European, every one has made innumerable contributions to global history, culture, science and art.

It’s a grand old continent, and one that’s incredibly simple to get around, thanks to the EU principle of free movement. Book a hire car in Europe and you’ll be able to move freely between any of its constituent nations. And, because the countries of the EU collaborate on many of their rules and regulations, you won’t have to worry about learning different driving systems as you go.

How to get to and around Europe?

The answer to this depends greatly on where you’re headed. Europe is easy to access from pretty much anywhere in the world, with international airports served by all the major airlines.

What brands are available?

Book a rental car in Europe and you’ll have your pick of every major car provider out there. Perhaps the best known are brands like Europcar, Hertz and Interrent, but look out for local providers which can offer something different. Whichever you decide on, use the Expedia search tool to find the best deals.

Must-sees within an easy drive of Europe

Where to start? Drop a pin on a map of Europe and you’ll find something fascinating to explore. If you’re planning a city break, you can't go wrong: pretty much any major city will have enough to keep you busy for weeks on end.

Looking for great beaches? The list is endless, but if you like yours on the underappreciated side, head to Croatia’s Adriatic coast. The islands here boast some beautiful examples, with pure white sand and amazingly clear waters. Those in the know head to the Pakleni Islands.

Time for some history? It would be easy to wax lyrical about Berlin, London or pretty much any other city, but in European terms, they’re relatively modern. To experience a truly ancient past, head to Malta, and the Hypogeum in Valletta. The mausoleum dates from around 3000 BC, preceding pretty much everything you’ll see in Rome, Athens or the like.

If food is your thing, you might be thinking of heading to Paris. And you’d be completely right – Parisian haute cuisine is probably the best in the world. But if you fancy trying something different, head to Lisbon, in Portugal. In recent years, the city’s food scene has been becoming increasingly popular with foodies who love its focus on authentic ingredients and experimental fusions.

Tips and tricks for driving in Europe

Most of Europe drives on the right, except the UK, Ireland, Malta and Cyprus. You’re required to keep your driver’s licence, ID and insurance documents on hand at all times, and make sure to look up local rules before you travel. Each country is likely to have a few regulations of its own.

Ready to plan your Europe city break?

Are you feeling inspired to visit Europe for yourself? Start with one of Expedia’s city guides, and use the Expedia search tool to search out the best deals on flights and hotels, and to research the most popular attractions.