Car hire in Belgium
A rental car is the ultimate way to explore Belgium. It’s both comfortable and easy to drive in Belgium, and with a hired car you’ll be able to find all the secret spots. The distances between towns are quite small and it is also very easy to get to Holland, Germany and France. Just be aware of your selected car hire company’s terms and conditions regarding the crossing of a border. Most companies will charge extra for this.
To be able to hire a car in Belgium there are a few requirements that must be met. These requirements and rules may vary depending on the car hire company you choose. Therefore it is important to check the terms and conditions of your selected company before you actually book a car. Below you’ll find a few requirements and terms that generally apply in Belgium:
- Most car hire companies require that the driver is 21 years of age and has had a driver’s license for at least a year. The age limit may be slightly higher depending on the type of car you’d like to hire.
- Some car hire companies will charge extra if the driver is under 25 years. You will find out whether or not this extra charge applies when booking, but usually you will not pay it until you are on site. Check with your car hire company to find out more.
- Some companies also have an upper age limit of 70 years, alternatively charge extra if the driver exceeds this age limit.
Add-ons at booking
Should you want or need extra equipment in the car, e.g. a GPS or child car seat, it is recommended that you add this to your booking from the start. This will facilitate the pick-up of your car and ensure that the equipment is available on site.
Having a GPS in the car is a good idea. It will make driving and navigating a lot easier, making the trip more enjoyable, especially if you’ll be driving in the larger towns or in the countryside.
Keep in mind that if children with a height below 135 cm will be riding in the car, child seats or booster seats are required by law.
Driving in Belgium
Driving in Belgium is a pleasant experience as the size of the country makes it easy and relatively quick to get around. The major roads in the country are generally in very good condition. When driving in the Belgian countryside, however, be prepared for roads in slightly worse condition. Because of this, getting from one place to another can take longer than expected.
Below we’ve listed a few things to be aware of when driving in Belgium:
- In Europe, Belgium is the country that has the most traffic congestion on its roads. Every day Belgians face congestion on about 40 % of the larger roads in the country. Queues are very likely on the route towards and into Brussels and Antwerpen, especially during rush hour.
- Unless a handsfree is used, talking on the phone while driving is illegal. Please note that texting and driving also is prohibited.
- Idling is prohibited unless you are in a situation that requires that the car is able to move quickly. If the situation is not such, the ignition must be turned off as soon as the car is still.
- Belgium has one toll road and that’s through the Liefkenshoektunnel. The fee is very small and is easily payed on site with either cash or credit card.
- During the winter months it is at times prohibited to drive into Brussels if the air is too polluted. If such is the case it will be clearly marked well before driving into the city.
- The speed limits in Belgium are similar to the rest of Europe: 70 km/h or 90 km/h on country roads and 30 km/h or 50 km/h in urban areas. Always pay attention to the speed limit signs!