Exploring Belgium by Hire Car
The land of the Flemings and the Waloons, with the EU’s headquarters in Brussels, is better suited than few destinations for a trip by hire car.
The country is small, but not stingy with tourist highlights. Due to the short distances, a lot can be discovered in little time. For your round trip, we have compiled a few tips.
Receiving the hire car
Flight travelers arrive in Belgium via the airport in Brussels. You will find the stations of numerous hire car companies in the arrivals hall of the airport. Just make sure your rental company is there, too. If they only have their hire car office near the terminal, you may have to wait a long time for a shuttle to take you there.
Taking the right hire car
If you primarily want to tour the Belgian cities, you should take the smallest possible hire car that will allow you to easily find a parking space. However, if the trip is to be overland, you can also go for a large sedan, as the roads in Belgium are well-developed.
Hire car prices
Hire car prices in Belgium tend to be in the mid-range. Use our handy price comparison tool to find a deal that works for you.
hire car price comparison Belgium
Insuring the car properly
Even in turbulent city traffic, an accident can quickly happen with a foreign hire car. Book a car with comprehensive insurance without deductible to be well protected in the event of an accident.
For more information on insurance, see our special.
Numerous rental companies charge additional fees to drivers younger than 25 years old. Check with your hire car company for terms and conditions before renting the car.
If you want a navigation device to make your journey through Belgium easier, you will need to order it separately from your hire car station. The same applies to other accessories, such as child seats. Make your reservation well in advance so that the equipment you want is available on the day you pick up your vehicle.
If you just want to explore a Belgian city and its immediate surroundings, you might want to go for a cheaper car where the kilometres are limited. However, if you want to see a lot of the country, it is advisable to book a car where all kilometres are free.
Be sure to book with a rental company that only blocks the deposit due on your credit card. If the amount is debited, it can take longer until the money is transferred back after returning the car.
Customer Satisfaction Hire Car
Most customers are very satisfied with the hire car services in Belgium. Only some complain that they were tried to sell them additional insurances. Take out all the insurances that are relevant to you right at the time of booking and then consistently refuse to sign any additional insurance contracts on the spot.
Safety hire car
Normally, you can expect to get a roadworthy hire car in Belgium. However, as exceptions always prove the rule, you should test the car’s lights and do a little brake test before your first drive.
Traffic rules Belgium
Belgium is considered a good tourist destination, but with exceedingly hefty fines. Between 0.30 and 4.30 street lights are switched off everywhere for ecological reasons. So far, no tolls are charged in Belgium, however, it seems that the introduction of tolls in Belgium is still planned.
No international driving license is required. According to the Brussels ruling, even the old pink ones are still valid.
In Belgium, the 0.5 promille limit applies.
Wrong parking: from 50 euros
Overtaking in the overtaking ban: from 150 euros
Telephoning without a hands-free device: from 100 euros
Red light: from 150 euros
Speeding: from 100 euros
And drinking and driving also costs from 140 euros.
This makes Belgium one of the most expensive countries in Europe when it comes to fines.
Other than that, similar traffic rules apply as almost everywhere else in Eurpopa, within the city the speed limit is also 50 km/h. On rural roads and expressways the speed limit is 90 km/h and on motorways 120 km/h. A yellow line on the kerb indicates that parking is prohibited here.
Parking is also prohibited on carriageways with boundary lines.The maximum speed allowed when towing is 25 km/h.This also applies on motorways (leave at the next exit !) In Belgium, trams always have priority and lights are compulsory for all vehicles all day.
In Belgium, it is compulsory to carry a high-visibility vest in your vehicle, otherwise you will face a fine starting at 50 euros.
Suggestion for a trip by hire car
Brussels: the new heart of Europe
The major institutions of the European Union are located in Brussels. No disadvantage for visitors, because they will find everything in this metropolis that makes a stay in exciting. Cultural highlights, cafés, lively pedestrian zones and of course plenty of restaurants. After all, you are in Belgium.
A must-see tourist attraction is the Manneken Pis, the sculpture of a boy peeing into a fountain. This figure was created as early as 1619. Also exciting is a visit to the Cathédrale St-Michele, whose foundation stone dates back to 1225. Admire the colourful window in the central portal, which depicts the Last Judgement.
Now it’s time to stroll. Stroll through the busy streets, enjoy a Belgian beer in one of the many pubs and experience European lifestyle. After all, every third inhabitant of Brussels is of foreign origin. And most of them are working on the future of the European Union. You probably got hungry after your extensive stroll through the city. We recommend a visit to Scheltema. This quaint brasserie serves excellent fish dishes. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth it.
Leuven: Lively student city
The next day, we continue to Leuven. Only 25 km from Brussels, this city has a completely different atmosphere. This is probably due to the fact that 25,000 of Leuven’s 95,000 inhabitants are students.
The richly decorated facade of the Stadthuis (City Hall) captivates many visitors. The figures between the window arches depict people from Leuven’s history. But most tourists in Leuven also want to enjoy life, strolling through the picturesque old town and feasting to their heart’s content in one of the countless restaurants.
Spa: One of the oldest spa towns in the world
Continue the drive to Spa, the last stop on the road trip. In just over an hour, you’ll be there. Every self-respecting hotel today has a spa. And the town of Spa is the namesake. Since the 16th century, the haute volee have sought out this spa. Even if its glorious past has faded a little, it’s still worth a visit.
In Spa, you can try your luck at the oldest casino in Europe. It was founded in 1752. The spa park is also worth a visit. Not to forget the thermal baths, where the guest can be pampered according to all rules of the art of wellness and beauty. After such a treatment it may also be a special hotel. We recommend the Hotel Villa de Fleurs, a 19th century house in the centre of Spa. The rooms are equipped with all comforts and very stylish. The breakfast is also convincing.
Belgium is a wonderful place to travel by hire car. All places can be reached relatively quickly and the well-developed road network makes the trip a pleasure. With our practical price comparison you will always find a good deal.