Last Updated on March 11, 2024 by Elizabeth

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Planning to rent a car overseas? You’re in good company, according to a recent study by financial firm IPX1031 that found more than a third of Americans are planning to take an international vacation in 2024.

Nearly 77 million American adults overall have rented a vehicle outside the country. Significantly, AAA reports a 33 percent increase in the number of International Driving Permits (IDPs) sold in the last five years.

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Here’s how to know if you need an international permit and, in addition, here’s how to get one. Keep in mind that U.S. drivers cannot get an IDP online.

Top Destinations for International Car Rentals

Where are you heading? These are the top international travel destinations, based on AAA Travel bookings over the next year:

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  1. Rome, Italy: Find out our top tips for renting a car in Italy.
  2. Cancun, Mexico: Learn whether you can drive a rental car from the U.S. into Mexico and also get a heads up on this Mexico rental car gotcha.
  3. London, England: Read our guide to renting a car in the United Kingdom.
  4. Dublin, Ireland: Find out eight things to know about renting a car in Ireland then learn about this common rental car scam on the Emerald Isle.
  5. Paris, France: Find out our top tips for renting a car in France.
  6. Montego Bay, Jamaica: Check out our guide to renting a car in Jamaica.
  7. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic See our tips for renting a car in the Dominican Republic.
  8. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: Here’s what you need to know about driving a rental car into Canada.
  9. Munich, Germany: Read up on nine things to know about renting a car in Germany.
  10. Barcelona, Spain: Find out our top tips for renting a car in Spain.

More Smart Tips for International Travelers

When renting a car in another country, it’s particularly important to understand what car rental insurance you have through your credit card and whether you may need to top up your coverage. But be sure to pay with a credit card that delivers significant travel benefits.

Lastly, be aware that manual transmissions are much more prevalent overseas. If you need a rental car with an automatic transmission, it’s a good idea to specify that when you book.