Car Rental in Belgium
Cheapest Car Rental Rates
Most Popular Car Rental Deals
Why rent a car in Belgium?
Belgium is a country in Europe located on the North Sea in between, France, Luxembourg, Germany, and the Netherlands. Belgium is a small country with many famous cities. It is also home to many institutions of the European Union and various international organizations. The country is a striking combination of two main regions which amalgamate in its capital, Brussels. In the northern part of the country is Flanders, a historically Dutch speaking region. In the southern part is Wallonia, a historically French speaking region. A small German-speaking region can be found near the border with Germany.
Though many think of Brussels and Bruges when they think of Belgium, there is, in fact, much more to the small country. The countryside of Wallonia, particularly Ardennes, is simply stunning. Other Flemish cities are lively and worth visiting, too. With Brussels near the geographical center of the country, it can serve as a base from which all parts of it can easily be reached with a car.
So get ready to learn about the history of this unique country, including being in the center of major battles during the World Wars and see some stunning sites from castles and abbeys to incredible rural scenery with your rental car.
Don’t forget to have some frittes, take plenty of the world-famous Belgian chocolate home, and try one of the many styles of beer that the country is famous for.
One-way Car Rentals in Belgium
Here are the most popular one-way rental options for pickup in Belgium and drop off in another country:
- From Belgium to Netherlands - 150 offers from $46.57 per day
- From Belgium to Germany - 165 offers from $61.40 per day
- From Belgium to Poland - 60 offers from $203.42 per day
- From Belgium to France - 132 offers from $46.57 per day
- From Belgium to Luxembourg - 33 offers from $46.57 per day
Top ways to enter Belgium
Brussels Airport, the largest in Belgium and one of Europe’s major airports, is the entry point to the country for most travelers, especially those coming from outside Europe. It is located about 12km (8 miles) northeast of the city center. Rental cars are available from most of the major companies with their rental desks located in the arrivals hall. Brussels Airport is also the best location in the country to pick up or drop off a one-way rental.
Though Ryanair may consider Charleroi Airport an airport in Brussels, in reality, it is located more than 60km (37 miles) south of the city. It is still a convenient airport for travelers, especially those who are planning to travel in Wallonia, as it is the region’s largest airport. It takes roughly an hour to reach Brussels from the airport, though.
Antwerp Airport is a much smaller airport located just southeast of the city of Antwerp near the border with the Netherlands. Though the airport has hosted flights to and from London, Flybe is ending this service at the end of August 2019. TUI fly Belgium will be the only airline operating at the airport. Its destinations are primarily seasonal vacation ones. Rental cars are available at the airport, though you are more likely to end up needing to fly into a Dutch Airport (Eindhoven or Amsterdam) if you plan to visit this part of Belgium.
The closest major airport lying outside of Belgium is Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, the third-busiest airport in Europe. It is roughly 170km (105 miles) from Antwerp and 200km (124 miles) from Brussels which corresponds to drives of two and a half hours and three hours, respectively. Rental cars are readily available with all major companies having desks in the main hall of the airport. In most cases, you are allowed to take a car from the airport to Belgium (though this may not be allowed for luxury cars or vans).
Belgium’s main train stations are well-connected to the surrounding countries. TheTGV connects most French cities with Brussels. And the Thalys connects Paris and Lille in France with Brussels and Antwerp in Belgium and Amsterdam in the Netherlands. ICE trains connect Brussels to the German cities of Cologne and Aachen with Brussels. Finally, the Eurostar connects Brussels with London. Brussels has two large train stations, Brussels has three main train stations: Gare du Midi or Zuid, Central or Central, and Nord or Noord. Rental cars can be picked up at the Central or Midi stations.
In most cases, you can take a rental car that was picked up in one of Belgium’s neighboring countries into Belgium. It may even be possible to drop off the car in Belgium, with Brussels Airport being the best option for such.
Top cities and places to visit
- Brussels - The capital of Belgium is located near the geographic center of the country. Though surrounded by Flanders and official bilingual, the dominant language of Brussels is French. The historic city has an impressive old town of which the Grand Place is the centerpiece. The city is an unofficial capital of sort of the European Union hosting many of its institutions. It also is home to many international organizations and is, therefore, an international city if there ever was one. No visit to the country is complete without spending at least some time in the capital.
- Antwerp - Located near the border with the Netherlands and some 45km north of Brussels, Antwerp is Belgium’s second-largest city. It is one of the main cultural and economic cities of the Low Countries. Historically, it was a center for the diamond trade. Though most of the work with diamonds now takes place in low-wage countries, more than 80% of rough diamonds in the world are traded in the district. The city is also famous as the home of the renowned painter Rubens. It is no surprise that visitors flock to the city to take in history through the city’s architecture and museums.
- Bruges - When a place is as famous as Bruges, a traveler may expect to be underwhelmed when they actually go there. Bruges is not one of these places, though. Its fame is well-deserved and it is unlikely to disappoint any but the huffiest. It’s old town and canals might as well be one large museum with every corner postcard-worthy. Aside from strolling around, make sure to take a boat ride through the canals. Don’t bother trying to drive into the center of the city. There are plenty of parking lots and garages located just outside of it.
- Ghent - Almost as stunning as Bruges but with much more life, Ghent should not be missed when visiting Belgium. Its location in the center of Flanders and more manageable size compared to Brussels makes it a great place for travelers to base themselves when exploring the region. Every attraction in Flanders can be reached in less than an hour from the city. Ghent is a university city that is full of young people and the life that comes with it. It is also historic and simply gorgeous, the best of both worlds.
- Dinant - Located about 80km (50 miles) south of Brussels, Dinant is a popular day-trip due to its stunning riverfront and citadel. The town straddles the Meuse River with a citadel perched above it. You can either ascend a few hundred stairs or take a cable car to reach the citadel with its beautiful views of the town and surrounding countryside. The town is also a popular place for kayaking and canoeing. If you visit, you will see many saxophones around the town. This is due to it being the place where Adolphe Sax designed the saxophone. You can learn about this in a small, free museum in the town.
- Ypres - Though it has a history that stretches much longer, Ypres is known for being the site of battles throughout World War I. The city is about an hour’s drive from Ghent or an hour-and-a-half drive from Brussels. Memorials and cemeteries can be found throughout the area surrounding the town. The Menin Gate in the center of the town is one of the most famous and serves as the site for the daily Last Post ceremony, a moving ceremony that takes place every night at 8 PM rain or shine.
- Leuven - This city located just 30km (19 miles) Brussels is becoming an ever more popular tourist destination. Its university is the oldest and perhaps most prestigious in the country. Leuven has a historic city center which was beautifully restored after the world wars. The city has two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Belfry of St. Peter’s Church and the Groot Begijnhof (Grand Beguinage). Beguinages were communities for religious women similar seeking to retire similar to what convents are for nuns. The Goot Negijnhof of Leuven is one of the largest and best-preserved of them.
- Liege - Though not the political capital of Wallonia, Liege is the cultural capital of the region. The city was once a center of industrial production, mainly steel. Similar to the rust belt in the United States, the city experienced a dramatic economic decline in the second half of the 20th century. It has since rebounded and continues to modernize. Aside from site related to its industrial past, the city is worth visiting for its longer history and setting gon the Meuse River.
- Spa - The town from which the term spa comes is (don’t be shocked) famous for its historic spas. Though the town has shrunk in importance, it still has fresh hot springs that can be bathed in. Of course, it’s also worth just seeing the historical city where many royals once came for their relaxing vacations.
- Abbeys - Belgium is famous for its Trappist beer which is brewed by monks in abbeys. There are also many more abbey throughout the country. Unfortunately, you are unlikely to be able to tour any of the Trappist abbeys where beer is brewed. The monastic lifestyle requires peacefulness and solitude. Some abbeys give short walks or have restaurants and hotels which can be visited. If for nothing else, it is worth driving by some of them to take a gander from the outside. And, of course, there are many more breweries in Belgium that can be visited if you would like. This includes famous brands such as Stella Artois and Hoegaarden and smaller brands.
- Mons. Home to just 95,000 people, this western Wallonian city punches way above its weight when it comes to tourist attractions — it is home to not one, but two UNESCO World Heritage sites, its 17th-century Baroque belfry and the neolithic flint mine dating back to more than 6,000 years. As if that wasn’t enough, Mons was also the European Capital of Culture in 2015 and is home to the Van Gogh Museum. It’s only an hour from Brussels and 40 minutes from Charleroi International Airport. The city is known as Bergen in Flemish.
Most popular rental car
Given the propensity of travelers in Belgium taking short trips along with the country’s small streets, it’s no surprise that the most popular class of rental car in Belgium is the economy class, of which the Ford Fiesta and Renault Clio are good examples. Some plan for trips with groups or large families and choose to rent standard vans like the VW Caddy Maxi. Compact cars like the Opel Astra are also popular.
Driver's license requirements
The minimum age at which one can rent a car in Belgium depends on the rental company. Most companies have a minimum age of 21 and require the driver to have possessed a license for 2 years. InterRent is a notable exception allowing 19 year-olds to rent and requiring drivers to have had a license for only one year. All rental companies charge a young driver fee for those under the age of 25.
In most cases, you do not need an International Driver's Permit (IDP) if your driver's license is in the Latin Alphabet. Enterprise is a notable exception and requires renters to have an IDP if their license was issued in any non-EU country.
Drivers with licenses that are not printed in the Latin Alphabet (e.g., Arabic, Japanese, Russian, etc.) must have an International Driver’s Permit. Note that an IDP does not take the place of your driver’s license but compliments it. You must present both the IDP and your original driver’s license.
Also, if you have been in the European for more than six months, you will need to possess a driver’s license issued by a European Union country.
In most cases except when renting luxury vehicles or vans, rentals can be taken from Belgium to all surrounding countries: the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, and France. If you plan to take your rental to other European Countries, be sure to ask the provider in advance. Rentals are not allowed to leave the European Union (with the exception of Norway, where rentals picked up in Belgium are allowed to be taken for the most part).
Though you may technically be allowed to take a rental car to the United Kingdom, you may be restricted in the actual part of getting it there. Rental companies may not allow their cars to be taken on a ferry or through the Eurotunnel. If this is in your plans, ask your rental car supplier about it in advance.
Top driving routes
Belgium doesn’t have any long, famous scenic roads. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t anywhere worth driving in the country. Au contraire, the Belgian countryside, particularly the Wallonian countryside, is beautiful, especially in the fall. Almost any small country road will lead you past fields, forests, and perhaps even Abbeys.
- Ardennes - Not a route, but a region, the Ardennes is located in southwestern Belgium and also neighboring France. In stark contrast to northern Belgium with its bustling cities and larger population, Ardennes is scenic and rural. It is made up of rolling, forest hills, and river valleys. Its countryside is lush and just begs to be driven through. The area is famous for its caves in addition to its hills. Almost any drive through the countryside in the region would make a worthy adventure.
- The Battle of the Bulge Route - The last major offensive campaign made by the Germans on the Western Front in World War II, the Battle of the Bulge sealed the fate of Nazi Germany. The battle took place in the Ardennes region of southeastern Belgium. The brunt of the German attacks was felt by the Americans and the battle was the bloodiest for the American Army in WWII. The battle began around Bastogne, making the town and its memorials and museums a good starting point. From there, head to the December 44 Museum in Stoumont. Follow this up with a visit to the Baugnez Historical Center and Camp Elsenborn. End the tour at the Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial, the final resting place of 7,922 American soldiers.
- Rue de Tintage - Though just a short 4.6km-long (2.9 miles) road, Rue de Tintage is a perfect example of the types of roads and drives that can be found all across southern Belgium. The road connects the villages of Grumelange and Tintage following the Sure River (which is the border between Belgium and Luxembourg). It, like many other small roads, is quite narrow, so take care around curves.
- The coast. Although it would be fair to say that a beach holiday is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Belgium, the country does boast a short, but pleasant North Sea coastline. Especially nice to visit during the summer months (although, naturally, that is also when it gets the largest numbers of visitors), the sandy Belgian coast is in the northwestern part of the country and includes resort towns like Koksijde and Knokke-Heist.
Car Rental Prices
- Convertibles - from $121 per day
- Station wagons - from $36 per day
- Large cars - from $36 per day
- Medium cars - from $29 per day
- Vans - from $54 per day
- Premium cars - from $71 per day
- Small cars - from $26 per day
- SUVs - from $46 per day
Top 10 Most Popular Cities in Belgium
Car Rental in Brussels from $26.39 per day
Car Rental in Charleroi from $33.45 per day
Car Rental in Antwerp from $33.92 per day
Car Rental in Ostend from $45.46 per day
Car Rental in Liege from $45.60 per day
Car Rental in Ghent from $45.49 per day
Top 5 Most Popular Locations in Belgium
Car Rental at Brussels Airport from $26.39 per day
Car Rental at Charleroi Airport from $33.45 per day
Car Rental at Brussels South Station from $43.55 per day
Map of Car Rental Locations
What is the cheapest month to rent a car in Belgium?
This information can help you identify the low season. But these are only average numbers. How much your car rental will cost will depend on the type of vehicle you rent, how long you’ll rent it for, and how far ahead you book. Simply enter your dates in the form at the top of the page to see the exact prices.
What’s the average rental length in Belgium?
What's the most popular month to rent a car in Belgium?
Car Rental Information
|Car rental locations||31|
|Popular suppliers||SIXT, Keddy, Enterprise, Alamo, Hertz|
|Popular car categories||Small cars, Medium cars, SUVs, Large cars|
|Lowest price||$26 per day|
Most Popular Car Models of Rental Suppliers
|Keddy||Peugeot 208||4||1||Small cars|
|Enterprise||Ford Fiesta||4||3||Small cars|
|Alamo||Opel Astra||5||2||Medium cars|
|Enterprise||Ford Fiesta||5||1||Small cars|
|Alamo||Ford Fiesta||5||1||Small cars|
|Keddy||Honda Civic||4||1||Medium cars|
|Alamo||Volkswagen Up||2||1||Small cars|
|Keddy||Fiat 500||3||1||Small cars|
|SIXT||Nissan Qashqai Aut.||5||2||SUVs|
|Keddy||Volkswagen Golf||4||2||Medium cars|
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