Estonia Car Rental

Driving a Rental Car in Estonia.....
“When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” It’s an ancient saying - first spoken in Latin - that means you should adopt the customs of locals when in foreign territory. There are plenty of reasons why such a saying still exists today. The chief reason of which being that there is more than a kernel of wisdom behind it. Almost ninety percent of all passenger transportation in Estonia is conducted over roadways, meaning if you want to do as the Estonians do, then you’re going to need a vehicle. Renting a car is your best option.

Most vacations don’t last long enough for you to spend a ton of time driving all the way to Estonia and back. Sure, that works if you want to go on a long road trip through Europe or live near the border, but driving their own vehicle into Estonian is out of the question for most international visitors. Instead, simply fly into Estonia and rent a car from either the airport or a nearby car rental company. You can choose to take a taxi to a more specific destination before renting your vehicle, but you’re probably just going to have to go back to the same airport when you leave anyway- not to mention it’ll cost you more in the long run.

In order to be allowed to legally drive in Estonia you’re going to need a few things. A valid license from a European Union country or Estonia, an insurance certificate, proper vehicle registration documentation, a fire extinguisher, a first aid kit, two warning triangles, headlamp converters, and two winter tires if you’re driving at any time from December to February. You also have to be eighteen years of age or older and everyone in the vehicle is required by law to wear a seatbelt.

Speaking of required laws, the legal blood alcohol content limit is zero. If you’ve had anything to drink whatsoever, don’t drive – or else be prepared to pay some serious fines and possibly lose your license. All pedestrians walking around at night are required to have a reflector on their person. If an officer sees you walking around without one, it could result in a fine of up to four hundred Euros. Speeding will likely get you an expensive ticket fairly quickly. Estonian police don’t tend to let people off easily.

Now on to the laws that are overlooked more often than not. Commit these “crimes” at your own peril. If you haven’t had your license for more than two years, it is illegal to drive over ninety kilometers an hour, regardless of whatever speed limit may be posted. You’re not legally allowed to use your mobile phone while driving unless you make use of a “handsfree” system.

My last bit of advice is to drive defensively. Estonian drivers are notoriously aggressive and don’t tend to hesitate attempting some risky maneuvers. Don’t assume you can trust the drivers around you and stay aware of your situation at all times. Otherwise, enjoy your time in Estonia.

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