Renting a car while traveling abroad offers you a new level of freedom. You’ll be able to avoid the hassle of waiting on taxis, the bus, and railways. This also means freedom from figuring out routes and destinations. While this freedom is great, there are other complications that come with renting a car abroad.
You want to be attentive to things like road rules, car insurance, driving permits, etc. Not having these things in order can put a damper on your trip. Thankfully, most of them can be taken care of before you arrive at your destination.
Something to keep in mind when renting in another country is that all countries have different rules and regulations and it’s best to remain respectful and not expect what you’re used to at home.
Tips to Help You Rent a Car
On your next trip around Europe, the UAE, or around somewhere like Australia, you may be considering renting a car. This can make your trip a lot more enjoyable; being able to move at your own time and pace. If you’re going for work or business, this also gives you a level of freedom public transport is unable to afford you. If you’re going to the UAE, you can do some research at UAEDriving.com for models of cars, rates, and other information ahead of your trip. This is the great thing about most car companies, they have online platforms to make the adjustment easier. Other than using these online resources, here are some tips to help you rent a car overseas.
Figure Out Your Insurance Coverage Needs
With insurance coverage, don’t leave it to the last minute. You don’t want to rush and purchase a plan at the rental desk. When you book your car, purchase car insurance for the duration of your trip at the same time. Make sure that the policy is sent to you in writing via email. Don’t get this information over the phone as it may prove risky. Your car insurance at home may also cover you when you travel; go through your policy or ask an agent. The most important thing is to have insurance coverage as anything can happen while you’re at your destination.
Know the Rules of the Road
Road rules vary from country to country. They can be obvious, like having to drive on the left or right side of the road. But, it can also be less obvious like no turning on red, certain speed limits in zones you’d find unexpected. You should take the time to read up and make sure that you’re clear on the road rules before you arrive. Some things may take longer to get used to than others. For the rules you find particularly difficult, set a note or reminder for yourself to look at each time you get in the car.
Invest in an International Driving Permit
Thankfully, these days it’s not as common to be asked for this, but it can still happen. Ask your car rental agency before you leave your home country if one is required. If it is, they aren’t a hassle to get. Usually, they last for up to one year, so you can use this in your other travels. There are a few places you can get these done and they normally take very little processing time. For the sake of preparedness, do this a week before you travel.
Get a GPS
You may think that you don’t need one but for the sake of safety, get a GPS. You can easily get lost and end up in unsafe areas. As a visitor, unsavory types will take advantage of your mistake. More importantly, if you end up in an area that is far out of the reach of others and break down, it can be a long time before help gets to you. Get GPS to help you navigate safely to your destinations.
Carry the Necessary Car Seats for Your Child
It can be difficult to find the appropriate car seats for your child or children. Make sure to bring these along with you if you plan to drive while abroad. You’ll also want to look into the laws regarding children in car seats. If your child isn’t used to riding in a car seat but it’s required where you’re going, start to train them before the trip. Some counties have more relaxed rules and so you may not need to bring a car seat with you. Research before departing.
Book an Automatic Car in Advance
If you’re more comfortable driving an automatic car or are unable to try stick-shift, you’ll need to book your car in advance. Many countries’ default rental car is a manual option. Though this is less than in the past, it’s best not to wait until you arrive to make this request as availability is usually small. Something to also take into account is because these are kept in fewer amounts the rental cost will likely be much more. This is a cost you’ll want to factor into your budget.
Know The Alcohol Limit
Blood alcohol concentration levels differ from country to country. This also includes the EU. There are no set rules for these areas. Some countries have a no-tolerance policy and others allow a small amount. These are things you want to look into if you plan to drive from country to country. You’ll also want to know what the fines are in the event you break this policy. If you think you’ve had too much to drink it’s better to get a taxi or sober up before driving.
Getting a rental car while abroad is a smart move. If you’re going to be there while you can get more out of your trip this way. Make sure to follow these tips and prepare ahead of time. Ask your car rental agency questions to make sure you aren’t missing anything. Also check with others that may have traveled and rented in the country you’re visiting for additional information. Most importantly, make sure you know the road rules and have all of the necessary legal documentation handy.