When you travel to another country, you may decide to take advantage of guided transportation options like public transit or cab service, just for example, so that you don’t have to risk getting lost as you try to find your way through unfamiliar surroundings. But of course, relying on taxis can get expensive. And public transit can be inconvenient – plus, you still have to figure out how to get from point A to point B, even if you’re not necessarily fighting traffic along the way. Depending on your plans, however, you may find that renting a car is a better option when you land on foreign shores. If you want to see the sights on your schedule or you’re planning to take daily trips to surrounding areas, having a car at your disposal is certainly handy. Here are just a few tips to ensure that you get the best deal and avoid potential hassles when renting a car overseas.
Check Your Insurance
The place to begin is by checking in with your auto insurance provider before you travel to ensure that you’re covered when driving a rental vehicle in another country. Your provider may not cover you internationally even if they normally cover rental cars stateside. So it’s important to check rather than making a wrong assumption and facing potentially costly consequences. If you’re not covered, your insurance provider may offer temporary coverage for the duration of your trip for an additional charge, but you should look into the insurance offered by the car rental agency, as well. It could end up being the cheaper and easier option.
If you want to ensure that you get a suitable vehicle at an affordable price, you really need to book well in advance of your departure. It’s not so much that you might be left without a car, but you could end up with options that don’t meet your needs or that are excessively pricy if you wait until the last minute, especially during busy travel seasons.
Ask for Automatic Transmission
In many countries, standard (manual) transmissions are much more common than automatic, and the majority of cars you’ll find at rental agencies will follow this norm. If you want an automatic transmission vehicle, you should definitely make a specific request. And be prepared to pay a little more for the rental if this is your preference.
Get an International License
Not every country requires an International Driving Permit in order to rent a car and drive the roadways. But if you’re not sure, just pay the fifteen bucks to AAA and get one to supplement your state driver’s license. Just remember that it could take up to six weeks to receive it, so order early.
Familiarize Yourself with Road Rules
You’ll find that ignorance is rarely an excuse that flies with the authorities when you’re caught breaking the rules of the road. So if you plan to rent a car during your travels abroad, take the time to learn the basic road rules before you go. Whether a Car Rental Portugal or Paris is on your to-do list, understanding the rules will help to keep you (and other drivers) safe when you visit foreign countries.