Top tips for hiring a car and driving abroad

Posted on July 13, 2012 by Guest Writer
Top tips for hiring a car abroad

Securing your own hire car while abroad is a convenient way to make the most of your destination and see everything you want to without relying on public transport. At some resorts, a lack of public transport links can mean that hiring a care really is a must. However, having the responsibility of a hire car while overseas does mean that you have extra things to consider when abroad, and even before you jet off.

Familiarise yourself with the driving laws of the country

If you know you will be opting for a hire car while on holiday then get to know the driving laws of that country. Some of the rules of the road in other countries will be vastly different to what you’re used to, and not knowing them could mean you fall foul of the law. For example, in some destinations, you will be expected to keep your lights on throughout the day and in others, the alcohol limit could be lower than it is back home. Getting to know the motoring laws of the country will make you feel much more confident when you do get behind the wheel while overseas, and help to ensure that nothing should go wrong.

Get your hire car from a reputable company

One of the major elements to making sure your hire car experience goes smoothly is ensuring you go with a reputable provider. While it can be tempting to go for the cheapest deal it is unlikely that this is also the best, and good companies will have higher safety standards.

In order to find the best company, Google can be a useful tool, with reputable companies likely to have an online presence and reviews. Another option is to seek out a word of mouth reputation – ask around at your resort when you arrive. If anyone has had any particularly bad experiences with car companies then you are sure to hear, and avoid any horror stories of your own.

Check what level of insurance the car comes with

While you are enjoying yourself on holiday, travel insurance is likely to be one of the last things on your mind, but it is vital to check the level of insurance that the hire car comes with before driving off into the sunset. Most cars will come with some level of insurance, which is typically called something like a ‘collision damage waiver,’ but if you do want to make a claim you’re likely to be landed with an excess yourself.

Many companies will offer added insurance, however, which will cut the customer’s liability down to a much smaller amount. This then becomes the ‘super collision damage waiver’ or ‘damage excess insurance’. Consumer group Which? notes that this is likely to cost up to £10 a day for a small car, but this may still leave some parts of the car uninsured, meaning drivers need to make ‘a judgement call’ and decide whether it is worth investing more for extra car cover.

Embrace cautious driving

One top tip is to familiarise yourself with the new car and the rules of the road in a quiet area first before venturing onto busier roads. Also, don’t forget about other drivers either. Different countries have different driving styles and motorists in other countries may be more aggressive, or just less polite, than those you are used to. This means that when it comes to driving in other countries, caution really is the name of the game.

Top tips for hiring a car and driving abroad