If you’re planning on hiring a rental car abroad, then there might be a couple of things you need to know beforehand.
Driving abroad isn’t necessarily difficult, but certain laws and requirements might put you off from having the best experience. That’s why you need to familiarize yourself with the driving culture, the driving conditions, the roads, and the various laws that dictate how to drive.
While it’s very difficult to write an article explaining all the things you need to know for a certain country, what we can do is give you a general rundown of tips.
Think of this article as your 2024 guide, so sit back and enjoy the ride.
1. Driving Laws
Regardless of where you plan your trip, you will need to familiarize yourself with the driving laws. It’s easy to touch the ground, hire a rental, and enjoy your trip abroad. But it can be very difficult if you don’t understand certain laws.
It’s safe to say that this one isn’t really an issue in 2024 as driving laws are pretty much the same everywhere. However, there are a few things you should check. For example, an important thing to know is whether or not people drive on the left or right side of the road.
Also, speed limits can vary from country to country and they can vary on different types of roads such as highways.
Lastly, familiarizing yourself with certain special signals or signs can make or break your rental car driving experience while abroad.
2. The Style Of Driving
While driving a rental car abroad, it’s safe to say that you will be thrown into a different driving culture than the one back at home. Some countries have a more polite driving style, while others a more aggressive one.
It’s safe to say that you cannot know this if you don’t do your research, but even doing that is hard. How could you possibly know the driving culture of a certain country?
Well, it’s all tried and tested and certain people might share their experiences online. If you cannot find any information on the matter, then the safest way to approach this is to expect the unexpected and always drive defensively. Once you get a good feel of the driving style of a certain country, then feel free to modify your own style.
3. What Type of Car Should You Rent?
Renting a car isn’t that easy of a task as there are lots of factors that come into play when making the decision. But the most important one is to always choose one that meets your needs.
For example, if you plan on going on a road trip abroad, then you have to settle for a car that has GPS, performs well on the open road, is insured, etc.
A city car type won’t do you any good here, and you should opt for something that has a smooth drive and can hit the maximum speed limit.
But there is also another thing you should take into consideration. Do you plan on crossing into other countries with the rental car? If so, then you have to make sure that the vehicle doesn’t have any traveling restrictions nor does the rental company prevent any cross-border traveling.
Do know if you aren’t an experienced driver that adapting to an unfamiliar car will take you some time.
For more information regarding car rentals that will allow you to pick up the car from the airport, make sure to visit fmnrent.com.
It’s safe to say that very few car rental companies will allow you to drive one of their vehicles abroad without having the proper insurance. And the case is even truer if you plan on crossing into other countries.
You will need at least one third-party insurance to be able to rent and drive a vehicle on foreign roads. But others require far more than that. Some require you to have Collision Damage Waiver, Theft Protection, Super Collision Damage Waiver, and even Loss Damage Waiver coverage.
Each one is specifically designed to protect you and the company from internal and external factors such as accidents, theft, and even loss of life in some cases.
5. Special Documents
Just like insurance coverage, you will need to show documents and in some cases, special documents to be able to drive and rent a vehicle on foreign roads.
What you will need to show as a bare minimum is your driving license, your ID, and a credit card to pay for the thing. While all of this sounds pretty straightforward, it is the driving license one that can be somewhat tricky.
Namely, other countries can issue driving licenses to non-residents of that country. That means that some countries require you to have an IDP. An IDP is an International Driving Permit that acts as a temporary document. This document has your driving license on it, translates it into multiple languages, and serves as an official document that allows you to drive in other countries.
A lot of people don’t know that IDPs even exist, and they make the ultimate mistake of not obtaining one before their travels.
6. Get GPS!
We mentioned GPS earlier but we have to dedicate an entire section as it is that important.
The chances of you fully knowing the roads and which turns to take to get where are close to zero. Unless you’ve been to the country, then you will need to get GPS navigation.
Luckily, 99.9% of all car rental companies this feature with their vehicles. GPS navigation not only tells you exactly where you need to go, but it also saves you a lot of time in asking directions, driving blindly, and it can even save your life by making sure you don’t make the wrong turn.
Also, GPS navigation can tell you which roads to take to beat the traffic and arrive at your destination faster, safer, and less hassle.
These were our 6 tips for driving a rental car abroad. We figured we’d thrown in a few tips for acquiring the rental car itself as you can’t drive a rental without renting one.