So everything is planned for the holiday but one simple matter is still on the fence – do you want a rental car or not? Of course we love renting cars and driving around admiring countryside and big cities. However, it does add to the cost of the trip. On the flip side it does give you the freedom than being in a tour bus with limited seats and schedules. So renting a car is more of a concern between money and leisure. Here are some things to consider and tips to a rental car service.
Rental Car: Some Considerations & Tips
Some Considerations When Renting A Car
Driving License Requirement
For some countries you can use your existing driver’s license for a short period while other countries require an international driver’s license. Find out the requirements of the state or country you plan to get the rental car.
Left or Right Steering Wheel?
Not all countries have right-hand driving. Some European and Asian countries have left-hand driving therefore the steering wheel is on the right-hand side. Be sure you are comfortable in driving on that direction before renting a car.
Unfamiliar Road Signs
You may find road sings that are completely different to what you are familiar with at home though it is usually self explanatory. To make matters worse, it could be in a foreign language you don’t understand. Therefore, be sure you will be fit to drive in your destination.
Long Tunnels and Night Driving
Some countries have long tunnels in which you have to drive through. If you have night driving issues, be sure long tunnels won’t be a problem.
Narrow and Congested Roads
We all love driving effortlessly on our own lane. However, that may not be the case in your holiday destination. When driving your rented car in a foreign country you might come across very narrow roads where only a single vehicle can pass at a time. This could really test your driving abilities so be sure you are up to the challenge.
Drivers’ Discipline and Enforcement of Traffic Law
Traffic law’s are not strictly enforced in some developing countries. This could work to your advantage, if you make a traffic violation by mistake. At the same time this scenario could increase the reckless drivers. Their poor driving could end up with an accident with you. Therefore, make sure this is a chance you are willing to risk.
Price of Gas
While few car rentals include a set fee for gas, not all car rentals include gas price it in. So it will add on top of the car rental cost. Make sure it is still within your budget after pumping gas.
Tips For A Rental Car
Reserve Your Rental Car Early
Sometime we leave on our trips with no hotel reservations but somehow we make arrangements at the destination. However, the one reservation we should make before our trip is rental car. I made this mistake once hoping I could rent a car at my destination only to find there were none available. When you research early, you can find the best car rental deal. Also rental car rules change all the time. Therefore, write down the details and your confirmation number once you reserve your car. That way you can make sure you get what you reserved.
Rental Car Locations
Choosing the right rental car locations could save you some money. Most of the time it is cheaper to rent a car from town rather than airport. If you are visiting more than one country in the same continent, see if you can take the car over borders and research which country has cheaper rental car fees, especially taxes, and plan your itinerary accordingly.
Compare Apples to Apples
When you compare prices between car rentals be sure to compare “apples to apples.” That is, make sure the quotes you compare include similar type and size of car and all the charges such as airport fees, taxes, drop off fees, any compulsory insurance etc. are included.
Picking Up Your Rental Car
Before you drive off on your rental car, check whether you be taking their insurance or your credit card will be charged for it. Also inspect the rental car for any damages and it is all recorded before you take the keys. That way you won’t be held responsible for existing damages.
Know Your Options When In An Emergency
Just like your car at home, rental cars are also prone to give troubles. It can be anything from locking your keys in, flat tire, break down, overheated radiator or even an accident. Therefore, it is important you know what to do at those times. In some countries, when your car break down, the insurance company send a mobile mechanic to fix it. Also if you meet with an accident, know the procedure to follow. In either case, it is a good idea to keep all the important numbers with you when going in your rental car.
If you decide to go with a rental car for your holiday, keep these considerations and tips in mind. Always remember, no matter what rental car service you choose, your safety comes first when driving.