Renting Cars Abroad

So we deal mostly in domestic drivers, but we always want to provide you with some value on this blog. And while we’d love to position ourselves as GLOBAL LEADERS, we’re not. We’re an individual shop who do a great job.

But we also get a lot of folks who are repeat customers and the reason they come back is simply that we know what we’re doing. They get a good deal, they get great service and hey – like any small company – we provide a little extra value for the money invested. So consider today’s blog one of those times.

We have a lot of international traveler who go elsewhere in the world and while renting here is a fairly straight-forward process, renting a car in another country is as challenging to some as learning the language.

Today’s blog is all about some things you’ll need to know if you’re renting a car abroad.

Are you eligible to drive? 

If you’re in an English speaking country, the chances are you’ll be able to get by on your drivers license. Some countries though, want you to have an IDP or what they call an International Driving Permit. It’s not a bad idea – especially if you’re a frequent flyer – to at least look into the option. They’re recognized in over 150 countries and renting a car becomes simple.

But don’t let this put you off – because getting an IDP isn’t hard. All you need is a form, a valid license and two photos of yourself. Then of course the payment – but you won’t drop more than $20-$25. And yes- you’ll need to be at least 18 to get one.

Always check the minimum and maximum driving age in each country. Some countries like Ireland won’t give you a vehicle if you’re over the age of 70.

Get covered 

US auto insurers will almost never insure you while driving abroad, with the sometimes exceptions of Canada and Mexico. To get insurance abroad, we recommend checking with your credit card company first. Many offer overseas driving insurance for tourists.

Outside of that, it’s just a good idea to purchase the company’s regular insurance. It might not be good in many cases, but it’ll at least protect you. It’s an extra expense well worth it.

Get comfortable

Believe it or not, auto transmissions can be a premium in overseas driving markets. You’ll pay more if you want an automatic. Just be ready for this. Also get used to roads that have significantly more bend, more curves, corners and that are generally less maintained than US roads. In some countries you’ll even drive on the opposite side of the road.

The trick is just to make sure you have as many comfortable conditions lining up in your favor as possible. Get a good GPS and you should be all set. If you don’t have one – check with your car rental service and they should provide you one for roughly $14 per day

Know the rules

Be sure to know the usual signage meanings and rules of where you’re going to drive. ON the German Autobahn – you can fly. In other areas, driving 30mph can get you in trouble. Ignorance is never an excuse for violating the law, so make sure you know your rights, your options and what you can and cannot do.

It’s rare to have the open road ahead of you never mind in a foreign country. Take the time to plan – and the experience will be that much more rewarding. Relax and enjoy your time out of the country!

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