No matter where people go on vacation, having a vehicle to travel the countryside at leisure is part of the experience. It beats having to depend on public transport or rely on crowded tourist vehicles to navigate you through the city streets to areas the guide determines are of the most interest. Open to learning if you want to drive hire cars from one country to another.
Often the problem with international car rental can prove complex with a lot of red tape with its documentation, not to mention having to manoeuvre unfamiliar roadways with varied rules and regulations and vehicles that operate in unique ways from what you’re accustomed to.
In reality, travelers need to put in time studying the laws for the country they’re visiting to avoid any repercussions from non-compliance. Each country has specific “local” laws depending on where you will go within that region, and if a driver is not acquainted, it can result in penalties or perhaps jail time depending on the offense.
In London specifically, you can face jail if found on a cell phone at the scene of a vehicle accident. Drivers can reach out for a hard copy of the driving laws from the country’s embassy. That will ensure you have an official copy with you at all times.
Tips For International Car Rental
When traveling to the United States of America or countries outside of the States, most people prefer to invest in a leiebil (rental car) to travel at leisure throughout the country.
The independence of driving along the countryside to the destinations you choose defines being on holiday. No one wants to rely on a tourist bus dictating which attractions are the best to see, nor do they want to depend on the crowds surrounding public transport. The only issue is learning and understanding the laws that pertain to that country’s roadways.
There can be severe penalties if not jail time for non-compliance with the rules and regulations without that knowledge. No one is probably aware that in Dubai, a camel has the right of way.
There are generally substantial differences from one country to the next, including how individuals operate the vehicle, with some driving on the right and some on the left.
It’s essential to contact an authority, the embassy perhaps, for a hard copy of the guidelines to ensure that you’re always in possession of the laws and following them explicitly for your greater good. Some advice for international car renters:
- Book well ahead of time
The suggestion for booking a rental car is to do so online roughly three months before the planned trip. In many cases, the cost will be lower, but it will give you the opportunity to navigate through any potential red tape that you might encounter.
Plus, you can get the car you desire, focus on the details of the contract, and maneuver through language barriers that typically slow the progression in real-time.
When doing it this way, the recommendation is to then follow up with the pickup location immediately before departure to confirm the reservation for your arrival date. You might also find the possibility of rate reductions with the chance for negotiating if that be the case.
- Allow for gas prices in the location
Stateside gas prices were an unbelievable high of $4+ per gallon so far this year, with our finding it incredible that it could possibly be more than that in other areas of the world.
Sadly, Europe is finding staggering prices with varying locations seeing over $9 each gallon, plus Berlin and London seeing spikes at $8+. You’ll find it a vital part of your budget to incorporate significant funds for fuel when choosing a road trip on your holiday.
A helpful hint is to avoid the prepaid fuel offering from rental car companies. That might be convenient because it saves you the need to refill yourself last minute, but ultimately you tend to buy much more fuel than you genuinely need.
- Learn if there’s a requirement for an IDP
For those traveling overseas, typically, an (IDP) or International Driving permit is a requirement. The permit translates a standard license into varied languages with recognition by over 100 countries, expiring after a year.
Obtaining the permit requires a $15 fee, state license (copy, and passport photos (2) with signatures on the reverse side, plus an application for the permit. It’s crucial to check with the country embassy where you’ll be traveling to learn their specific policies because each country has its own guidelines. These pertain to the United States.
- Driving different vehicles can take some getting used to
A majority of the vehicles in the United States have an automatic transmission. Many people, especially the younger generation, have no idea how to drive (or what it is) a stick shift. But if you want to travel, you’re never too old to learn. It seems most of the international rentals, particularly those in Europe, have a manual transmission, with these being handed out first to customers.
When contacting a car rental company, you need to clarify your “handicap” if you don’t think you can handle or learn to handle this type of transmission or have someone coming with you that can. You don’t want to get stuck with a car that you can’t operate.
Unfortunately, to get an automatic, you will likely pay quite a substantial amount more based on availability, demand, and the type of car to have the “luxury” of using an automatic.
But for those who understand a stick, the extra expense is beneficial if you know the roads you’re traveling will be exceptionally hilly or inner city and you’re less than experienced.
- Research the safest route
Unfortunately, international travel ends in fatalities too often due to tourists being unfamiliar with the territory, ignorant of the laws and regulations, and road conditions being less sound than home.
When researching the laws of a particular destination, go further by checking for directions to your specific locations and the attractions you intend to visit. Seek out the safest way to get to these places instead of the fastest route.
It’s always wise to carry a map and pay the extra cost for a GPS unit with the vehicle you rent. Typically with a GPS system, international maps are downloadable to the devices (exceptionally costly – but worth the price).
If you tend to travel a lot to other countries, these are invaluable, especially to places with numerous nameless streets that all look alike. A few resources can help international travelers with road conditions, including the “Association for Safe International Road Travel” which will provide current reports on driving for nearly 200 countries.
You can also check with the “Road Safety Overseas” that gives tips on each specific country for road conditions and driving laws. You can visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-19-information1.html
Some people avoid international travel because of the fear of the unknown with different laws, customs, and unfamiliar territory. It is possible to rent a car and be relatively independent on your escapades. Still, if you don’t research to learn the road rules, you can find yourself in some challenging situations, facing penalties, perhaps even law enforcement.
That’s why you need to plan far enough ahead, so you’re prepared for your endeavor. The recommendation is to book your car rental roughly three months early.
That allows you enough time to select the appropriate car, reach out for the region’s driving laws and road rules (search for where you can get a hard copy of these), study for the safest routes to destinations, and attempt negotiations for even lower rates once time draws closer.
Trusted, reputable rental suppliers are often a wealth of information. In some cases, they can provide clients with the driving laws in the various countries or at least let them know where to look for these regulations.
When committing to a holiday, make sure to research and compare the various companies to find the highest quality so you’ll rest assured not only optimum care concerning a vehicle but details regarding your travels.