Things You Need Know Before Renting a Car When Traveling Abroad

Renting a car when traveling in a foreign country means freedom from rail and bus timetables. It comes with certain complications, though. The specific road rules, automatic versus manual, permitted alcohol levels in blood, and so on. Besides, you need to choose a renting company and car insurance, which varies widely by state and country.

Read on for the things you should check before renting an automobile while traveling abroad.

Tips on How to Rent a Car Abroad

Do you find yourself in a foreign country without your own car? Want to rent one but don’t know where to start from? Here are some useful tips that will ensure you stay safe when traveling abroad.

Stick to International Driving Permits

Luckily, it’s now much easier to ask and get an International Driving Permit while traveling abroad than it was a few years ago. Those permits usually cost around $20 and they are valid for one year in most countries.

Yet, before leaving your country, you need to check it out with your rental company just in case. In the United States, you can get one through either AATA or AAA.

Familiarize Yourself with the Rules of the Road

As you may already know, the vast majority of countries drive on the right side of the road. The exception is the United Kingdom, Australia, and most former British colonies. Check out the list of right- and left-driving countries.

While this is certainly one of the biggest considerations, it’s not the only one. You should also pay attention to other traffic rules that apply in a certain country. For example, you can’t use the slow lane for passing in some countries, whereas it’s not allowed to turn right on red in others.

Get the “Right” Insurance Coverage

You are advised to check your insurance coverage on time and in advance. This is important because some credit cards used to rent a car abroad provide insufficient coverages in many instances. Also, make sure to receive the insurance policy in writing rather than over the phone.

The US driver’s licenses are not accepted all around the globe. For that reason, you need to check with the US Consulate or Embassy before heading to find out whether or not you will need an IDP. On the other hand, the UK car insurance comes with the minimum necessary insurance cover when driving in EU countries.

Also, consider purchasing a CDW (Collision Damage Waiver) from a rental company, credit card company, or travel Insurer. The choice is yours!

Be Prepared For Extra Expenses

Looking for the car aggregators? You may be asked to do an insurance when buying an insurance policy from a rental agency because they don’t recognize. In some cases, you will be required to deposit extra buck for this purpose. Likewise, be prepared for extra cost when you need to join another driver to your rental agreement. So choose a renting company carefully.

Figure Out Your Limit

Keep in mind that permitted blood alcohol levels are not the same everywhere in the world. There’s no single rule. In the European Union, for example, there is a zero tolerance policy in Hungary whilst the permitted limit is 0.5 g/l of blood in Italy.

Manual vs Automatic

When renting a car, the chances are high that you’ll get one with a manual transmission in many countries. Most renting companies lack vehicles with automatic transmission. That’s why you need to book an automatic in advance if you are not comfortable with stick shift cars.

Top 5 Rental Companies

When you want to choose a renting company, there are a lot of things to take into consideration, such as:

  • Locations
  • Rentals
  • Reservations
  • Types of vehicles
  • Additional Services
  • Optional Extras
  • Mobile
  • Discounts
  • Fuel and Tolls
  • Support

Here are the 5 best rental companies in the world:

1. Avis

If you are looking for a simple and easy experience while traveling abroad, go for Avis. It covers a total of 50 states while offering excellent rewards and one of the biggest selections of rental vehicles. However, it includes expensive fee when you wanna add another person to your rental agreement and is costly for underage drivers under 25.

2. National

National Car Rental is a cost-effective solution for both international and domestic travelers. Some of the reasons to choose this rental company are the simple booking process, convenient rental locations, stellar customer service, and advanced mobile tools. On the downside, the company doesn’t provide discounts to its consumers who pay when booking their reservations nor any pickup services.

3. Budget

With some of the best discounts, hundreds of locations, and plenty of vehicles to pick from, Budget is one of the leading world’s car rental companies. However, it’s more suited to America than Europe and some additional fees are getting a little pricey, especially when adding other drivers to your Budget account.

4. Alamo

If you want to quickly find a good deal when renting a car abroad, Alamo is a wise choice. What sets this rental company from the rest? It sets itself apart from other rental companies with its streamlined online resources, easy booking process, and great savings opportunities. Alamo does not offer favorable bargains for business owners, though. Also, there are no mobile resources and support for car repairs is quite poor.

5. Europcar

With over sixty years of vast experience in the car rental industry, this European-based company is a great choice for those looking for a vehicle for their leisure or business trips. Whether you’re seeking a family car, van, sedan, or truck, Europcar will meet your car rental need. By the way, you will enjoy a wide range of great services alike. While this is great for Europe, it has a lower rating in the US.

Think twice before you choose a renting company. This is especially true when traveling abroad. By following the above-mentioned tips and choosing the showcased rental companies, you will get the most out of your trip!