Renting Cars Abroad – Don’t be Taken for a Ride
Yes, you can catch buses or board trains, but nothing quite beats the feeling of arriving at your destination and stepping straight into a shiny new rental car.
Renting a car abroad can be a great way to maximise your possibilities while you’re away, making sure you see more of what the region has to offer. However, it can be hard to keep up with the different ways countries handle car rentals and where and when your license will be valid.
Read our five tips to make sure your next car rental is a smooth ride.
1. Always plan ahead
It’s tempting to leave the car rental decisions until the last minute, or even until you arrive at your destination – but that’s probably not wise unless you’re a seasoned rental master.
A hurried decision about your rental firm, insurance policy, and extras can lead to some pretty major oversights. With all the excitement and eagerness to collect a car and hit the road, careful consideration tends to go out of the window.
Whether it’s in terms of time spent down the line, or expensive financial repercussions, not planning ahead and failing to book your rental in advance could cost you a lot in the long run. Even better, advanced booking often comes with a substantial discount – a great way to give yourself some extra spending money.
2. Check and prepare your driving documents
You’ll need to check what proof of identity and driving status you’ll need for the rental company and the authorities in the country you’re visiting.
The rental company may ask you for a ‘Check Code’ which lets them view your driving record. You can create one anytime on the official UK government website by entering your Licence number, NI number and postcode.
In some non-EU countries (and a few European countries too), you may need an International Driving Permit. These can be applied for through the AA, RAC or the Post Office.
3. Read the small print
It’s boring, it’s time consuming, but it’s worth it. For peace of mind, you really should read all that tedious small print.
Set aside some time and read everything about the proposed rental contract and any added insurance you are buying. Don’t be tempted to just skim it and make sure you ask the company about anything you’re unsure of.
We always use a highlighter or take notes of the things we need to remember and what exactly is covered by the insurance. It’s a way to know exactly where you stand before you start to drive, as well as find gaps that might be worth paying extra to cover.
4. Leave a trail
We’re talking about evidence, not fuel. We always recommend taking photos or videos of the rental car before you drive it for the first time, as well as jotting down any defects, however small. This can be a great way to avoid any confusion over minor damage and imperfections when you return the car.
Likewise, take a few snaps and give the car a thorough check before you return the keys. There’s nothing worse than surprise charges to your card for damage weeks or even months after you’ve returned home. It’s far easier to deal with these disagreements in the moment than from thousands of miles away.
We can help arrange car rentals when booking your holiday.
Get in touch now to get started.