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Car Rental - Tips on Hiring a Car Abroad

Car Rental - Tips on Hiring a Car Abroad

When you are travelling in different countries, often one of the best ways to ensure you see the maximum amount of areas, is to hire a car for the duration of your trip.

Now, hiring a car abroad can be a little daunting at first, what with the different traffic expectations to that which you are used to, the alternative controls on offer in the new vehicle, and the fact that you likely won't know exactly where you are going!

There are, however, some factors which you can take into consideration, when hiring a car, to make the experience less of a bumpy ride.

Research where to hire from

Having a look at the best rental agencies to deal with prior to arriving at your destination, is a good first tip.

You can find a number of car rental agencies in your destination area, attempt to check out some reviews of their service, and discover any potential discount opportunities - all before you arrive. This will set you up well, allowing a little knowledge about what to expect.

Alternatively, you can use a car hire comparison site, such as Skyscanner Car Hire.

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How much you are willing to spend

Now, the cost can vary a lot, and this can be dependent on factors of more than solely quality of the service. You will often find prices will be higher for a greater convenience for the user. By this, you would expect that prices for rental will be greater when the location of the agency is at, or close to, the airport. This may seem a good idea when you are at home planning, but beware that you may be paying more solely for that location benefit.

Have a look a little further out, as you may well find the same level of cars, for a more competitive price, and to get to these is only a relatively short distance.

Book in advance

To ensure you secure what you want, booking in advance is essential. Once you know your destination, and decide that a rental car would prove useful, you may as well book the vehicle. Doing so will enable you to choose what you want, to suit your needs, and likely secure it at the best price possible. If you leave it until the last minute, such as when you get there, you may well pay a lot more.

Car choice

Book what you want, but consider what you need. If you are travelling alone, with one other, or with a family, these choices will determine the size and therefore the type of car you go for.

Bear in mind you will also likely have a substantial amount of luggage, and you may need a bigger car than you would potentially have at home. Make a note of the car type (i.e. hatchback, estate, 4WD) as opposed to an actual car-type - as chances are the rental agency will not have the exact model you may want, but will have something which fits your criteria.

Consider the boot space

Aforementioned luggage firmly in mind, boot space is essential to consider. Do you plan on doing any activities whilst on holiday? Thinking about spending a few days camping, or travelling from location-to-location? This fits with the car choice but deserves some thought devoted all to itself. Ensure you get big enough or else you may be squashing everything onto the back seats!

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Who will be the driver?

There may be one, or multiple, but you will need to specify who is to be driving the car when renting it out. Appropriate and adequate car insurance (check out comparison site GoCompare for options) will be needed, as well as the correct driving licence (some countries may require you to hold an International Driving Permit).

Plan your trip

When considering the planning of your trip you need to decide whether you are travelling within one area, or across the country? This decision can affect where you pick up the vehicle, and where you drop it off. If the former, it may make sense to do this all from one location. If the latter, you may wish to explore the possibility of choosing an alternate drop-off location. This may cost more but prove a more practical option.

Extra considerations

A few extra considerations include the choice of an automatic or manual transmission, whether you will require a roof rack, GPS, air conditioning, a child seat or snow tyres - clearly these factors will be dependent on the time of year you are going, along with who you are travelling with and what items you are bringing with you.

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Thomas Goddard

Thomas Goddard

Thomas is Expert with Points' travel writer, covering a variety of travel locations with handy guides on the must-see places on any trip.

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