Tips for renting a car while travelling abroad

One of the best ways to explore a country while travelling overseas is by having a car at your disposal. This helps you have freedom of movement, be more independent and especially on long trips, it is more economical. However, renting a car abroad can be challenging, from driving on new roads to new traffic rules. There is much involved when it comes to renting a car abroad. The first thing should always be to ensure is that you rent your vehicle from a reputable car rental company. Review sites such as will help you identify reliable car rental companies. This article offers some essential tips you need to equip yourself with while renting a car while travelling abroad.

Always ensure that you are permitted to drive 

If you are travelling in European countries from the UK, you can use the photocard driving licence issued in the UK. However, a majority of countries will need you to have an international driving permit (IDP). Always ensure that you have done your research appropriately, as, at times, you will need to present an IDP along with your UK driving license, depending on your car rental company. An IDP is a piece of paper that translates the information in your driver’s license into ten diverse languages. It is recognized worldwide by more than 150 countries. The process of obtaining an IDP is straightforward. You’ll only be required to have completed an IDP application, present two passport-sized photos of yourself, a valid driver’s license and at least 18 years old. Always confirm the minimum and maximum driving age in your destination country.

Get insured

A majority of car rental companies will include insurance. However, this option can be costly. It is therefore advisable that when renting a car abroad, you get insurance separately. If you will use a credit card to rent the vehicle, check your credit card’s policy and see if it provides insurance. Go for car insurance that will at least cover the minimum requirement needed in your destination country. It is even better to go for identical insurance to that you have in your home country. Remember that even if your current car insurance provides for worldwide coverage, it may not be all-encompassing. Always ensure that the insurance you go for during your travel abroad contains liability insurance. If your trip includes multiple countries, your insurance needs to cover all the countries you’ll travel to.

Drive safe

You need to always check some important things before hitting the road while you are abroad. These include:

  • Check the tires:

Ensure that all your four wheels have the proper tyre pressure.

Have enough fuel: Always ensure that when taking the car from the rental company, the tank is full and when returning it ensure the tank is also full. This will ensure you don’t get charged extra for the fuel.

  • Check under the hood:

Always ensure that the windshield wiper fluids and the engine oil are at the appropriate level to ensure they will not run low while on mid trips.

  • Watch out for damage:

Ensure that the car you rent doesn’t have any unidentified damage from former renters. This will help ensure that you aren’t held liable for their mistake.

Ensure that you always buckle up.

Ensure that you know where to call for help: Have a list of emergency contact numbers specific to the destination country to contact in case of any emergency.

Always follow the law

Before you start your foreign trip, ensure that you are aware of your destination country’s traffic rules. Have the basics on your fingertips, including speed limits, which side of the road to drive on, and basic road signs. Ask and research any rules specific to the destination country. Typically foreign embassies, car rental companies, and foreign government tourism offices can always offer drivers a copy of the particular country’s foreign driving laws.

Search for all your options

To get the best available deals, ensure that you explore all available options. Some important aspects you need to keep in mind include:

  • Don’t always assume you’ll get an automatic transmission vehicle: In some locations, such as in Europe, manual transmission is still preferred. Thus if you are not familiar with shifting gears, be careful and look for car rental companies offering automatic transmission.
  • Always ensure you book in advance: This way, your chances of getting cheaper rates will be higher.

In conclusion, with this article, you have the tips you need while renting a car abroad.