As you know, we like to travel. Our family loves to explore, to visit exotic places, and learn more about other ways of life, and cultures. In the future, we are planning to travel more, and to do so as independently as possible, which will likely mean driving abroad. Given the fact that a lot of you are probably thinking of doing the same, I thought a post covering the subject of driving in other countries, would be useful.
Hiring a car is far easier that it used to be. In most countries, US driving licences are accepted, although you may also need to provide an International Driver’s Permit. You can find out more about doing this, here.
In most tourist places, hiring a car is relatively easy. Plenty of car hire firms operate in these areas.
Hiring from a dependable firm
However, you do need to be careful when hiring a car. You need to do your research and look for a company that has a good reputation. Always read some of the reviews before hiring your car. Also, go to your favourite search engine and type in the term ‘car hire firm’ and the word problem or problems. This should bring back information about any issues people have had with the firm you are considering using.
Ask about safety equipment
It is also important to make sure that the safety equipment you need is included in the price of your car hire. If you need a car seat for a young child or booster cushions, make sure that they will be provided. They usually are available in countries where their use is a legal requirement. However, you do need to ask, and be aware that you may have to pay extra for them.
Check your car before driving it away
Before picking up any hire car, it is important to check it for damage. Doing so helps to stop you from being charged for dings and scratches that are already on the car when you pick it up. As well as looking for damage, you should look at the tyres to make sure that they are properly inflated, and do not have bald spots. This checklist will help to makes sure that you do not miss anything.
In some places, it may be wise to remove the car hire sticker from the rear window. This is to stop thieves from realising you are a tourist, and targeting you.
Understanding the differences in driving customs
Before arriving in the country it makes sense to spend an hour or so familiarising yourself with the driving customs and rules of the country. That way when you see an unfamiliar highway sign, you will know immediately how to respond.
Little things like that make a huge difference to how well you drive. If you are already familiar with the different rules, signs and driving customs you will be more confident, and as a result will be a better, and safer, driver.
Driving abroad can be nerve racking, but after a few hours, you will discover it is actually great fun, and not so difficult, after all.