When utilising car rentals abroad there is a myriad of considerations that must be made even before you leave the house. For instance, it is essential to have an understanding of the traffic laws of the country or countries you will be visiting. Typically this information will be available from the car rentals company although the consulate or national embassy will also have details of the rule of the road. Obviously ensuring that your driving licence allows for foreign travel and that you have been driving for long enough to drive abroad is essential. Naturally a plan of the journey should also be made, at least for the first day’s travel.
There are number of items that should also be taken on the journey whether using car rentals or not. The modern age has given us the wonder that is the mobile phone and understandably it is important to take this with you when travelling as if any emergency occurs it will be useful. It is also worth checking if it will work abroad as some phones do not allow for international roaming. Most countries, especially in Europe do not allow drivers to use their mobile phones whilst driving so it is always advisable to pull over to make calls.
When looking at car rentals it is a good idea to check and compare the prices of many different companies. When looking on the internet take care because some companies will not give the price in its entirety on the website. Additionally it also advisable to see what will be included in the rental contract. Questions you should ask include, is there a collision damage waiver? Are there any additional taxes? And, how much will any excesses cost?
When utilising car rentals it is also advisable to take note of the company’s opening times, fees are often charged for late returns and if the depot is shut, another day’s rental may be charged. At this stage it is also important to look at the types of rentals on offer in conjunction with your own needs, while an all terrain vehicle may be comfortable, is it really needed? Would a smaller economical car be a better course of action, especially if visiting cities?
It is vital to notify car rentals operatives at the time of booking if travelling with young children. Across Europe it is now required by law that child seats be fitted for all children under the age of twelve or less than 1.35 metres. In addition the majority of countries will have laws on allowing small children to sit in the front seat. Fortunately the majority of rentals companies will be able to provide child seats when hiring the car.
When the time comes to visit the car rentals depot and pick up the vehicle there are a number of vital checks that should be made. Firstly check the car for any damage and highlight this to the representative, not doing this may mean charges are incurred later on. Always keep your copy of the rental contract as this is your proof of using the car, many authorities make spot checks of vehicles, and without the correct documentation it could look like you have obtained the vehicle unlawfully.
Hopefully this advice on car rentals will aid many travellers in the hire process. There are many considerations to be made but with a logical approach it is possible to find the right company and have the best experience.