Are you planning to rent a car during your next vacation abroad? It’s not enough to know which side to drive: from international driving licenses to insurance, here’s what you need to know when renting a car in another country to get a good deal and keep your mind in peace.
Tip 1: Find the best deal
- Make all the preparations, from the reservation to the payment, in advance. Prices are almost always higher at the counter.
- Be on the lookout for discounts and promotional codes. Always inquire about possible discounts, for example those offered to seniors.
- Major North American agencies like Hertz, Enterprise and Avis are present in many foreign countries, but their rates are often higher than those of local agencies such as Luxury car rental with driver in Paris.
Tip 2: Choose the right vehicle
- Are you raveling with your children? Do you carry a lot of material? Choose a big sedan or an SUV. Do not forget that European cars are smaller. Rent a vehicle of the right size right away in case you cannot upgrade once you’re there.
- Do you want to save on rental fees and gas? Then book the smallest model available.
- Remember that drivers under the age of 25 or over 70 may have to pay extra or even not be allowed to rent a car.
- In many countries, manual transmissions are the norm and you will have to pay extra for an automatic transmission vehicle, which you will need to book well in advance.
Tip 3: Have an International Driving Permit
An International Driving Permit (IBP) is a multilingual translation of your Canadian driver’s license. It is recognized in more than 100 countries. If you are stopped by police officers in another country, you must show them your IDP and your Canadian driver’s license.
Tip 4: Do you have good insurance?
Check your auto insurance policy and travel insurance on your credit card to find out if you are protected when renting a vehicle abroad. Otherwise, you will have to take the insurance that you will offer the rental agency. You can only refuse it if you show him proof that you are already insured. Car rental companies offer collision damage waiver protection that covers part of the damages incurred by the rental vehicle in the event of a glitch.
Tip 5: Rules and local roads
- Familiarize yourself well in advance with the traffic rules of the countries you visit. Know which side of the road you will drive, which will take precedence in a roundabout and if you can turn right (or left, depending on the location) on a red light. This information is normally found in the travel guides (check out the most recent!).
- Map applications can be expensive to use and accessing them can be difficult, depending on your cellular plan. Bring a printed card, just in case. Renting a GPS at the same time as your car can also be a good idea.