Travel Tips – How to Rent a Car Abroad

Traveling abroad is exciting, but you can easily run into challenges when you try to get from one place to the next. While some parts of the globe are known for their great railway system or public transportation, other places don’t leave many options for travelers. Renting a car is a great way to get around a new place, but it also comes with challenges! Driving in a new place is always a bit scary, not to mention there are new laws you might not even be aware of before you get behind the wheel. Keep reading for a guide to renting a car abroad!

How to Rent a Car Abroad

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Why Rent a Car Abroad?

You might be wondering why you should even bother renting a car abroad when there are other options. If you’re in a place like Europe with efficient trains, you might not need to! In a place like Central America where transportation systems are unreliable. While you can always hire a taxi or driving service, there’s a lot of freedom in renting a car on your own! Not to mention you can save a lot of money compared to other travel costs.

Renting a car is also a unique way to see a new place. With a car, you have the ability to stop and go as you please, and you can wander off the beaten path! You can plan your days as you wish and travel to lesser seen parts of your destination that are hard to reach without a car. Driving in a new place also makes you a stronger driver, a great skill you can take with you back home!

The Steps to Rent a Car Abroad

So you’ve decided to rent a car? That’s exciting, but you’ll need to do some prep before your trip to ensure everything runs smoothly! While it’s always a good idea to review a driving guide before heading out on an extended journey, you’ll also need to review the laws and expectations of your destination. Here are step-by-step instructions for renting a car abroad!

Step 1: Verify Your License

In many parts of the world your currently drivers licence is sufficient to legally drive. Most English-speaking countries accept American driver’s license, but it’s still worth verifying with your rental company. In the case of your license not being accepted, you will need to obtain an International Driver’s Permit. If so, you’ll need to obtain your IDP prior to leaving the United States, and you can do so at your local DMV.

Step 2: Find Your Rental Company

Next, you’ll need to find and secure your rental car. The same rental companies  you know from the US are also popular abroad. While some cities will offer rental car pick-up locations, you can usually always find them at the airport. Book in advance either online or over the phone to save money. When choosing a car, try to select something you’re already familiar with so you have more confidence behind the wheel. There’s nothing worse than trying to figure out a new car while abroad! Remember that not all rental cars will be automatic, so if that’s something that is important to you then you will need to secure an automatic car in advance.

Step 3: Review Your Insurance

Driving with insurance is a must. Some car insurance plans already cover overseas car rentals. If you have a travel credit card, you might also have a plan for overseas rentals. If you do not have overseas coverage through your current plan, purchase additional coverage through your rental company.

Step 4: Learn the Rules of the Road

Finally, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the driving rules and expectations of your new country. When in doubt, stick to well-known highways and avoid traveling on unusual roads. The more you can learn before your trip, the better equipped you will be!

Are you traveling abroad? Renting a car is a great way to gain a local look into your destination! With a rental car you have freedom to explore on your own terms! Just make sure to follow the steps above so everything goes smoothly.

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About Marina Kuperman Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of TravelExperta.com, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 10+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

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