Whether traveling cross-country or around the world, many people enjoy arriving at their destination and having a rental car available. It provides you with a sense of freedom and convenience, even in places with an adequate mass transportation systems available. Having a car means being able to do things on the spur of the moment and being able to ignore time tables and schedules. Here are some ways to get even more from renting a car when traveling:
Choosing the right car for you
If you normally drive a small car, then you may find yourself uncomfortable behind the while of a large sedan or a sport utility vehicle, and vice versa. Travel should be an adventure, but ask yourself if driving your rental car should be a part of that. Otherwise, request a car that is close to what you’re accustomed to driving back home to avoid some of the many hazards involved in driving a rental abroad.
If you are looking for a special ride for your vacation, sports cars and high-end vehicles usually cost more to rent. Depending on the rental car company you use and your location, however, you may still find something impressive with your budget-range. Remember, for example, that an Audi or BMW as a rental is the norm in Germany, not necessarily a luxury car like they would be in the US.
Pre-paying for gas?
Most travelers realize that if they return a rental car without a full tank, they will be charged for the gas required to fill it up. You may not realize that the cost associated with this refill per gallon will likely exceed the market-value of gas by 200% to 300%! This can really add up fast. If you aren’t sure about refilling the tank before making the return, another option is to pre-pay for a full tank of gasoline when you get the car. The per gallon price in this situation is usually more in line with the cost at the pump and very occasionally less. If you know that you will drive enough to use at least one tank of gas, it may be a bargain.
Preparing to drive in a foreign country
If you intend to rent a car abroad, consider several more things. First of all, you need to remember to bring your driver’s license, passport, and a credit card. These will get you behind the wheel in most countries, although you are well-advised to have rental car insurance as well. Next, you need to understand the rules of the road in your destination country. England is the best example of this. You should already be conceptually familiar with driving on the opposite side of the road from the opposite side of the car before getting behind the wheel.
Renting a car can provide you with more freedom and control over your time during your travels, especially if choose the right car and options for your situation. Enjoy the road!