Renting a car abroad isn’t as difficult as one may think. Once you have a valid government issued ID from your host country it’s typically an easy and quick process. There are a few things your should consider before moving forward with renting a car internationally.
Like everyhting else travel related. The early bird gets the worm. Reserving your car in advance can result in significant savings.I typically reserve my car around the same time that I book my tickets. I love websites like autoeurope or expedia which allow me to compare and filter out the exact car im lookin for. I have rented a car before for as little as 17.00 a day! Now that’s a deal!
I don’t know how it is in other countries but in the U.S. most of the insurance companies will not cover you for renting a car and driving internationally. The rental car agency should be able to provide sufficient rental car insurance anywhere from 11 – 35.00 per day. I dont know about you but i would prefer not to have to pay more ! That’s why I always book my rental cars with my chase Sapphire preferred card. Not only do I earn points that can be used towards travel but it offers primary rental car insurance. A lot of credit cards offer rental car insurance but it usually a secondary insurance menaing your primary insurance must kick in first and you must refuse the insurance provided by the rental car agency. To use your card for your source of insurance the rental must be in your name and the reservation must be paid for with that card.
I have been to some countries where i am required to leave a rental car deposit even though I am covered with rental insurance. The highest I have encountered is $5,000 in Costa Rica! In Thailand the deposit was nominal, I believe $200.00 . In Europe about the same, the highest deposit I have encountered there was 300.00.
Honestly, just because you are allowed to drive in some cities doesn’t mean you should. I had to learn that the hard way when I rented a car in Rome. After an extremely stressful 30 minite drive trying to get to our Air B n’ B i took to the interenet to see why the driving in Rome was so difficult. Had I done my research in advance I would have learned that driving in Rome is not recommended becasue for one, there are motorists on mopeds EVERYWHERE and they dont always obide by the traffic rules. The traffic circles are huge and no one stays in one lane, there is no parking, pedestrians use the corsswalks whenever they want, the streets are congested and traffic is terrible. I thought I was going to go crazy having to juggle following the instructions of the GPS and trying my hardest not to run someone over . Once we got to our hotel I parked the car and used pblic transporttion for the duration of our stay. Moral of the story…. do your research!
International driving permit:
An IDP is basically an official translation of your drivers license in 10 languages and isn’t required in all countries. Through all my travels I have not had to present one yet. Is it a good idea to have one? Sure! It doesn’t hurt especially since it costs less than 20 usd. Plus, you never know when you are traveling to a country where you may need it. Here are the U.S. trusted sites that sue IDP. the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the American Automobile Touring Alliance.