Sensible tips for hiring a car for your next travel road trip

Most travelers widely acknowledge that the best way to see a country is by car. Not only will you get a better feeling for the culture and people of the nation, with a car, you’ll be able to choose your own routes, go off the beaten track and explore the lesser-known corners of a country in a way that simply isn’t possible with any other form of transport.

However, if you’re planning a road trip abroad, you’ll more than likely need to hire a car in your destination country. Below are a few tips to help you pick the right vehicle for your journey and make your foreign road trip epic.

car on a road trip

Book well in advance

Almost without exception, car hire rates are higher in person than they are online – plus, there are all the extra hidden costs like insurance, taxes, and extra options that can soon add up. If you book in advance online, you’ll have an accurate idea of the full cost of rental and are also more likely to get the exact type of vehicle you want.

Think about your waypoints and plan your hire pick-up and drop-off points

While it is becoming more common for hire firms to allow different pick-up and drop-off points, many will charge you extra if you return the car to a different location. The best way to get around this is to plan your route and consider all the places you want to visit on your trip to see if you can make it a round trip.

For example, if you were road-tripping around the UK, you might be best to pick a centrally located company that would mean you to start and finish in the same spot (e.g. a company offering car hire in Tamworth).

Book with a reputable hire firm

Just like pretty much every other area of life, not all car hire firms are created equal, and you will often find smaller, lesser-known firms try to lumber you with hidden fees or pass you off with substandard vehicles. As a rule, it’s almost always better to go with a trusted and respected firm. These days, it’s easier than ever to work out the good firms from the bad ones with the internet and review sites.

Hire a vehicle that’s bigger than the size you think you need

When you’re traveling, it’s almost inevitable you’ll pick up tourist paraphernalia along the way. Also, it’s very possible you’ll meet other people in need of a ride or that you choose to travel with. If you’re traveling from the US, you should also remember that European cars tend to be on the small side compared to American models, so choose a vehicle that’s bigger than you think you’ll need to be sure of having enough space for your luggage and passengers.

Automatic vs manual

Depending on where you’re traveling, you may find they drive on the opposite side of the road to what you’re used to. In these cases, hiring an automatic vehicle will give you one less to think about by removing the distraction of having to change gears.


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