When you are planning to go abroad there's a lot to think about - what to pack, plane ticket prices and airport logistics, and getting the best deal on a nice bed somewhere near where you want to explore. But one thing that a lot of people tend to overlook is their transportation once they're in their desired location. Some people opt for a hire car, others think a bus is the more scenic route, and others tour hop instead.
So it begs the question, do you need a hire car when you are travelling abroad and what exactly do you need to consider when doing so?
We hired this little beast from a reputable company on one of our trips to LA and although our luggage took up most of it, it was a great zippy and affordable option for the busy streets and freeways and gave us the freedom to explore as we wished.
Car Hire Insurance
A lot of car hire companies will pay for the first part of the accident unless you pay for their top tier package. It is possible for you to get an excess insurance separately and this is a great way to save money. If you choose to go with someone who does not have their cars insured in an attempt to save money then you will not only be breaking the law, but you will also be putting yourself at a huge risk as well. For example, if you're involved in a crash then you may have to pay for medical care in whatever country you are in and you will also have to cover the cost of the car repair as well. So not worth it, so do keep that in mind when looking for your car hire provider. If you want to avoid all of this stress, then tours are a also a great way to see the sights instead, but do note that you won’t have as much control over what you do and don’t see if you're just relying on tours alone. We often do both and it gives us the freedom and flexibility to get the most out of our travels.
Besides considering the model of the car for fuel economy, you will usually be able to customise your car hire experience to meet your needs - check out how you can book online at Burswood Car Rentals for a great example. If you go to another provider you will be given two different options when it comes to fuel. One of them will be where you get a full tank when you start off with the car, but this means that you have to return it full as well. You will need to fill up somewhere close to the provider or else you may face a pretty big charge. The other option is supplied full, return empty. Yep - when you go for this one, you can pay for the car and it will come with a full tank. When you return the car however you can do so empty. This is ideal if you plan on doing a lot of driving, and it is also great if you're unsure of the area and want to avoid any extra stresses.
We hired this Mustang for the #feels to drive Highway 1 from Los Angeles to San Fran (I know, better to go the other way!) and smartly considered the cost of fuel and return options as part of our overall trip expenses.
So other points to consider when thinking about booking your hire car include:
- Space and comfort
- Auto or manual - especially if you're a nervous driver on the opposite side of the road than you're used to!
- Safety features such as child seat straps
- Luggage requirements - roof racks for surfboards or space for larger items
- Convenience of return locations - so you don't then need another mode of transport to get you back to the airport, for example
- And phone service in case of emergencies - which we needed when one hire car broke down on the up ramp to Disneyland one very busy morning!
If you are not sure about anything then it helps to ask your local provider to see if they can help you or do some research on the options available in the area you will be visiting. If you are not planning on seeing too many sights or if you don’t expect to be driving much then sticking to sightseeing tour and using local transportation may be best, but not always cheaper in the long run.
Have you hired a car overseas? How did it go?
Let us know in the comments below!