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Car Hire Abroad
To reserve a car hire abroad, be prepared to do some research. Determine the best care hire companies to rent from, if you can drive the type of car you will be hiring (e.g., stick shift), what the local driving conditions are (including the weather), what driving licenses you will need, be prepared for possibly higher fuel costs, and learn the driving customs of your destination. Your trip will be much better when you are prepared before you hire a car abroad.
To hire a car abroad can be a point of concern for travelers. Many people fear that there will be a language barrier, that the company may be dishonest, that reservations will be lost, and so on. Here are a few simple answers to frequently asked questions about hiring a car abroad.
First, most car hire abroad businesses are rated in every country. Different groups rate these car hiring businesses, although some do not cover every country or region. India, for instance, is only now really beginning to gain ratings. Furthermore, travel sites rate car hire abroad services by feedback from fellow travelers.
Reading the blogs from these sites is not only insightful, but can also be quite funny. For example, there was the traveler to Thailand who thought he was reserving a vehicle. When he got there, he found out he had reserved an elephant instead!
Another consideration is the type of vehicle that you will be renting. In many parts outside of America automatic transmissions are still a luxury, if even available, and one that you will certainly have to pay extra for. It is useful for you to be able to drive a car with a stick-shift transmission.
For car hire abroad you will also want to consider the driving conditions. If you hate driving in the rain on constantly slick roads, do your research and avoid going during monsoon season. If you have never even seen snow, much less driven in it, you might want to avoid traveling to a winter destination that closes down one to two months per year due to excessive snowfall.
Avoid weather extremes: a Hawaiian driver dealing with an Alaskan winter will likely have as horrible a vacation as a pampered socialite suddenly confronted with a camel as sole transportation.
Car hire abroad need not to be quite so extreme, of course. It merely pays to know what you are getting into. Car clubs like AAA are always open to giving detailed information about driving conditions of most places in the world.
Please research the driving conditions and customs of your destination.
Do not forget driver's licenses and fuel. Make sure that not only do you bring your driver's license, but obtain an international driver's license. This second piece of documentation will help you further overseas than your local driver's license will. For car hire abroad, the rental services often require an international license as well as your personal local license.
Surprisingly, be sure to bring your state or national license with you, because your international license is invalid without it.
If you are accustomed to cheap fuel prices, you may be in for a shock when buying fuel abroad. Many places in the world pay double and triple of what you normally pay -- and more so from countries in OPEC and the other such oil cartels.
Research the fuel prices wherever your destination. You may just have to reassess some of your driving plans.
Finally, be prepared to adapt to the driving conditions of your destination. If everyone around you is speeding at speeds higher than you are used to, your normally slower and cautious driving may just cause an accident for which you are responsible!
Before you reserve a car hire abroad, be aware of other drivers and your surroundings, do your research before you leave home, and have fun!
This article is © 2006 by Doug Smith, who has many more free tips about how to reserve a car hire abroad at http://www.findcarsforhire.com. You may reprint this article in its entirety as long as this copyright information is included and all hyperlinks remain active and clickable.
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