Renting a car and driving abroad gives you the freedom that you can’t get from relying on public transport, taxis, and walking everywhere. You can jump in your car and drive as far or as near as you please, and all you need to worry about is filling up petrol and perhaps struggling to read the road signs. Still, you can’t just travel abroad and get into the car expecting everything will be rosy, so here are the six key things you need to know about driving abroad.
Take the Right Documents
There’s the chance you may need to prove you can drive legally at any time, whether when renting the car the first time or during a routine traffic stop. Because of this, you must bring the correct documents with you. This includes your driving license, but also an international driving permit that ensures you can legally drive abroad. Another important document is your insurance, as while you may be extra careful while driving abroad, there’s always the chance you could encounter some problems. If you are involved in an accident, or something goes wrong, your insurance should cover them in most instances. At the very least, it will ease the financial hit.
Take It Easy
You might be the most confident driver in the world, but the roads in other countries can be tricky to navigate. If you take it easy, especially at first, you will be able to build your confidence before tackling the more demanding roads and highways. Picking the car up directly from the airport might be more convenient. Still, these are also often located dead in the centre of cities, which means you’ll need to get out of the parking lot and immediately throw yourself into heavy traffic. If possible, find somewhere to get used to the car without any pressure. However, if this isn’t possible, go slowly and avoid driving too aggressively to prevent any issues.
Have a Plan
You will need a plan for just about everything when travelling abroad, just as you do when driving at home. This plan should include where you are going, how long it will take you to get there, and where to fill up the petrol if needed. These are general plans, though, and while you will hope it doesn’t happen to you, it’s also worth knowing what to do in emergencies. It’s important to know how and where to hire a car accident lawyer, as well as who to contact should you get into a sticky situation or breakdown.
Have the Right Equipment
Knowing how to fix your car even when away from home is one of the most important things when renting a car. This can save you plenty of time, prevent being overwhelmed with stress, and also reduce the financial output you may need to make. Because of this, you should fill your car with basic repair kits for you to overcome any issues quickly. It’s also useful to bring a GPS with you, even if this is just your phone for the time being. To ensure you don’t run out of battery on long journeys, a portable charger is also a must. You don’t want to spend too much (if anything) on roaming charges, though. So, invest in a Pay As You Go SIM upon arrival and get that set up on your phone.
Follow The Laws
While you can generally expect most countries to follow the same laws for driving, you should still make sure you find out any specifics about the country. For example, in Peru and other South American countries, all drivers must have their headlight son at all times. Otherwise, you risk a hefty fine. If you are unfamiliar with things like roundabouts, be sure to give way to the oncoming traffic side before pulling out.
Do Your Research
As driving in a different country can be overwhelming, so doing your research will put you at ease when faced with roads that seem entirely without any rules or reason. Learn which side of the road to drive on, and also check for potential scams you might encounter along the way to protect you and your family.
Staying safe on the road is essential, no matter where you are. As driving abroad can be so different from what you’re used to, you will need to be extra careful when getting behind the wheel for the first time in another country. As long as you are smart and take your time, as well as tick all the legal boxes, you will be able to enjoy your adventure, wherever that is.