Freedom and flexibility are only two of the advantages you will get from renting an automobile on your vacation. If you don’t do some prior plan, your journey of a lifetime could quickly turn into a road to hell.
To save you cash on your holiday driving and to avoid dangers, follow our 10-step guideline below.
1. Make sure you book your rental car in advance to save money
If you’ve done your research for a great holiday bargain do not waste your time and effort by overpaying the chances of hiring a car. That’s what happens when you put off booking your car rental until the very last minute before taking off, or even more importantly, when you get to the destination.
Also, during high-demand holiday times like the summer school break, demand may exceed the supply of hire vehicles. So, not only could you have to pay higher rates in late notice, but you might have no or little choice in the car you use.
2. Don’t forget the excess insurance
Have you been to the rental desk to pick up your rental vehicle only to receive the hard sell of everything you’ll need in the event there’s a problem? To avoid this and to avoid wasting money to the end, buy your excess insurance on your rental car by registering online ahead of time.
This is a crucial insurance policy to purchase, as it will stop you from paying a large extra cost should your vehicle be stolen or damaged.
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3. Be sure to have insurance in place before you drive your vehicle
If you’re planning to take your own vehicle in another country, it’s equally important to ensure you have the protection you require.
When packing your bags, review of your insurance policy to determine if you’re covered for driving abroad and, if you are how much coverage you’ll be covered with. It’s also an excellent idea to determine what time period you’ll be covered while traveling since insurance companies will have limitations. If you’re uncertain about anything ask your insurer for an instant call prior to leave – it might be worth increasing your coverage for security when you’re away.
If you’re carrying breakdown cover, ensure that you’ll be eligible to use this when you’re away. Most standard policies don’t offer European insurance, so you’ll be required to include this prior to departing.
4. Make sure you have a valid driving license
If you’re driving with your own vehicle or hiring one upon your arrive, make sure to verify that your driver’s license is in good standing (the same applies to you passport) and have all the necessary parts of it ready to safely pack.
This year this year, the DVLA removed the counterparts on paper to driving licences, therefore, new regulations are in effect.
Before you go, ensure that you’ll require you to have an International Driving Permit (IDP) in the country you’re traveling to.
5. Have you got everything you require in your vehicle?
Different countries have their own rules and regulations regarding the requirements for drivers in their vehicles. So be aware of what is required of you should you get stopped by police or your vehicle is damaged.
In France for instance, it is unlawful to drive without at minimum one unopened breathalyzer in your car (although the penalties for not having one have been delayed for a while) and in Austria as well as Croatia it is mandatory to carry a first-aid kit in your vehicle.
Other things to keep in mind includes reflective jackets (check where they should be kept) and the warning triangle, insurance documentation as well as headlamp converters, and the GB sticker that is clearly displayed on the rear of your car (unless you’re in an area within the EU and have plates with (check where they are stored), a warning triangle, headlamp converters and the GB Euro symbol). The absence of any compulsory items can result in an expensive penalty, so it’s worth taking a look.
If you’re renting a car the rental company will have the equipment you require, but it’s a good idea to do an inspection prior to you leave to ensure that everything is in order.
6. Don’t forget the additional items
In addition to creating a list with mandatory things to put in your vehicle, make sure you include those items that you depend on in your car every day for example, sat-navs as well as baby seats.
If you’re considering hiring a car once you arrive at your destination you should consider carrying your own sat nav or baby car seat to avoid the high rental costs for daily rentals and also to ensure that you’re using the same quality equipment you’re familiar with. Be sure to turn off the traffic camera alarms off of your sat-nav in the event that you have installed them, as they’re illegal in a lot of popular destinations for holidays.
7. Find a good deal on fuel
Do not get caught up in the holiday spirit and neglect to shop to find your fuel. Similar to driving at home, some fuel stations – like ones on motorways will cost more and you should make sure you plan your stops at areas like supermarkets in order to avoid costly mistakes.
8. Do not inadvertently violate the law.
Although you might be doing everything right however, if you’re not familiar with the regulations of the highway in the country that you’re driving through You could accidentally violate the law, which could result in being fined or your license being taken away. Also, check the speed limit for motorways, in urban areas as well as on dual carriageways that you’re driving. Also, remember that If you’re traveling abroad, they’re most likely to show in kilometers per hour so you can work out a simple conversion prior to setting off.
Another error is to believe that the limit for drink-driving are the same in the UK. If you enjoy having a drinks with dinner, for instance be sure to know the limit in England the example is that there is a limit of 80 milligrammes alcohol per 100ml blood, while the limit in Scotland, France and Spain is lower than 50 milligrammes (with less limits for novice drivers).
9. Do your research on the roads
You might think that all you have to keep in mind when driving in foreign countries is to stay to the left, but when you see an announcement that reads “Cedez Le Passage” on the streets of France in a circle do you know what was? How do you feel about “Zone an traffico limitato” to be found in Italy?
Together with the fact that you may not know where you’re headed, not knowing warnings can cause frustration and costly mistakes and costly mistakes, so make sure you know some of the most frequently used prior to traveling. (“Cedez le passage” means that traffic at the roundabout is in priority “Zone of Traffico Limitato” means that only residents are allowed to access roadways.)
10. You can make motorway tolls easy
Tunnel, bridge and motorway tolls are another thing to consider in unfamiliar territories because you don’t want be the irritable tourist standing in an interminable line of traffic while you figure out the best way to pay. Therefore, make sure you have cash or a credit card to use at all toll station along your route. Also, discover if there’s something else you’ll require to ease your trip.
In Switzerland for instance drivers must pay a motorway tax every year and, in order to drive within Switzerland, it is necessary to require an Vignette (a label) to be displayed in your car. If you’re found driving without one, you’ll be charged an infringement charge.